A big seven-seat, diesel dual-cab based SUV may sound a little bogan to some. I mean is this really an alternative to some of the softer more refined offerings around? The tough underpinnings of the Ford Everest are straight from the Ranger, but after a long stint in one I’m fairly confident there’s no need for any stigma here. The Ford Everest Titanium sits at the top of the range, but is about to be superseded by a 10-speed bi-turbo model. So we thought we’d have one last crack at it.

Since introduced in 2015, the Ford Everest has been a hot seller. Since then the range has broadened to include RWD and even a five-seat entry-level Ambiente model. Technology upgrades have seen the inclusion of Apple CarPlay / Android Auto as standard along with Ford’s SYNC 3 infotainment system. The RWD base model arrived with a much more competitive price tag of $47,990. But our as-tested model, the Titanium, does blow out to $74,701 before on roads.

That’s a lot of coin, so what’s the appeal for what on paper seems a little agricultural? For those who want some serious versatility away from the city, the AWD Everest Titanium does have plenty up its sleeve. A 3000kg braked towing capacity, 800mm water-wading ability and genuine off-road 4×4 system offers customers a compelling package.

Keep in mind driver assist technologies such as adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, blind spot monitoring and cross traffic alert are also on offer. However if you’re looing for Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) you’ll have to wait for the 2019 model. The front seats have a heating function while all seven cop the leather accented treatment. Sure the third row is probably for sub 10 year-olds, but as an all rounder it does a pretty solid job.

The 3.2-litre five-cylinder diesel engine is masked reasonabley well from occupants, offering plenty of up and go via a six-speed automatic. But it’s the electrically assisted steering, also found in the Ranger, that really scores points for me. For what is essentially a large cumbersome vehicle, the light and universally appealing steering makes easy work of shopping centre carparks and McDonald’s drive-thru’s. Ok, I’ll say it. Even mum can comfortably drive the Everest.

The vehicle is also easy on the eye, in a masculine American kind of way. Our car was fitted out with 20-inch rims that certainly give it a meaner look. For those who want to experience some dirt rather than bitumen, a more practical 18-inch alloy wheel package can be chosen as a no cost option. There’s a stack of chrome bright work on the exterior across door handles and side mirrors plus very bright HID headlamps with daytime running lights. High beam is also automatic so you’ll never dazzle oncoming drivers again. The 143kW / 470Nm 3.2-litre diesel can be frugal and is rated at 8.4L/100k, although I managed 10.2L over a 10 day stint of mostly urban driving.

Overall this is still a 74K proposition, there’s better value to be had down the range such as the Trend AWD model that’s $58,990. But if you must have the tech, the luxury inspired options and bragging rights then the Ford Everest Titanium sits at that summit. I award it the EFTM Credit Rubber Stamp of Approval.