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The 2019 Ford Endeavour has been launched in India to take on the Toyota Fortuner. This is the second launch from the American marquee this year after launching the CNG variant of the Ford Aspire. Ford launched the facelifted Aspire in October last year to take on the likes of Maruti Suzuki Dzire and the Honda Amaze.
The facelift that the 2019 Ford Endeavour gets is minor with changes so tiny that you’ll need a magnifying glass to decipher them. The grille is redesigned and there’s a black insert to the fog lamp bezel. And that’s about it, when you look at it from the front. Alloys are redesigned but the rear-end has been left as it is. On the inside, you get push button start/stop, new fonts for the speedo to make it look ‘racier’(really!) and a handsfree tailgate (kick under it to open electrically).
Read about the earlier Ford Endeavour here
The Trend variant has been done away with and now you get to choose between only Titanium and Titanium+. You get 7-airbags as standard in both variants which is a great move towards safer cars. Ford India had quietly equipped the Ford Endeavour with the Sync 3 infotainment system and panoramic sunroof last year and that carries over. So there’s hardly anything new in the, erm, new package.
“You get push button start/stop, new fonts for the speedo to make it look ‘racier’ and a handsfree tailgate”
Both the variants are available with the tried and tested 4-cylinder, 2.2-litre and 5-cylinder, 3.2-litre diesel motors. The new 2-litre diesel that was recently launched in Thailand isn’t coming to India. Then what’s this test about, you ask? Glamping, that’s what. I’m not sure how many Ford Endeavour owners take their SUVs dune bashing but nevertheless, I’m here to tell you how it can bash dunes.
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We were briefed about the do’s and don’ts before we went dune bashing. The air pressure was dropped to 20psi and the Ford Endeavour was switched into Sand mode. That’s about it. Mind you, the dunes in this part of the desert are challenging and include 45-degree climbs and 100 foot drops. The instructor asked me to sit higher than usual and use the throttle in a gentle manner. And that’s exactly what I did, leaving the rest of the job to the Ford Endeavour. The steering in sand requires very little inputs and this is where the light, electric steering shines. You don’t really need to put too much effort like in other SUVs.
“Drive like a hooligan and you will have to call upon bot, 4-low and the electronic LSD lock to get out of the holes you’ve dug for yourself”
The brilliant terrain management system sends power to the correct wheel in just the right dosage to avoid wheel spin. When descending a dune, we simply let go of the throttle and the mammoth would take care of the rest. Hill descent control is available but wasn’t really required. Of course, it is all good if you listen carefully to the instructor. Drive like a hooligan and you will have to call upon bot, 4-low and the electronic LSD lock to get out of the holes you’ve dug for yourself. This is where the big Ford really shines and rears up its pick-up genes, it being based on the Ranger.
I had driven the Nissan Patrol V8 in the desert last year and honestly, the Ford Endeavour comes pretty close in terms of ability. And all this in an SUV that costs 50 per cent less money.