Road trip in comfort with the new Ford Enduraby Noted
The summer months are upon us, which means it's time to start thinking about making the most of those long weekends - starting with Labour weekend.
But there's a downside to spending hours in your car. And we're not just talking the length of time it will take to get out of Auckland on the Friday before a public holiday. It's the bone-aching hours of sitting upright while cursing the dearth of passing lanes on New Zealand's state highway network.
If only there was a vehicle that could deliver you to New Zealand's holiday hotspots and hidden gems in safety and comfort. We asked automotive writer Dave McLeod to give us the lowdown on the Ford Endura ST-Line - an offering designed to plug the SUV-sized hole in the market after the Ford Territory left the New Zealand market.
In the driving seat
When the Ford Territory ceased gracing New Zealand shores a little over a year ago, it left a big hole in Ford’s range of SUVs. A hole that in this SUV-thirsty market is almost unthinkable for most automotive brands – especially when you hear that Ford has had the mid-sized ‘Edge’ in their overseas armoury for quite a while (2007 to be more specific). Now, thankfully for all involved, the missing piece is here.
The Ford Endura has a welcoming air, despite its premium-sized road presence, and there is a confident ease about the way it conducts itself. The SUV’s face displays a masculine Ford grille, adaptive Bi-LED headlights and chrome accented fog lamps. Its silhouette features a strong beltline that runs from the front wing to the rear powered tailgate and picks up the colour-coded door handles along the way. Around the back, chrome exhaust extensions and LED rear lights that expand across the width of the tailgate really complement the SUV’s modern design.
Rather than faff around with a variety of different specification levels, Ford NZ gives you just one option, but don’t be alarmed, it’s their top one, the ST-Line, with badging and branded scuff plates being just the tip of the iceberg.
The cabin has a familiarity about it. The user-friendly SYNC 3 system behind the 8” colour infotainment screen is easy to connect your Apple or Android smartphone too and has voice and touchscreen interaction. The reversing camera is very clear, but this SUV also comes equipped with Active Park Assist (self-parking), which, bearing in mind its size, is sure to be very handy.
The interior trim finishing has tactile appeal. Both front seats are electric 10-way adjustable, they are heated and cooled, have powered lumbar support and all seats come dressed in Salerno leather with Miko suede inserts. The driver’s automatic ‘seat to wheel’ function adds an additional air of premium – a little thing but certainly noticeable. The rear seats are a versatile 60:40 ‘tip and flat fold’ style (and are heated too), allowing for a whopping seat-down luggage capacity of 1847 litres.
Tech-wise, the Endura has loads to offer, and a list of alerts and assists. Forward collision alert, all-seeing Blind Spot monitoring with cross-traffic, Hill Launch Assist, Lane Keep Alert and Adaptive Cruise/Distance Alert – phew. It also has a Driver Alert System that suggests when you may need a break, a timely reminder on long journeys or, in my case, when utilising too many of the Endura’s driving aids.
Although at a shade over 4.8m long and 1.92m wide, the Endura lords over its Escape sibling but it doesn’t feel overly large or cumbersome to drive. The Electronic power-assisted steering offers increased driving confidence and its 5-star Euro NCAP safety rating, a raft of airbags and curtains (it even has inflatable rear seatbelts) and range of stability controls are all designed to keep your loved ones safe and sound.
The Ford Endura may not be all-new in literal terms but it certainly adds a new dimension to Ford New Zealand’s impressive SUV family. It’s an accomplished, premium mid-size vehicle with territory- conquering on and off-road capabilities.
To find out more, visit ford.co.nz
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