Well, its been 3 years now that I've been driving my beloved SUV or as I like to call it "Raakshas" and I must say that I've been super duper happy with its performance, reliability and fun factor. I've covered almost 40k kilometers with this beast and it has never let me down till now :)
I'm writing this post as a continuation to my earlier blog post that I wrote after I completed 1 year with this beast. You may want to read that as well and the link is here.
In 3 years, I've done many drives with this beast, long and short and truly have enjoyed every drive. My drives have been super fun with the Endeavour and the best part has been that you do not get fatigued even after driving for several hours in a row. I've driven for more than 1000+ kms a day and 14hrs hrs a day without any tiredness whatsoever because of the vehicle. some of the drives I've done were from Bangalore to Kashmir (9800kms), Bangalore to Rajasthan (8300 kms) and Bangalore to Kerala (4000 kms). These drives have proved to be super fun because of Endy and its capabilities as well. At no place I felt that the vehicle was not capable of going into any kind of terrain, be it Muddy trails, Slushy tracks, Rocky roads or paths or even Snowy Icy trails with Slush.. and of-course on tarred roads.
Some of the features I've absolutely loved so far are below
Cruise control has been my favourite feature in Endy coming from an SUV (Mahindra Scorpio) that didn't had this. This has helped me drive the vehicle for very long drives without much effort and fatigue of pressing clutch (as its automatic) and then having Cruise Control to just sail through most of the distances on the expressways and highways of India. I love this feature and use it mostly every time when I'm on a highway.
Safety and performance wise, I've never been let down by this feature ever. It works beautifully and you feel absolutely in control event when the Cruise control is ON. The system response is great and the moment you either press the cancel button or press the brake paddle, you immediately get the control back. It's such a blessing to have this feature specially for the people who drive on highways and for long distances.
What are your views when it comes to cruise-control? Let me know by commenting in the comments section.
I love this as it makes the vehicle so ventilated and breezy that if the weather is good and you drive the vehicle with open sunroof, you feel like you're driving a roofless car and can enjoy the weather specially in hills and places with no pollution. It also helps me take some great videos and shots while driving by mounting some camera gear on the Sunroof.
On the stability, this has been working pretty well but had few issues a couple of times when it refused to close. Then I had to clean the channel on what it runs and most of the times, it came back to normal functioning. Only once, I had to manually push it a bit to close it when it refused to close. I got this checked at the Service Station and they fixed the problem immediately for me. Ever since that, touchwood I've not had this problem re-occur.
Has your Endy given you any problem related to the sunroof yet? Please leave your feedback in the comments section or this article.
Battery backup and performance
Well, this has let me down in the 3rd year a bit. As I go on very long drives and can't afford to have battery issues on my drives, I always used to get the battery checked before every drive I used to go on. Luckily on the long drives, it has never let me down and in places where I was expecting that it might create issues, it has never got me stuck anywhere.
One day before I went on my Rajasthan trip, while I was loading the luggage and preparing the vehicle for the drive, I ran the music system continuously for couple of hours. This drained the battery and the vehicle didn't start. The amount of electronics we have in Endy is a big issue if you have a weak battery and it is suggested to change if you don't want any bad surprises. I called the ERS folks to start the vehicle and they jump started the vehicle and ever since then it was fine.
For my Kashmir trip, I got the battery checked before the trip so it doesn't create any problem and it didn't. I was very worried that if the battery dies and the vehicle refuse to start because of the cold temperature of -1 and -17 celcius at the places we went to like Rangdum, Gurez, Drass.. it would have been a blunder. But I was amazed when I started the vehicle after the coldest night we've been in and it started in half a crank.
The problem started only in last 6 months or so when the battery started behaving like an old lady and started dying very frequently. Few times the vehicle didn't start when parked for even 3-4 days and nearly few times it used to die when I use the music system even for 10mins on battery without the engine running. The battery issue happened thrice in a span of one week during lockdown (COVID-19) and I was left stranded without any help from ERS or local service stations as no one was available to rescue me. I had to rely on friend's help to get his car and jump start me so that I could return home at-least. The result - exactly in 3 years, I got a new battery and now it looks fine.
I wanted to buy an Amaron as I wasn't happy with the Ford Battery performance for Endy but I was told that it might create some warranty issues. So I paid Rs. 7000 and got a new one. I would have preferred using Amaron as I think it would have probably lasted more than this but anyway..
Other features after 3 years of road trippin..
Brakes - I changed the shoes after 30k and now they're running like new
Handling - Same as new vehicle an dI don't see any behavioural changes in terms of handling of vehicle
Tyres - have run 42k and are due for change in another 8k I guess. I had a slight alignment issue with them after my Kashmir trip, so got it corrected as it was eating one of the sides of both front tyres.
NVH - its been good and I don't see any major changes in this after 3 years or 40k run
Pickup and engine performance - Its been good and I don't see any major degradation of performance or pickup yet. When I came back from Rajasthan trip, the air filter was totally choked because of the dust in that region. I got that changed and that brought back the pickup of the beast to normal expected levels.
Rattling and Squeaky sounds - Well my Scorpio had these sounds from day one and it used to irritate me so much that I had to visit the service station every time to get them fixed but it never went off completely. In Endy, I've not faced this issue so far and happy that even after doing so many rough terrain drives like Kashmir, Zanskar, Rajasthan and driving on Bangalore roads, it is pleasantly silent cabin and I'm loving it!
Paint Quality - Well, so far its been ok and I must say that I've abused the vehicle a bit by driving it to harsh places with severely hot and cold temperature places and driving within jungles etc.. but the paint has managed to take all the abuse well. I wouldn't say that its as good as new but then its not that bad as well. I do take care of the vehicle with proper cleaning using best of shampoos and waxing etc. but you know its one thing that gets effected fast if you don't take care. So for me I don have some scratches etc., but the paint is doing fine.
Paid 3rd Service and beyond
It has been a mixed bag on the service till now. The Ford service is good if not excellent like Hyundai, Toyota and Maruti I guess. the service engineers are experienced but lack customer handling skills and good communication. In all my service center visits, its been always lacking a basic customer treatment like offering of water or explanation of the jobs to be done or even the parts they need to change proactively. Only after you ask for it, they explain you at a very high level which leaves you a bit underwhelmed. If Ford really for its customers, they need to do better at attending customers and provide good customer facilities and treatment.
One more grudge I have against the Ford ASS is that their PUSH for providing good feedback and 10 star rating even if you've not been treated well or you've not had a good service. This is really irritating and in some cases they've actually emotionally black mailed me to provide good feedback. Well, I understand everyone wants good feedback but then a customer shouldn't be forced for this if they truly want a candid feedback. This is certainly an area for improvement that I see.
Service and Repair costs - have been normal I would say till now. I've not spent money on anything yet other than normal wear and tear and that too have been reasonable.
The parts I've changed till now
Horn pad (read my earlier review why I had to change this?)
Service related issues
Wheel alignment and balancing - was fixed outside as the ASS guys couldn't do it properly
Sunroof closing issue - got sorted
NVH issue - minor tweaking and it was fine
I did not face any other issues beyond these listed above and my confidence in Ford has gone up multiple times from the time I bought the vehicle. I wasn't expecting the vehicle performance to be so good and solid in all terrains like Dunes, Snow, Mud, Slush, Grass, Rocks etc. I'm super happy right now and I think I can spend some good time with this vehicle until I get ready for my Defender :) yes, my next to be ride...
Some shots of my beloved Endy after 3 years of togetherness :)