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2019 Ford Everest SUV

Review: New Ford Everest XLT 4WD SUV

Cape Town, 18 February 2020 – Ford has made its sophisticated Everest seven-seater sport utility vehicle (SUV) more appealing and upmarket than ever with a range of styling, suspension and feature upgrades, complemented by the introduction of the advanced new 2.0-litre Bi-Turbo and Single Turbo engines that debuted on the 2019 Ford Ranger models.

In this article, we review the all-new Ford Everest 2.0-litre Bi-Turbo XLT 4WD, model.

Ford Everest driver console

As Ford’s premium offering in the rapidly growing SUV market, the New Everest puts the emphasis on quality, refinement and luxury matched to exceptional space and practicality.

According to Doreen Mashinini, General Manager Marketing at Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa, the Everest has given Ford an important foothold in the SUV segment which continues to grow in South Africa and around the world as buyers opt for versatile, family-oriented vehicles that suit their active lifestyles.

“With the New Everest, we have raised the game further by introducing subtle yet effective styling updates for the eye-catching exterior, providing a more refined and luxurious cabin environment, adding several new trend-setting technologies to the already feature-packed range, and building on the outgoing model’s superb comfort and ride refinement with a revised suspension set-up.

“As with the New Ranger, we are delighted to introduce the new-generation 2.0-litre Bi-Turbo and Single Turbo engines to the Everest range, paired with the advanced new 10-speed automatic transmission – a combination that sets new benchmarks for performance and efficiency in this segment,” says Mashinini.

And, after driving the XLT 4WD model for a week, we have to agree with Mashinini. The #EverConquering new Everest has certainly reached new heights in the SUV market.

Off-road Capability with Power Efficiency

In essence, the new Everest is a five-door SUV variant of the Ford Ranger four-door bakkie. And that’s a good thing. Like our Ford Ranger Raptor review, the Everest has the same impressive Bi-Turbo 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel engine that generates 157kW horsepower and 500Nm of torque – improvements of 10kW and 30Nm respectively compared to the existing 3.2-litre TDCi engine. The new engine also offers exceptional refinement, with low levels of noise, vibration and harshness. It is available in the Everest XLT 4×2 and 4×4 models, as well as the top-spec Everest Limited.

Ford Everest engine

The Bi-Turbo engine employs an innovative twin turbocharger set-up to improve both low-end torque and high-end power while reducing fuel consumption and emissions.

A small high pressure (HP) turbo works in conjunction with a large low pressure (LP) turbo, controlled with by-pass valves that determine the operating mode depending on engine speed. At lower engine speeds the two turbos work in series, enhancing torque and responsiveness, while at higher revs the small HP turbo is bypassed, and the larger LP turbo provides a boost to deliver top-end power.

This rugged off-road capability has been taken further by adding a sense of refined artistry that takes Ford’s seven-seater SUV to a new level within the segment.

Advanced 10-speed Automatic Transmission

The new-generation 2.0-litre Bi-Turbo and 2.0 Single Turbo engines are exclusively available with Ford’s sophisticated all-new 10-speed automatic transmission, which boasts significant improvements in efficiency, fuel economy and all-round performance.

The 10-speed architecture reduces the gaps in available power and acceleration between gears, providing smoother acceleration response, and enabling improved performance at lower engine speeds. The electronic control system features real-time adaptive shift-scheduling, engineered to help select the correct gear at the right time, including skip-shift and direct downshift capabilities.

Ford Everest SUV range selector

The unit’s Progressive Range Select (PRS) system gives the driver the ability to lock out gears from the automatic shifting range for improved control. With the transmission in ‘Drive’, pressing the ‘-‘ button on the new gearshift lever activates PRS. All available gears are shown on the instrument cluster, with the current gear indicated. Pressing the ‘-‘ button again locks out gears, beginning with the highest gear. Only the available gears are then displayed, and the transmission automatically shifts between these ratios. Pressing the ‘+’ button unlocks gears to allow the transmission to shift to higher ratios, and the transmission shifts automatically within the gear range the driver selects.

The existing Select Shift Transmission (SST) functionality is retained, enabling the driver to switch to ‘Sport’ mode which makes the gearbox more responsive for dynamic driving performance. There’s also the option of full manual mode from the ‘S’ position, controlled via the +/- buttons on the gear lever for optimal control.

Ford engineering data, based on real-world driving cycles, indicates an improvement in fuel-efficiency of up to nine per cent in the case of the 2.0 Bi-Turbo engine mated to the 10-speed automatic transmission, compared to the previous range-topping model.

Refined Exterior

The refreshed grille introduces a new level of depth to the design through the layering of three distinctive grille bars that exude exclusivity and luxury whilst presenting a sense of strength and robustness.

The lower bumper has been redesigned to accentuate width, incorporating a connected horizontal beam that has been added to the fascia insert, which gives the Everest even greater on-road presence.

A classy new 20-inch wheel has been introduced on the range-topping Everest Limited, featuring a modern split-spoke design that gives the vehicle a more upmarket and dynamic appearance.

Ford has also upped the ante in terms of overall quality and refinement, employing a more purposeful execution of colours and materials. Stronger contrasting elements are employed with the addition of the secondary grille texture against the chrome brightwork.

The accents move from a single-layer satin metallic to a two-layer glossy metallic paint, giving a more liquid-like feel for customers expecting outstanding quality. The wheel accent paints are now darker to further accentuate the machine-cut surface of the alloys, adding more drama and a more premium look to the overall appearance.

A new exterior body colour has been added to the line-up: Diffused Silver is designed as a modern take on the typical luxury beige. It communicates toughness with its added depth and also sophistication with its smooth champagne highlights. The Everest we reviewed has a metallic Copper Red finish, which, although stunning to look at, does show dust and dirt rather quickly.

