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Old 12th October 2009, 01:56   #1
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Thumbs up Testdrive: Ford Endeavour 3.0 Automatic

Another Lazy Sunday afternoon we decided to try out the new SUV's - Fortuner and Endeavour Automatic. We decided to visit Galaxy Toyota to drive the Fortuner first but at arrival there we were told as they have stopped accepting bookings for the Fortuner they are not offering the testdrive as well, so left for the Ford dealership.

We were offered a Testdrive as soon as we arrived in the Harpreet Ford showroom after filling up a simple form. The SUV was a silver Endeavour automatic. As i have driven all the variants of the Endeavour before i was exactly aware of what to expect. Here is what i felt about the car.



Looks- Looks are subjective, i feel the previous Endeavour was a better looking car compared to this one but this was required in a effort to freshen up the car. The SUV with facelifted front still looks good with the huge size making it look like another big american SUV.


Interiors-
Compared to the newly launched Fortuner the quality and design of Endeavour look a lot more upmarket. The material used is much better than the Fortuner.

The biggest change is introduction of new headunit which serves as Satnav,DVD player, a screen for reverse camera and a Music system. Apart from the head unit the dashboard remains same. The shape of the seats have been changed a bit to improve the back support in front seats and underthigh support on the middle seats. Overall Front seats are most comfortable followed by the middle row, the row is good enough only for kids. Space is very good at front and middle rows. The only compromise is the highfloor making you sit in knees up position similar to a very low slung sedan.


Engine,Gearbox and Performance-
The engine remains unchanged from the previous Thunder+ variant. This 3litre engine is a very responsive and torquey unit (ive driven the manual variant before). The torque is more than what the Fortuner offers.

The new addition here is the 5speed automatic transmission offfered with the shift on the fly four wheel drive button unlike the manual stick on the previous model. The transmission is a typical lazy unit with slow responses, it lacks the fast shifts of the newer generation double clutch or even some single clutch. The four wheel drive system offered here is part time four wheel system with rear limited slip differential.

The acceleration is very good for a SUV weighing this much. Out on the highway it takes time to downshift when overtaking. And at times to upshift the pressure on acc pedal has to be reduced. We drove the SUV on the Expressway and on the jam laden broken roads of gurgaon overall the performance and the gearbox was very good apart. We could take the Endeavour to max 150kph easily.


Ride, Handling and Steering-
Ride is not as bad as the rear leaf spring setup suggests our Scorpio is much more uncomfortable on the same roads but it cannot match the absorbent ride of the Pajero. Front suspension is good but rear suspension is unable to absorb deeper bumps completely.

The biggest surprise was highspeed stability and ride at highspeeds on the expressway, Endeavour feels a lot slower than the speed it displays plus the highspeed composure is very good for a BIG SUV. Obviously it cannot be compared to the sedans. Steering is very good and its very light at lower speeds, it takes away the pain of driving such big SUV in city traffic.

Less experienced driver may find reversing this 5meter+ long SUV a pain even with the reverse camera.

Value-
At 17.99lakh Rupees (exshowroom) its a very good value for money but i dont think it will be able to match Fortuner's resale value.

Overall i think its a very good alternative to the Fortuner.




Positives-
1.Big 5 meter+ length with imposing looks lend it a unmatched street presence.
2.Torquey engine has very good performance.
3.Comes with proper off roading hardware.
4.Automatic gearbox and high seating is a breeze to drive in city traffic.
5.New Head unit can be upgraded easily with better speakers, amplifiers and more screens.
Negatives-
1.Leaf spring offer just average ride.
2.No all wheel drive.
3.Rear steps out scarily with spirited cornering can be quite scary and unmanageable by unexperinced drivers.
4.Pain to reverse like most big SUVs.
5.High floor compromise seating comfort.


I took a lot of pics on my E71 but all of them could not be stored due to some memory issue and all of them are now missing, will post the if i find them.

Last edited by .anshuman : 12th October 2009 at 01:58.
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Old 12th October 2009, 06:34   #2
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3L comes with auto and manual but 2.5 gets only the manual? The length and weight doesnt make it a proper off roader in some situation says some. Awesome engine based on your review. And hows it stopping power?

