In the United States Ford has announced a running update for the Edge ST, known as the Endura in Australia and New Zealand, with a reworked interior centred around a vast 12-inch touchscreen that runs Ford’s Sync 4 infotainment system.
While the Endura launched Downunder just last year, the brand has kept its mid-size SUV on the down-low, with no Australian update for 2020, though 2019 models are still on sale.
Instead, the brand has had a laser focus on bringing two smaller SUVs – the Puma and all-new Escape – to the Australian market. Whether the gently revised 2021 Endura line-up will land in Australia is still to be determined.
In our eyes there is space for a bigger, non-ute-based SUV in the Australian range, especially if Ford offered seven seats, to compete with the likes of the Mazda CX-8.
The current Endura – or Edge to Americans – is 208mm longer than the Escape at 4,834mm and sits wide at 1,928mm. In Australia, the Endura is only sold in five-seat configuration, though in other markets seven seats are offered.
But the big news for the Edge/Endura’s home market is that the range-topping ST gets some serious interior kit in the shape of a biggest-in-class 12-inch touchscreen set into the dashboard in portrait orientation. This is powered by Ford’s new Sync 4 infotainment system with over-the-air updates and conversational voice recognition.
Connected navigation is optional and has the ability to scan the internet – for example, instead of plugging in a destination drivers could use the voice recognition feature and say “find me the best beach nearby”.
Also new is the ability to run the infotainment in split-screen, for example running the in-built navigation while also streaming music via (now wireless) Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, instead of awkwardly juggling between the two. Information including fuel prices, weather, hazard and traffic information are all built-in, too.
These features will be only available on the range-topping Edge/Endura ST in the US, which packs a powerful 2.7-litre EcoBoost V6 petrol engine with 250kW and 515Nm outputs connected to an eight-speed torque converter automatic.
Also featured is Ford’s 360-pilot active safety suite with adaptive cruise control, lane-centring, park assist and 180-degree forward camera to ease manoeuvrability.
The ST-Line is in the US slated to receive body-colour bumpers, LED lighting tech, black 20-inch alloy wheels and contrast roof. The Titanium, which currently tops the Australian, range will also receive new wheel designs and interior trim options for the 2021 update.
Australian Enduras currently only use one engine, a two-litre turbo diesel with 140kW and 400Nm for motivation. While the motor returns a claimed 6.7L/100km fuel consumption, we would prefer to see a little more diversity offered if the Endura were to remain.
There is no confirmation as to whether the updated Edge/Endura ST will reach Australian shores. Still, with Ford’s renewed enthusiasm for the popular SUV, we think that the impressive interior tech and lusty turbo V6 would make it a rather compelling option.
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