The long-running rivalry between the Ford Endeavour and the Toyota Fortuner intensified further after the arrival of the second-gen Ford in January 2016. However, the 2016 model gave the Endeavour nameplate a healthy boost almost overnight with its killer pricing which undercut even a generation older Fortuner. And if that wasn’t enough, Ford slashed its prices further by up to Rs 3 lakh recently making it a lot more tempting proposition. Now, Toyota has also introduced the second-generation Fortuner and, clearly, both the SUVs have significantly upped the ante. Intrigued about what these two big, body-on-frame SUVs have to offer on paper? Let us compare the two in terms of design, interior, features, drivetrains options and finally the prices.
In terms of design and aesthetics, both models are a significant departure from their previous-gen avatar and look slick and modern. Let’s start with the Fortuner. Toyota has slightly changed its approach this time around. While the first-gen model was focused more on butch and muscular appearance, the new one looks a lot Lexus-ish (Toyota’s luxury cars arm). The Endeavour still looks macho and intimidating – just like the previous model – and from almost every angle, it shouts out loud that it is a big, burly American SUV.
At the outset, in the new Fortuner, the headlamps get sleeker in profile and feature Toyota’s Bi-beam LED lighting with daytime running LEDs. Unlike before, it now features a chunkier chrome grille, which extends onto the bumper as well. The chrome inserts are also seen around the fog lamp housing. The Endeavour, on the other hand, offers a thick, typical Ford-SUV-like chrome grille, flanked by large headlamps with HID (high intensity discharge) lighting and daytime running LEDs. Unlike the Fortuner, the Endeavour’s bumpers offer a larger faux skid plate that also engulfs the fog lamps (front and rear).
At the sides, both SUVs offer machined alloy wheels, roofrails and pronounced wheel arches. The Fortuner offers plastic cladding on its wheel arches and there’s a kink around the C-pillar, which is one of the signature design elements of the new Fortuner. At the rear, both the vehicles offer wrap-around LED tail lamps and a chrome strip, which runs between the tail lamps with the respective embossed vehicle name.
Though design and aesthetics are purely a subjective matter, most buyers still prefer butch and muscular looks over flamboyance in this segment. The flamboyance is mostly appreciated in soft-roaders (monocoque-based SUVs), while the body-on-frame ones are still favoured in their enormous and brute avatar. So, if that is anything to go by, the Endeavour certainly excels over the Fortuner with its intimidating design.
Cabin and Features
The dashboards of both the SUVs look modern and come with generous use of soft-touch material, large screen infotainment systems and additional creature comforts. However, the Ford has a symmetric, uncluttered layout compared to that of the Toyota. Both the SUVs come with large leather-wrapped steering wheels with an array of buttons, while the cabins feature leather upholstery.
Speaking of the equipment on-board, the Fortuner comes with an Innova Crysta-esque instrument cluster and features the same driver multi-information display as well. Also, the infotainment system is shared with the MPV and it comes with T-Connect support (Toyota’s telematic services) with regular connectivity options, coupled to a six-speaker setup (even the Tata Tiago offers an eight speaker system), and that is all. Additional features include a power tailgate, shift-on-fly four-wheel-drive, dual-zone climate control, and others.
The Endeavour, on the other hand, completely ravages the Fortuner when it comes to features. The big Ford is loaded to the gills with features such as Ford’s SYNC 3 infotainment system with support for both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto along with Ford AppLink support (selected smartphone apps integration with the head unit and can be accessed using voice commands) and is coupled to a 10-speaker system. Rest of the features include a standard active noise cancellation (keeps the cabin quieter by cancelling the unwanted engine sound notes with anti-sound waves) tech, panoramic sunroof, powered tailgate and power foldable third row, Ford’s semi-parallel park assist (with front and rear parking sensors) and ambient lighting, among others.
In terms of safety equipment on-board, both the SUVs come with a total of seven airbags including driver knee airbag, ABS (anti-lock braking system) and EBD (electronic brakeforce distribution), electronic stability control, traction control, hill-start assist and hill descent control. The Fortuner additionally offers BA (brake assist) and front seats with whiplash protection, while the Endeavour offers emergency assistance with the SYNC 3 (calls emergency services in case of any casualty and shares the vehicle’s GPS location) and Ford MyKey (which lets one pre-set several things including speed limiter, infotainment system’s volume, seat belt reminder, and others).
The Fortuner is available in two engine options – 2.8-litre diesel and 2.7-litre petrol. The 2755cc diesel engine produces 177PS of max power and 420Nm of peak torque with the six-speed manual transmission and 450Nm with the six-speed automatic (available with paddle shifters). The 2694cc naturally aspirated petrol puts out 166PS of max power and 245Nm of peak torque and is available with an option of a five-speed manual or six-speed automatic (available with paddle shifters). The Fortuner comes with Toyota’s new ‘Sigma 4’ four-wheel-drive (4x4) system (only available with diesel) with shift-on-fly tech (not offered with the previous-gen model) and additionally comes with DAC (downhill assist control) and A-TRC (active traction control).
The Endeavour also comes with two engine options, but they are both diesel – 2.2-litre (four-cylinder) and 3.2-litre (five-cylinder). The 2.2-litre motor puts out 160PS of max power and 385Nm of peak torque, while the 3.2-litre oil burner is capable of 200PS of max power and 470Nm of peak torque. The 2.2-litre comes with an option of six-speed manual or automatic, while the 3.2-litre is solely available with the six-speed automatic. Like the earlier model, the new Endeavour comes with shift-on-fly four-wheel-drive system and additionally comes with Ford’s Terrain Management System with driving modes such as Normal, Sand, Snow and Rock. It provides you maximum possible traction and stability according to the type of surface chosen.
If you were thinking that the Fortuner has taken enough beating from the Endeavour, well my friend, one final blow is left – prices! Despite offering a considerable amount of additional features, the Endeavour is shockingly significantly less priced than the Fortuner, increasing the value-for-money quotient of the Ford manifold. Looking at the starting prices of the SUVs, the Endeavour starts at Rs 23.78 lakh for the 2.2-litre diesel (4x4), while the Fortuner starts at Rs 25.92 lakh for the 2.7-litre petrol (4x2). Even the Endeavour’s range topping 3.2-litre (five-cylinder) diesel starts at Rs 25.93 lakh (4x4 automatic) and the top-end model costs Rs 29.76 lakh. The diesel Fortuner, on the other hand, begins at Rs 27.52 lakh (4x2 manual) and tops out at Rs. 31.12 lakh (all prices ex-showroom, New Delhi).
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