2016 Ford Everest Titanium review
Isaac Bober’s 2016 Ford Everest Titanium review with pricing, specs, ride and handling, safety, verdict and score.
In a nutshell: The Ford Everest is the seven-seat 4×4 wagon version of the Ford Ranger, although it isn’t the Territory replacement many thought it would be.
2016 Ford Everest Titanium
Price $76,790 (+ORC) Warranty three years, 100,000km Safety five star ANCAP Engine 3.2-litre five-cylinder turbo-diesel Power/Torque 143kW/470Nm Transmission six-speed automatic Body 4892mm (L); 2180mm (W); 1837mm (H) Angles 29.5-degrees, departure is 25-degrees and rampover is 21.5-degrees Weight 2495kg (Titanium) Towing Up to 3000kg Fuel Tank 80 litres Thirst 8.5L/100km; 10.1L/100km on test (400km of mixed driving; highway, around town and a short 75km off-road loop)
ONE OF THE most eagerly anticipated new vehicles to arrive on the market in almost any year was the Ford Everest. Based off the much-loved Ford Ranger ute (but with some key differences), the seven-seat Everest, like the Ranger, was developed in Australia and extensively tested here to ensure it was “just as capable traversing the Simpson Desert as it is finding a parking spot in the local shopping centre,” or so Ford said when it launched the thing in September last year.
Ford also did what almost no other car maker has done before, at least so blatantly, and distributed a series of press releases comparing the new Everest with the Toyota Prado, completely ignoring the, more traditional SUV, Toyota Fortuner as a competitor. Yet that’s what the Everest is, a traditional SUV. Sure, at $76,790+ORC it’s priced like a Prado, but from a drive experience and type-of-vehicle point of view it really is in the same boat as the likes of Mitsubishi Pajero Sport, Isuzu MU-X and Toyota Fortuner. Moving on…
What is it?
We’re testing the Everest Titanium, and there are three model grades but unlike some makers that add off-road technology the higher you go up the spec list, Ford has made all of its Everest variants equal in terms of off-roading, and simply added ‘luxury’ and safety features:
- Everest: Constant 4WD and gets seven seats. Just called ‘Everest’;
- Everest Trend: Adds driver assist technologies such as Adaptive Cruise Control with Forward Collision Alert and Lane Keeping System. Gets 18-inch alloys, sidesteps and powered tail-gate.
- Everest Titanium: Leather trim, panoramic powered sunroof, powered third row, semi-auto parallel park assist and satellite navigation. Has 20-inch alloys, high intensity discharge (HID) head-lights and chrome finish on door handles, side mirrors and sidesteps.
Under the bonnet is a Euro 5 compliant 3.2-litre five-cylinder turbocharged diesel engine that makes 143kW at 3000rpm and 470Nm of torque at 1750-2500rpm that’s mated to a six-speed automatic only and permanent four-wheel drive which is controlled via Ford’s Terrain Management System (TMS). Fuel consumption is 8.5L/100km and the fuel tank is 80 litres.
Like Land Rover’s Terrain Response, Ford’s TMS offers four settings: Normal; Snow/Mud/Grass; Sand and Rock and this alters throttle response and traction control. There’s also a computer-controlled centre diff and low range as well as a rear differential lock which is manually engaged via a push button.
Everest also offers hill descent control and one neat function is that the rear differential lock can be used when this mode is active.
There’s less ground clearance for Everest than there is on Ranger with 225mm (instead of 230mm) and approach angle is 29.5-degrees, departure is 25-degrees and rampover is 21.5-degrees. Maximum wading depth is 800mm. Like on the Ranger Wildtrak, the factory-fitted side steps get caught up when driving off-road.
What’s it like?
Climb up into the Everest Titanium and you’re presented with a very Falcon-esque interior with squidgy leather seats and a large seven-inch touch screen running Ford’s SYNC2 infotainment and communications system. The system itself is pretty easy to use, although the display itself looks a little basic in the way menus and sub-menus render. But, hey, it does what you want it to do, so, really, I shouldn’t complain.
The controls for the dual-zone climate control sits below the touch screen with clearly marked press buttons making it easy to control on the fly. There are numerous storage holes around the cabin, so stashing phones, bottles, and the like, will be easy. Ahead of the steering wheel are two small TFT screens, one on either side of a centrally-mounted speedometer. These screens allow you to drill down into sub menus, but there’s no screen that will display the tachometer as more than just a small bar that I missed several times while trying to find it, mistaking it for a temperature gauge (you can see it in the picture below to the left of the fuel gauge; it’s on the right-hand screen). Amendment: a reader, Paul B, has commented that there is indeed a full size tacho display on the Titanium… sorry all, but my fat fingers must have kept scrolling past it. Thanks Paul.
