“Tough on the outside, a sanctuary on the inside, amazing capability underneath.” That was Ford Australia’s objective when designing the next-gen Everest SUV.
The tough look has been achieved thanks to Everest’s 50mm wider track and longer wheelbase enabling designers to create a more progressive, muscular appearance. In this Sport variant the black exterior accents, 3D hood lettering in black and 20-inch black alloy wheels have added to my Blue Lighting Everest’s rugged appeal.
The capability underneath the Everest Sport comes from the 3.0-Litre V6 Turbo Diesel engine that has 184kW of power and 600Nm of torque paired to a 10-speed automatic transmission and four-wheel drive. This advanced, permanent four-wheel drive system uses an electronically controlled on-demand two-speed electromechanical transfer case with selectable drive modes. Drive modes are selected via the rotary switch on the centre console and include Normal, Eco, Tow/Haul, Slippery for on-road, and Mud/Ruts and Sand for off-road driving. I found that the ride in the Everest in Normal mode was a bit ‘wallowy’ and that there was not enough power from the V6 engine for the almost 2.5 tonne Everest Sport. The official combined fuel consumption is 8.5L/100km and for my week I used 10.0L/100km of diesel.
The Everest can be switched between 2H, 4H, 4L and 4A and if you press a button on the centre console you can display the front camera and diff settings when you are off-roading. The image displayed on the main screen shows what is in front of you with tracking guidelines so you can avoid obstacles and you can lock the rear differential from this screen as well.
The next-gen Ford Everest has a water wading ability of up to 800mm and a maximum trailer towing capability of up to 3,500kg (braked) when fitted with the optional factory Tow Pack ($1,700), which now boasts an integrated trailer brake controller. All Everest variants receive a trailer light check function and trailer connection checklist, as a well as a new Tow/Haul drive mode to improve gearshift response when towing. Space in the engine bay allows for a second battery to power aftermarket accessories.
All models in the next-gen Everest line-up have a 5-star ANCAP (2022) safety rating (based on the next-gen Ford Ranger ANCAP testing) with an Adult Occupant Protection score of 84% (32.24 out of 38) and a Child Occupant Protection score of 93% (46.00 out of 49). Dual frontal, side chest-protecting and side head-protecting (curtain) airbags for all three seating rows, and driver and passenger knee airbags are standard. A centre airbag which provides added protection to front seat occupants in side impact crashes is also standard.
Active safety features on the Everest Sport include Adaptive Cruise Control, Autonomous emergency braking (AEB) (Car-to-Car, Vulnerable Road User, Junction Assist and AEB Backover) as well as a lane support system with lane keep assist, lane departure warning and emergency lane keeping, and Blind Spot Monitoring with Cross Traffic Alert and Trailer Coverage. ANCAP tests of the AEB (Car-to-Car) system showed a mix of ADEQUATE and GOOD performance with collisions avoided or mitigated in most test scenarios, including AEB Junction Assist where the test vehicle can autonomously brake to avoid crashes when turning across the path of an oncoming vehicle. ANCAP tests of lane system support functionality showed GOOD performance, including in the more critical emergency lane keeping test scenarios. Overall, the ANCAP Safety Assist score for the next-gen Everest is 83%.
Plus, the Everest Sport has auto lights, auto wipers and a 360-Degree Camera that allows you to use the large centre display to choose from multiple camera views and it has front and rear sensors. This includes a bird’s-eye top-down view, 180-degree front and rear split view and rear trailer hitch view for easier and safer parking and manoeuvring.
Close the door on the sanctuary inside the next-gen Everest and the first thing you are likely to notice is the door handles are located within the door pull and this does take a bit of getting used to. All Everest models come with smart keyless entry/push button start so there is no need to ever take your key out of your handbag.
The Everest Sport has unique leather accented seats with ‘SPORT’ embossing and interior colour accents. The driver’s seat has 10-way power adjustment for recline, forward/back, seat height front and rear and 2-way lumbar with three memory positions. The passenger seat has 8-way power adjustment for recline, forward/back and single mode seat height adjustment with no memory positions. For a little more luxury both front seats are heated and cooled, with each of these functions working well.
