New En­dura St­line sharp­ens Ford’s SUV edge

Hamilton News - - Front Page -

well-equipped in St-line form, and looks sharp with its 20-inch al­loy wheels.

The En­dura is a five-seat wagon, Ford leav­ing the truck-based Ever­est to ac­com­mo­date cus­tomers with seven-seat needs.

The more car-like SUV is sized more like the Euro­pean SUVS that Ford hopes the En­dura will be com­pared to rather than the slightly-larger seven-seat Asian­branded SUVS that are its nat­u­ral price-point ri­vals.

Al­though the sec­ond­gen­er­a­tion Edge has now been on sale in North Amer­ica for two years, it ar­rives here look­ing tooled up, and equip­ment in­cludes a power tail­gate, leather/semisuede up­hol­stery, Ford’s SYNC III con­nec­tiv­ity with Ap­ple/an­droid cell­phone pro­jec­tion to an 8-inch touch screen, and a acronymladen safety locker with park as­sist, adap­tive cruise con­trol, au­ton­o­mous emer­gency brak­ing at ur­ban speeds, blind spot mon­i­tors, lane keep­ing aid, hill launch as­sist, and a re­vers­ing cam­era backed up by park­ing sen­sors front and rear. Max­i­mum tow­ing ca­pac­ity is 2000kg.

Driv­ing the En­dura from Queen­stown into Mount Aspir­ing Na­tional Park at the west­ern end of Lake Wakatipu, and back, gave an op­por­tu­nity to sam­ple the many tal­ents of the new Ford. The 154kw/450nm 2.0litre twin-turbo diesel/six-speed au­to­matic pow­er­train didn’t feel as perky as the Tiguan’s equiv­a­lent, the ex­tra for­ward ra­tios of the Volk­swa­gen do­ing a bet­ter job of pro­cess­ing an iden­ti­cal amount of driv­ing force.

The En­dura also feels a more solid ve­hi­cle on the road, a re­flec­tion of its greater mass, but it’s far from be­ing a stolid drive.

For the rigid­ity and strength of the body gives a sta­ble plat­form from which the steer­ing and sus­pen­sion sys­tems can do their work, and the En­dura is a frisky and ag­ile steer on those 20-inch wheels. Lat­eral weight shifts while cor­ner­ing are kept in check by the sturdy sta­biliser bars, and the on­road han­dling feels as sporty as ex­pected of an St-badged Ford.

De­spite th­ese road-hold­ing en­hance­ments, ride com­fort is main­tained over a wide range of ve­hi­cle speeds and driv­ing con­di­tions. Even when travers­ing the un­sealed ac­cess tracks of the na­tional park, long lines of pot­holes and some eroded creek cross­ings did lit­tle to phase the adap­tive all-wheel-drive Ford.

The St-line is the first ar­rival of an En­dura model range that will pro­gres­sively grow in num­ber by the start of next year. Un­til then, just 300 St-lines are avail­able.

Pic­tures / Paul Owen

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.