Ford Everest Trend Review 2019
Dan DeGasperi’s Ford Everest Trend Review 2019 with price, specs, performance, ride and handling, ownership, safety, verdict and score.
In a nutshell: With a new engine and a fresh seven-seat, rear-wheel drive option, does ditching the front driveshaft make sense in the latest Ford Everest Trend?
Ford Everest Trend Specifications
Pricing $56,190+ORC Warranty 5-years, unlimited km Safety 5 star ANCAP (2015) Engine 2.0-litre four-cylinder twin-turbo diesel Power 157kW at 3750rpm Torque 500Nm at 1750-2000rpm Transmission 10-speed automatic Drive rear Dimensions 4903mm (L); 1869mm (W); 1837mm (H) Turning Circle 11.7m Ground Clearance 227mm Wading depth 800mm Kerb Weight 2312kg GVM 2950kg Payload 638kg Towing Capacity 750kg/3100kg Tyres 265/60 R18 Spare Full-size Fuel Tank 80L Thirst 6.9L/100km (combined)
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WITH the rise in popularity of the Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) comes the natural expansion in the number of models offered, and like a Babushka doll, the model grades inside them.
Take for instance the hugely popular large SUV segment in which this Ford Everest plays and formerly – for some 12 years – the much-loved Ford Territory did. These two nameplates expose the divide that exists in this class, the former focused on rugged off-road ability to challenge the Toyota Prado, and the latter an on-road focus that rivalled the Toyota Kluger.
But what happens when you try to merge those two together? Well, you get this facelifted UA Mark II of the Everest that launched locally in 2015, and a new 2.0-litre bi-turbo diesel available with a choice of rear-wheel drive (RWD) tested here, or all-wheel drive (AWD).
The bigger question is, why would you go to all the trouble of creating a separate-chassis, rugged off-roader only to delete the decent off-road ability? Yet, conversely, for families who rarely go off the beaten track, this mid-spec Everest Trend will save them $5000 while being more frugal and still able to seat seven. Can it forge, ahem, new territory?
What’s The Price And What Do You Get?
Forget the base model Everest Ambiente – most buyers will – because it still gets a hoary old 3.2-litre five-cylinder turbo-diesel that is slower and thirstier than the one tested here. It’s basic inside, and by the time you add seven seats is $6000 cheaper than the $56,190 plus on-road costs price of this mid-tier Everest Trend (while the AWD is $61,190+ORC).
The Trend nabs the slicker new 2.0-litre bi-turbo diesel with 14kW more power and 30Nm more torque, while in RWD guise the combined-cycle fuel usage claim falls from the 3.2L’s 8.4 litres per 100 kilometres to 6.9L/100km. Also, that’s 0.2L/100km less than the AWD.
It’s most critical that you get the Trend for other reasons as well. These extend beyond the addition of larger 18-inch alloy wheels (from 17s), automatic up/down high-beam with high-intensity discharge (HID) headlights, foglights, rain-sensing wipers, leather steering wheel and seat trim, a power adjustable driver’s seat, tri-zone climate control and electric tailgate.
Crucially, you also get forward collision warning with autonomous emergency braking (AEB), adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning/assistance, front parking sensors (rear are standard), and speed sign recognition. Disappointingly, though, heated seats, auto reverse-park assist and a blind-spot monitor are reserved for the Everest Titanium at $73,990+ORC.
What’s The Interior And Practicality Like?
At almost five metres long the Ford Everest is a big unit, but it puts that exterior size to good use with a cabin that is broadly as spacious as any in this class. The front seats are wide and comfortable, the leather quality excellent, while the sliding middle bench is simple to handle. It also tips forward easily to allow third-row passengers to enter and exit sans fuss.
Importantly, there’s enough room for a front passenger to move the seat forward, allowing the middle passengers to do the same (while still maintaining medium-sedan-rivalling legroom) and freeing up kneespace for the sixth and seventh seaters. It’s still a kids only affair right back there, but it’s no worse than a Mazda CX-9 and unlike that car-based SUV comes with overhead vents for each of the back rows, as well as one regular powerpoint.
The 50:50 split backrest folds effortlessly into the floor, expanding the merely decent bootspace to something that rivals anything in this class. Frankly, this rugged off-roader (okay, with AWD…) is packaged as well as anything based on a passenger car.
Where the Trend falls down is in terms of ambience. Everything is screwed together well, and the faux-leather dash-top is nice. However, other plastics are all hard and some are shiny, some are scratchy – it certainly betrays its Ranger ute origins here, because they’re virtually identical inside.
