You know the story by now. Much like the Fortuner is to the Hilux, the Everest is a Ranger with a third row of seats. A capable 4x4 SUV (unless you choose the four by two) then, and a gratuitous people mover, no matter the terrain.
A new Everest can be had anywhere between R510k and R780k depending on your requirements. It comes in three diesel flavours, an old 3.2-litre Duratorq item or a more sophisticated SA built 2.0l diesel in Single and Bi-turbo flavours. Ours is the latter, the flagship engine in a premium package rendered in Frozen White.
This spec entails a 157kW and 500Nm output and it will divvy the lot up between four wheels or two depending on whether you’re in two- or four-wheel drive, via a ten-speed automatic transmission. In a perfect world, the Ford catalogue promises a 7.6/100km but I was pulling in rookie numbers, 8.9l/100km on average with each trip.
More stats? I have a few, such as its 750kg payload and its 3-ton tow capability. It has a competitive 800mm wading depth and 225mm ground clearance forming part of its off-road prowess, with a 29.5 degree approach, 25 degree departure and 21.5 degree breakover angle. This gobbledegook to the uninitiated simply means, like the Ranger – the burly Ford SUV can do the dirty stuff with confidence, even though I mostly see them curbside at the local mall. Bolstering that dirt road cred is its high-tech augmentation with electronic rear-diff lock, hill descent control and hill climb launch as part of their Terrain Management System.
On the road, though?
So it tackles the dirt well enough, but what about its real natural habitat, on the tarmac? Well, instead of a multi-link rear suspension as found on the Isuzu mu-X, the Everest makes do with coil springs and a Watts Link for its ride quality. You still enjoy a passenger, road-centric experience, even on our test unit’s massive hoops shod in Continental rubber.
The steering wheel is a meaty one, good as you’re meant to command quite a lot of metal after all. The Everest is an easy car to drive despite its dimensions, pointy and robust with a clean acceleration to match its compliant suspension. Handling – it’s on the soft side naturally but composed making for safe and predictable progress. The better for appreciating one very jacked living space.
I say jacked because well, aux-jacks, USB jacks – power and streaming access points, the gang is all here. There is a plethora of connectivity options thanks to Ford’s latest voice-activated ‘Sync 3’ raft of multimedia tech. That includes Apple Carplay and Android Auto screen sharing services via its customizable 8-inch touchscreen.
A great place to spend time in...
Also accessible via this large monitor is Ford’s suite of park assists such as Pre-Collision Assist with pedestrian detection. Safety gear further includes blind spot (BLIS) mitigation and a rear-view camera in conjunction with seven airbags and the usual list of acronyms including ABD, EBD etc. You also get keyless entry and push to start, auto high beams, lane keep assist, a tyre-pressure monitor and rain-sensing windshield wipers. Those third-row seats I mentioned earlier are powered items and our Everest even had a moon roof for a truly airy ambiance.
The sum of its parts
The range-topping Everest is a bargain at its sub-R800k price point if we’re fair, when you consider its extensive equipment list. You get a handsome, comfy SUV capable of carrying you and six passengers across almost every type of terrain, from asphalt and gravel to mountain side and top.
There’s plenty of tech here, toys too – but most notably the great combination of a sophisticated bi-turbo engine and refined ten-speed self-shifter for excellent on-road manners. Add to that Ford's standard 4-year/120 000km warranty, 3-year/unlimited distance roadside assistance and 6-year/90 000km service plan and the Ford Everest makes all kinds of sense.
Ford Everest 2.0 Bi-Turbo 10AT LTD 4WD Specs:
|Engine ||2.0l inline, 4-cyl bi-turbodiesel|
|Gearbox ||10-speed auto|
|Driven Wheels ||All (4x4)|
|Top Speed ||N/A|
|Average Fuel Consumption ||7.6l/100km|
|CO2 Emissions ||201g/km|