And can you compare it with the Captiva Auto too?
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Old 12th October 2009, 07:03   #3
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Nice review. Agree with you on the looks department. I too liked the previous model but the interiors of the new Endeavour are much better and if I'm not wrong better than the Fortuner too. As 'jkdas' said could you compare it with Captiva.
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Old 12th October 2009, 09:41   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkdas View Post
And hows it stopping power?

And can you compare it with the Captiva Auto too?
3.0 now comes only with automatic transmission. I did not try hard stops but I found braking adequate even at high speeds.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JackSparrow View Post
Nice review. Agree with you on the looks department. I too liked the previous model but the interiors of the new Endeavour are much better and if I'm not wrong better than the Fortuner too. As 'jkdas' said could you compare it with Captiva.
Thanks, Yes Endeavour's interiors justify its price and are much better than Fortuner's interiors, only lacking equipment is Automatic climate control.

I feel one should not compare old world body on chassis SUVs to monocoque softroaders directly. I have not driven the automatic version of captiva, the road manners of Captiva is obviously more car like compared to the Endeavour but like a car it cannot take as much abuse as a Proper SUV.

Last edited by .anshuman : 12th October 2009 at 09:43.
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Old 12th October 2009, 10:00   #5
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Nice review Anshuman, its good to know that the under thigh support in the middle row has improved. If only they could do something about the knee-up sitting position & the ride quality
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Old 12th October 2009, 11:52   #6
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Originally Posted by suman View Post
Nice review Anshuman, If only they could do something about the knee-up sitting position & the ride quality
Thank you sir, Rear suspension and high floor are the only things holding back this very capable SUV.

Last edited by .anshuman : 12th October 2009 at 11:53.
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Old 16th October 2009, 10:38   #7
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Ford's made a smart move by playing the "automatic" card at a price cheaper than the Fortuner. Endy has the cheaper 2.5 4x2 variants too. Could be the Endeavour's USP, lets see if the market bites.

Quote:
Originally Posted by .anshuman View Post
Looks are subjective, i feel the previous Endeavour was a better looking car compared to this one
Likewise. I much prefer the butch squarish looks of the old Endeavour compared to the curvy front of the new one. Come to think of it, how many times has Ford refreshed the Endeavour already?

Quote:
The transmission is a typical lazy unit with slow responses, it lacks the fast shifts of the newer generation double clutch or even some single clutch.
Seems to be an autobox out from the eighties. Get this : You can even more from P to D without pressing the brake pedal! Can't think of any other automatic in India which lacks this very basic safety feature.

The 3.0 engine is a rockstar though.

Quote:
Rear steps out scarily with spirited cornering can be quite scary and unmanageable by unexperinced drivers.
Very typical of leaf spring suspensions. They are unable to handle mid-corner bumps.
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Old 16th October 2009, 14:20   #8
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GTO & Anshuman

would love to see a comparo between.

Endy 3.0 Auto, Fortuner & Captiva Auto.

Reason for these three being comparable.

All three are Diesels.
All three are 7 seaters
All three in a similar price band.
Pajero really has dated interiors, engine, features etc, so not on the list. (though it may be best for offroading.)
Most users/ buyer will be 95% of the time on proper tarmac, and 5% of the time max on rough / broken / underconstruction roads (where the softroader traints of Captiva too may be sufficient.)
Fortuner will be high on resale and reliability.
Endy high on features but low on resale and has a bumpy rear + Auto comfort
Captiva highest on features, low on resale, not a true suv (but is one required.) + Auto comfort

So for those who require an occational 7 seater, occationally need to encounter rough roads, very rarely or close to never actually off road, want a high vehicle for occational minor floods, which of these is best? Assuming 5 years of ownership.

Both of you have ridden all three I guess in some form. (I still have the captiva pending and have not sat in the Endy rear.)
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Old 18th October 2009, 15:55   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ACM View Post
GTO & Anshuman

would love to see a comparo between.

