4X4 TouringInterview

Ford Everest owners on what they do and don’t like…

The Ford Everest has been popular since its introduction in 2015, so owners have had a chance to form some opinions…

YOU CAN ALWAYS tell when a car is cool because an owner’s group – or two or three – is formed. For example, with all due respect to the Camry, I’m not aware of a Camry Owner’s Club of Australia, and as far as I can see the only Facebook pages featuring Camrys are rather less than respectful of the vehicle.

On the other hand, the Everest is an offroader, lots of people love the car and want to modify it for touring and generally get involved with other owners.  After we finished testing a new Everest Trend (full report coming soon) we met up with some local owners:

What’s the collective term for a bunch of Everests? The wits on my own Facebook page have come up with:

  • A tenzing of Everests;
  • An avalanche of Everests;
  • A range of Everests; and
  • An ascent of Everests.

After we took the group photos off we went to show the owners a few tracks around the local state forest for some easy offroading. We did a few harder tracks with the three modified vehicles. We’d already driven these tracks in the stock press car, but it took a lot of care and some judicious use of Maxtrax.

On the other hand, the modified vehicles – taller tyres by about 40mm with an offroad tread pattern, a suspension lift of around 50mm and stronger sidesteps that don’t hang down as low – had no such issues and had an easier time. This is why people modify their 4x4s for offroad use. That was at the heart of the recent MA/MC classification issue, and it’s also why people write in to us about their argument with a dealer after requesting 20-inch wheels be changed to 17-inch wheels. 

Manufacturers and dealers new to the offroad vehicle customer base typically don’t quite get this whole 4WD thing and look on such requests with a mixture of bemusement and amazement, but in time hopefully that’ll change. Maybe the photos here will explain a little about what happens when you build a good 4WD and market it as an offroader.

So with the trip over, we then asked each owner for their top three likes and dislikes:

Chris

The good

  • The short wheel base, manoeuvrable;
  • Comfort; and
  • The motor sounds good goes well.

The bad

  • A consistent overheating in issue low range;
  • The rear brakes chew out in mud; and
  • No surround light around the key in the steering column.

John

The good

  • The electronic adaptive cruise;
  • Torque of engine; and
  • Handling.

The bad

  • Poor interior fit and finish;
  • Wish you could turn off chimes; and
  • Need more control over the left hand screen.

Alex

The good

  • Comfort, roomy, perfect size;
  • Tows our 1700kg van easily; and
  • No surround light around the key in the steering column.

The bad

  • The fuel tank is too small; and
  • Information about AdBlue levels is insufficient; just low or not. 

Matt

The good

  • On-road handling;
  • Powerful engine; and
  • Off-road capability.

The bad

  • Plastic fuel tank guard;
  • The door chimes!; and
  • Faster updates for Sync off the website.

Andy

The good

  • Aggressive look;
  • Comfort and ride and
  • Looks!

The bad

  • More power;
  • Better economy; and
  • Can’t fault it [ so, not really a third negative ].

Gareth

The good

  • 7 seats and third-row rear child restraint points;
  • Safety tech; and
  • Engine driveability.

The bad

  • AdBlue gauge – doesn’t tell you how full it is;
  • Better roof rails; and
  • Nothing else [another one that can’t think of a third negative!].

 

Richard

The good

  • Looks;
  • 4WD of the Year award; and
  • Comfort and tech.

The bad

  • Ford want it to be offroad but don’t support modifications;
  • Third row seats don’t fold down flat and latch;
  • No third one [ yes, no third negative! ].

 

Michael

The good

  • Rear cross-axle locker;
  • Sync 2; and
  • Can put big tyres on it without serious modifications.

The bad

  • No bashplate for fuel tank or AdBlue tank;
  • Hate the chimes; and
  • Should have a workaround in the bush for running out of AdBlue.

PRACTICAL MOTORING SAYS: The AdBlue system – 20L on the Everest – is a necessary evil these days in order for carmakers to meet ever more stringent emissions regulations, and we can expect to see more and more use of it, not to mention DPFs, EGRs and all sorts of other workarounds the modern diesel needs. However, given its importance, Ford need to do a better job of showing the tank’s level and generally explain more about this system, including what happens in the event of a failure. It’d be a pretty sorry state to have a perfectly functional car except for the AdBlue system…and then find you can’t drive it.

The chimes – these are to a large extent a mandatory safety feature, but they can be minimised by manufacturers. More power is always possible… but that means you need to give up on economy.

No manufacturer condones modifications to their vehicle – except by their approved accessory arm which generally supplies useless bling, hence the continued existence of the aftermarket. However, the better dealers do work with aftermarket companies to modify vehicles and continue to service them. The lesser dealers, and unfortunately that’s the majority, are scared by any concept of modification and turn customers away.

Coming soon: full on and offroad test of the 2017 Ford Everest Trend.

This meeting was organised through the Ford Everest Club Australia Facebook Page where you’ll find many enthusiastic owners very happy to share everything they have learned about the vehicle and setting it up for touring. There’s also a web forum here -> http://everestclubaustralia.proboards.com/

Further reading


Robert Pepper

Robert Pepper

Robert Pepper is the editor of PM4x4, an offroad driver trainer and photographer interested in anything with wings, sails or wheels. He is the author of four books on offroading, and owns a modified Ford Ranger PX which he uses for offroad touring. His other car is a Toyota 86 which exists purely to drive in circles on racetracks. Visit his website: www.l2sfbc.com or follow him on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/RobertPepperJourno/