Make: Ford

Model: Everest

Variant: Sport

Engine / Transmission: 2.0 litre twin turbo diesel – 10 Speed automatic

Manufacturer Claimed Fuel Economy: 7.0L/100km combined

Price: From $65,490 drive away

First Impressions:

The Ford Everest is the ‘SUV’ version of the Ford Ranger. Everything that is great about the Ranger applies to the Everest, yet there are some differences that usurp the Ranger twin in a number of important areas. Being fitted with rear coil springs, in place of the Ranger’s stronger leaf springs, greatly improves the ride and road performance of the Everest.

Ages ago, Nissan offered the Patrol cab chassis in leaf OR coil spring – Ford should consider this as an option for the Ranger. But forget about the Ranger, the Everest is a great car in its own right, massively underrated and well worth adding to your SUV shopping list.

Tech Inside:

The Everest Sport is loaded with kit, including all of the regular stars, such as Lane Departure Warning and Lane Keeping Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control and Forward Collision Alert. Ford’s latest SYNC 3 has an 8.0-inch touch screen with a digital radio tuner and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Most Impressive:

The Everest is every bit a worthy competitor to Toyota’s excellent Prado.The ride is smooth and quiet and the 2.0 litre twin turbo is powerful and responsive, however, the 10 speed auto, although silky, masks the performance of the the twin turbo in the interest of fuel economy, hooking up high gears at every opportunity. Seats are supportive and robustly trimmed in hard wearing leather, although not heated, while the rest of the interior trim is tough, with a distinct lack of flimsy, scratch prone ‘piano finish’.

Not So Impressive :

While the ‘blacked out’ look of the Sport is awesome, it causes some distinct disadvantages, depending on how you intend on using your Everest. The 20” rims, for example, provide a surprisingly compliant ride and great grip wet or dry, but will cause problems if you intend to tour some of the more remote corners of our great southern land, where licorice strips of rubber are less forgiving than the more modest tyre sizes fitted to ‘lesser’ Everests.

Likewise, while the seven seat configuration of the Everest Sport can be handy when doing the school run, you miss the enormous ‘luggage space’ of the Ranger (assuming you are prepared to cough up extra coin for a canopy and bed liner).

Overall, the Everest is an entirely enjoyable experience and is a serious contender for all round mid size SUV greatness. It is an underrated and unassuming blend and while it is a little dull around town, I can’t think of many better choices for tough towing, off road duties or dirt road touring. With Toyota currently offering the older, less technically advanced Prado at all but the exact same price, you owe it to yourself to check out both. Both tackle more or less the same problem, but in slightly different ways. No matter what your choice, you’ll be happy.