When the team at Ford SA invited me to test drive the all-new Ford Everest, I naturally jumped at it.
Imagine visiting the Makgadigadi Salt Pans in Botswana for an overnight stay and then spending another night camped out on the Okavango Delta, sleeping in the wild under the stars and skies. These are items usually reserved for your ‘bucket-list’, but when the team at Ford SA popped an invite to test drive the all-new Ford Everest, I naturally jumped at it.
Image by Naresh Maharaj
I would get to experience the 2019 Ford Everest on practically every terrain imaginable. Tarred roads, loose tar, potholes (big and deep enough to fit bathtubs and the kitchen sink), thick gravel, loose gravel, uneven terrain and deep soft sand. Do you think I made it over? Well, the Ford Everest passed all these obstacles with flying colours and was still able to deliver a very economical consumption rate of around 8.6l per 100km. Now isn't that impressive?!
Where luxury and ruggedness meet
The 2019 New Ford Everest features an updated design that emphasises its overall impression of premium luxury, yet rugged enough for bundu-bashing action.
“With fresh exterior design cues, including a new grille, classy new 20-inch wheels on the limited model and detail changes for the interior, the Everest is more appealing than ever. The New Everest communicates rugged off-road capability with a sense of refined artistry that takes Ford’s seven-seater SUV to a new level within the segment”, says Doreen Mashinini, general manager of marketing at Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa. So yes, luxury meets ruggedness in the new Ford Everest...Period!
Give me that robust look
The refreshed grille introduces a new level of depth to the design through the layering of three distinctive grille bars that exudes exclusivity whilst presenting a sense of strength and robustness.The lower bumper has been redesigned to accentuate width, incorporating a connected horizontal beam which gives the Everest even greater on-road presence. Robust indeed.
Image by Naresh Maharaj
A new 20-inch wheel has been introduced on the range-topping Everest Limited, featuring a modern split spoke design that gives the vehicle a more upmarket and dynamic appearance that naturally complements the proud stance of the Everest.
Ford has also upped the ante in terms of overall quality and refinement, employing a more purposeful execution of colours and materials. The wheel accent paints are now darker to further accentuate the machine-cut surface of the alloys, adding more drama and a more premium look to the overall appearance.
So, what’s’ inside?
The new Everest provides premium levels of quality, outstanding interior space and maximum versatility. It now comes with a selection of new colour ways, richer materials and design details that emphasise luxury and style throughout.
The introduction of the Ebony environment colour changes the ambience of the cabin. The added depth allows the details and bright work to stand out and further aligns the interior to the customer’s expectation for a premium SUV, complemented by a greater selection of soft-touch materials where it counts.
A bold new crafted gear shifter design for the all-new 10-speed automatic transmission reflects the unquestionable capability of the latest Everest, matched with the latest equipment and technology that Ford vehicles offer.
Taking performance and efficiency to the next level
Just take a minute to consider the following:
New 2.0 Bi-Turbo and Single Turbo engines with more power and torque, better fuel economy
Advanced 10-speed automatic transmission for outstanding performance, fuel efficiency and refinement
Revised suspension delivers improved ride and handling characteristics and greater comfort
First, it was the Ranger, now the New Everest range has been fitted with the all-new 2.0-litre Bi-Turbo and Single Turbo engines.
These engines are powerful yet efficient. The all-new 2.0-litre unit is a clean-sheet design and incorporates multiple innovations that contribute to significant improvements in fuel efficiency, performance and refinement.
Image by Naresh Maharaj
The advanced new 2.0-litre turbodiesel engines build on the innovative technology of the award-winning EcoBoost petrol engines, which are renowned for their superb performance and fuel efficiency. Combined with the innovative 10-speed automatic transmission, the New Everest will once again set new standards in the highly competitive SUV segment.
The 2.2 TDCi is offered in the XLS 4x2 model with the current six-speed automatic transmission. XLT customers have the choice of the 3.2 TDCi 4x4 six-speed automatic, the new-generation 2.0 Single Turbo in 4x2 guise, or the Bi-Turbo in two or four-wheel drive. The range-topping Limited is available exclusively with the Bi-Turbo engine and four-wheel drive.
Significant improvements were achieved in reducing noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) in this engine – with even the engine cover specially designed with noise-absorbing foam. The Bi-Turbo engine is available in the Everest XLT, with a choice of 4x2 and 4x4 models, as well as the range-topping Everest Limited 4x4.
Highly Geared: 10 out of 10
A cutting-edge 10-speed automatic transmission is at the heart of the drive. The impressive 2.0-litre Bi-Turbo and 2.0 Single Turbo engines are exclusively available with Ford’s sophisticated all-new 10-speed automatic transmission. As with the new-generation engines, the transmission was developed as an all-new, clean-sheet design with efficiency and fuel economy improvement as the prime objectives, while also delivering an exhilarating driving experience. More than 6-million kilometres of testing have been accumulated on this new gearbox. Now that is saying something.
Image by Naresh Maharaj
The 10-speed architecture reduces the gaps in available power and acceleration between gears, providing smoother acceleration response, and enabling improved performance at lower engine speeds.
An all-new electronic control system features real-time adaptive shift-scheduling, engineered to help select the correct gear at the right time, including skip-shift and direct downshift capabilities. As a result, the transmission adapts quickly to changing conditions, enabling the optimal gear to be selected in order to deliver maximum performance, fuel-efficiency or refinement to suit any driving scenario.
The Everest takes Ford’s 7-seater to a new level within this segment. I am going to put my money on the table and say that this seven 7-seater is going to take this segment by a mile, if not more. It is a wonderfully packaged 4x4 that ticks all the boxes from looks, comfort, fuel efficiency, price and just about everything else. Not once during the ride through Botswana did I feel that I was about to come up a cropper in the terrains I had driven on. Confidence was what I felt, with the steering wheel comfortably in my hands.
Thumbs up to Ford SA for keeping the prices of the range very competitive
Everest 2.2 TDCI XLS 6AT 4X2: R499.900 incl.
Everest 2.0 TURBO XLT 10AT 4X2: R584,900 incl.
Everest 2.0 BI TURBO XLT 10AT 4X2: R624,100 incl.
Everest 3.2 TDCI XLT 6AT 4X4: R644,000 incl.
Everest 2.0 BI TURBO XLT 10AT 4X4: R687,700 incl.
Everest 2.0 BI TURBO LIMITED 10AT 4X4: R761,200 incl.
Naresh Maharaj is a petrol head who loves cars and writing about them. He is also a Member of the SA Guild of Motoring Journalists. Naresh is also an international sports correspondent and an acclaimed corporate MC and voice-over artist. Naresh is a sports/news producer for community radio stations and also an award-winning sports journalist. Contact Naresh on .
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