An enduring legacy

by Andy Bryenton

What’s in a name? Well, Ford will be quick to tell you that names like Mustang, Ranger, F150 and GT40 are worth more than some examples of the classic vehicles they’re imprinted on. However, it’s a chicken-and-egg consideration really. A machine attains classic status and earns a name worth stamping out in chrome by being excellent in its own right.

Take Ford’s new Endura ST line SUV for example. It looks the part — robust and planted on the road, with that commanding grille height, subtle wheel arches slicked over big alloys, chunky faceted lights, and the kind of ‘bulldog’ stance which speaks of four-wheel drive tenacity and grip, even standing still outside a city cafe. Endura isn’t the name it’s known by in the rest of the world. There, as the Ford Edge, it’s picked up a host of accolades and continues to be popular with those who want a sports utility that’s more than compact but less than gigantic. Sadly, another brand owns the name ‘Edge’ in this market. So the whole package has been re-branded, with a title that rightly puts the concept of endurance to the fore.

The ST Line makes no apologies about being the best version of the Endura out there — it’s the one which Ford has chosen to bring into New Zealand because they know that those in the market for a medium-to-large SUV often desire touring comfort and suite of modern conveniences. Fittingly, only a creamy smooth twin-turbocharged two-litre diesel is on option under the hood, delivering quiet efficiency and a rather economical less than six litres to the 100km. Easy competency marks the transition from city pavements to less beaten trails, as a very clever torque-vectoring four-wheel-drive system engages in a civilised dialogue with the Endura’s transmission.

That makes the Endura a great place to spend long hours on the road, and its ability to pack in a hefty amount of luggage or even tow some summer toys makes this a very family friendly option. We’re not mentioning the old Aussie-sourced Ford Territory, but this could be an accelerated evolution of that concept. To be even more appealing to adventurous families, technological safety measures such as lane departure warnings, blind spot warnings, driver alertness sensors and adaptive cruise control have been added to wrap all occupants in both comfort and security.

Foreign markets have even seen a turbo-boosted V6 version of the Edge, so more Endura options may be on the way.

For now, Ford has delivered a commanding niche-filler to fit between their Everest and Escape models.