DRIVEN: New Ford Everest impresses, particularly V6 Platinum guise

Published Oct 3, 2022


Nelspruit: It has been a long time coming but, finally, the new Ford Everest has arrived on our shores.

No longer made at the plant in Pretoria, which will exclusively be building the Ranger, the Ford Everest is imported from Thailand, with two derivatives – the Sport and Everest Platinum.

As the name suggests, the Platinum is the flagship model and, for the first time in South Africa, sees Ford’s 3.0-litre V6 turbodiesel engine under the bonnet, producing 184kW and 600Nm.

The Everest Sport comes with the tried-and-tested 2.0-litre diesel Bi-Turbo that’s good for 154kW and 500Nm. Like the Platinum, it is mated to Ford’s 10-speed automatic transmission.

The new Everest is a good-looking SUV, featuring Ford’s global design DNA in the C-clamp headlights and horizontal upper grille bar. The track has been increased by 50mm over the outgoing model, allowing the designers to produce a larger swell over the wheels which adds to its rough-and-ready image.

Twenty-inch alloys for the Sport and 21-inch for the Platinum covered in Goodyear multiterrain tyres round off the package.

The interior of the Everest is a revelation in the segment, dominated by a portrait 12-inch high-resolution touch-screen infotainment system, with new Sync 4A software that’s flush and incorporated as part of the dash rather than something that was plonked on as an afterthought.

It’s linked to the wireless-charging pad and features voice activation and a host of information systems. It is Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatible.

On the range-topper. the screen is linked to a 360 degree camera with split-view display which comes in handy in tight parking spots and also adds a new dimension to off-road driving.

Analogue clusters have been replaced by a 12.4-inch digital binnacle on the platinum version and an eight-inch one for the Sport.

Graphics on the screens are some of the best and clearest in the business.

The inside, especially the Platinum, has plush soft-touch surfaces and premium finishes throughout, with dual cup holders in the centre console and additional pop-out cup holders for the front-seat occupants, a small but handy addition.

The leather-trimmed e-Shifter on the Platinum adds a classy touch to the interior, while the heated and cooled 10-way adjustable front seats and heated rear seats ensure comfortable driving throughout the year. They came in handy during the launch drive in Mpumalanga when temperatures were touching on 35ºC.

There are various Type A and C and 12-volt ports throughout the vehicle, and a 400-Watt inverter in the Platinum Everest.

Ford spoke to thousands of owners, as part of their research, and the interior much reflects this ,including a lip, called an “apple catcher”, to stop things from falling out the back when the tailgate is lifted.

Over the year, we’ve spent many kilometres years driving the various previous generation Everests in Ford’s stable, so we were keen to find out how the new variations perform.

In short, very well and a marked difference between old and new.

Our first drive was with the Sport fitted with the familiar 2.0-litre Bi-Turbo diesel engine. While the engine outputs remain the same, the interior takes things up a good few notches.

The widened track makes for a better drive along various dirt, city traffic and sweeping bends in and around Mpumalanga and the Kruger National Park.

The throttle is responsive and the steering responds well to inputs, especially around tight corners with the tweaked dampers. Impressive too is how quiet the interior is.

We drove a short off-road track in the Sport that has part-time electronic shift-on-the-fly four-wheel drive, with 2H, 4H and 4L as well as rear diff lock initiated by pressing an icon on the screen.

It wasn’t a difficult course, but the Everest has always been top-class when it comes to the tricky stuff. The changes and tweaks made shows that it will certainly continue to do so.

A pleasant addition to the Sport is a dedicated space in the engine bay for a second battery to power after-market accessories as well as a universal mounting system that allows owners to equip the Everest with a range of accessories.

The vehicle’s rooftop can support static loads of up to 350kg and dynamic loads of up to 100kg, allowing it to carry leisure equipment such as bikes and canoes and also a rooftop tent.

Both have six drive modes that include Normal, Eco, Tow/Haul, Slippery, Mud & Ruts and Sand.

The jewel in the crown though is the Platinum Everest, with its V6 engine. It’s an absolute peach and dare I say it, as smooth as silk.

It reacts wonderfully when you floor it. It feels as though there’s no end to the power delivery as it smoothly shifts through the gears with the all-wheel drive system, ensuring you keep things tidy.

Passing manoeuvres on the sweeping bends became a lot of fun as we edged the vehicle on without the car skipping a beat.

Thanks to fantastic insulation, there’s virtually no road noise. With just a hint of wind over the side mirrors and on a rough tar surface, my driving partner and I had a pleasant conversation without having to raise our voices.

The Platinum Everest is definitely the one to get, borne of the fact that most of the 1 400 pre-orders are for the premium version.

Both models are loaded with safety and tech features that would please even the most discerning techno nerd. To list them would add a good few hundred words, so go have a gander on Ford’s website or read our pricing and spec story here.

For more than a year, we’ve been hearing about the next-gen Everest and first impressions prove the wait was worth it. With a waiting list in place, there’s no doubt it will remain popular. Once the first batch arrives in November (bulk orders will arrive in Q1) and people get to experience it, I have no doubt there will be a good few converts from their opposition.

Ford Everest Pricing (October 2022)

Everest Sport 2.0L BiT 4WD 10AT – R965 400

Everest Platinum 3.0L V6 AWD 10AT – R1 113 100

Included as standard is Ford Protect comprising a four-year/120 000km warranty, four-year/unlimited distance Roadside Assistance and five-year/unlimited distance corrosion warranty.

Customers have the option of purchasing service or maintenance plans of up to eight years or 135 000km. The warranty can be extended up to seven years or 200 000km, while the Roadside Assistance can be extended for an additional one or two years.