The Ford Everest 3.0 TDCI LTD is a monster in more ways than one, writes The Wheel Deal
If you’re one who tends to judge books by their covers, then you’ll probably take an instant dislike to the Ford Everest. For even with an objective outlook I, and many others, found it hard to get excited by what this great, big, lumbering box offered in the styling department – especially after parking next to either of one its more attractive Mitsubishi Pajero Sport or Toyota Fortuner rivals. Indeed, assembled in Thailand and built upon the firm’s trusty Ranger bakkie platform, Ford’s Territory replacement looks like a relic from the past that somehow managed to squirm it’s way through a wormhole and end up on the showrooms of the present. From its angular profile and glut of chrome to that ungainly spare wheel housed on the back of the hatch, everything about this SUV smacks of nineties Americana. But oddly enough, no matter how much you grimace, once you actually take the Everest for out a drive, you’ll find that beneath that dowdy exterior lurks an incredibly capable machine that offers a whole lot of meat for the money.
And agreeably one of the tastiest ingredients of the Everest recipe lies in the grunt whacked out by its three-litre Duratorq engine. I’ll be the first to admit that there’s a noticeable amount of turbo-lag below the 2000rpm mark but as soon as that tachometer needle swings beyond this point you’ll find yourself surging ahead with a surprising amount of vigor. It’s not Audi TDI quick by any stretch but there’s certainly a feeling of urgency uncommon to either the Toyota or Mitsubishi. Swift enough for keeping up with everyday traffic and capable of holding comfortable cruising speeds out on the highway with little effort, it’s safe to say that this oil-burning heart does a lot to redeem the Everest’s awkward packaging. That five-speed automatic gearbox it comes mated to also works decidingly well and kind of suits the Ford’s relaxed point-and-drive demeanor. For even though this transmission lacks the tiptronic function found inside the Pajero Sport we tested a few weeks back, I found it smooth and responsive in a variety of different driving conditions.
Strong, straight-line performance aside, another department where Ford’s Everest comes up trumps is out the sticks. For not only is it equipped with a generous amount of ground clearance and some particularly aggressive approach and departure angles – more so than in the comparable Fortuner model – but there’s also a proper low-range transfer case for more serious bouts bundu-bashing. Determined to put our range-topping LTD Auto model through its paces I took it to the Hennops River 4×4 trail and was blown away by how easily it ate up some of the terrain. I’m no off-road expert but I tell definitely you that the average buyer will never reach the true capabilities of this vehicle; it really is pukka piece of mud-slinging equipment. Unfortunately those aluminium tread-plates – an unnecessary cosmetic add-on – get in the way when things really get rough and I damaged them whilst tackling a rocky river bed lined with many large, loose boulders. Be sure to take them off if you intend on getting down and dirty.
Of course sharing a chassis with the Ranger bakkie may contribute much to this machine’s stellar off-road credentials but on ill-kept or uneven tarmac, it does actually become quite a hindrance in terms or overall ride quality and refinement. For unlike both the Toyota and Mitsubishi, this Ford sports a rear leaf-spring suspension setup that makes its pogo around at the best of times. It is not that noticeable up in the driver’s seat but as a passenger the jolts and jumps that filter through into the interior can soon become rather unpleasant. Likewise, fitted out with dirt-attracting beige leather upholstery and some rather questionable plastics, the cabin lacks the comparatively classy ambiance that’s been worked into the Ford’s dearer Japanese rivals.
Still, factoring in its really competitive pricing structure, the Ford Everest does make a lot of buying sense. It’s certainly no oil painting but its honest offering of space, performance and hardwearing underpinnings should make it an attractive proposition for those on a semi-shoestring SUV budget.
Ford Everest 3.0 TDCI LTD 4X4 Automatic Fast Facts:
Engine: 2953cc four-cylinder turbo-diesel
Power: 115kW at 3200rpm
Torque: 380Nm at 1800rpm
Top Speed: N/A
Fuel Consumption: N/A
Price: R390 650 as tested
Ford Everest 3.0 is awesome.
IS THE ABOVE VEHICLE AVAILABLE AND WITH HOW MUCH TO MOMBASA.
The Ford Everest is also the Ford Explorer. The Ford Everest I believe is widely distributed in Asia Pacific. But I know it is the Ford Explorer.
Best vallue for money in all SUV’S. Others does provide litle to none more for a much higher price such as toyota tumbler sorry i mean, Fortuner.
The Ford Everest 3.0 TDCI LTD is actually a monster. I love its images and its features. Ford is always one of the best cars ever made.