Johannesburg - Hot on the heels of the Ford Ranger getting upgraded, the Everest has been brushed with some middle-age makeup.

As with its bakkie cousin, the big story here is Ford’s new 2-litre turbodiesel engine, also available here in single-turbo (SiT) and twin-turbo (BiT) guises, while the current 2.2 and 3.2 TDCi engines continue to be offered in certain variants.

The 2.0 SiT is available only in 4x2 XLT form, while the BiT can be had as an XLT 4x2 or XLT 4x4 and can also be paired with the range-topping Limited trim grade.

The 2.0 single-turbo motor produces 132kW and 420Nm, while the Bi-Turbo is good for 157kW and 500Nm. The latter uses a small high-pressure blower combined with a large low-pressure unit - both work in tandem on pull-off for a lag-free launch, while the larger unit holds the fort alone higher in the rev range.

Both 2-litre engines are mated exclusively to a brand new 10-speed automatic gearbox which offers additional ‘Sport’ and manual shifting modes.

The current 2.2-litre turbodiesel continues at the bottom of the range, producing 118kW and 385Nm as before, while the 3.2 turbodiesel, still with 147kW and 470Nm on tap, is available in XLT 4x4 guise. In both cases Ford’s six-speed automatic gearbox is fitted as standard.

Ford has also extensively revised the chassis, with a new front suspension design, and overall suspension compliance has been improved, with three damper tunes being adopted in place of the previous single set-up. These refinement have allowed a reduction in tyre pressures from 240 to 210 kPa, which should make the ride even comfier.

The external design enhancements are, as per the Ranger, quite subtle, but the eagle-eyed will notice a new grille with layered bars as well as a redesigned lower front bumper. A new exterior body colour comes in the form of Diffused Silver, while new 20-inch alloy wheels adorn the flagship Limited model.

On the inside, the Limited gets shadow chrome finishes as well as perforated leather and high-quality paints. Also setting this model apart is an array of active driver assist features such as Adaptive Cruise Control with Forward Collision Alert (and pedestrian detection), Blind Spot Information System with cross-traffic alert, Auto High Beam Control and Lane Keeping Aid with Lane Departure Warning and Semi-Automatic Parallel Park Assist.

A new feature that’s fitted to both Limited and mid-range XLT models is a keyless entry and start system with start button.

Standard safety amenities across the range include ESC traction control, Trailer Sway Control, Load Adaptive Control, Roll Over Mitigation and (on 4x4 models) Hill Descent Control.

As for luxury items, the Sync 3 touchscreen infotainment system with navigation is part of the deal for the XLT and Limited. The SXL comes with Ford’s Sync 1 system with Bluetooth and voice control.

PRICES

2.2 TDCi XLS 6AT 4x2 - R499 900

2.0 SiT XLT 10AT 4x2 - R584 900

2.0 BiT XLT 10AT 4x2 - R607 600

3.2 TDCi XLT 6AT 4x4 - R626 900

2.0 BiT XLT 10AT 4x4 - R669 500

2.0 BiT Limited 10AT 4x4 - R741 100

IOL Motoring