Ford Everest – What you need to know

Taking its mechanical cues from the Ranger LCV, the Everest is Ford's best-selling SUV in the local range, but which variant is right for you?

The Ford Everest arrived in the local market four years ago, based on the light commercial Ranger (T6) platform and powered by an all-diesel engine line up across three nameplates. Initially available in four-wheel (4WD) only, the Everest range subsequently expanded with the introduction of a rear-wheel drive setup.

To establish which Everest variant is the right one for you and your hip pocket, let's take a closer look at what features come with which model.

The Ambiente rear-wheel drive model is the starting point of the Ford Everest line-up and for $49,490 (excluding on road charges) you get the following as standard:

• Eight-inch capacitive infotainment touchscreen
• Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality
• Satellite navigation
• Cruise control
• Seven airbags
• 30 stowage areas
• Dual-zone climate control air-conditioning
• Rear view camera

Options for the Ford Everest

Third row seating (for a total of seven seats) is a $1000 option in the entry-level Ford Everest Ambiente and the Towing Pack on the Ambiente, and Trend models will also set you back $1000. Premium paint adds a further $650.

Safety and Driver Assistance for the Ford Everest

All Ford Everest models come equipped with seven airbags, anti-lock brakes with emergency braking assist, as well as traction and stability controls. Driver-assist features include rear park assist, rollover mitigation, trailer sway control, speed limiter, auto high beam, hill launch assist, lane departure and lane keep systems, pre-collision assist with pedestrian detection and autonomous emergency braking, traffic sign recognition, auto high beam headlights, a rear-view camera and driver alert system.

If you want front and rear parking sensors and – on the 4WD variants – an electronic locking rear diff plus a terrain management system, step up to the mid-spec Trend.

Taking another step to the top line Titanium gets you tyre pressure monitoring, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alert and active park assist.

Infotainment, Comfort and Convenience for Ford Everest

Standard across all Ford Everest models is an eight-inch capacitive touch screen and the intuitive Ford Sync3 operating system with Applink and enhanced audio controls. Also included are satellite navigation, a traffic message channel, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto integration, plus digital radio with most functions achievable by voice commands.

All models feature dual-zone climate control with separate controls for rear passengers, active noise cancellation, two USB ports and an overhead console with map lighting and a sunglass holder.

While the Ambiente is offered with standard cruise control, the more flexible adaptive type is standard in the Trend model that also comes with rain-sensing wipers, auto-levelling HID headlights, LED day running lights and third-row seating with five child seat anchor points, so you can carry all the troops.

Is the premium look and feel of leather on your 'must have' list? Then shimmy over to the Trend with its leather accented seats in the front two rows and the convenience of an eight-way powered driver's seat. You also get a leather wrapped steering wheel and gear shifter.

But if you want the handbrake to be encased in leather you will have to go for the Titanium, that comes with a powered sunroof.

When your hands are full a powered tailgate is very handy, but you will need to fork out for at least a Trend model to have it. And if you want the convenience of a powered third-row seat, the range topping Titanium is the model to buy. The flagship also gets you powered seats for both front-row dwellers, and the front seats also come with a heating function.

Outside it's not difficult to spot each of the Everest models. The entry-level Everest Ambiente has 17-inch alloy wheels, the Trend is perched on 18-inch alloys while the Titanium rides on 20-inch alloys.

Setting the Ford Everest Titanium apart are its chromed grille, side mirrors and door handles. The Ford Everest Ambiente lights the way with halogen beams, whereas the Everest Trend and Everest Titanium are both equipped with auto-levelling HID headlights and folding exterior mirrors with integrated puddle lamps and heating function for demisting on cold days, plus privacy glass for the second and third rows.

Engine and transmissions for Ford Everest

The Ford Everest range is diesel-powered with two engines on offer. Found in the Ambiente and Trend is a 3.2-litre five-cylinder unit, producing 143kW and 470Nm of torque. The Everest Trend can also be ordered with a 2.0-litre four-cylinder bi-turbo engine that generates 157kW and 500Nm. This engine is the only choice in the Titanium.

Standard in the Everest Ambiente and Everest Trend with the 3.2-litre diesel turbo is a six-speed automatic gearbox. The 2.0-litre diesel bi-turbo has a 10-speed automatic transmission bolted to it.

Pricing for the Ford Everest range (plus on roads) is as follows:
Ambiente RWD 3.2L six-speed auto – $49,490
Ambiente 4WD 3.2L six-speed auto – $54,490
Trend RWD Bi-Turbo 10-speed auto – $56,190
Trend 4WD 3.2L six-speed auto (7 seats) – $59,990
Trend 4WD Bi-Turbo 10-speed auto – $61,490
Titanium 4WD Bi-Turbo 10-speed auto – $72,290

Everest verdict

To me the bi-turbo and 10-speed auto is a sweet combination and the rear-drive Trend is the one that I'd part my money for if the budget was an issue. However, if the purse strings were a bit looser, I'd put a few extra dollars on the table and go for the Trend 4WD bi-turbo, just in case I wanted to venture off-road at some point.