2017 Ford Everest Review

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2017 Ford Everest Review

Overall Rating

0

4 out of 5 stars

Rating breakdown
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Safety, value & features

5 out of 5 stars

Comfort & space

3 out of 5 stars

Engine & gearbox

4 out of 5 stars

Ride & handling

4 out of 5 stars

Technology

4 out of 5 stars

Pros & Cons

  1. ProDrives well on road, and excellent off road.

  2. ConRide and handling less polished than in passenger-car based SUVs.

  3. The Pick: 2017 Ford Everest Trend (4WD) 4D Wagon

What stands out?

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The Ford Everest has an excellent diesel engine, can seat up to seven, and offers the option of full-time, dual-range, four-wheel drive. Based on the Ranger ute, it is the first such vehicle to be designed and developed in Australia. Ford has done a good job of hiding the ute DNA: the Everest is comfortable on all roads but still very capable off road in 4WD trim. Rear-wheel-drive versions are available, and smartphone integration is excellent.

What might bug me?

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Very little, although the Everest isn’t offered with a manual gearbox or a petrol engine.

Big kids will complain about the legroom in the third-row seats.

What body styles are there?

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A five-door, seven-seat wagon is the only body style offered.

Every Everest 4WD has full-time four-wheel drive (which means it drives all four wheels even on normal roads). Everest 4WDs also have dual-range gearing (which allows you to drive comfortably at very low speeds off road).

Everest RWDs do not have dual-range gearing.

The Everest is classed as a large SUV, lower priced.

What features do all Everests have?

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An audio system with AM/FM and digital (DAB) radio, CD, AUX, iPod, and USB inputs, Bluetooth connectivity, voice control via Ford’s SYNC3 multimedia system, and 10 speakers.

An 8.0-inch central touchscreen for controlling multimedia and cabin functions, with support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (so that you can plug in a smartphone and display compatible apps on the touchscreen).

Cruise control, operated from buttons on the steering wheel.

Headlights that come on automatically when it gets dark.

A rear view camera, which helps you see behind the car when reversing, and rear parking sensors, which tell you how close you are to obstacles.

Dual-zone climate control (which allows the driver and front-seat passenger to set cabin temperatures independently), with vents for rear passengers.

In all but one Everest, three rows of seats, for up to seven people. (In the Ambient RWD, the third row is an extra-cost option.)

Four 12-volt outlets, for charging mobile phones and the like, and a 230-volt outlet, for quick charging of laptops and tablets (via their household power adapters).

Wheels made from an aluminium alloy, which look nicer than steel wheels.

Electronic traction control, which helps you go further in slippery conditions. Trailer-sway control, which helps you stabilise the car if a towed trailer is swaying from side to side.

Seven airbags. Electronic stability control, which can help bring a skidding car back under command and is mandatory on new cars. (For the placement of airbags, and more on Everest safety systems, please open the Safety section below.)

Every Everest 4WD also has a full-time 4WD system with high-speed and low-speed gearing, and settings for different off-road conditions such as sand, mud or rocks. Each Everest 4WD also has a rear differential lock, which helps maintain drive in very difficult off-road situations.

Every Everest carries a three-year/100,000km warranty, and five-year rust protection for the body.

Which engine uses least fuel, and why wouldn't I choose it?

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The Everest is only available with one engine, a 3.2-litre, five-cylinder turbo diesel. In the government combined-cycle fuel test it uses 8.5 litres/100km.

For real-word driving the consumption is about 11 litres/100km, but this will vary depending on your driving style and environment.

This engine gives effortless performance for most driving. It could do with more overtaking power, and is a little on the noisy side (as many diesels are).

Only one gearbox is available, a six-speed automatic.

What key features do I get if I spend more?

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The least costly Everest is the Ambiente RWD, which has five cloth-covered seats, 17-inch wheels, and the features common to all Everests. (A third seat-row is optional.) You can spend more to add a four-wheel drive system, other equipment, or both.

If you are content with the fit-out of an Everest Ambiente, you could add off-road capability by choosing an Ambiente 4WD, with either five or seven seats. That would bring you full-time 4WD, dual-range gearing, and a rear differential lock.

If in contrast you are happy with rear-wheel drive but want more safety and luxury, you could spend a bit more again and have an Everest Trend RWD.

