The Everest wagon is based on the Ranger ute platform.

In mid-2015 Ford released the Australian designed and developed Everest SUV range that's being manufactured in Thailand. It's very good, but it's not cheap! It was updated in mid-2018.

ford everestWith a manufacturer’s list price of $54,990 for the Everest Ambiente, $60,990 for the Trend and $76,990 for the Titanium at launch, the Everest range was not aimed at the bargain-basement wagon market.

It's hard to accept that the Everest is made in Thailand, supposedly to keep its price competitive; yet when it's released here it's more expensive than the locally produced Territory that was phased out of production.

Don't seek truth from vehicle makers!

Being based on the successful Ranger ute the Everest retained its separate chassis, coil strut independent front suspension and live rear axle. However the rear suspension used coil springs, with trailing arms and a Watts Linkage for lateral location.

ford everestThe Everest had four-wheel disc brakes, compared with the ute's disc/drum arrangement. We think that had to do with the definition of a ute in Thailand, where the Ranger and Everest are built. Leaf springs are also part of the 'ute formula' in Thailand.

Powering the Everest SUV range was the Ranger ute’s 3.2-litre TDCi engine, delivering 143kW and 470Nm and with a claimed combined fuel efficiency figure of 8.5 litres/100km. (Our testing showed that fuel claim is highly optimistic.)

Although it was not required until 2017 the Everest complied with ADR 79 (Euro 6) emissons when launched. It came with an SCR emissions system that included an AdBlue urea tank. Ford reckoned the urea level needed topping up only at scheduled services.

The four-wheel drive system was an on-demand type, with an active transfer case that detected wheel speeds. Clutches controlled torque split front to rear. On top of that was a four-mode Terrain Management System, with settings for: Normal; Snow/Mud/Grass; Sand and Rock.

ford everestThe Everest also had an electronically-locking rear differential.

Standard were audio controls on steering wheel, four 12V and one 230V power sockets, rear view camera, rear parking sensors, Dynamic Stability Control, Traction Control, Hill Descent Control (HDC), Hill Start Assist, Roll Stability Control and Trailer Sway Control systems.

The Everest Trend added Adaptive Cruise Control with forward alert collision mitigation and Lane Keeping System. It had 18-inch wheels, instead of the base model’s 17-inchers, halogen projector headlamps, auto high beam, running boards and rear power lift-gate.

A voice-activated or manual input satellite navigation system was optional.

The Titanium is the flagship model of the Everest SUV range. Among the premium features on the post-2015 Everest Titanium were leather seat trim, panoramic power sunroof, parallel park assist and satellite navigation. 

It ran on 20-inch wheels and had high intensity discharge (HID) headlamps and chrome finish door handles, side mirrors and running boards.

The Everest was rated to tow 3000kg, which was a good thing, because, like most 4WD wagons, it weighed so much empty - around 2500kg - that it had only around 600kg payload: that's accessories, people, water, fuel, camping gear, towball weight...everything.


2019MY upgrades

Optional on Trend, and standard on Titanium, Ford’s new-generation 157kW/500Nm Bi-Turbo four-cylinder diesel was coupled to a10-speed torque-convertor automatic transmission.

The 3.2-litre, TDCi Duratorq with six-speed automatic powertrain continued on Everest Ambiente and Trend.

All models had revised suspension geometry, to improve ride and handling.

Cabin noise wasreduced by Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) on the Bi-Turbo Trend and Titanium.

Standard on Trend and Titanium was Pre-Collision Assist, using Inter-Urban Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) with Pedestrian Detection and Vehicle Detection, to bring the Everest to a complete stop.

Keyless entry and push-button start were standard across the MY2019 Everest range.

SYNC 3 with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility was made standard across the Everest range, including Bluetooth, an 8.0-inch full colour touchscreen and reversing camera. SYNC 3 enables use of Google Maps4 and Apple Maps, as well as standard in-built sat-nav. The mapping system also featured a ‘breadcrumb’ feature, allowing an unmarked off-road route to be mapped as it was traversed.

In addition, Everests received complimentary map updates for up to seven years when a scheduled service was completed at a participating dealer.

Every Everest delivered after May 1, 2018, received a five-year, unlimited kilometre warranty.


Everest on test

ford everestWe drove the 20125 launch model Everest Trend lightly loaded and three-quarters loaded and were impressed with its performance, ride quality and sure-footed handling on bitumen and gravel roads.

Not so impressive was the overall economy that worked out at 9.9L/100km, compared with the four-cylinder diesel competition that averages under 9L/100km on the same test route.

We'll get the other gripes out of the way first: the switch, wand and instrument layout is non-intuitive and hard to discern; especially when you're wearing sunglasses. For example, Ford decided years ago that its auto gear shift would go forward for a downshift and backwards for an upshift.

Fine if you like being different for its own sake.

So maybe that's why the music track selector on the steering wheel works the same 'backwards' way. But then why is the audio volume switch that's right next to it the other way around? The cruise control speed switch is also 'wrong' in Ford's book.

Voice commands get over some of the difficultites, but not all. You'd get used to it, but the learning experience can lead to an accident, if you're not careful.

On the plus side, the Trend had a normal key that worked a normal ignition switch, not a starter button and one of those horrible 'smart' keys that are about as smart as George Bush.

At cruising speeds the cabin was very quiet, so Ford's anti-noise system may have been working. However, it was noisier under acceleration.

Passengers liked the outer second row seats, but the centre one was judged too firm. Our test twins loved the third row and all three rows had ample legroom.

Converting the third row was a doddle, but the floor wasn't dead flat and had gaps 'n' flaps.

There's plenty of electrical power available, from twin USBs and 12-volt outlets up front to twin 12-volt sockets amidships and one more in the cargo area.

ford everestOff-road the on-demand 4WD system behaved faultlessly, with none of the 'lag' that earlier types had. The shift into low range was immediate and it disengaged quickly as well. Traction control was not intrusive enough to affect forward momentum in rocky terrain.

The big surprise was hill descent control: one of the very few systems to control downhill speed to walking pace - very impressive.

Most is well in the engine bay, other than there's not much space for a second battery and the air intake scoop faces forward. A battery in the cargo area will power a fridge overnight and a snorkel is essential for those attempting creek crossings. Ford claims 800mm wading ability, but we wouldn't attempt that without a snorkel.

The Everest is a good wagon and it needs to be in this price bracket. We'd go for the Ambiente on 17-inch wheels and use an iPhone and Hema map app to replace the factory nav system. The more expensive models' adaptive cruise control and lane-keep assist are also no great loss.

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