Isaac Bober’s 2019 Ford Endura Titanium Review with Price, Specs, Performance, Ride and Handling, Ownership, Safety, Verdict and Score.

In a nutshell: Ford Endura arrives Down Under into the crowded medium SUV segment but with only five seats and a diesel engine…

2019 Ford Endura Titanium Specifications

Price From $63,990+ORC Warranty 5 years, unlimited km Service Intervals 12 months, 15,000km Safety 5-star ANCAP rating Engine 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel Power 140kW at 3500rpm Torque 400Nm at 2000-3000rpm Transmission 8-speed automatic Drive Front-wheel drive (tested) or all-wheel drive Dimensions 4834mm (L), 1928mm (W), 1732mm/1742mm (H, FWD/AWD), 2849mm (WB) Ground Clearance 186mm claimed (FWD), 193mm claimed (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)

When the locally designed, engineered and built Ford Territory stopped production in 2016 it left Ford without a medium SUV in a booming segment. The Territory had been a game-changer but with the Escape too small to fight the likes of Mazda’s CX-9, Holden Acadia, Hyundai Santa Fe and so on, the Everest an off-roader without the same on-road appeal, Ford has had to wait until now. Enter the Ford Endura.

What’s the price and what do you get?

The Ford Endura is known as the Edge in other markets and, like recent SUV arrivals from Holden (Equinox and Acadia) the Endura is a US product. It’s not exactly a like for like Territory replacement but it’s about as close as Ford can get.

Interestingly, the Endura arrives in Australia as a five-seater only with just one engine. But it does offer both front-wheel and all-wheel drive variants. Ford doesn’t think the lack of +2 seating will hurt Endura but every single one of its competitors has that, so, we’ll see…

There are three flavours of Endura, the Trend, ST-Line, and the one we’re testing here, Titanium. The Titanium is priced from $63,990+ORC for the front-wheel drive variant we’re testing and rises to $67,990+ORC for the all-wheel drive version. Indeed, all-wheel drive is a $4000 premium across the range.

Ford Endura Titanium Review

The Endura Titanium gets more chrome bits and pieces on the outside, full leather interior with heated and cooled front seats and heated rear seats (two outboard seats only), panoramic roof, 19-inch alloys and an electric tailgate (in a hangover from left-hand drive, the button to close the boot is on the left of the tailgate), as well as puddle lights. Our tester also had the cost-optional Bang and Olufsen sound system and twin rear seat DVD system ($1600) which can also stream content via a smartphone app.

Pricing for the Endura Titanium is on the money with other top-spec variants it’s up against, like the Holden Acadia LTZ-V ($63,490 and $67,490+ORC) although that thing is petrol-engine only, the Hyundai Santa Fe Highlander is all-wheel drive only and lists at $60,500+ORC, while the Kia Sorento 2WD and AWD GT-Line petrol and diesel lists from $55,490+ORC and $58,990+ORC, respectively. The Mazda CX-8 (diesel) Asaki (AWD only) lists from $61,490+ORC.

Ford Endura Titanium Review

So, against the key competitors in its segment, the Endura is priced quite a bit higher regardless of the variant. And, again, it misses out on the +2 seats that the above-mentioned vehicles have hidden away beneath their boot floors.

What’s the interior and practicality like?

If you’ve owned a Ford in the last 10-or-so years then the interior of the Endura will feel familiar. And, if you’ve owned either a Falcon or a Territory then that centre stack will feel even more familiar in the way the infotainment system is located, the materials around it and the storage pod integrated into the top of the dashboard.

By lowering the dashboard and trying to stretch it out across the vehicle, and a large glasshouse, Ford has clearly tried to make the Endura feel light and airy. And, on the whole it works. The cabin feels very spacious.

Ford Endura Titanium Review

But the materials used aren’t in the same league as this thing’s Korean competitors with too much hard, brittle and scratchy plastic used on this top-spec Titanium. That said, the leather seats are much higher in quality than the rest of the cabin would suggest; feeling both good quality and hard wearing.

Ford Endura Titanium Review

There’s plenty of powered adjustment and the steering wheel offers powered adjustment too, but in typical Ford fashion the range of movement is limited. The seats are more comfortable than you might expect from a US-derived vehicle with good support in the base and sides of the seat which help to keep you in place as the cornering forces rise.

Vision is generally good all the way around the vehicle, helped by the cameras both front and rear, only the slabby front A-pillar gets in the way at intersections or crossings where you’ve got to look around it to make sure you haven’t missed anything.

Ford Endura Titanium Review

The back seats are okay with an adult able to sit in all three seats because of the flat-ish floor. If you watch the video above you’ll be able to see how much leg and head room I’ve got in the back of the Endura and I’m six-foot tall. You’ll notice the panoramic glass roof robs some headroom but there’s enough clearance that you won’t bump your head.

The middle seat is less comfortable than the two outboard seats but for short journeys travelling in it would be fine. Those two outboard seats are heated with the controls at the back of the centre console below the directional vents. There are also power outlets at the back of the centre console.

