Toby Hagon’s 2019 Ford Endura Review With Price, Specs, Performance, Ride And Handling, Ownership, Safety, Verdict And Score.
In a nutshell: The car known as the Edge overseas is called Endura locally, bringing a large five-seater to the Ford SUV stables.
2019 Ford Endura Specifications
Price From $44,990+ORC Warranty 5 years, unlimited km Service Intervals 12 months, 15,000km Safety 5-star ANCAP rating Engine 2.0-litre 4-cylinder turbo diesel Power 140kW at 3500rpm Torque 400Nm at 2000-3000rpm Transmission 8-speed automatic Drive Front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive Dimensions 4834mm (L), 1928mm (W), 1732mm/1742mm (H, FWD/AWD), 2849mm (WB) Ground Clearance 186mm (FWD), 193mm (AWD) Kerb Weight 1976-2077kg Towing 2000kg Towball Download 200kg Boot Space 800 litres Spare Space saver Fuel Tank 64 litres Thirst 6.7L/100km (FWD and AWD)
Ford rewrote the rulebooks for the family SUV market with the Territory that arrived in 2004. Clever, flexible and finding mass appeal to a broad range of buyers, the locally-made wagon was a hit from the day it hit dealerships.
But since 2016 Ford has been without a proper replacement, instead leaning on the Everest that is heavily off-road focussed, something the compromises its user friendliness on-road.
Enter the Endura, a car known as the Edge elsewhere in the world. Targeting everything from the Mazda CX-9 and Nissan Pathfinder to the Toyota Kluger and Holden Acadia, it utilises car-based underpinnings with an emphasis on on-road driving.
However, unlike its rivals it only seats five people. While that will limit its appeal to some families, Ford believes there is a market for others wanting the space and comfort afforded by a sizeable five-seat SUV.
What’s in the range and how much does it cost?
There are three models in the Endura lineup, each available in front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive configuration.
Unlike many large SUV rivals, the Endura has only two rows of seats, capping capacity to five; those wanting a seven-seat Ford will be directed to the Everest, a more off-road focused SUV.
Life in an Endura starts at $44,990 for the Trend. As with all models it gets a 2.0-litre turbo diesel matched to an eight-speed automatic transmission.
There are also 18-inch alloy wheels, smart key entry and start, active cruise control, electrically adjusted driver’s seat, satellite-navigation, dual-zone climate control, digital radio tuning, reversing camera, parking sensors front and rear, tyre pressure sensors and folding exterior mirrors.
There’s also an 8.0-inch touchscreen incorporating Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as apps such as Spotify and Waze. The instrument cluster is also partially digital, combining analogue gauges with digital needles and cusotmisable screens.
There are two USB ports up front and a 230V powerpoint in the rear, the latter allowing lower powered household electronics to be used.
Active safety systems include autonomous emergency braking (AEB) and traffic sign recognition.
As with all variants, the all-wheel drive system adds $4000.
Next is the ST-Line ($53,990 or $57,990 for AWD), which includes black highlights in lieu of silver. Combined with side skirts, black roof rails and 20-inch alloy wheels riding on firmer sports suspension it creates a more aggressive look.
Additional equipment includes seats finished in a combination of suede and leather, ambient lighting, heated and cooled front seats, a memory function for the driver’s seat, powered tailgate, aluminium pedals and a rear cargo net and blind.
Top of the Endura range is the Titanium (pictured), at $63,990 or $67,990 for AWD, each of which picks up more chrome exterior highlights, including on the 20-inch wheels. It also gets full leather trim, exterior puddle lights to illuminate the ground at night, a panoramic sunroof, heated back seats and an electrically adjusted steering column.
Additional safety for the Titanium includes blind spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alert.
There are also various options, including 19-inch alloy or, on the ST-Line or Titanium a 12-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system.
For $1600 across all models you can get a twin rear DVD system that also allows streaming of content on tablets or smartphones.
One small point on the design. While it’s generally a stylish machine, the chunky backing that holds the rear numberplate looks out of kilter with the restraint used elsewhere; Ford says it’s working on a more elegant solution. Minor stuff, we know, but we thought it worth mentioning!
What’s the interior and practicality like?
Up front there’s a feeling of spaciousness created not only by ample headroom and a broad cabin but also courtesy of the long dash that stretches towards the windscreen.
Drivers of Falcons and Territorys may notice similarities with the centre stack and the way the 8.0-inch touchscreen bleeds into a storage pod atop the dash.
While Ford is focusing on luxury and space, the presentation doesn’t reset any benchmarks, the collection of greys, silvers and chrome merely acceptable rather than anything special; it’s certainly not as polished as a Mazda or Volkswagen.
The main differentiator between grades are different trim highlights on things such as the doors and dash; the ST-Line gets some faux carbon fibre, for example.
The Titanium also picks up a different collection of buttons in the centre stack, prioritising the volume knob in the centre.
Finding hides holes for odds and ends is easy with the dash top binnacle and a very deep centre console. There’s also a phone worthy covered crevice at the base of the centre stack – and it comes with twin USB plugs.
The cupholders are also very deep, although there’s a false bottom fitted to one to stop regular (non American) drinks from being lost in the chasm.
