A four-wheel drive mammoth or a sleek luxury sedan Which among the two should adorn your driveway in case you have more than thirty lakh rupees to spend We grabbed the keys to the gargantuan Ford Endeavour and the Skoda Superb to find that out.
The Ford screams muscle from every angle you look at it. Everything you lay your eyes on is in a generous double-XL size. We like the raw and aggressive design of the Endeavour that instantly commands respect wherever you go. Elements such as the projector headlamps with LED daytime running lamps, 18-inch alloy wheels, and the flared wheel arches add a lot of character to the big Ford.
The Superb, on the other hand, is subtle and understated. It looks suave and wouldn’t look out of place in the lobby of a five-star hotel. Designed by the same bloke who designed the Bugatti Veyron, the looks can be simply described as ‘razor sharp’. The trademark Skoda nose, large projector headlamps and the LED tail-lamps all do their bit in giving the Superb an air of sophistication.
When it comes to features, both cars come loaded to the gills. For instance, both get a touchscreen infotainment system, a comprehensive MID, automatic AC and a sunroof. The Superb goes that extra mile and also offers ventilated seats, three-zone climate control and a ‘boss-button’ over the Endeavour. Once you get inside the Endeavour, you are wowed by the amount of space the airy cabin has—it is a true seven-seater. The Superb scores extremely high in terms of cabin space as well; the room on offer can shame most cars a segment or two above it. At the rear bench, you get acres of legroom and shoulder room.
It is only when one talks about quality that the Superb trumps the Endeavour. In the Skoda, everything you touch, flick or turn exudes quality. We have to give a special mention to the 12-speaker Canton audio system - it is easily amongst the best in-car audio systems we’ve heard in a long time.
On paper, it is the Endeavour that is more powerful between the two. With 200PS of power and 470Nm of torque on tap, the 3.2-litre engine seems ready to take on practically anything. The Superb, on the other hand, houses a smaller 2.0-litre engine that develops 177PS and 350Nm. Thanks to the Skoda’s light weight, it is no surprise that it feels sprightlier of the two. The power delivery is extremely linear and the cabin insulates you from the proceedings. It is only when you set the Drive Mode to ‘Sport’ that the Superb picks up the pace swiftly.
The 6-speed dual clutch gearbox is a delight to use. It swaps cogs in a jiffy and you will barely notice a gearshift.
The 6-speed torque converter on the Endeavour, though, feels slightly rough around the edges and lets a punchy engine down. Response to throttle input isn’t as quick as we’d like it. It isn’t outright sluggish per se, but a dab of urgency from the gearbox would’ve made the Endeavour a lot more drivable, especially within the city. When you do get a move on and keep the engine on the boil, the big Ford can be a lot of fun.
Both cars feel at ease cruising on the highway. Maintaining triple digit speeds is a no-fuss affair for both.
Speaking of ride quality, it is the Superb that feels that one bit plusher. It irons out bumps and undulations and doesn’t really upset the occupants unless you tackle a pothole at a very high speed.
The Endeavour, on the other hand, will drive over any surface you want it to. The 225mm of ground clearance and the clever terrain selector makes the Ford the perfect weekend off-roading tool.
As much as we’d like to pick an outright winner, the two cars are as different as chalk and cheese. They are available for roughly the same kind of money, but which one to pick depends on your personality. If you do not mind burying yourself in powerpoint presentations all day long, the Superb is the perfect car to sit-back and relax in on the way back home. However, if driving cross-country is your idea of therapy, it is the Endeavour that fits the bill better.