Quality Interior

The New Everest provides premium levels of quality, outstanding interior space and maximum versatility – now with a selection of new, richer materials and design details that emphasize luxury and style throughout.

Ford Everest back seat drinks holder

The introduction of the Ebony environment colour changes the entire ambience of the interior cabin. The added depth allows the details and brightwork to stand out and further aligns the interior to the customer’s expectation for a premium SUV, complemented by a greater selection of soft-touch materials.

Adding further exclusivity to the cabin is the use of contrast stitching, along with shadow chrome finishes, perforated leather and high-quality paints that add further lustre to the upgraded interior.

Improved Ride Comfort and Refinement

As with the New Ford Ranger, the New Everest has benefited from numerous suspension improvements that further enhance ride quality and refinement. Most notably, the front-mounted stabiliser bar has been moved to the rear of the front axle, which allows for greater packaging and design freedom, along with an increase in diameter and stiffness to give the Everest improved roll control and handling performance.

The revised layout has also enabled a reduction in front spring rates, thus achieving an even more comfortable and pliant ride. Additionally, the jounce bumper, which softens the impact when the suspension is fully compressed over severe bumps, has been relocated from the lower control arm to the damper rod at the top of the suspension, thereby reducing the load on the suspension bushes. This gives an improved ride and reduced noise levels.

Overall suspension compliance has been improved, with three damper tunes being adopted for the New Everest range in place of the single set-up used previously. This ensures that the ride characteristics are better tailored to the engine and drivetrain configurations, resulting in a plusher ride over rough surfaces without impacting the Everest’s maximum towing capacity of 3 000kg on the 2.2 TDCi, 3.2 TDCi and Single Turbo models. The Bi-Turbo is rated to tow a maximum of 3 100kg with a braked trailer.

The extensive suspension refinements have also enabled a reduction in tyre pressures from 240 to 210 kPa, further enhancing overall comfort and isolating the occupants from road imperfections. At the same time, steering precision and control has also been improved.

Technology and Safety

A new addition to the Everest’s impressive range of high-tech features is the Passive Entry and Passive Start (PEPS) system, fitted as standard on the XLT and Limited models. The keyless entry and passive start uses an intelligent access system that allows the driver to unlock the vehicle and start the engine without removing the key fob from their pocket or bag. When the key is in the vehicle, the driver simply presses the Start/Stop button while applying the brake pedal to start the car.

Ford Everest start/stop push button

The Everest Limited continues to set the benchmark for active driving features, including Semi-Automatic Parallel Park Assist (SAPPA) that uses ultrasonic sensors on the front and rear bumpers to search for and identify parking spaces that are big enough to parallel park the vehicle. A combination of the Everest’s electric power-assisted steering (EPAS) and sensors are used to steer the vehicle safely and perfectly into place, while the driver simply operates the gears, accelerator and brake.

Additional standard appointments on the Limited include Adaptive Cruise Control with Forward Collision Alert (which now recognises pedestrians, in addition to its ability to detect other vehicles), Lane Keeping Aid and Lane Departure Warning, Blind Spot Information System with cross-traffic alert, Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) and Auto High Beam Control.

The impressive standard safety package across the line-up extends to Electronic Stability Control (ESC) system with Traction Control (TC), Trailer Sway Control (TSC), Hill Start Assist (HSA), Hill Descent Control (HDC) on the 4×4 models, Load Adaptive control (LAC) and Roll Over Mitigation (ROM).

A full Category 1 Thatcham-specification alarm is now standard on all Everest XLS, XLT and Limited models for enhanced anti-theft security.

SYNC® Infotainment System

Ford’s pioneering SYNC® technology offers exceptional connectivity and multimedia options, along with intuitive voice control and ease of use. SYNC®3 with Navigation is standard on the XLT and Limited models, linked to the integrated eight-inch touch-screen colour display, two USB ports and Bluetooth connectivity.

Ford Everest screen display

The system boasts fully-featured embedded navigation, convenient multi-touch gestures (such as swipe, slide, scroll and pinch-to-zoom), plus voice recognition that uses simple, real-world voice commands.

SYNC®3 with Navigation provides a full 3D experience with an elevated map view, enhanced full-colour graphics and point of interest (POI) building images. Similar to searching on Google, destinations can be entered via the simple one-box search by typing the address, POI category, intersection, city name, postcode or GPS coordinates. The search function is predictive, with results appearing as the information is typed. Voice commands can also be used to select a POI.

Tracks4Africa is included in the package, as well as access to maps for over 20 countries in Africa. Free annual map updates are included for a period of five years, and the text and voice guidance functions are available in a multitude of languages, comprising Afrikaans, Arabic, English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish and isiZulu.

SYNC®3 also offers the benefits of smartphone integration provided through Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, which transforms the phone’s connectivity with the car. Through Apple CarPlay, SYNC3 can be used to access Siri, make calls, return missed calls and listen to voice mail, as well as send, read and reply to text messages. Songs, playlists and compatible apps like Apple Maps, can also be accessed. Similar functionality is provided with Android Auto, with the Google platform used to interact with the phone, and access apps such as Google Maps. Waze users in South Africa can now project the app’s real-time traffic and navigation service onto the touch screen in Ford vehicles via SYNC®3 AppLink® and control it through voice command.

To keep the system up to date, periodic wireless software updates for SYNC®3 can be downloaded via Wi-Fi and manually, once it is set up on a trusted wireless network.

The Everest XLS uses Ford’s SYNC® 1 system with Bluetooth voice control and audio streaming, a 4.2-inch colour screen, as well as USB and Aux ports. Customers can order SYNC®3 with Navigation on the XLS as an option.

For more information (not that you’d need it if you’ve read this far) visit www.ford.co.za

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