Buying and owning one of the last 2020 3.2L Ford Endeavours

We didn’t want the BS6 Ford Endeavour with the 2.0L single turbo engine because we sensed it might feel under powered.

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It started with the search for a new car: We previously owned a Mahindra XUV500 W10 AWD (currently owned by livecar21). Had some of the most wonderful moments with it. It had taken us from Kolkata to Kanyakumari and then from Kolkata to Ladakh (I will try and share the travelogue sometime later).

Slowly we realized that we started missing out on the fun of traveling as group of 4 people and the ride comfort. We still had a Mahindra Thar, however, while traveling with 4 people (Me, my father, my mother and grandmother) plus luggage for all was certainly a task. While it was an awesome off-roader and fun to drive car, it surely was not a family car. However, still we relished journies with it a few times to Sandakphu and once we had done the complete Spiti circuit. (I will try and share the travelogue sometime later as well).

Test Drive & Finalization:

We took a test drive of a red Ford Endeavour first and fell in love with the car instantly, it had all the creature comforts, great ride quality and it looked fantastic. Then we took a test drive of the Toyota Fortuner. After test driving the Ford, the Fortuner failed to impress us. The only thing that made us slightly inclined towards buying a Fortuner was the reliability factor of Toyota, although Ford’s 3.2 Endeavour/Ranger platform was very reliable and proved its merit with time.

Deciding the car and booking:

Well as we ventured into all possible options and alternatives, we finally as a family decided to stick to our choice of the Ford Endeavour with the following criteria:

  • It had to be 3.2 L.
  • Color: Diamond White.
  • The VIN must be 2020.

That was a difficult task given that the 3.2 BSIV production was announced to be stopped, however, we collectively thought of achieving the aspiration.

This was the time when manufacturers were stopping production of their BS4 engines and bringing out their BS6 engines. We didn’t want the BS6 Ford Endeavour with the 2.0L single turbo engine because we sensed it might feel under powered. We anticipated  2.0L might not justify such a big body and we would surely miss the thrill of a 3.2L.

So we decided to book a white Ford Endeavor 3.2L from a dealership in Kolkata (Ganges Ford).

After a few days, we got inside news from the Ford dealership that they were unable to find the car of our choice. The dealership wanted to propose us a 2.0L version BSVI model. This news itself was heartbreaking and was putting an end to our aspiration, leaving us in a dilemma of whether should we go for a Fortuner or drop the plan to step up now.

We discussed this update with my uncle, Arunanish Karmakar (a.k.a livecars21) , who being well connected with some officials at the Ford Chennai Plant helped us a lot by searching for a car in the eastern part of India and making it available for us without a compromise to any of the points mentioned above.  Finally he confirmed the car made available from the last batch of BSIV production at Patna through Advik Ford. In the Process, he also sensitized the Eastern Zonal Head of Ford India who immediately contacted us and helped us with the process thereafter, which included the following:

  • Sharing of deal sheet.
  • Payment refund from Ganges Ford.
  • Fresh booking process with Advik Ford Patna.
  • Formalities for re-endorsement of bank loan as there was a change in dealership.
  • Registration at WB having bought the car in Patna.
  • Adherence to all terms and conditions as was agreed with Ganges Ford without an escalation in price.

All the above were major activities, but they all happened smooth enough without a glitch. Now it was a a few more days wait while there was still a fear of losing the car at the 11th hour given that there were elections in Bihar and such cars are in demand, And this beast was from the last lot. Me and my father kept our fingers crossed and wished that our “Gajraj”( by then my father had already named it ) only reaches us the way we could get to it as of now.

First glimpse of Gajraj (sent by the dealership):

It was really a wonderful day.

On my father’s request, Advik Ford ensured that our Gajraj was placed in the showroom immediately and not used as a TD vehicle by any chance. The result was, we got our Gajraj with 20 km on the odo.

The plan: We all will go to Patna, take delivery of Gajraj, return back via Asansol where Arun uncle will stay back and we will continue our journey to Tarapith. Pray and worship Goddess Maa Tara, take her blessing for all of us and Gajraj and then plan our trip back home.

The group: We completed the exciting Journey with the following members:

  • My grandmother.
  • My father.
  • My mother.
  • Myself.
  • Arun uncle.

And the mighty ride the “McQueen“.

Taking delivery of the car:

We all decided to bring Gajraj home on the auspicious occasion of “Maha Shiv Ratri 21st February 2020”. livecars21 (Arun uncle) had already confirmed to accompany us all the way from Kolkata to Patna and be part of the journey and celebration.

We left for Patna during the afternoon from Kolkata on 20th February 2020, picked up Arun uncle from Asansol and reached Patna by around 1:00 am midnight. We took rest in a hotel for the night. I was so excited I couldn’t even sleep properly.

We woke up early in the morning, had our bath andfinished breakfast by 8.30 am. It was then time to check out and rush to the dealership as early as possible. We reached Advik Ford by 9.30 as it was 10 min away from our hotel.

