Ford re­fines Ever­est large SUV

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - Motoring -

Ford Aus­tralia says cus­tomer feed­back has played a large role in the changes made to its up­dated Ever­est large SUV, with a par­tic­u­lar fo­cus on mak­ing the lad­der-frame off-roader more com­fort­able and easy to drive.

Speak­ing to Goauto at the launch of the re­freshed model, Ford global pro­gram man­ager for Ever­est Dan Cic­co­cioppo said the updates aimed to im­prove the ve­hi­cle’s re­fine­ment and noise lev­els.

“What we have fo­cused on has been around the ride and plush­ness and the noise, vi­bra­tion and harsh­ness, NVH, to make it more ap­peal­ing with more car-like at­tributes,” he said.

The Ever­est, which is me­chan­i­cally re­lated to the Ranger pick-up, plays in the same seg­ment as more com­for­to­ri­ented of­fer­ings such as the Mazda CX-9, Toy­ota Kluger and Kia Sorento.

Changes have been made to close the gap on its ri­vals.

Ford en­gi­neers have re­designed the Ever­est’s sta­biliser bars for added stiff­ness, which has in turn al­lowed the spring rates to be low­ered, re­sult­ing in greater roll con­trol and a softer and plusher ride qual­ity.

NVH im­prove­ments have also re­sulted in a four deci­bel im­prove­ment in noise in­su­la­tion thanks to noise­can­celling tech­nol­ogy and the fit­ment of acous­tic wind­screens. “Ever­est has only been in the mar­ket for three years and we’ve been con­stantly get­ting cus­tomer feed­back dur­ing that time and try­ing to bring in changes as we get that,” Mr Cic­co­cioppo said.

“This model up­date is re­ally more about sig­nif­i­cant changes based on all of that feed­back.”

Aside from the re­fine­ment im­prove­ments, the big­gest change to the new Ever­est has been the in­tro­duc­tion of the 2.0-litre twin-turbo-diesel four­cylin­der en­gine bor­rowed from the up­dated Ranger, which is mated to a 10-speed au­to­matic trans­mis­sion.

Ford says the new en­gine, which out­puts 157kw-500nm, im­proves fuel econ­omy over the ex­ist­ing 3.2-litre five-pot oil-burner by 17 per­cent, and results in a lower cost of own­er­ship over time. It also adds 100kg to the car’s braked tow­ing ca­pac­ity, up to 3100kg.

The range is split be­tween the two mills, with the en­try-level Am­bi­ente com­ing with the 143kw-470nm five­cylin­der en­gine, while the mid-spec Trend of­fers a mix of the two, and the range-top­ping Ti­ta­nium comes with a bi-turbo en­gine only.

Ford Aus­tralia Ever­est prod­uct mar­ket­ing man­ager Karen Larkin said so far, the Trend had been by far the most pop­u­lar vari­ant and she ex­pected that theme to con­tinue with the up­dated ver­sion.

Changes to specification in­clude mak­ing Sync3 with satel­lite nav­i­ga­tion stan­dard across the range, while the Am­bi­ente en­try-level vari­ant also gains halo­gen head­lamps with man­ual lev­el­ling and daytime run­ning lights, fold­ing side mir­rors, smart key­less en­try, a lam­i­nated acous­tic wind­screen, push-but­ton start, new gear shifter and darker in­te­rior fin­ishes.

New to the Trend is au­ton­o­mous emer­gency brak­ing, traf­fic sign as­sist, HID head­lamps with auto-lev­el­ling, LED daytime run­ning lights, power tail­gate, leather-ac­cented seat trim, eight-way power driver’s seat with man­ual lum­bar ad­just­ment and a leather-trimmed gear shifter.

Along with the new en­gine, the Ti­ta­nium now comes with 20-inch al­loys, leather-trimmed hand­brake and a tow bar as stan­dard.

Dif­fer­ent ver­sions are of­fered with ei­ther five or seven-seat lay­outs, while buy­ers can also choose be­tween rear or all-wheel driv­e­lines.

While the Ranger is of­fered with a part-time four-wheel-drive sys­tem, the Ever­est is dif­fer­ent in that it em­ploys a full-time on-road all-wheel-drive set-up.

Pric­ing has been up­dated slightly, with the point of en­try in­creas­ing by $1200 to $49,190 plus on-roads for the rear-drive, five-seat Am­bi­ente, which is of­fered with the choice of rear or all-wheel drive and five or seven seats. Op­tion­ing seven seats adds $1000 to the price, while the 4WD driv­e­train de­mands a $5000 pre­mium.

Three Trend ver­sions are avail­able, start­ing with the $56,190 rear-drive bi-turbo, up to the 4WD 3.2-litre at $59,990 and the 4WD bi-turbo from $61,190. All Trends come only with the seven-seat op­tion.

The sole Ti­ta­nium vari­ant adds a size­able $12,800 pre­mium over the most ex­pen­sive Trend at $73,990.

WE’VE LIS­TENED: Cus­tomer feed­back has played a large role in the changes made to Ford Aus­tralia’s up­dated Ever­est large SUV.

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