Quality concerns aside, New Everest is a great step forward
Here’s a car that the drums have been rolling super hard on. It arrived slightly before its hugely anticipated Ranger stepsister, so this is our first stab at this much revised Ford platform.
Built Ford tough, they promise a comfy, safe, quiet, tech-rich, and refined sanctuary for up to seven travellers in a premium crafted environment. This Platinum flagship is powered by a 3-litre turbodiesel V6 with a 10-speed automatic transmission and permanent all-wheel drive. Let’s take a closer look.
New Everest looks a giant step ahead
Certainly far more modern and aggressive, new Everest gains Ford’s latest butch bakkie family look. Already helped by a wider track and longer wheelbase thanks to its Ranger sister’s swell, Everest has bold C-lamp DRL headlamps and a muscular grille. Its profile gets a stronger shoulder line atop more blistered fenders and neat, modern new trim elements.
The back is completely transformed from what once looked like a fat old woman in too big jean pants, to a contemporary good looking derriere. We’re not so sure about the bold P l a t I n u m variant name plastered all over it. Is this not a Ford, or an Everest at least? All that said, it’s a beautiful looking car and a giant step forward.
Quiet, plush, and functional inside, the ambient lit cabin allegedly takes its feel from modern homes They promise that it is premium finished with a full-width instrument panel housing customer-focused tech 12.4-inch digital dials and a high-resolution large-format portrait 12-inch touchscreen infotainment base.
Great New Everest tech, convenience
The voice-activated Ford Sync system packs CarPlay, Auto, wireless charging, and the rest. There’s screen-mounted USB, as well as both Type A and C ports, plus convenient 12-volt sockets up and even a 400-Watt inverter to power laptops and other hungry devices.
The tech is great. Both screens are crisp and have good depth. They aren’t the most responsive but we’d expect that Ford will optimise this as time goes on. We however prefer a landscape centre screen to this portrait solution.
Firstly this would help keep your eyes closer to the road when you need to adjust something on screen while driving. And secondly, this narrow portrait layout makes the dash appear narrower than it really is when you’re sitting inside. It gives the appearance that the screen is small and narrow, even if it actually is quite large.
Gear selector don’t shift too good
Everest also has FordPass with remote start, vehicle status and locator and more adaptability via your mobile device. Cupholders abound, in the centre console, popping out of the dash and there’s more storage space throughout Add a ‘svelte new leather trimmed e-shifter’ and electric parking brake.
That gear lever is however one of the big downsides on the Everest Platinum. It’s not just overkill, but it’s also flimsy and terribly unergonomic. And crap to use. Like that shocking knockoff video game controller that never lasted a week, back in the ‘80s! Lose it, Ford.
Everest’s driver memory heated and ventilated front seats are 10-way power adjustable. The heated 60:40 split second row slides further forward for easier access to the 50:50 split third row. The third row folds away at the touch of a button, while the second row also folds flat to create a van-sized cavern. An apple catcher lip helps keep the boot organised.
Build quality not as good as the best
It must be said that the build quality inside the new Everest is underwhelming. We’d expect less plastic at this price. And we’d certainly expect it to be less flimsy. The centre console is not well enough fixed, so it bends and shifts when you lean or push against it. Never mind, the centre dash speaker cover quite literally pops of if you so much as nudge it.
We would not call that ‘ premium craftsmanship’. Let’s hope these are just early run glitches. Come on, Ford!
Fire the 184 kW 600 Nm turbodiesel 3-litre up once you find the start stop button hidden behind the steering wheel and you’re not immediately aware that it’s a V6. Everest’s quietness masks that until you floor it. Then you feel lusty heart. An effortless drive is well accompanied by a comfortable ride and confidence inspiring steering response and feel. Albeit through a dinky steering wheel.
New Everest turbodiesel V6 is fantastic
The V6 engine is fantastic and a great combo with the 10 speed auto. It drives very nicely and we’d go as far as to say that the new V6 also seems to settle Ford’s controversial 10-speed ‘box down. Permanent all-wheel drive seamlessly adjusts the flow of drive between the axles. It was however significantly heavier on fuel than claimed.
Everest packs six Normal, Eco, Slippery, Mud & Ruts, Sand and Tow modes. There’s a dedicated predictive steering overlay off-road front camera view in the split 360-degree display. Talking off-road, Everest has a handy 800 mm wading depth, an electronic rear diff lock, hill descent control and competitive approach, breakover and departure angles.
We already know the old one towed very well. The new Everest V6 takes that strength even further. Tow mode optimises gear shift timing for optimal power delivery and engine braking under load, to go with an improved 3,500 kg braked trailer capability. New camera views and integrated trailer and light connection checklist make connect a trailer a synch.
Clever, adaptable driver assistance
Talking loads, integrated stand-off roof rails support 100 kg dynamic and 350 kg static loads to accommodate bikes, canoes, cargo pod, a roof-top tent, or whatever, via Ford’s universal mounting.
Packed with a huge driver assistance and safety package, Everest Platinum also has everything from latest adaptive cruise control with evasive steer, stop ‘n go and lane centring to lane keeping with road edge detection. Add dynamic brake and distance alert forward warning pre-collision assist, auto emergency braking and reverse brake assist.
Best of all, you can switch it all off with a tap on a steering wheel button, should you not want any of this arsenal of innovative and essential safety kit to interfere with your driving.
Its dear, but New Everest is a big step forward
It’s backed by a reasonable standard four-year 120,000 km Ford warranty can be extended up to seven years or 200,000 km. Add a broad choice of Everest service and maintenance plans up to eight years or 135 000 km at 15,000 km interval with optional roadside assistance packages too
The Ford Everest Platinum 3.0L V6 AWD 10AT does not come cheap. At R1,113-million it’s not only up against bottom end premium SUVs, but some very good two year old used BMW, Mercedes, and other utes. And their slightly flagship older M and AMG kin.
Ford boasts that the new Everest is premium crafted. It falls a little short in that department. We have one or two too many little quality and finish concerns. Overall however, Ford’s New Everest Platinum is a significant step forward over its predecessor. Even if those first steps into new territory may be a touch shaky. – Giordano & Michele Lupini
Images & Data: Giordano Lupini
ROAD TESTED: Ford Everest Platinum 3.0 V6 AWD Engine: 184 kW 600 Nm 3-litre turbodiesel V6 Drive: 10-speed automatic AWD Max Braked Trailer 3,500 kg TESTED: 0-60 km/h: 4.17 sec 0-100 km/h: 8.96 sec 0-120 km/h: 12.54 sec 0-160 km/h: 23.19 sec 400m: 16.6 sec @ 139 km/h 80-120 km/h: 6.29 sec 120-160 km/h: 10.46 sec CLAIMED: VMax: 200 km/h Fuel: 8.5 l/100 km CO2: 224 g/km Range: 890 km Warranty/Service: 4y 120K/8y 150K km* LIST PRICE: R1.113M RATED: 8 *Optional