Express delivery

by Andy Bryenton

Ford has made a habit in recent years of scoring points in a game, which was once considered impossible for an American car maker — creating a big hit for both sides of the Atlantic. With a Mustang that looks as good in Paris, Texas as in the French original and a truly global stable of other cars and SUVs, one of their standouts is the mid-sized sports utility called the Edge. Now it’s coming here under a different name, but nomenclature aside, it’s been worth the wait.

Toyota owns the name Edge here, so Ford is debuting their newest SUV — fitting into the range above the Escape and below the seven-seater Everest — as the Endura.

That’s a good name in itself, with connotations of go-anywhere toughness, and the looks of this machine live up to it well, with an aggressive stance and velocity-suggesting creases.

Only the ST-Line diesel variant is available currently on Antipodean shores, but that’s not a problem at all, as in this form the Endura packs a frugal (under six litres to the 100km) twin-turbocharged two-litre diesel, which remains quiet and comfortable as a clever torque-vectoring four-wheel-drive system delivers power to the ground. 

Technological safety measures such as lane departure warnings, blind spot warnings, driver alertness sensors and adaptive cruise control make this one of the safest places to be on the road, which is crucial for the family-friendly role the Endura plays in the Ford lineup. Add plenty of space, both for passengers and stowage, and this modern alternative to the large station wagon of yesteryear looks like a perfect proposition for the school-run driver or junior sports team supporter. For those who loved the Aussie-assembled Ford Territory, then, the Endura could not have come sooner.

Ford’s lineup of SUVs is now a complete family — from the forthcoming upgrade to the little EcoSport through to the indomitable Everest, there’s a machine for every niche and walk of life. Expect new engine options — perhaps even a turbo-boosted V6 — in future releases, but for now, the Endura is set to change the middleweight SUV game with an express delivery of ST-Line models landing in New Zealand this week.