Ford Endura Titanium Review

The Endura excels in storage space with copious amounts in the front half of the cabin, running from door bins with bottle holders to a deep storage bin at the base of the centre stack with twin USB outlets, a very deep bottle holder on the centre console with a shallower cup holder beside it. The centre console storage bin is split in two and the lower part is almost elbow-deep. There’s a storage pod on top of the dashboard, sunglasses holder and a generous glovebox. In the back, there are pouches on the backs of the front seats, door bins with bottle holders and a small shelf at the back of the centre console.

Ford Endura Titanium Review

What are the controls and infotainment like?

All variants of Endura get an 8.0-inch infotainment screen with both Apple and Android connectivity, Bluetooth and voice control. There’s also native sat-nav via Ford’s feature-rich Sync3 infotainment system.

Ford Endura Titanium Review

Interestingly, the controls are a mixture of on-screen and manual and it’s a hit and miss affair. The buttons on the centre stack, particularly for the climate control, are easy to read and see but small and fiddly to use. And the manual adjustment doesn’t offer anywhere near the adjustability of the on-screen layout; on-screen climate control is, generally-speaking, never as user friendly as a well thought out manual layout.

And then there’s the steering wheel, this is another thing that Ford owners will largely be used to with the wheel feeling like it’s carrying one or two too many buttons. Using them takes some getting used to with controls on the wheel for everything from the audio to some active safety elements.

What’s the performance like?

The Endura runs a diesel engine only here in Australia, getting a single-turbo version of the 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel in the Ranger and Everest (bi-turbo in those vehicles). But don’t be put off, there’s 140kW at 3500rpm and 400Nm of torque from just 2000rpm (although peak torque is over by 3000rpm). This engine is mated to an eight-speed automatic with paddle shifters (something totally unnecessary in this sort of vehicle).

The slick-shifting transmission does a great job of keeping the engine on-song. Indeed, whether you’re creeping around town or whizzing along the highway you’d be hard pressed to pick that this thing weighs in at around two tonnes.

Ford Endura Titanium Review

There’s a Sport button but, like the paddle shifters it’s an unnecessary feature. It sharpens things like throttle response and adds a bit of weight to the wheel but all it really does is adds artificiality to the wheel and a lack of progression to the throttle to a machine that’s just about right in Normal.

In our first-drive of the Endura, Toby noted some torque steer…he was clearly driving the thing much harder than me, because I thought the front driver was pretty darn competent and sharper than some of the all-wheel drive vehicles you might compare it with, like the CX-8 Asaki.

Grip, on bitumen or dirt is good and the traction control system is well tuned. To be honest, a lack of ground clearance and wheel travel limit the Endura to the black stuff and well-graded dirt and, grip is good enough in front-drive form, that the all-wheel drive might just be a waste of money… If you need to go off-road, get an Everest.

What’s it like on the road?

The engine certainly has enough grunt and the chassis has been tuned to ensure you can get as much enjoyment from the package as possible. But then, with the Ford Mondeo as the platform’s starting point, you’d expect a more sporting ride and handling set-up.

And the Endura doesn’t disappoint, exhibiting excellent body control through corners and an ability to smother lumps and bumps in the road, at speed, that impresses. Indeed, I’d go so far as to say this is easily one of the sportiest feeling, yet comfortable, vehicles in the segment.

But it’s not all good news. There’s a little bit of lumpiness at low speed, say, up to 60km/h, because of that sporting tune but it isn’t a deal breaker.

Ford Endura Titanium Review

The steering is a highlight of the package that I wasn’t expecting. Too many of these medium SUVs have relaxed tillers that might as well be a PlayStation wheel. Not the Endura, the steering is nice and progressive in its action with accuracy and near perfect weight off-centre, good stability on centre and enough feel that you know what’s going on beneath the front wheels.

The other thing to note, is just how quiet the cabin is. Even when you step on the throttle, there’s barely a whisper breaking into the cabin and, road noise too is kept at bay. Part of this is down to good insulation and the other is because of noise-cancelling microphones in the roof lining.

Does it have a spare?

Yes, but unfortunately, it’s a space-saver only that’s limited to a top-speed of 80km/h and should only be used to limp to the closest tyre repair centre.

Can you tow with it?

Yes, up to 2000kg braked and there’s a factory towing kit for $1000. If you are planning on towing with the Endura then the all-wheel drive variant might be better suited.

What about ownership?

The services are set at 15,000km or 12 months, and the first four are capped at just $299 which is impressive. The warranty runs five-years and unlimited kilometres.

What about safety?

The Endura earned a five-star ANCAP rating and gets traction and stability controls and seven airbags, including knee bags for driver and front passenger. All variants get autonomous emergency braking and because the system uses both a camera and radar it’s operational, meaning full braking, up to 120km/h. Then there’s lane keep assist and even steering assistance to help avoid a collision, and post-collision auto braking to avoid the car from rolling or being bumped into a secondary collision.

Ford Endura Titanium Review
You can see the forward facing camera below the Ford badge.

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