SUVs and off-road experiences have always had a special connection between them and also get along very well with their relationship as you cannot approve an SUV like the 2019 Ford Endeavour to be true unless capable of going through a good road terrain. We spent a warm day this winter with Ford’s flagship SUV and took it through a nice off-road trail to know more of its capability on different surfaces.
The day started with a briefing on the trail that we had to take the new Ford Endeavour through. The trail included a variety of obstacles, such as side inclines, muddy slush and chicken pot holes along with some steep articulation. But before we go any further about this interesting off-road experience, let’s know more about the car that we got our hands on, which is the range-topping Ford Endeavour variant. It is powered by a 3.2-litre diesel engine that belts out 197 bhp with 470 Nm, making it easily move over almost any drivable terrain. The 2019 Ford Endeavour specification of 6-speed AT and a 4 wheel drive system that has a low range is what backing this engine. Ford’s advanced Terrain Management System (TMS) has a major role here to play, where you can choose from different terrain modes like Normal, Snow/Mud/Grass, Sand and Rock, just by switching a dial. We will enlighten you on how it passed through all the challenges hailing about its off-road capabilities.
Side Incline and Rumble Strips
The very first obstacle that the new Ford Endeavour had to face was the side incline. Throughout the trail, we had switched off the traction control system, whereas for this obstacle, we turned the swivel wheel to Normal mode. This was just a warm-up, tilting the car to more than 20 degree angle. Though driving on the higher side is surely not easy but it is better than you dipping in the trough while driving. Then, the slushy track was waiting for us, which is just next to nothing for a giant like this one and even the rumble strips feels like child’s play when you are in this giant.
Steep Incline and Decline
Steep incline and decline are some off-road obstacles where you get to know about the new 2019 Ford Endeavour features used for off-roading. We headed towards a steep decline that was on our left turning point to experience the hill descent control feature. And, as we moved our car further, the rear right tyre started to lift in the air. The car is now on three wheels and applying soft brakes but mind it, while going the downhill, you also have to manage your weight on the left foot or instead of applying brakes softly one might jump on the brakes harder, which is never advised by the instructor. Using the soft braking is the key here and coming to the right track on the decline take off your foot from the brake pedal, just let the car roll over loose gravel or sand and the hill descent control will do the rest. The first drop was still not that difficult to go through as compared to the one mentioned above and this was near to 75 degree steep downwards. Quite a challenge it was to take this huge Ford Endeavour 2019 through it, where you are least knowing about the drop angle.
Ending the decline with an ease and now, we were at the touch start of the steep incline. For this, we switched on the diff lock (the low 4X4 mode) or rear differential lock. While the tyres are in contact with muddy and low traction surface during a climb, this feature avoids the wheel rotating in the air and provides torque to the rest of the wheels in contact with the surface or in this case, avoiding the wheel spin on the dry, muddy surface. This feature cannot come in to play while in drive mode. So for this, we switched to Sand and Rock mode on the round dial. Starting from stand still with these modes all ready, all we had to do was press the gas pedal and with engine revv sound, the car climbed up confidently without giving any doubts.
This one is a very interesting part in this story. Chicken potholes are cross-angled twisters, where at some point, your car will be on diagonal wheels (just two wheels). The instructor asked whether we could hold the car on two wheels for a second. Though, I wasn’t sure about holding the car for that long on the top of articulates just like crest and troughs. The key is the slow revving. Once at the top, I told my instructor that we should surely try maintaining our balance. It is hard to say that we were still for the said time, but definitely very close to it. And just after a pause, on the top comes the angular drop and the more you maintain the balance, softer is the drop.
The new Ford Endeavour was quite promising when hovered through all these challenges. All these man-made obstacles were marked to the extremes for the Ford Endeavour to tell everyone more about its capabilities and it’s advanced Terrain Management System (TMS) that can handle such trails with ease.