Drive Review: Ford Everest (2016) 3.2 TDCi
There has been a long standing battle brewing between two automotive powerhouses in South Africa, namely Ford and Toyota, particularly in the larger vehicle segments. And while Toyota have claimed much of the glory for most of the time, Ford has very much risen to the challenge and its latest competitor is no different – enter the 2016 Ford Everest.
You have to know what you are doing when you try to challenge the best. Many a manufacturer has tried to steal Toyota’s crown, when it comes to bakkies and SUVs, many have failed. Except Ford, who, with the might of the Ranger had managed to take on the Hilux, will the new Ford Everest be able to do the same against the Fortuner?
At first glance, the Everest has a certain attraction to it. The striking design profile and well sculptured rear gets everybody looking. But as the saying goes, it’s not all about looks, and Ford have managed to create one of the smartest SUVs in its segment to complement those tailored lines.
Yes, despite looking good from all angles the American powerhouse has stuffed the Everest full of its latest technological offerings including SYNC®2, Active Park Assist, and segment-first Curve Control and Blind Spot Information System with Cross Traffic Alert.
There’s a lot in a name and Everest sums it up nicely. It’s big, with a big personality. Boasting the renowned 3.2-litre diesel powertrain found in its bakkie sibling, the Ranger, this oilburner knows how to perform and exactly what’s expected of it.
Packing 147kW and 470Nm into a five-cylinder engine, the Everest is extremely capable of getting itself out of a rough spot. Combing refinement with capability and fire power makes this SUV a dynamic performer.
So how did Ford manage to get it right? Body-on-frame construction and intelligent four-wheel drive system with advanced Terrain Management System aids the driver through those tough challenging situations making it the perfect companion.
Having taken the Everest to do some light off-road sightings, I can happily report that it’s certainly capable. Flicking through the different off-road settings by a turn of a dial, the Ford Everest goes from a soft cruiser to a trained mountaineer. Its ability to adapt to its conditions is what makes this SUV such a worthy competitor.
In terms of comfort, the Ford is difficult to fault. It’s received a lot of rave reviews and once behind the wheel it’s easy to understand why. Finding the perfect driving position for myself did take a little while, but once I found the sweet spot commuting was absolute bliss.
The controls and important bits are within easy reach and navigating the new SYNC®2 system is rather easy thanks to its intuitive nature, and there is also no shortage of space. With three rows of seats, or a mammoth boot, the Everest is vast and can accommodate everyone in sheer comfort.
Ultimately it’s a practical and diverse machine that is worthy of tackling South African roads, and to make things even better, Ford has announced that it will be manufacturing the Everest alongside the Ranger in South Africa, which doesn’t just mean quality produced locally, but it also means a huge investment in terms of jobs and a possible flurry of new models to be built locally too.
Has Ford reached the summit of motoring excellence, or is this just the beginning? Either way, Ford is on track with the Everest. It’s luxurious with superb rugged capabilities and is certainly a step up from the Everest of old.
|Base Price||R634 900|
|Engine Capacity||3 198 cm³|
|No. Of Cylinders||5-cylinders|
|Power||147kW at 3 000 r/min|
|Torque||470Nm at 2 500 r/min|
|Drive type||Four-wheel Drive|