Wheels (Australia) - - Head To Head -

En­gine 1996cc 4cyl, dohc, 16v, twin-turbo-diesel | Power 157kw @ 3750rpm Torque 500Nm @ 1750-2000rpm | Econ­omy 7.1L/100km | Price $61,190

The Ever­est in 2.0-litre 4x4 form is an ex­pen­sive choice in this seg­ment, but that’s bal­anced out by healthy stan­dard in­clu­sions that should see you want­ing for very lit­tle. A power tail­gate, ac­tive cruise, key­less en­try/ig­ni­tion, power-ad­justable driver’s seat, a full-fea­tured in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem, dig­i­tal ra­dio, voice con­trols, heated seats and tri-zone cli­mate are the high­lights. 15/20

Ranger DNA is ev­i­dent in the dash/con­sole fur­ni­ture, but build qual­ity is de­cent and the seats are com­modi­ous and comfy. Gen­er­ous pro­por­tions mean even adults won’t feel too squeezy in the third row, such is the Ever­est’s size. In­fo­tain­ment sees an 8.0-inch screen with nav, voice com­mands and smart­phone mir­ror­ing sit up high in the dash, and there’s even a 230V house­hold power out­let in the back. 18/20

The Ever­est’s most im­pres­sive at­tribute is how it man­ages to feel so un­like a lum­ber­ing 4WD. Light and fairly ac­cu­rate steer­ing, su­perb cabin iso­la­tion from bumps and a sus­pen­sion that’s sur­pris­ingly plush means there’s not even a hint of crude­ness to the Ever­est drive ex­pe­ri­ence – that’s a rar­ity among the body-on-frame, ute-based 4WD set. As for han­dling, it scores high marks among its ilk too. 18/20

Thanks to twin-turbo trick­ery the Ever­est’s 2.0-litre de­liv­ers a torque curve that’s re­mark­ably fat for a small-ca­pac­ity turbo-diesel. It’s backed up by a 10-speed auto that has enough ra­tios to see the en­gine never leave the thick of its power­band, and keep thirst at bay dur­ing cruis­ing. Re­fine­ment is an­other huge plus, with noise and vi­bra­tion lev­els that would be ap­pro­pri­ate in some­thing far more pre­mium. 18/20

Ford war­rants the Ever­est for five years or un­lim­ited kilo­me­tres, and ser­vice in­ter­vals are set at a very rea­son­able 15,000km or 12 months. For the first three years of own­er­ship Ford says you’ll spend just $1385 to keep the Ever­est Trend 2.0 4WD me­chan­i­cally healthy, but what’s more the com­pany caps ser­vice pric­ing out to a whop­ping 34 years of own­er­ship – or half a mil­lion kilo­me­tres. 19/20

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