The instrument cluster is partially digital, with the centre of the regular speedo and tacho customisable for various displays. Without a head-up display or fully digital cluster it lacks the wow factor of class leaders, but is at least a cut above the norm.
One advantage of not having a third row of seats is the size of the boot. As well as storage space beneath the floor (perfect for smaller valuables) there’s a broad, flat floor with tie-downs in each corner.
What are the controls and infotainment like?
The biggest change from other cars is the circular gear selector that cleans up that centre console.
More curious is why is needs to much blank plastic around it, although perhaps there’s a mass of wiring beneath.
On the centre stack there’s two layers of controls, the upper for audio and the lower for ventilations.
The audio controls are minimalist, with an emphasis on the volume knob and much of the rest of the functionality accessed through the touchscreen, all of which works well.
The ventilation controls are more plentiful and allow for full control from the physical buttons (although you can also use the touchscreen). It would be nice if the temperature controls were dials (or, at least, more prominent, rather than blending in) but it’s a minor qualm on an otherwise cohesive dashboard.
The steering wheel is, however, very heavy on buttons, everything from the trip computer and instrument cluster layout to audio controls and some of the active safety systems.
It’s a wide spread, and one where it pays to spend a few minutes familiarising yourself with what they all do before you hit the road.
In particular, the cluster of main menu buttons on either side of the wheel’s spoke need practice. The left-hand one controls what appears in the left of the digital cluster while the right one looks after what’s in the middle.
It’s a shame you can’t display the digital speedo at the same time as things such as fuel consumption or the estimated range remaining on the tank.
What’s the performance like?
It’s an all-diesel lineup for the Endura in Australia. The 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel is a single turbo version of the engine available in the Ranger and Everest. While it lacks the outright grunt – power and torque peak at 140kW and 400Nm respectively – it’s well suited to the car, easily muscling along all two tonnes easily enough. The 400Nm arrives briskly from just 2000rpm.
The eight-speed auto is also crisp and decisive in its shifts, leaning on low revs where the torque is allowed to shine. There’s also a Sport button, which makes the throttle more sensitive to inputs and dives into a lower gear sooner (some weight is also added to the steering). For most driving, the regular mode is preferable.
As a two-wheel drive car – the driven wheels are the fronts (Territory was rear) – it’s less convincing, some whisps of torque steer, where the steering wheel wants to veer off course under hard acceleration out of tight bends.
The all-wheel drive system is far more convincing, the active apportioning of drive to the front and rear quelling any tendency to break traction.
Fuel use is 6.7 litres per 100km, for both the front- and all-wheel drive models.
What’s it like on the road?
Riding on a modified version of the underpinnings of the Ford Mondeo, the Endura has far more of an on-road focus than the Everest (which utilises the architecture of the Ranger).
Steering is nicely weighted and there’s a predictable nature to the way it responds.
It’s certainly far more refined and athletic than an Everest, Ford’s other large SUV option. For those planning to confine their SUV to the bitumen, the Endura is a much nicer thing to drive, be it ambling around the suburbs or pitching it at some corners.
However, at low speeds there’s some initial firmness that detracts from the otherwise good manners.
It seems engineers have focused on ensuring it corners faithfully and, indeed, unwanted body movements are kept well under control.
The ST-Line’s sports suspension riding on lower-profile 20-inch tyres amplifies that further, although the additional athleticism is a welcome bonus.
That ride is less of an issue once you’re travelling 70 or 80km/h. One area the Endura does very well is in country road comfort, its suspension more relaxed at speed and the efforts gone into ensuring it is ready for bigger challenges.
It’s also impressively quiet, microphones built into the roof working to monitor sounds as part of the noise cancelling system. With the windows up you’d barely recognise it as a diesel, such is the hushed ambience.
What’s it like off the road?
The Endura will do light duty off-roading only. The body of the all-wheel drive models rides 7mm higher than the regular cars, but it’s not about tackling great bush tracks.
Instead the Endura is about making life easier on slippery surfaces and adding a fraction more clearance if it’s ever required.
Does it have a spare?
There’s a space saver spare beneath the boot floor. It’s quite skinny, so limited the recommended top speed to 80km/h when fitted.
Can you tow with it?
The Endura is rated to tow up to 2000kg and there is a factory tow kit that costs just $1000.
What about ownership?
Factory warranty coverage runs to five years with no limit on the kilometres travelled.
Servicing must be performed every 12 months or 15,000km. The first four services are capped at $299.
What safety features does it have?
Eight airbags (including side curtains and a knee airbags for the two front occupants) set the scene for a strong safety story, one which earned the Endura a five-star ANCAP rating.
There is a strong emphasis on crash avoidance, with all models getting auto emergency braking (AEB).
Impressively, all models utilise a radar and camera as part of that AEB system.
That allows it to operate up to 120km/h; beyond that it’s not performing full auto braking, instead slowing more gradually.
Evasive Steer Assist provides steering assistance to help avoid a crash. You’ve still got to twirl the wheel, but the car may add extra force to better divert around another vehicle or obstacle.
There’s also post-collision braking, which applies the brakes after an initial impact, potentially stopping the car rolling towards another prang.