Ford Everest Review
What might turn you off
Like in most SUVs big kids will whine about the legroom in the third-row seats.
Some Everests drive only the rear wheels, while others drive all four wheels.
Every Everest 4WD has full-time four-wheel drive (which means it drives all four wheels even on normal roads). Everest 4WDs also have dual-range gearing (which allows you to drive comfortably at very low speeds off road).
Everest RWDs do not have dual-range gearing.
The Everest is classed as a large SUV, lower priced.
Standard features on all Everests
A rear-view camera, which helps you see behind the car when reversing, and rear parking sensors, which tell you how close you are to obstacles. Power-folding external mirrors.
Cruise control, operated from buttons on the steering wheel, and trailer sway control.
Autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane-keeping assist, and traffic sign recognition that alerts you if you’re over the speed limit.
Halogen projector headlights that come on automatically when it gets dark, automatic high-beam control, daytime running lights, and front fog-lamps.
Active noise cancellation system and pollen air filter.
Three USB ports including one mounted on the windscreen near the mirror to make it easier to plug in devices like dash-cams.
Dual-zone climate control (which allows the driver and front-seat passenger to set cabin temperatures independently), with vents for rear passengers.
In all but one Everest, three rows of seats, for up to seven people. (In the Ambient RWD, the third row is an extra-cost option.)
Smart keyless entry that opens the doors without having the key out of your bag or pocket, and push-button engine start/stop.
Four 12-volt outlets, for charging mobile phones and the like, and a 230-volt outlet, for quick charging of laptops and tablets (via their household power adapters).
Wheels made from an aluminium alloy, which look nicer than steel wheels.
Electronic traction control, which helps you go further in slippery conditions.
Seven airbags. Electronic stability control, which can help bring a skidding car back under command.
Every Everest 4WD also has a full-time 4WD system with high-speed and low-speed gearing, and settings for different off-road conditions such as sand, mud or rocks. Each Everest 4WD also has a hill descent control and hill-launch assist, and a rear differential lock, which helps maintain drive in very difficult off-road situations.
It has an official combined city/highway fuel rating of 6.9 litres/100km in RWD Everests, and 7.1 litres/100km in the 4WD versions.
The main reason you would not choose the 2.0-litre Bi Turbo engine is that you want pay less for your Everest. The 2.0-litre Bi Turbo as an extra-cost option on the mid-spec Trend and Sport versions and only comes standard on the most expensive Everest, the Titanium.
The entry-level Ambient and Trend and Sport versions come with a five-cylinder 3.2-litre five-cylinder turbo-diesel as standard, which consumes a still respectable 8.4 litres/100km and 8.5 litres100km for RWD and 4WD respectively. It provides effortless performance for most driving, but lacks the 2.0-litre engine’s overtaking power and is a little more on the noisy side.
The 3.2-litre engine is linked to a six-speed automatic gearbox, while the 2.0-litre Bi Turbo has a smooth and responsive 10-speed auto.
If you are content with the fit-out of an Everest Ambiente, you could add off-road capability by choosing an Ambiente 4WD, with either five or seven seats. That would bring you full-time 4WD, dual-range gearing, and a rear differential lock.
If in contrast you are happy with rear-wheel drive but want more features, you could spend a bit more again and have an Everest Trend RWD.
The Trend RWD brings you the 2.0-litre Bi Turbo diesel engine, satellite navigation, and adaptive cruise control (which automatically limits your speed to that of a slower car in front) and autonomous emergency braking with vehicle and pedestrian detection
Headlamps dip automatically for oncoming drivers, and there are LED daytime running lamps. Windscreen wipers operate automatically when it rains.
The Trend also has seven seats as standard, with power operated driver’s seat and with leather trim in the first and second rows. If you expect to work your Everest hard you can specify fabric seat trim with manual adjustments, including lumbar support, for the same price.
The Trend also brings bigger and fancier 18-inch wheels, a power-operated tailgate with hands-free function, and brighter and longer lasting Bi-LED headlights.
You can spend more on the Everest Trend by adding the 4WD system and diff lock, and/or by opting for the more powerful and efficient 2.0-litre Bi Turbo diesel engine and 10-speed auto.
The Everest Sport brings most of the features found in the Trend but in a bolder package that includes a blackened front grille, bumpers window surrounds and roof rails. It also has wider-diameter 20-inch alloy wheels, also black, sport badging, and blue seat stitching.
The Sport comes standard with 4WD, seven seats and the 3.2-diesel engine, with the 2.0-litre Bi Turbo diesel engine and 10-speed auto an extra-cost option.
The most expensive Everest, the Titanium, is only available in seven-seat 4WD form and with the 2.0-litre Bi Turbo engine. The additional outlay also brings full leather trim, power-adjusted front seats, power-folding third-row seats, and a sunroof. There are extremely bright HID headlamps, with washers, and the daytime running lamps use long-lived LEDs. Parking Assist can steer you into a reverse-parking spot while you control just the accelerator and brakes.
