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New Ford Endura review – Edging back into old territory

Ford Endura Review New Zealand

The obvious way to introduce you to Ford’s new (to NZ) medium-sized SUV the Endura, is for me to harp on about endurance and things that require great stamina, but I won’t, because quite frankly, just like Ford itself, we think you’ve waited long enough.

When the Ford Territory stopped gracing NZ shores over a year ago (which we’re sure feels similar in time to at least one dog year), it left a hole in Ford’s lineup of SUVs – a hole that in this SUV thirsty market is unthinkable, especially when you hear that Ford has had the ‘Edge’ in their overseas armory for quite a while (2007 to be more specific).

Anyway, last month, Ford NZ rectified this oversight and launched the Endura to the press at an exclusive event in Queenstown. It gave us a chance to garner some initial thought on the SUV but as always, it’s the follow-up drive that makes all the difference – or as in this case, not.

The reason I say ‘not’, is that my opinion of the Endura hasn’t changed since my first impressions of it, and this is a good thing. The Ruby Red Endura (that I was given) has a welcoming air about it, both in looks and the way it drives. There is a softness about its style, a large warm face, big Ford grille, a smoothness to its silhouette (aside from the pronounced lower door line) and rear lights that expand across the entire width of the tailgate.

Under the bonnet is a 2L Duratorq Bi-turbo diesel engine that had impressed me in the ST Mondeo (154kW/450Nm), it has a 6-speed auto gearbox and an AWD system that feels very well grounded.

The cabin has a familiarity about it and in fairness is probably due for a little refreshing but I certainly didn’t feel it was lacking. Sync 3 behind the infotainment screen ensured things were kept modern and up to date while the dinamica (part leather) seating was both heated and ventilated. The finishing has tactile appeal and there’s plenty of places for your mobile, even the big screen ones like mine.

Tech-wise, the Endura has lots to offer. Active Park Assist, Blind Spot monitoring, Hill launch in fact, while trying out some of the options, lane keep alert and adaptive cruise/distance alert, the Driver Alert System came on and suggested that I may need a break, it’s a good feature but I feel the alert, in this case, should be more introspective.

On the road, the Endura is quiet and comfortable, the acoustic glass does its job admirably (as does the suspension and chassis). It doesn’t feel overly large or cumbersome, or maybe I am finally getting used to SUVs.

Although it may not be apparent to those finger tapping Territory fans, Ford did in fact, rush the Endura down to the land of the long white cloud and as such, there will undoubtedly be upgrades and characteristic changes coming in the nearish future. However, it’s safe to say, that the ST model that I got my hands on right now, is an accomplished ride and comes loaded with extras as standard.

In many ways, you could say that Ford’s new SUV nameplate will be sure to ‘Endure’ the test of time.  

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