And, another niggle, for me at least, is the fact the doors don’t have an extra handle in the armrest, there’s just a grab handle at the front of the door. This means when you’re trying to open or close the door in a tight carpark you’re got to hook your fingers into the window sill to avoid slamming the door into the car parked next to you; it’s just ergonomically awkward. The other let down is the look and feel of the plastics, which appear to have been made from melted down old lunch boxes; on the plus side the hard, scratchy plastics should last a lifetime, with Everest owners telling us that their interior might feel like “three-star accommodation, but it’s impossible to scratch”.
The front seats are nice and comfortable and the power adjustment on them goes some way towards making up for the absence of reach adjustment on the steering wheel. Climb into the back and there’s a decent amount of room with the second row seats able to slide forwards and backwards. But, the seats are still only 60:40 split, and the 40 is on the road side, or, in other words, the wrong side. That said, it doesn’t really make a whole lot of difference as if you’re trying to access the third-row seats then you’ll have to clamber over the second row seats anyway because they don’t tumble forwards. And, if I’m honest, this is just ridiculous.
Once over in the back and the novelty of raising and lowering the two third row seats electrically has worn off then you’re left trying to work out where you’ll put your feet. Even with the second row seats pushed forwards foot room for third row passengers is almost non-existent; even teenagers would struggle in this last row.
However, Ford has made some effort when it comes to heating and cooling, with all rows getting air vents; the second-row passengers can even control their own air flow and temperature.
In the same control panel for the HVAC in the second row there is a USB outlet and a 230V (150W) outlet, although Ford claims it’s a 240V outlet… And the fact you can fold all the seats completely flat is very good indeed, offering up 2010 litres of bootspace.
On the road, the Everest has more than enough grunt to keep up with traffic, even with the family on-board and the six-speed automatic offers nice smooth shifts. The steering is feel-free but is direct and consistently weighted no matter the speed. The steering-mounted thumb controls are easy to use and don’t distract from driving the thing.
Around town, the Everest manages to smother the worst of the roads imperfections without fuss, and even in the back seat the ride is pretty good (remember, the thing has a coil-sprung bum which will always be a little more roly-poly). However, as speed builds the ride tends becomes a little sloppy with plenty of body roll in corners and a softness in the springs and dampers that sees the thing take a moment or two to compose itself after hitting rougher sections of road.
Our test drive of the Everest was limited to three days only, so our trip off road with it wasn’t our usual test, but it still allowed us to learn a few things. And one of those is that the Everest is much better off road than on it with the soft suspension coming into its own when crawling across uneven surfaces at low speeds, the steering and throttle response are nicely weighted for off-road driving, too.
Our off-road track saw the Everest drive across severely corrugated roads, something it managed without feeling as if the dashboard and interior were going to vibrate themselves to bits (Pajero, we’re looking at you right now), but it also took in a steep, slippery and very uneven initial climb to get onto our low range track. And this presented us with some drama…
Because the climb was steep and slippery, rather than rocky, I selected Snow/Mud/Grass and selected low range, but I backed out at around 2000rpm because I had diagonally opposite wheels spinning. It felt like traction control had been disengaged, which it hadn’t. Rather, I simply needed to keep my foot into the thing to prompt the Everest into action, and subsequent testing has revealed the Everest needs considerably more revs than other 4×4 wagons in the same segment before its traction control system kicks in… but, I should add, that once it does start working, it’s incredibly capable. You just need to remember to keep the revs higher than you might be used to. [ See our Pajero Sport review which includes footage of an Everest in Snow/Mud/Grass and Rock Modes ]
In the end, I simply engaged the rear differential lock and the Everest inched up the initial climb without drama; so there was clearly plenty of grip to be had. Toyota runs a similar brake traction control system which requires less revving and thus wheels spinning before it kicks in. At least the Everest’s brake traction control works on the front axle when the rear locker is engaged.
In terms of safety, Ford has made sure the Everest is at the pointy end of 4×4 wagons. It gets a 5 star ANCAP rating, active cruise control on the Titanium as well active lane keeping assist and this function has a couple of settings that allow you to increase or decrease the level of assistance; I’d decrease it to the minimum level of assistance because the system is easily tricked by non-lines on the road, like skid marks and the force it applies to the steering wheel is enough push you off line. That said, in its lowest setting it does what you want, and gentle reminds you you might have wandered out of your lane.
Beyond the above, the Ford Everest has the usual traction and stability controls (which aren’t the same thing) auto locking on the doors, keyless entry and the SYNC2 system, when connected to a smartphone, is able to contact emergency services in the event of a collision.