THE Ford Endura is likely to become one of Australia’s safest SUVs to own, if it’s US-spec driver assist technology is rolled out to versions sold here.
Due later this year, Ford has packed its heavily facelifted Edge – it will wear an Endura badge here as Toyota already holds the trademark to the name – with electronics that will help the mid-size SUV’s occupants in a crash.
This includes post-collision braking that can automatically apply the brakes to prevent a secondary crash and a steering system that can automatically steer the Edge out of trouble if a vehicle in front is stopped or slowing and the driver doesn’t notice.
It also has smart adaptive cruise control that will bring the vehicle to a complete stop in heavy traffic, restart it once the traffic starts flowing again, and keep the SUV centred in its lane.
Ford Australia is yet to announce pricing and specifications for the Endura, so it is not yet certain that all the safety features rolled out to US customers will translate to right-hand drive.
We’re yet to see what the Endura will look like, either, with Ford so far only giving us a look at a high-end ST-badged version that won’t make it here.
Other significant safety features planned for US market customers include automatic emergency braking that extends to unwary pedestrians that step out in front of the Edge, blind spot monitor and high-beam headlights that will automatically dip for oncoming traffic.
The Edge will also come with a glove box-mounted knee airbag for the front-seat passenger.
Ford says the Canadian-built Edge will also sell in the US with rain-sensing wipers and a reversing camera as standard. Front and rear parking sensors and a surround-view camera system are also standard, as are LED headlights, although LED fog lights and “signature lighting” are on the options list
It’s also going to be very owner-friendly, with a wireless recharging pad for mobile devices, and the option of a 12-speaker premium audio system.
The US version will also allow owners to lock and unlock their Edge, start the engine, and even find it in a crowded car park, all via a smartphone app. The traditional centre console-mounted gearshift lever has gone, replaced with a Jaguar-like interface that allows drivers to dial up Park, Neutral or Drive – although unlike Jaguar’s version, it doesn’t rise up to greet you when you hit the engine’s start button.
Owners wanting to use the latest generation of Sync 3, the multimedia interface that allows them to set everything from the cabin temperature to the radio station using voice alone, will need to pay more for an upgraded eight-inch touchscreen.
The Ford Endura will launch in Australia late this year.