Endy 3.0 Auto, Fortuner & Captiva Auto.
Sure thing, heres a brief summary.

Captiva : For those who want something more car-like and soft (Fortuner / Endy are unrefined trucks). Good within the city (after you get used to the turbolog), quick on the highway. Feels modern, is now well priced (post pricecuts), great level of kit. Most light / car like to drive. I'm not a fan of the unsorted ride + handling though (even more so in 2WD variant).

Fortuner : My pick of the lot. Robust, quick, Toyota reliability, spacious interiors and good high speed behaviour. The lack of refinement (gearshift movement as an example), stiff ride in the city and utilitarian interiors may not be everyone' s cup of tea.

Endeavour : Losing the battle. Worst ride, most antiquated of the lot, lazy autobox. Only three strong points : Cheapest to buy, 3.0 torquey engine and built tough.
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Old 18th October 2009, 18:30   #10
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ACM:

As you correctly pointed out, majority of buyers of these vehicles buy it for the SUV looks as opposed to any need for 4WD. Keeping this in mind the Captiva now offers great value after the price revision. So unless you plan to go off the beaten track like I do, you are better of enjoying the comforts of an soft roader rather than buy a body on frame truck.

For some of us on the forum like Tanweer, JaySmokesLeaves, myself etc who will go off the beaten path than requires a sturdy 4WD as opposed to a light duty 4WD/AWD system purely for slippery condition, it makes sense to spring for the Fortuner or Endy (only if a Slushbox/auto is absolutely needed). To give you an example, I was taking the family on a day trip to Mahabalipuram from Chennai. For those of you who have driven on the East Coast Road, it runs parallel to the beach with about 1/2 to 1 km of woods in between the East Coast Road and the Beach. The kids wanted to go to the beach so I found a walk way and cut through the woods in my Nissan. There was really no road at all. I wouldn't have had the courage to do this, if I was in a Softroader with a light duty 4WD system meant purely for traction as opposed to off-road use.
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Old 18th October 2009, 19:18   #11
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It does not make sense to buy an Endeavour when Fortuner is available at such a good price. The only reason to pick a Endy is if you want a autobox with sturdy build of a proper SUV. Captiva on the other hand is a softroader hence more car like and clearly cannot take as much beating as a proper SUV.
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Old 21st October 2009, 10:47   #12
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Thanks, GTO, Anshuman and 4X4 addict, all have the same views. So thats great.

The Fortuner would have been so much more with the Auto box (automatically taking care of the shakey gear box) and a few simple comfort features - like say powered seats.

Yep the toyota gets away with it's current pricing and is in anycase overbooked, but my wishlist would have been a fortuner with Auto. Yep the Endy is close but old school, and the Captiva is maybe not man enough.

Even my two wheel drive Safari has go me though hell (bonnet grill high flood waters on mountain roads.) in emergencies.

Wish TATA comes out with a really revamped Safari (not the XOver) that can take on the rest. (Reliablity and Auto box would still be missing - so you can't win all battles)
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Old 26th November 2009, 00:04   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlokSriva View Post
Was wondering if it would be worth waiting for the new model of Endy if it is there on the near horizon?
Hi Alok,

I got delivery of my new spanking Endy 4x4AT's last Friday. Its a Panther Black model.

I'm a newbie as you might have noticed, and so would not like to air my ignorance here.

But I share the same opinion as you. I went straight from the Toyota showroom to the Ford showroom, drove the car for 5 minutes and booked it straight away. The people at Toyota seemed to be acting quite oddly I felt, though they did offer me a TD of the Fortuner.

The Endeavour 4x4 AT is value for money car especially since it's equipment levels are pretty good.

The 5 speed automatic transmission is simply brilliant coupled with the 3.0 litre engine. It feels like a sports car's pickup!

4 airbags, ABS with EBD are a plus point. I felt the ride was slightly better than the Fortuner. The new leather seats are great and offer good under thigh support. Driver's seating position is a little low for me however (I also have a Safari!)