The Trend RWD brings you satellite navigation, and Adaptive cruise control (which automatically limits your speed to that of a slower car in front). Headlamps dip automatically for oncoming drivers, and there are daytime running lamps (which make you easier to see in dull light). Windscreen wipers operate automatically when it rains.

The Trend also has seven seats as standard, bigger and fancier 18-inch wheels, and a power-operated tailgate. And it has two forward-looking active safety features: Forward crash mitigation, and Lane-keeping assistance.

You can spend more again on an Everest Trend 4WD, which adds the 4WD system and diff lock.

The most expensive Everest, the Titanium, is available only in seven-seat 4WD form. For your additional outlay you get leather trim, power-adjusted front seats, power-folding third-row seats, and a sunroof. There are extremely bright HID headlamps, with washers, and the daytime running lamps use long-lived LEDs. Parking Assist can steer you into a reverse-parking spot while you control just the accelerator and brakes.

The Titanium also has sporty-looking 20-inch wheels, shod with tyres of a lower profile. A pressure monitor alerts you if a tyre is going flat. And it has two more sensor-based safety features: Blind-spot monitoring, and a Rear cross-traffic alert – the latter particularly handy when reversing out of the nose-to-kerb angle parking that is common in country towns. (For more on Everest safety systems, please open the Safety section below.)

If you want the Titanium’s luxury trim but more versatility off road, you can substitute 18-inch wheels, and tyres with taller sidewalls, for the standard 20s as a no-cost option.

Does any upgrade have a down side?

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Everests with the 18-inch and, especially, the 20-inch wheels don’t ride as smoothly as those on the 17s, and their tyres cost more to replace.

The tyres on the 20-inch wheels are also more damage prone off-road, and are not as effective in sand or mud as they don’t balloon out as much when pressures are dropped (a standard trick for getting more traction on soft off-road surfaces).

Maximum payloads fall as equipment is added: the Ambiente 4WD can legally carry 730kg; the Trend 693kg; and the Titanium only 605kg. Maximum roof load on the Titanium is also 20kg lower, at 80kg.

Red and white are the only colours that don’t attract an additional charge.

How comfortable is the Everest?

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The Everest has a spacious and wide cabin that feels airy and roomy. The dash presentation features lots of faux metal surfaces and angular lines, which gives it a very modern, contemporary feel.

The driver’s seat is very comfortable, but you sit lower and further back in the cabin than you would in, for example, a Toyota Prado. This feels nice on the road, but your all-round vision off-road is not as good as you would get in some 4WDs.

Electrically assisted steering is remarkably light at parking speeds but firms up nicely at road speeds. The engine and automatic gearbox combine to produce effortless and smooth progress.

Despite what Ford calls Active Noise Cancellation, the Everest isn’t a particularly quiet place in which to travel, however. Engine noise is the main offender, especially when accelerating from a standstill.

The steering wheel adjusts for tilt but not for reach. And on Trend and Titanium models, the instruments are crowded with information and at times hard to read.

What about safety in a Ford Everest?

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All Everests have seven airbags, stability control, a reversing camera, and rear parking sensors.

Two airbags are directly in front of the driver and front-seat passenger, and a third protects the driver’s needs. To protect in side-impacts, there is an airbag outside each front occupant about chest level, and a curtain airbag running down each side of the car about head level. The curtain airbags protect all those sitting next to a window - third-row passengers included.

The Everest Trend adds daytime running lights, and a feature aimed at keeping young drivers safe: a special key fob called My Key. This lets you set a maximum speed and a maximum audio volume, and restrict phone calls.

The Trend also adds two sensor-based safety features. Forward crash mitigation warns you if it thinks you are in danger of hitting an obstacle – typically a sharply slowing car – and pre-charges the brakes so that they respond faster to your pressing the brake pedal. (But it will not brake automatically for you.) Lane-keeping assistance warns you if the car is drifting out of its lane – perhaps into oncoming traffic – and helps steer it back. It is a potentially life-saving backstop for long-trip fatigue and distraction.

The Titanium then adds Blind-spot monitoring (which warns you if a vehicle is alongside out of view), and Rear cross-traffic alert (which warns you, when you are reversing from a parking spot, of cars approaching from either side.)

The Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) awarded the Everest five stars, its maximum safety score, in October 2015.

I like driving - will I enjoy this car?

