Ford Everest XLS.
Ford Everest XLS.
Ford Everest XLS.
Ford Everest XLS.
Ford Everest XLS.
Ford Everest XLS.
Ford Everest XLS.
Ford Everest XLS.
Ford Everest XLS.
Ford Everest XLS.
Ford Everest XLS.
Ford Everest XLS.
Ford Everest XLS.
Ford Everest XLS.
Ford Everest Limited.
Ford Everest Limited.
Ford Everest Limited.
Ford Everest Limited.

By: IOL Motoring Staff

Silverton, Pretoria - Ford is putting up its biggest Fortuner fight ever with its expanded Everest SUV line-up that's also now built in South Africa, following the company's R2.5-billion investment in the local Silverton plant. The Everest is also now more affordable as the range expands from just two to eight models, now offering two engine choices, three specification levels, manual and automatic transmissions, as well as 4x2 and 4x4.

Eight models now offered

Along with the two original, and rather expensive, five-cylinder 3.2 XLT and Limited 4x4 models, which were initially imported from Thailand, the Silverton assembly line is now producing eight models in total, including five 2.2-litre versions that bring the SUV into a lower price bracket.

These have the same Duratorq TDCi turbodiesel four as the Ranger bakkie, built at Ford's Struandale engine plant in Port Elizabeth and rated for 118kW at 3700 revs and 385Nm from 1500-2500rpm. As before, the 3.2-litre turbodiesel pushes 147kW and 470Nm.

Different strokes

While the XLS 4x2 will be the most affordable model in the range, at R453 900, Ford is also catering for those seeking genuine off-road ability without all the bells and whistles by offering a 4x4 version of the base model, at R529 900. At the opposite end of the scale, those who don't want to crawl over rocks, and to whom power and luxury are the bigger draw cards, are now catered for with a 3.2 XLT 4x2 model, priced at R554 900. See the full price list at the bottom of the story.

Walk through the range

All XLS variants have a Sync1 sound system with voice control and Bluetooth connectivity for phones and multimedia devices, as well as cruise control, hill hold, stability and trailer sway control systems, six airbags and rear parking sensors linked to a rear view parking camera on the non-touch 10cm Sync 1 display.

XLT models are visually distinguished by their 18 inch alloys, chrome finish on the grille, mirrors and door handles and side running boards. Feature-wise, the XLT adds leather seat trim (in black) as well as the Sync3 infotainment system with a 20cm touch-screen, leather steering wheel with audio controls, dual-zone automatic climate control, rain-sensing wipers, a spare key with MyKey functionality and a driver's-side knee bag.

As before you can indulge in the Limited flagship model, which adds 20-inch alloys, Xenon headlights with Auto High Beam Control and active safety features such as Ford's lane keeping system and Blind Spot Monitoring with Cross-Traffic Alert, Adaptive Cruise Control with Heads-up Display and Active Park Assist. Additional luxuries include a powered tailgate, powered and heated seats upfront, and ambient lighting.

How much then?

2.2 TDCi XLS - R453 900

2.2 TDCi XLS AT - R470 900

2.2 TDCi XLS 4x4 - R529 900

2.2 TDCi XLT - R478 900

2.2 TDCi XLT AT - R495 900

3.2 TDCi XLT AT - R554 900

3.2 TDCi XLT AT 4x4 - R634 900

3.2 TDCi Limited AT 4x4 - R698 900

Prices include a four-year or 120 000km warranty, a five-year or 100 000km service plan and three years of roadside assistance; service intervals are pegged at 20 000km.

How is it priced against its rivals?

Lower-end 4x2

Ford Everest 2.2 TDCi XLS (118kW/385Nm) - R453 900

Chev Trailblazer 2.5D LT (120kW/380Nm) - R451 500

Toyota Fortuner 2.4 GD-6 (110kW/400Nm) - R454 000

Higher-end 4x2

Ford Everest 3.2 TDCi XLT auto (147kW/470Nm) - R554 900

Chev Trailblazer 2.8D LTZ auto (144kW/440Nm) - R533 100

Toyota Fortuner 2.8 GD-6 auto (130kW/450Nm) - R552 800

Higher-end 4x4

Ford Everest 3.2 TDCi XLT 4x4 auto (147kW/470Nm) - R634 900

Chevrolet Trailblazer 2.8D LTZ 4x4 auto (144kW/500Nm) - R591 500

Mitsubishi Pajero Sport 2.5 DI-D 4x4 auto (131kW/350Nm) - R569 900

Toyota Fortuner 2.8 GD-6 4x4 auto (130kW/450Nm) - R613 200

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