Ever­est beast reaches rugged peak

Albany Advertiser - - MOTORING - Alis­tair Kennedy

Ford Ever­est is a big, rugged 4WD/ SUV that has been around in other coun­tries since 2003 but did not ar­rive in Aus­tralia un­til the re­lease of the third gen­er­a­tion model in late 2015.

Al­though it’s fully im­ported from Thai­land, it is an im­por­tant model for Ford Aus­tralia as the com­pany moves away from ve­hi­cle pro­duc­tion while re­tain­ing lo­cal em­ploy­ment by pro­vid­ing tech­ni­cal in­put through its re­search and devel­op­ment in­vest­ment.

Al­though the ar­rival of Ford Ever­est al­most dove-tailed with the de­par­ture of the pop­u­lar Ter­ri­tory, the two ve­hi­cles are quite dif­fer­ent.

Ever­est is a se­ri­ous off-roader that’s built on the same plat­form as the com­pany’s Ranger ute while the lo­cally pro­duced Ter­ri­tory was a typ­i­cal ur­ban fam­ily wagon based on the Fal­con.

Ever­est, as the name sug­gests, is big. At just un­der five me­tres long and over two me­tres wide, it takes up a fair bit of road space which con­verts into a ver­sa­tile and spa­cious cabin ca­pa­ble of car­ry­ing up to seven oc­cu­pants and gear in rel­a­tive com­fort.

Our Ever­est road test ve­hi­cle was the en­try-level Am­bi­ente all­wheel-drive.

It comes with 17-inch al­loy wheels which tend to look a bit puny in­side the large wheel arches de­signed to cater for the 20-inches of the top-spec Ti­ta­nium.

The big and bold chromed trap- ezoidal ra­di­a­tor grille is flanked by the lat­est in in­te­grated pro­jec­tor head­light/day­time run­ning light set-ups that im­proves vis­i­bil­ity to ap­proach­ing driv­ers in poor weather con­di­tions.

At the back, there are sculpted tail lights with in­te­grated LED light­ing.

The higher specced Trend and Ti­ta­nium mod­els also get run­ning boards.

Ever­est is avail­able in three vari­ants, Am­bi­ente, Trend and Ti­ta­nium span­ning a price range from $47,990 to $74,701.

The en­try-level Am­bi­ente has five seats with a pair of third-row seats avail­able for an ad­di­tional $1000. Trend and Ti­ta­nium mod­els have seven seats.

Am­bi­ente and Trend come with ei­ther rear or four-wheel-drive.

All Ever­est mod­els are pow­ered by Ford’s 3.2-litre five-cylin­der turbo-diesel Du­ra­torq en­gine as used in the Ranger.

It gen­er­ates 147kW of power at 3000rpm and torque of 470Nm from 1750 to 2500 revs.

Tow­ing ca­pac­ity of up to 3000kg is of­fered if the trailer is braked.

It’s not the qui­etest diesel en­gine we’ve en­coun­tered but should not be an is­sue with a ve­hi­cle of this sort.

The only gear­box is a six-speed au­to­matic.

For off-road driv­ing Ever­est uses Ford’s Ter­rain Man­age­ment Sys­tem to al­ter throt­tle re­sponse, trans­mis­sion, trac­tion con­trol and an in­tel­li­gent 4WD sys­tem to max­imise per­for­mance un­der vary­ing con­di­tions.

From a knob on the cen­tre con­sole the driver can se­lect from nor­mal, snow, gravel, grass, sand or rock.

The con­trol also in­cor­po­rates hill de­scent con­trol, which can be ac­ti­vated in any con­di­tion.

An elec­tronic lock­ing rear dif­fer­en­tial helps pre­vent the rear wheels from spin­ning while driv­ing off-road, in­creas­ing trac­tion in dif­fi­cult ter­rain.

It can be locked au­to­mat­i­cally when us­ing off-road TMS modes, or switched man­u­ally us­ing the dif­fer­en­tial lock but­ton.

All Ever­ests are avail­able with seven seats, ei­ther stan­dard or as an op­tion. The sec­ond row slides for­ward far enough to im­prove ac­cess to the back row.

Two adults and three chil­dren can travel in com­fort al­though a third adult can get into the cen­tre mid­dle row with a fair bit of el­bow con­tact.

The sec­ond row seats have a 60/ 40 split and the third row 50/50.

With all seats in place, there is a rea­son­able 450 litres of stor­age space left.

Low­er­ing the third seats ex­tends that to 1050 litres and with all five rear seats down, it can carry up to 2010 litres.

Am­bi­ente and Trend have cloth seats, Ti­ta­nium gets leather trim.

There are air-con­di­tion­ing vents and con­trols at the back of the cen­tre con­sole to as­sist rear pas­sen­ger com­fort. All Ever­est mod­els get dual-zone cli­mate con­trol.

There is a power-op­er­ated tail­gate in the Trend and Ti­ta­nium.

All Ever­est mod­els em­ploy an 8.0-inch colour touch­screen for in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem dis­play and con­trol to­gether with a 4.2-inch colour in­stru­men­ta­tion screen for driv­ing data. Your lo­cal Ford dealer is Bar­nesby Ford, 9842 2933.

Pic­ture: Mar­que Mo­tor­ing

Ford Ever­est is a com­fort­able ur­ban SUV with se­ri­ous off-road cre­den­tials.

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