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Toyota Fortuner vs Ford Endeavour - Hulking up

Snapshot: Two old schools rivals meet in an all-new avatar. But which one is best and which one should you put your money on?

These two SUVs are well and truly giants of the large premium SUV space not only in terms of their proportions but also their fan following across India. While legions of buyers made the last-gen Fortuner the default choice for large SUV lovers, the new Ford Endeavour is more than capable of taking it on in this segment. So which one should you invest your cash in? Let’s figure that out.

Exteriors

Both these cars have tremendous personality and on-road presence. The Endeavour with its square shape looks like a proper old school SUV, ready to maraud around town. The large chrome grille adds to the bold looks as well. The Fortuner seems to have a futuristic design and its flowing lines all across definitely make it looks a lot more sophisticated than the Endeavour. The side profile of both cars with their large tyres and bulging wheel arches is rather muscular as well and adds to their charm. No matter which one you choose, both have their own unique personality.

Interiors

Just like the exterior design, the interiors on the new Fortuner feel rich and very premium. If you have been inside the new Innova and liked it then you will love the Fortuner’s cabin. The materials are absolutely first rate and Toyota has used leather generously. The dark brown shade looks luxurious as well. The hooded dials with the optitron effect look cool as well.

 

The Endeavours cabin doesn’t exude the same luxury feel that the Fortuner has. That said, it is solidly bolted together. Just like the Fortuner, even the Endeavour has plenty of leather in the cabin, the top of the dash being the most prominent.

Both cars get touch screen panels for the infotainment. There is plenty of space in all three rows of seats and both cars are genuine seven seaters. Though the Endeavour isn’t as luxurious in terms of the design, it more than makes up with its generous features list. Ford offers you stuff that Toyota won’t even as an option. Things like a sunroof, electrically operated last row of seats and self-park feature are just a few. The Ford also comes with terrain management system. All you need to do is use a swivel wheel, and choose a setting depending on the surface and allow the car’s engine and gearbox to take care of the drive.

Engine, performance and gearbox

Both these cars come with two engine options and gearbox choices as well. But for this comparison we will talk about the 2.8-litre diesel on the Fortuner and the 3.2-litre diesel on the Endeavour. The Fortuner with 174bhp is behind the Endeavour’s more powerful 197bhp unit. But apart from being powerful, the Ford engine is also more responsive to throttle inputs and doesn’t feel as laboured when revved hard as compared to the Toyota. The Ford engine is also visibly quieter, especially when you rev it hard on the highway. It also is happier to rev and build speeds fast.

If you will be driving this SUV yourself, then the Endeavour is the better choice over the Fortuner. The automatic gearboxes on both are decent. But here again, the Endeavour wins, because the gearbox on it doesn’t isn’t hesitant or feels lazy when you need instant acceleration.

Ride and handling

The Endeavour impresses in this department again. It simply surprises in terms of its handling prowess especially when you consider its generous girth. The steering is crisp offering genuinely good feedback and even though there is a hint of body roll when pushed, it’s always under control.  The Fotuner’s lighter steering makes parking it into tight spaces easier but it’s not half as much fun as the Endeavour when it comes to the twisty sections of the hills.

Both cars offers pliant rides and only the sharpest of sharp crevices will manage to enter the cabin.

Summary

Overall, the Ford Endeavour comes across as the clear winner. It offers a more powerful diesel engine, which is more responsive and quieter too. The Endeavour also offers a more exhaustive list of features, which adds to the sense of luxury and comfort. But the best part is that it manages all this undercutting the Toyota Fortuner’s by well over Rs 2 lakh, which should be enough cash to fill up fuel and service the Endeavour over the next two years atleast.       

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