Recently undertook a road trip to the awesome and popular Central Drakensberg near Winterton, and what better SUV to do it in, than the Ford Everest? A genuine 7-seater, it has all the room you would need, and with just two of us going, we had loads of space, so much so, that we could load two adult mountain bikes in the back area, as we did not have a towbar and bike carrier. This was made possible by reclining the back seats, to give us one giant space for a boot. And we were able to pack in food, and two suitcases as well.
As Ford’s premium offering in the rapidly growing SUV market, the New Everest puts the emphasis on quality, refinement and luxury matched to exceptional space and practicality.
And the Everest comes with the new-generation
2.0-litre Bi-Turbo and Single Turbo engines, coupled with the advanced new
10-speed automatic transmission. We found the Everest to have plenty of power
and it made for a smooth drive.
We drove the 4×4 variant to the Berg, and this would naturally use more fuel, but it’s good to have nonetheless. The refreshed grille introduces a new level of depth to the design through the layering of three distinctive grille bars that exude exclusivity and luxury whilst presenting a sense of strength and robustness. The lower bumper has been redesigned to accentuate width, incorporating a connected horizontal beam that has been added to the fascia insert, which gives the Everest even greater on-road presence.
A classy new 20-inch wheel has been introduced on the range-topping Everest Limited, featuring a modern split spoke design that gives the vehicle a more upmarket and dynamic appearance.
Great space inside, which equates to good comfort. High drive stance gives good visibility and we only stopped once for a short comfort break near Harrismith. The introduction of the Ebony environment colour changes the entire ambience of the interior cabin. The added depth allows the details and bright work to stand out and further aligns the interior to the customer’s expectation for a premium SUV, complemented by a greater selection of soft-touch materials.
Adding further exclusivity to the cabin is the use of contrast stitching on the Everest Limited, along with shadow chrome finishes, perforated leather and high-quality paints that add further lustre to the upgraded interior.
A bold new crafted gear shifter design for the all-new 10-speed automatic transmission reflects the unquestionable capability of the latest Everest, matched with the latest equipment and technology that Ford vehicles offer.
One of the main defining features of the New Everest is the introduction of the all-new 2.0-litre Bi-Turbo and Single Turbo engines that recently debuted on the New Ranger.
The Bi-Turbo engine headlines the revised range, employing an innovative twin turbocharger set-up to improve both low-end torque and high-end power, while reducing fuel consumption and emissions. We got around the 9.7L/100km range on the way to and back from our trip to the Berg. The Everest has plenty of power to overtake, and handle the mountains over Oliviershoek Pass. We also went up to Monkscowl to hike, and those roads are steep, with no problem either.
The maximum power output for the 2.0 Bi-Turbo engine is 157kW, matched to a peak torque figure of 500Nm – improvements of 10kW and 30Nm respectively compared to the existing 3.2-litre TDCi engine. The new engine also offers exceptional refinement, with low levels of noise, vibration and harshness. It is available in the Everest XLT 4×2 and 4×4 models, as well as the top-spec Everest Limited. It is coupled with the 10-speed automatic transmission, and we seemed to gear down a fair amount, perhaps too many gear options?
The extensive suspension refinements have also enabled a reduction in tyre pressures from 240 to 210 kPa, further enhancing overall comfort and isolating the occupants from road imperfections. At the same time, steering precision and control has also been improved. The noise level has been cut down, and drive is superb, very smooth indeed.
Technology and safety
A new addition to the Everest’s impressive range of high-tech features is the Passive Entry and Passive Start (PEPS) system, fitted as standard on the XLT and Limited models. The keyless entry and passive start uses an intelligent access system that allows the driver to unlock the vehicle and start the engine without removing the key fob from their pocket or bag. When the key is in the vehicle, the driver simply presses the Start/Stop button while applying the brake pedal to start the car.
Additional standard appointments on the Limited include Adaptive Cruise Control with Forward Collision Alert (which now recognises pedestrians, in addition to its ability to detect other vehicles), Lane Keeping Aid and Lane Departure Warning, Blind Spot Information System with cross-traffic alert, Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) and Auto High Beam Control.
The impressive standard safety package across the line-up extends to Electronic Stability Control (ESC) system with Traction Control (TC), Trailer Sway Control (TSC), Hill Start Assist (HSA), Hill Descent Control (HDC) on the 4×4 models, Load Adaptive control (LAC) and Roll Over Mitigation (ROM).
A full Category 1 Thatcham-specification alarm is now standard on all Everest XLS, XLT and Limited models for enhanced anti-theft security.
SYNC® infotainment system
Ford’s pioneering SYNC® technology offers exceptional connectivity and multimedia options, along with intuitive voice control and ease of use. SYNC®3 with Navigation is standard on the XLT and Limited models, linked to the integrated eight-inch touch-screen colour display, two USB ports and Bluetooth connectivity.
The system boasts fully-featured embedded navigation, convenient multi-touch gestures (such as swipe, slide, scroll and pinch-to-zoom), plus voice recognition that uses simple, real-world voice commands.
SYNC®3 with Navigation provides a full 3D experience with an elevated map view, enhanced full colour graphics and point of interest (POI) building images. Similar to searching on Google, destinations can be entered via the simple one-box search by typing the address, POI category, intersection, city name, post code or GPS coordinates. The search function is predictive,
To keep the system up to date, periodic wireless software updates for SYNC®3 can be downloaded via Wi-Fi and manually, once it is set up on a trusted wireless network.
The Everest XLS uses Ford’s SYNC® 1 system with Bluetooth voice control and audio streaming, a 4.2-inch colour screen, as well as USB and Aux ports. Customers can order SYNC®3 with Navigation on the XLS as an option.
Model Range and Recommended Retail Prices:
2.2 TDCi XLS 6AT 4×2 R499 900
2.0 SiT XLT 10AT 4×2 R584 900
2.0 BiT XLT 10AT 4×2 R624 100
3.2 TDCi XLT 6AT 4×4 R644 000
2.0 BiT XLT 10AT 4×4 R687 700
2.0 BiT Limited 10AT 4×4 R761 200
All models come standard with Ford Protect, comprising a four-year/120 000km comprehensive warranty, three-year/unlimited distance roadside assistance and five-year/unlimited km corrosion warranty. A six-year/90 000km service plan is included, with 15 000km service intervals.
The Everest is the ideal road trip vehicle, and it came through for us in spades. Packed all our luggage, food and bikes in the back, cruised around the Berg, and even went off-road a bit. Wished there was more of a challenge in the dirt, but we had great fun, and this Everest comes highly recommended.