What Are The Controls And Infotainment Like?
Ford’s Sync3 infotainment system is excellent, but the Everest doesn’t yet get the crisper, faster-acting touchscreen display found in the Transit van and forthcoming new Fiesta ST, to name two examples. It’s a little grainy, and the computer behind it can be slow to process.
There’s nothing wrong with the functions when they pick up and work, though. The in-built navigation even has predictive-text address entry, meaning you can start typing 1 Smith Street, Smithville and it will have already narrowed down the options. There’s digital radio, too, plus Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone mirroring technology if that isn’t enough.
The Trend also features two, small colour displays in front of the driver that are clear to see and straightforward to navigate through the various trip computer menus, one of which includes a digital speedometer and also a traffic speed-sign detection function.
As with the cabin itself the only downside is a general plain-ness, verging on cheapness, to some of the switchgear and controls.
What’s The Performance Like?
Choosing RWD instead of AWD saves exactly 111kg, though the ute-based separate-chassis origins of this Everest are still exposed by the portly 2312kg kerb weight some 300kg heavier than an equivalent passenger car-based, on-road-focused large SUV seven seater.
Commendably, the 2.0-litre bi-turbo diesel and 10-speed automatic combine to make this Trend feel, if not fast, then at least not slow. More important than the 157kW of power is the 500Nm of torque, and the way the new auto slices slickly through each gear. It’s clever enough to hold low gears on hills, too, avoiding the shuffling you could have with 10 ratios.
And, finally, this four-cylinder has a smooth, refined character missing from the loud 3.2L.
On test the fuel consumption remained below 10L/100km, though we only came close once to the 6.9L/100km claim – recording 7.4L/100km on the freeway only. Even so, this is an efficient engine for duty in a heavy seven seater.
What’s It Like On The Road?
The bi-turbo doesn’t only transform this Ford’s under-bonnet refinement, but it finally matches the smooth steering and suspension tunes that were always best-in-class and by some margin as well. The Everest was designed and engineered in Australia, even though it is made in Thailand, and a certain Territory-esque flavour permeates this latest large SUV.
No, it isn’t as calm or plush as that older model, but it genuinely feels as though Ford has taken its old on-road-biased SUV and transformed it into a taller off-road-focused one. The steering is light and slick, the body control around town over speed humps is exemplary, and there really is simply none of the uncouth shudder you get from most ute-based rivals.
Some underlying firmness comes through in a slightly busy freeway ride, and then again with a slightly choppy country ride, but we have to emphasise ‘slightly’ here. While the brilliant Territory would never entertain such traits, the Everest is better than virtually any proper off-roader. It makes a Toyota Prado feel soggy and boaty, by comparison.
And unlike a Territory, even with RWD it can go off road. Sort of. With the same ground clearance, wheel articulation, 800mm wading, 3.1-tonne towing capacity and bush-friendly tyres as the AWD, we tackled (dry and shallow) ruts and climbed dusty hills without much issue. Without a locking rear differential, it relies on the traction control to get through, and on one hill it needed to be switched off to keep up momentum.
Does It Have A Spare?
Yes, and it’s a proper full-sized tyre.
Can You Tow With It?
Yes, happily, at up to 3.1 tonnes in rear- or all-wheel drive– 100kg higher than a Prado, but there is always a caveat. So, take the Gross Combined Mass (GCM) of 5900kg; this is the maximum weight of the vehicle and anything it carries and tows. The vehicle’s kerb weight is 2286kg. If you add the trailer weight of 3100kg to that you get 5386kg and that leaves you with 514kg for people and luggage only that doesn’t account for the towball download which is 310kg and you need to include that in your calculations. So, subtract that from 514kg and you’re left with just 204kg for people and luggage.
It’s important you do your maths when considering a suitable tow vehicle. Make sure you know the weight of your trailer when loaded and also the weight of your vehicle when set up for travelling.
What about ownership?
There’s a five-year warranty, while servicing is on a yearly or 15,000km basis at a cost of $360, $555, $555, $555 and $360 each for the first five respectively to five years/75,000km.
What about safety features?
There’s dual front, front-side and side-curtain (that covers the full length of the interior including the third row) airbags, switchable ESC, forward collision warning with autonomous emergency braking (AEB) and lane-departure warning/assistance, though disappointingly a blind-spot monitor is reserved for the Everest Titanium flagship.