One of our readers from India has written with a query that’s relevant to Australia; he wants to know whether he should choose: Ford Everest, Toyota Fortuner, even a Mitsubishi Pajero Sport?

READER F WRITES: The new Ford Everest has just been launched in India as the Ford Endeavour. I am keen to buy the vehicle as it has received positive reviews. However, I want long-term reviews and since the vehicle has just been launched here, I’m in a quandary. Was wondering if you could shed some light on the vehicle (especially the cons) if possible.
The new Toyota Fortuner and new Pajero Sport are rumoured to be launched in India at the end of the year so should I wait for those, or not?
This is going to be a daily-use vehicle replacing two vehicles: 7 seater Toyota MPV (called innova here – 2.5L diesel manual) and Suzuki Grand Vitara (2.0L manual petrol).
Primary use will be city – 5-6 days in the week, airport drops and pick ups so a 7 seater is important. Do keep in mind Mumbai roads are a mild offroad course in themselves 🙂 A weekly outing out of the city on broken tarmac and mild slush and rocks – something which the Vitara does quite well. This is not going to be an all out offroad vehicle but I do intend doing a one-off driving expedition to the Himalayas etc.

Considering all of the above I believe the Everest vehicle has all it takes, luxury, 7 seats, 4×4 with low range.

Current competition : Toyota Fortuner (old generation auto box) and Mitsubishi Pajero (no 4×4 option in auto box). The German SUVs are over my budget. The new Fortuner looks too ladylike according to me. The new Pajero will come God knows when.

Now the dilemma  : I have never owned an American vehicle before – only Japanese or German.

The reason for this is reliability – I don’t trust the Yankees. What I need is a get up and go vehicle – which won’t let me down in the middle of nowhere. Is it so electronically full up which causes sensors to fail?

All I have heard until now is good – even seasoned Indian motoring journalists have only given me a thumbs up !
Looking for some real advice.
Hello F,
It’s always hard to give advice to non-Australian readers that involve specific vehicles because the specifications and value for money change quite dramatically from country to country, not only trim levels but often fundamentals like engines, transmissions, suspension tune and relative pricing in the market. That said, here are some views.
First, there will be no new Pajero. The Pajero Sport is Mitsubishi’s one and only serious 4WD wagon now, and it is available as a seven-seater in some markets including Australia but I don’t know about India.
Second, Fortuner. I wouldn’t have said it looks “ladylike” – we reckon over here it’s got a serious case of overbite – but looks are personal opinion. What’s fact is that the vehicle is a serious offroad workhorse from one of the best in the business. So I can understand if you don’t like the looks, but the car itself is absolutely a real-deal 4WD, as are Everest and Pajero Sport, and all of them will beat the Grand Vitara offroad due to clearance and angles.
Now to the Everest, which is not so much an American vehicle as Australian – it was designed and developed in Australia. It is closely related to Ford’s much-admired Ranger which has been going strong since 2012, and updated as the PX2 last year, so the platform is proven. So far, there have been no significant reliability issues with either Ranger or Everest. I do know of an Everest owner who is leading the way with modifications, and has experienced some issues with under-body protection but he does harder offroading that you seem to intend, and the problems are fixed with additional underbody protection. I think the Everest would do the job you need, and for your needs I’d recommend one over the Fortuner which has a poor seven-seat system (see our detailed review). However, none of these 4WDs will be as effective a 7-seater as your MPV, and none will have the quick agility you’re used to with your Suzuki – as ever, it’s a compromise but I think you’ll find any of them a step up in comfort, power and driveability compared to either of your older cars.
Given what you say about the state of the roads, I would preference an all-wheel-drive vehicle such as Everest or Pajero Sport, not part time 4WD like Fortuner. Just gives you that bit more traction over rough or loose terrain.
So, in summary; forget Fortuner, the Everest or Pajero Sport is the choice. I haven’t tested the seven-seat Sport but I would suggest that’s worth a closer look as it will have a workable seven-seat layout, has low range and would do the job you want. It’s also based on the Triton platform so like the Everest has strong ute-based roots so reliability should be as good as it gets. You say the German SUVs are out of your range, and that’s fine as I wouldn’t suggest the likes of the BMW X5 or Audi Q7 as offroad tourers. What you might consider, if your budget can stretch to it, is the Landcruiser 200 Series (if it’s sold in India) which is pricey but hugely capable, luxurious and much more spacious as a 7-seater than either Pajero Sport or Everest.

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  1. Been driving the ford everest 3.2 titanium or the endeavour as it is called in india for the past 5 months. Absolutely in love with it. Tried n tested on all sort of terrains n its a breeze.. Its luxury n ruggedness packed together.GREAT job ford australia..

  2. What was the underbody protection issue the reader experienced, what parts needs additonal plates, sump, tansfer case etc?

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