The only things that I notice that are odd are the following:

a) Front Interior roof light is removed by the dealer as the DVD screen has to be fitted in it's place. All the interior lights are tungsten, while the two lamps on the roof-mounted DVD screen console are LED and thus ultra-white! Stands out like a sore thumb. It also took me a day to realize where the light switch on the roof mounted screen was!

b) Steering wheel mounted controls would have been good. The only way to reduce the volume now is to strain your eyes to see the 2mm x 3mm volume control buttons on the kenwood 2 DIN unit or reach for the remote and control the levels. Having said that the Bluetooth works like a charm with my Sony P1i phone, although I do not seem to be able to access my phonebook for some reason. The music cuts off when I receive a call and resumes after the call ends. I can also use the Satnav system along with the music playing at the same time. Reverse camera is brilliant and the road and obstructions behind the vehicle are really clear at night.

c) Engine Noise levels are pronounced when cold like most diesels. But becomes quiet enough not to be intrusive pretty quickly. But the Fortuner was quieter I must admit.

d) I'm not too keen about the sticker on the sides. Looks cheap as it says 5 speed automatic!! like the days when you had cars that said "AC No hand signal" on the rear!!

I'm off to Bharatpur and Agra this weekend and will sure post some pictures and a long distance trip report once I'm back.
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Old 26th November 2009, 09:08   #14
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@AlokSriva:

If you don't need off-roadability but just the space of an SUV, please look at the Captiva. Prices were recently revised downwards and it is much closer to Endevaour prices. If most of your use is on-road travel, I feel that the Captiva is a much better package.

@simpleSunny:

Endy with MT is available only with the 2.5 Liter engine and 2WD. I think this is a silly strategy by ford as they could offer a 3.) manual 4x4 about a lakh cheaper than the AT at about 17 lakhs and that would have been an very good package.

@HillBilly:

Congratulations. The Endy is definitely VFM compared to the competition. Looking forward to a test report and pictures after your long drive.

Last edited by 4x4addict : 26th November 2009 at 09:12.
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Old 26th November 2009, 09:42   #15
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Alok Sriva

Hillbilly goo frank and true mini review - now for a more detailed one.

Though it is mentioned that the Toyota dealer cared too hoots and the ford ones welcomed us - by a couple of guys. I had a different experience.

Got the fortuner test drive through Millenium Toyota at Thane (Mumbai).
The showroom was among the best ones in Thane - (the wasant ford one at Ghodbunber rd, is a shed in comparision). The staff were curtious, and though i had to visit twice as the first time there was immense rush and i did not want to wait in a queue for my turn to do a test drive, I did still like the staff attitude and politeness enough to go back a second time and this time got an extensive test drive, with detailed explantion. He guy providing the test drive infact got on talking terms to even take feedack from me about the Laura (which I have vs the Altis - he wanted to pick one of the two and wanted f/b)

The ford showroom (Wasan) on Ghoadbunber Rd, was on the other hand isolated, not rush and no staff to explain the vehicle to you. They did not have a test vehicle, the same basic 4X2 variant had been in the showroom for the last 2 months. The staff was not informative. I had called on them and left my number for the Endy AT test drive - they got back and offered the fiesta test dive - what more do I say.

The only printed info that the ford guy was able to give me was a price book - did not even ask for my card to try and close the deal with me.

Yep the Ford has more features but then a reverse camera and SATNAV - can be added later to Frotuner (which has better rear visibility anyways - w/o the camera tool.) But one cannot add climate control, stearing mounted contols to the Endy later.

The only place where the Endy has an edge over the Fortuner is the AT Gear vs the shakey manual gear knob. So if that is a major turnoff go for the Endy for the AT, lese the fortuner is the better deal.

Besides it is a correctly pressumed fact that the Toyota will depreciate much slower than the Endy so 5 years down the road it will fetch much more so the bying cost 1L differential is not substantial enough.

Add the toyota peace of mind reliablity and the rear bench space and the negative of the leafsprings in the Endy, with the icing of 4X4 AWD - fortuner seems to be the better deal.

And if the fortuner is too big and creature comforts are more important as also the AT, then pay 1L more and get the Captiva AT.
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