Picture of Gajraj in the showroom:

As already planned and lined up with Advik Ford Patna, they kept every aspect ready and the delivery process started immediately as we reached the showroom. The delivery process was smooth and we finished all formalities and were ready to drive out our Gajraj by 11.30 am.

Route taken for the journey to Patna:

Kolkata – Asansol – Barhi- Nawada – Bhaktiyarpur – Patna.

The road condition was mostly bad after Barhi & multiple diversions due to work on the NH after Asansol till Dhanbad (Total 598kms). Travel time: 11 hours.

Return journey from Patna to Tarapith:

Patna (Advik Ford ) – Bhaktyarpur- Seikhpura – Giridhi- Dhanbad- Asansol – Durgapur- Suri – Tarapith (Total 537Kms). Travel time: 11 hours.

Picture of Gajraj and McQueen returning from Patna:

We dropped Arun Uncle at Asansol by 8.00 PM and headed our way back to Tarapith which is around 3-4 hrs journey from Asansol. The road after Darjeeling till Tarapith was in bad shape. However we gliding through it in our Gajraj. We reached Tarapith at around 12.00 am after having our dinner at a roadside dhaba. What a sound and nice sleep at night it was.

The next day, early in the morning we performed Puja in the Tarapith Temple and returned back to the hotel, where we had our breakfast. By around 10.00 am, we left Tarapith for home. We reached home by around 8 pm with around 857 km on the odometer. We all including Gajraj enjoyed the trip so much, “A nice delivery drive it was, and the maiden voyage for Gajraj”.

Two-year ownership experience with 25,000km on the odometer:

The last 2 years were fun-filled, with no issues at all. The only visits to the service center were on account the following:

  • 3 times on account of scheduled service.
  • Once for installation of the rat mesh.

During the last 2 years, we could not drive much due to Covid and Covid related restrictions, however, a few special moments with our Gajraj are posted below with some pictures which say a 1000 words.

Modifications done: I am not a great fan of modification and hence did not allow my father to make changes to Gajraj (it already looks beautiful). However, we did have the following few essential modifications:

  • Installed Rigid industries AUX light 10” LED bar.
  • 7D full matting.

Software modifications include:

  • MID changes for map view.
  • MID display and changes for climate control from the steering wheel.
  • Screen saver changed and altered.

What’s so good about the car and Ford India:

  • Feel from the steering: Just doesn't let you know that you are driving a 2.5 ton. It weighs up well with speed which enhances the confidence of driving the car.
  • Just the right suspension set-up: Super comfortable especially on highways - great rear-seat comfort on long drives.
  • Sunroof and moonroof: Though not much used in ours, except for rains and drives in the hills.
  • The front look: Gives it road presence (I personally prefer the stock grille over the aftermarket ones, being a stock lover have ensured our Gajraj remains as it was built).
  • Low service cost: Engine oil is somehow really cheap and most of the other filters and wear & tear parts are reasonable, great work there by Ford.
  • Elegant and classy cabin: Love the symmetry around it, the leather finish is an additional wow.
  • Loaded with all the tech: Android Auto & Apple CarPlay are a huge plus – Voice command, Speed LIM, cruise control & MID for various driver information display is a plus.
  • Adequate torque and power: Never felt that it needed more.
  • Safety features: It’s always good to know that you have airbags all around.
  • Finally the “Family wali feeling” happens to be so true, feels great to be part of FINDER’s by virtue of the car.

Not so good with Ford India & the car :

  • Ford seems to be less generous for Indians, missed out on features like auto fold mirrors, taking off the headlight washer and extra USB port.
  • Warranty limits & a bit expensive extended warranty: The 100k limit seems lower given that competition is already offering 200k+ (Ford seriously needs to look into this).
  • Everything is motor driven with no, fall-back option: The rear seats and trunk are strong examples of how they can become inoperable if the motors fail.
  • Spare wheel: 17 inches steel rim is a very poor choice for a car at this price-point.
  • MRF Wanderers tyres: Certainly there were various other choices in the market better than this (not worth for a car at this price point).
  • High beam & low beam isn't that great for a car this expensive, fog lamps are pretty mediocre as well (no wonder so many owners are upgrading).
  • I wonder how difficult could it be for Ford to install the rat mesh in the factory itself (though it has started selling the rat mesh recently and we have fitted them too).
  • Traction control is not that effective especially on front wheels – it could really create wonders in the segment otherwise.
  • 3rd row sets remain good for kids or used as increased luggage space as the best option.
  • While the car was good, the market reputation had a different opinion and when you wish to sell it, might not get you the value it deserves.

Overall it’s been an amazing experience owning Gajraj till now Every ride and tour was a celebration, we would love to go miles with it.

The first long trip I foresee from here should be my journey to hostel. Yet I'm not sure when. Maybe a few months down the line in the future, where it should be driven by my father and me.

Few wonderful moments with Gajraj, Team BHP family and friends (pic credits: Samba uncle; a.k.a: Samba):

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