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


  • mtbrider

    Gotta love 4wder’s as we are a passionate bunch. Couldn’t agree more with the lack of support most, if not all brands actually have for buyers who actually, heaven forbid, want to go off road in their new 4WD. Jeep Wrangler is probably the only exception off the factory floor and then you can up the already great ability with their factory supported Mopar accessories. There is just that pesky reliability issue and after sales support. Hopefully that will change and the new FCA CEO seems to be taking this seriously. No i don’t own a Jeep due to the current inherent risks associated with doing so. But anyway back to my original point I suspect that the first brand that comes out with a serious 4WD off road option in its range for its customers will clean up come awards time of the year. Take utes for eg. If the price is realistic and not just added onto the top of what is already charged i.e priced as factory fit options, but come as standard fitment so they can choose the on-road or off-road biased version, the other brands will not stand a chance when it comes to testing for awards. It wouldn’t take much. Remove the pretty colour coded front bumper and replace with bull bar or winch capable steel bar sans loops. Don’t care which. Winch to be fitted. Real protective rear bar with integrated tow bar and recovery points. Delete aluminium/plastic sill mounted side steps and replace with higher chassis mounted steel ones. 50mm lift and 16″ or 17″ rims with the allowable 50mm OD size increase tyres in ATR style already fitted. Rear locker (and front would be great) and when activated if rear only the traction control MUST stay active on the front wheels. What is with that that traction control thing at the moment for most brands it can’t be engineering decisions? Anyway IMO no current vehicle in the same class would stand a chance in a comparison test and is would serve off roading customers much better than the current crop of sticker enhanced and useless bling filled vehicles that look more like Mr T than Schwarzenegger.

    • James Tebbatt

      Its called a 76 series Land Cruiser GXL…. and don’t whinge about the price.

  • Rob Logie

    How does the Everest compare to a Prado, both off and on road ?

    • Onroad better, offroad worse.

    • Joel Mammachen

      Prado is a true offroad machine. Toyota always sacrifices onroad agility for offroad for their Landcruiser series in order to get excellent suspension articulation and also Landcruisers are long lasting and can also take a lot of beating.

    • We will compare Everest to Prado shortly. Looks like many wins to Everest except one…

  • Ross Soutar

    I have not been happy with headlight performance with my Everest. I note in your photos some owners have driving lights attached to some bar attachments. Could i have some info on costs and who did the work please?
    Ross

    • Any 4WD shop will fit some driving lights to a bar. You’ll need to do some research to figure out whether you want halogen, LED, HID, a lightbar or spotties, spread or spot. That’ll depend on the nature of your driving. Find your local 4WD shop and have a chat.

  • Ad blue fail

    The engine in this is a terrible design for longevity. …..the laughable oil drain issue is going to mean gunk and more gunk in a few years time. Time for a good petrol engine to be offered! Ad blue is for kenworth trucks not passenger cars.

    • AdBlue is part of diesels now, not just the Everest. Look for a more detailed article on the subject soon.

  • philip

    What would happen if you put water in the adblue tank as a get you home emergency solution. From my reading it should fool the adblue gauge.

    • paul leahy

      have dealt with adblue in heavy vehicles for a while now . its a nightmare to say the least . You cant fool it with water the nox sensor will detect it . Carry extra adblue . rule of thumb is about 6% useage so the smart manufacturers size the fuel and adblue tanks so they should run out approximately the same . Be fully prepared for fault codes . we get them in our industry so frequently it has become a joke . Adblue works but not without problems .It only likes stainless steel and certain plastics . Copper components dissolve in a blink of and eye so anyone doing any sort of modification to the system BE VERY CAREFUL or you,ll have trouble .Its not just for trucks its for diesel engines and it makes the exhaust emissions pretty clean particularly oxides of nitrogen which its designed to reduce.ie photochemical smog or the brown stuff hanging around cities.

  • Trax

    Ford now has an update for that frustrating door chime that everyone hates. The only issue is once the chime is turned off you can’t get it back, its gone forever and good riddance.

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