Ford Endura Review New Zealand
Despite the endless amounts of fun and love that having a family brings with them (just in case they read this), they, unfortunately, turn even the simplest of trips, into a logistical nightmare. Going to a friend’s place, to the local beach or even to the store for that matter, commands negotiation skills that exceed my pay grade. So obviously, the thought of going away on a road trip for the weekend simply makes me shudder - I swear herding cats would be easier! Choosing the location that everyone can agree on, the accommodation, what to wear, what to eat, when to leave, when to return and of course what to pack, they are all fraught with the danger, I’m starting to get a migraine as I’m writing this. Anyway, the Ford Endura press car I had been given, may very well have come up with the answer to most of my dilemma’s.
As you are probably aware by now, the Endura is the latest addition to Ford’s SUV family and it sits nicely between the 7-seater Everest and the 5-seater Escape. This medium, almost large SUV has a strong, muscular kerbside appearance, space for five adults or large kids and with a ground clearance of 203mm or 152mm when fully loaded (for us those numbers are slightly off) and intelligent AWD, it has a ‘go anywhere’ attitude - The result is, the Endura basically caters to every family member’s destination whim.
The ‘where to stay’ question (aka argument) is a conundrum that you’re left to sort out alone, all I can say is good luck. But, once everyone agrees (and if there’s any weekend left), the Endura’s Sync 3 infotainment system will gladly accept the address details, either touchscreen or verbally (even through my gritted teeth) and direct you there door to door - it will even give you the ETA and thus negating the ‘‘when shall we leave?’ or more importantly ’are we there yet?’ questions. Upon arrival, Sync 3 also has an ‘I’m hungry’ function that once vocalised, will offer up a raft of restaurant and eatery suggestions near to where you are - genius.
Then there’s the ‘what to wear’ and subsequent packing, (I sigh loudly). The way my family (cough** wife**cough) loads a vehicle for EVERY eventuality, even the expansive 800L of rear space the Endura has on offer, would struggle, and thus leaving me barely enough room to pack a toothbrush. Again, Ford has a solution, and no it’s not a trailer, although the Endura does have a braked towing capacity of 2,000kg. In keeping with their ‘City of Tomorrow’ philosophy, of ‘don’t build out, build up’, my press car came equipped with a gloss black Thule 6298B Motion Xt Xl Roof Box from Hyper in Auckland - so now I had an extra 500L and up to 75kg’s to play with - well at least for a few minutes.
In theory, Its 215 x 91.5 x 44cm dimensions and 500L capacity means plenty enough for 3 or 4 snowboards, or a few sets of boots, or a large chunk of other sports associated gear but the moment my back was turned, this upper-level space had been commandeered for other ‘weekend essentials’, so I resigned myself to packing my trusty (rather than rusty) toothbrush.
As it turned out, we did end up getting away to the mountain for the weekend. Taupo was our home for two nights and Happy Valley at Mt Ruapehu provided the entertainment, which meant throwing snowballs and tobogganing and in turn getting cold and wet and inevitable changing of clothes, many of them.
As we soaked in the hot pools and rested our weary bones I had to take a moment to be thankful for the rooftop box. With 2,347L of Luggage Space on offer, it turned what would have been a cramped drive to the mountain into a slightly less than cramped drive to the mountain - on the plus side, we could have stayed there for a week or two longer should we have been snowed in - and that’s really boxing clever.