There is plenty of storage and practicality on offer in the Everest including front door cubbies that can fit two drink bottles and a removable rubber mat in the base of the two cup holders that are located in the centre console. Plus, another two fold out cup holders of the driver’s and passenger’s side of the dash. There is an upper and lower glove box on the passenger side of the dash and under the arm rest the cubby has a removable rubber mat and 12V outlet. At the front of the centre console is a cubby for your phone with a wireless charge pad/wireless access to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, one USB-A and USB-C port.
A distinctive feature of the Everest Sport cabin is the large, high-resolution 12-inch portrait-oriented centre touchscreen with Ford’s new-generation SYNC 4A connectivity and entertainment system. The Sport has a 10-speaker audio system and the media sources available include AM/FM radio, DAB+, Bluetooth and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto.
Voice control can be used to operate some features of the infotainment system and is activated by pressing the button on the steering wheel with the androgynous looking silhouette on it. The voice control worked okay for me when changing the radio station, but did not work for setting a destination on the sat nav and as my phone contacts did not download correctly, so I could not use it for making calls either. The other slightly annoying feature I noticed was there is only a hang up button on the steering wheel and no call pick up.
The second row has a 60:40 split so the two seat sections can be separated which can help to fit a third car seat in the centre seat rear tether with ISOFIX/rear tether restraint points located on the two outer seats. If centre seat is not in use it can be folded down as an arm rest with two cup holders in it and there are also good-sized drink bottle storage cubbies in the rear doors.
With the second-row seats fully back there is ample head and leg room for two adult passengers to comfortably fit in the second row. They better not have muddy boots though because there are no mats on the second-row floor, these are an optional extra, but really should come as standard. To keep your second passengers cool there are two central rear air vents with digital speed control, which can also be controlled from the front infotainment screen, and below this one USB-A and USB-C port.
To access the third-row seats, manually slide the second row forward to create a space just wide enough for me to get in. There is a plastic ledge where you step in, but the second-row seat belt hangs out and gets the way when you are trying to step in. Once I made it in, I found that with the second-row seat fully forward that there was enough leg room for me, but head room was tight. There are no ISOFIX or rear tether points in the third row, so it would suit tween-sized passengers. They will have to fight over the one 12V outlet that is located on the passenger side C pillar, but both sides do have roof mounted air vents. There are no carpet mats in the third row either and only a narrow drink bottle ledge on the passenger side. To exit the third row there are release points on each shoulder of the second-row seats.
The Everest Sport has a powered tailgate with open/close from button under boot lid, on key fob or a button in the cabin. To stop items falling out of the back when the tailgate is lifted, Ford Australia designers created a small lip, affectionately known as the “apple catcher”, at the rear of the cargo area. The underfloor storage space that helps keep the rear of the Everest organised.
With the third-row seats in place there is just enough room in the boot for school bags or a small shop. But when you manually lower the 50:50 split third row seats there is a large boot space that would accommodate a pram and a weekly shop or everything for a weekend away. There are four tie down points when the third-row seats are down, but no hooks in the boot area. It does have a light, one 12V outlet and a full-size spare tyre under the rear of the vehicle.
All new Ford models come with a five Years/Unlimited Kilometres warranty and Ford National Roadside Assistance & Auto Club Lifestyle Membership for up to seven years if an eligible General Service is undertaken at a participating Ford Dealer. The service interval for the next-gen Everest is one year or 15,000kms, whichever occurs first, and the most an eligible customer will pay is $329 for the first four general services for up to 4 years or 60,000kms.
The next-gen Ford Everest is a seven seat SUV that would be capable of taking you and your family off the beaten track while still maintaining a high-level comfort for those family members who may be less keen to do so. The next-gen Ford Everest Sport starts at $69,090 plus on-road costs and the Blue Lightning metallic paint is a $700 option. Ford Australia are currently experiencing extended wait times for models like the Everest Sport V6 and your preferred Ford Dealer will be best placed to share the latest on current availability or you can build and price your new Everest on-line.
|The many safety features included as standard||Second and third row floor mats are an optional extra|
|Heated and cooled front seats||Voice control not up to $70k vehicle standard|
|Wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto||Third row does not get USB ports or proper drink holders|
Photographs by Driven Women Magazine.