The Raakshas comes home - a.k.a. Ford Endeavour.


This blog post covers my purchasing and ownership experience of Ford Endeavour. Please note I won't be writing about the tech specs etc. as that you could get it from Ford website. This is purely a purchase, delivery & experience blog. Hope you'll enjoy reading and sharing !

Preface

So it was the time again in my life when I got the urge for upgrading my ride and true road companion to a better ride and more capable than my currently owned Mahindra Scorpio. The reason - well just the urge for a better capable car but on of our drives where we got stuck on a melting glacier, with snow slush, negative temperatures and literally no oxygen, it gave me a reason to move on to a better capable SUV than the existing beast. In the transition, it also gave an opportunity for our beloved family toy car Hyundai Santro to give way for its sibling and big sister Hyundai i10 Automatic that can help my wife and dad have a smoother, better and clutch-less driving experience. In this post, I'm documenting my research, purchase and post-sales process so that others can take an informed decision for their purchases.

So it all started back in 2011 when I bought my first SUV, a Mahindra Scorpio, 2wheel drive variant and literally made use of it for On and Off road expeditions all over India. It is a vehicle I trust and can blindly recommend anyone to buy it without a second thought. The vehicle deserves a solid applause and it's a vehicle that will not let anyone down provided you know and understand its limitations and strengths. Scorpio served me well for almost 6 years without any major issues other than regular wear and tear and that too was minimal.

The servicing experience could have been better though and this is one area where Mahindra need to improve a lot and I mean a lot if they would want to retain a customer for life. Even thought Mahindra today has good fan following and increasing customer base, they in my opinion lack customer centric it's and do not seem to have a winning customer experience team who can retain a customer for long. Well anyway that's my opinion and it's totally based on my experience with the brand.

As it was an urge to upgrade, the only options I could think of were in order of priority for me was

  1. Mitsubishi Pajero Sport

  2. Toyota Fortuner

  3. Hyundai SantaFe

  4. Mahindra Rexton

I have been always admiring about Mitsubishi Pajero and always wished to buy it someday. The only question was when ! And this was the time when I started my process of shortlisting the SUV's I would consider to buy, it topped the list. I began the process of researching about it and found out that it's a very reliable car for Indian roads and would serve well for some good years to come. It does have the capabilities I would want in my next SUV and is just above the price bracket I wanted to invest in the new SUV. So I called the guys in bangalore for test drive and the guys came promptly on the day I asked them to come. Test driving the Pajero AT (the only variant) was fun. I took it to extreme off-road terrain, on road, slush, gravel, mud, rock and what not and it didn't disappoint me. I was pretty convinced that this is the suv I want and seriously started looking at buying options. While doing the research and talking to few of my friends, I understood that the car is truly a good piece of off-roading machine BUT the only and biggest downside is the Mitsubishi service network and whatever exists, is only a joke. A lot of people have been complaining about the service network and the current ones do not get the service, a premium car segment customer would expect to get specially from a Japanese company like Mitsubishi. This was a bummer and I started contemplating the decision and finally dropped it as the car service and network is important specially when you plan to do off-roading and that means you'll break a lot of stuff and would want the parts to be available on demand. Well, that was the end of my dreams to own a Pajero 😭

This pushed me to look at alternatives and here Toyota was the second choice for me so started looking at it as the next bet. I called but dealerships at Bangalore for details and test drives. One of them responded out of 3 with a positive response that he can get a vehicle for TD. The dealer promised to come on a day we agreed and did not turn up 😒 I called them again and got another date and time. This time he called one day before the scheduled TD and assured me he will be there with the vehicle but it will be a manual WHEREAS I was only interested to buy an automatic variant, so I refused to take the TD of the vehicle. After couple of weeks, another dealer promised a drive and literally came for it as well. I was happy that this will help me TD Fortuner AT, too-hoo!

So finally he came and we did the test drive on the same track what we used for Pajero and immediately my reaction was that Pajero wins here. But the nay issue was the post sales service which I didn't wanted to take risk with. I liked Fortuner for its abilities on off-road and on road but felt that it was well suited for a long distance highway cruiser than a true off-roader or a family city SUV. The downer was its truck like feel of the steering, yes it was heavy and heavier than my current Scorpio which made me think if that's something I can live with in city traffic and highways and the answer was - confusion !!

Luckily in about few weeks Toyota announced the arrival of its new variant in India but it was 4months away. I was ready to wait as there were no other SUV's I could bet on and hence decided to wait. In the mean time I started researching on the new variant of Toyota Fortuner and Pajero as well so that I can track their entry and plans for India. I also thought why not test drive Mahindra Rexton and Hyundai SantaFe very well knowi