Ford’s all-new Everest must represent one of the greatest turn-arounds of a vehicle model line in recent memory. The previous model wasn’t really anything to shout about … this new model, though, is one mightily impressive vehicle.
What can I expect from the Everest?
Unlike its predecessor, this is an imposing, bold and handsome vehicle. It’s inspiring, too; if the envious glances from other 4×4 drivers are anything to go by.
Hop aboard, and you’ll be greeted by the best interior of its class. This really is where the Everest moves the game on – the (soon to be replaced) Toyota Fortuner, Chevrolet Trailblazer and Mitsubishi Pajero Sport come nowhere close in terms of class, functionality and quality.
The seats are large and space is abundant, even in the tighter third row.
Is it loaded with lots of safety features and other nice toys?
Even in XLT spec (the only other is the higher-spec Limited), you’ll not be left wanting in this department. The eight-inch Sync2 touch-screen infotainment system dominates the dash, and it’s nice that Ford has refrained from delegating all controls (including that of climate) to the system.
This electronic, dual-zone climate control system features an independently adjustable system for the rear, which can be accessed via the Sync2 system as well. Rain-sensing wipers, rear parking sensors with camera, daytime running lights and cruise control are among the other niceties fitted to the XLT.
What’s it like from behind the wheel?
The 3,2-litre five-cylinder diesel engine is the same version you’ll find in the Ranger, producing 147 kW and 470 Nm. In the Everest it feels a bit low on grunt, but I suspect that has something to do with the six-speed autobox, which tends to give too much slip. It certainly feels outgunned by the strong 2,8-litre Trailblazer.
Where the likes of the Trailblazer can’t keep up, though, is in the rest of the driving experience. The driving position is good (despite no reach adjustment of the steering wheel) and the seats are large and comfy. The Everest rides very compliantly and handles well for its size, too.
We didn’t, unfortunately, have the chance to go bundu-bashing. It’s nice to know, however, that you could easily do so with the Ford’s easy-to-use Terrain Management System, 800 mm wading ability and lockable low-range transfer box.
Will it be kind to my pocket?
Fuel consumption is claimed at 8,2 l/100 km. However, our car’s on-board computer returned figures considerably worse than that. With more mileage on the odometer, though, a more pleasing figure should be attainable.
Priced at R607 900, the Everest XLT has a five-year/100 000 km service plan, three-year/unlimited km roadside assistance, four-year/120 000 km comprehensive warranty, and a five-year/unlimited km corrosion warranty.
Should I buy one, or look around?
The Everest moves the game on in its class. It has the image, space, capability and necessary features to justify that list price. It’ll be interesting to see how the battle pans out when the new Toyota Fortuner lands early next year.
Cyberstoep rating: 8/10
I’m Cyberstoep’s resident (self-appointed) motoring fanatic. My life has always revolved around anything with wheels and an engine. It doesn’t matter if its an old banger, the latest hot-hatch or a fancy 4×4 – any excuse is a good excuse to take it for a cruise … Read more