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The Everest is more likely than most ute-based wagons to suit keen drivers. Unlike most alternatives, it offers sharp and responsive steering and does not suffer from excessive body roll in corners.

You will be correcting the steering more often through bumpy corners than in something like Ford’s own Territory, which was based on a passenger-car platform and had independent rear suspension. The Everest, which has a solid axle at the back, is not as smooth-riding either.

Nevertheless the Everest even in RWD form has advantages over road-biased alternatives. Its chief strength here is its ruggedness: a stout build and tough suspension deal well with big hits, and so you can tackle long stretches of rough gravel road with confidence.

The Everest RWD Ambient and Trend feel a bit better too through dry sealed-road corners than their 4WD equivalents, mainly because they weigh less.

Every Everest 4WD has a full-time system that is helpful even on wet or icy bitumen, or on loose gravel roads.

Compared with part-time 4WDs, the Everest is particularly easy when the road conditions are frequently changing from wet to dry, or from sealed to unsealed. In such conditions, the driver of a part-time 4WD (such as the Toyota Fortuner) has to manually engage 4WD when needed, and then engage 2WD again when road conditions provide plenty of grip. With the Everest, you avoid that back and forth process.

The Everest offers effortless highway performance most of the time, as it has plenty of power at low and middle engine speeds. At high engine speeds the power plateaus off (a typical diesel trait), which means the Everest won’t overtake rapidly.

An Everest 4WD is capable and competent in difficult off-road conditions, where its standard rear diff-lock will be appreciated. It will suit those who wish to get to remote camping or fishing locations that passenger-car based SUVs, such as a Mazda CX-9 or Kia Sorento, can’t reach.

How is life in the rear seats?

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The second-row seat is a bit tight for three adults but good for two adults and a child. It is not as accommodating as the second-row seat in a Toyota Prado but it compares favourably to that of the Toyota Fortuner, Isuzu MU-X and Holden Trailblazer.

Vents and controls behind the centre-console direct climate-control air to second-row passengers.

The two-person third–row seat is fine for small children but taller teenagers will find it short of legroom.

Like most SUVs and 4WDs, the Everest is a good height for getting small children in and out of child seats.

How is it for carrying stuff?

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The individually folding third-row seats and 60/40 split second-row seat give the Everest good flexibility when it comes to carrying items of varying sizes. Compared with other seven-seat 4WD wagons there’s also a good amount of space behind the third row seats.

The power-operated tailgate on Everest Trend and Titanium adds convenience when loading and unloading, as does the power-folding third-row seats of the Titanium.

All Everest models have a 3000kg maximum tow rating. That is as good as the best direct alternatives, and is sufficient to legally tow a two-horse float or a large boat or caravan.

Where does Ford make the Everest?

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All Australian-delivered Everests are made in Thailand.

What might I miss that similar cars have?

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Very little actually, although alternatives such as the Toyota Fortuner and Prado, and the Isuzu MU-X, come with the option of a manual gearbox. The Prado is also offered with a petrol engine (but very few buyers order it).

If you are considering an Everest 2WD, one feature growing more prevalent on road-oriented seven-seat SUVs is automatic emergency braking. The Mazda CX-9 supplies this as standard, for example.

The Toyota Prado and Mitsubishi Pajero Sport 4WDs also offer auto-braking at the more expensive end of their model ranges.


You might also consider the Holden Trailblazer.

I like this car, but I can't choose which version. Can you help?

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For a rugged, comfortable and versatile seven-seat wagon, the Everest Trend 4WD makes a compelling case. The extra money over an Ambiente buys you auto cruise control and active highway safety, among other enhancements.

If you do not expect to take your Everest into conditions where four-wheel drive is essential, consider either Everest RWD.

Are there plans to update the Everest soon?

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The Everest arrived as an all-new model in late 2015, and a RWD version based on the Trend was added in December 2016.

About May 2017, Ford added a five-seat RWD version based on the less costly Ambiente. At the same time it extended the 8.0-inch touchscreen with SYNC3 from the Trends to the Ambientes, along with dual-zone air-con. Prices for the more expensive variants were cut about $2000.

In October 2017 Ford introduced an 18-inch wheel and tyre package for the Everest Titanium, as a no-cost alternative to the standard 20s. The 18-inch tyres’ taller sidewalls enhance versatility when driving off-road.

Don’t expect anything beyond a minor facelift before the end of 2018. A major change is probably two or three years further away.