The Titanium also has sporty-looking 20-inch wheels, shod with tyres of a lower profile, and a tow bar rated at 3100kg. A pressure monitor alerts you if a tyre is going flat. And it has two more sensor-based safety features: Blind-spot monitoring, and a Rear cross-traffic alert – the latter particularly handy when reversing out of the nose-to-kerb angle parking that is common in country towns.
If you want the Titanium’s luxury trim but more versatility off road, you can substitute 18-inch wheels, and tyres with taller sidewalls, for the standard 20s as a no-cost option.
Effects of aftermarket upgrades
The tyres on the 20-inch wheels are also more damage prone off-road, and are not as effective in sand or mud as they don’t balloon out as much when pressures are dropped (a standard trick for getting more traction on soft off-road surfaces).
Maximum payloads fall as equipment is added: the Ambiente 4WD can legally carry 730kg; the Trend and Sport 693kg; and the Titanium only 605kg. Maximum roof load on the Titanium is also 20kg lower, at 80kg.
Red and white are the only colours that don’t attract an additional charge.
The driver’s seat is very comfortable, but you sit lower and further back in the cabin than you would in, for example, a Toyota Prado. This feels nice on the road, but your all-round vision off-road is not as good as you would get in some 4WDs.
Electrically assisted steering is remarkably light at parking speeds but firms up nicely at road speeds. The two engines and their respective automatic gearbox combine to produce effortless and smooth progress.
Despite what Ford calls Active Noise Cancellation, the Everest isn’t a particularly quiet place in which to travel, however. Engine noise is the main offender, especially when accelerating from a standstill, though it’s less pronounced with the more refined 2.0-litre engine while cruising.
The steering wheel adjusts for tilt but not for reach. And on Trend and Titanium models, the instruments are crowded with information and are at times hard to read.
The 2020 model year also sees all versions equipped with two sensor-based safety features including autonomous emergency braking with vehicle and pedestrian detection, and lane-keeping assistance that warns you if the car is drifting out of its lane – perhaps into oncoming traffic – and helps steer it back. It is a potentially life-saving backstop for long-trip fatigue and distraction.
Two airbags are directly in front of the driver and front-seat passenger, and a third protects the driver’s needs. To protect in side-impacts, there is an airbag outside each front occupant about chest level, and a curtain airbag running down each side of the car about head level. The curtain airbags protect all those sitting next to a window - third-row passengers included.
The Everest Trend and Sport add daytime running lights, and a feature aimed at keeping young drivers safe: a special key fob called My Key. This lets you set a maximum speed and a maximum audio volume, and restrict phone calls.
The Titanium then adds blind-spot monitoring which warns you if a vehicle is alongside out of view), and rear cross-traffic alert (which warns you, when you are reversing from a parking spot, of cars approaching from either side.
Off road, the Everest even in RWD form has advantages over road-biased alternatives. Its chief strength here is its ruggedness: a stout build and tough suspension deal well with big hits, and so you can tackle long stretches of rough gravel road with confidence.
The Everest RWD Ambient and Trend feel a bit better too through dry sealed-road corners than their 4WD equivalents, mainly because they weigh less.
Every Everest 4WD has a full-time system that is helpful even on wet or icy bitumen, or on loose gravel roads.
Compared with part-time 4WDs, the Everest is particularly easy when the road conditions are frequently changing from wet to dry, or from sealed to unsealed. In such conditions, the driver of a part-time 4WD (such as the Toyota Fortuner) has to manually engage 4WD when needed, and then engage 2WD again when road conditions provide plenty of grip. With the Everest, you avoid that back and forth process.
The Everest offers effortless highway performance most of the time, with both engine options providing plenty of power at low and middle engine speeds. At high engine speeds the 3.2-litre engine’s power plateaus off (a typical diesel trait), which means the Everest won’t overtake rapidly.
An Everest 4WD is capable and competent in difficult off-road conditions, where its standard rear diff-lock will be appreciated. It will suit those who wish to get to remote camping locations that AWD passenger-car based SUVs, such as a Mazda CX-9 or Kia Sorento, can’t reach.
It’s relatively narrow 1.86m width also makes it easier to park than some of its large-SUV rivals, particularly the CX-9.
Rear seats comfort
Vents and controls behind the centre-console direct climate-control air to second-row passengers.
The two-person third–row seat is fine for small children but taller teenagers will find it short of legroom.
Like most SUVs and 4WDs, the Everest is a good height for getting small children in and out of child seats.
The power-operated tailgate on Everest Trend, Sport and Titanium adds convenience when loading and unloading, as does the power-folding third-row seats of the Titanium.