Changes: 2019 Ford Everest 2.0 biturbo 4x4 Limited

2019-11-27 06:02
PHOTOS: SUppliedThe interior.

PHOTOS: SUppliedThe interior.

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THE third-generation Everest, based on Ranger, was facelifted in 2018 with revised front styling and new 2.0-litre, Bi- and single-turbo, four-cylinder diesel engines paired with 10-speed automatic transmissions. Other changes included Autonomous Emergency Braking, powered liftgate for Limited, new wheels, and Sync3 on most models. Interior changes include more soft touch materials and darker, upmarket colour schemes.

Limited 4x4 tops the South African range and, powered by the Raptor version of the 2.0 engine, arrives with more safety kit and standard features than you are likely to get for just under R800 000 in most other seven-seat, 4x4, SUVs.

Safety equipment: Seven airbags; ABS with EBD; ESP; hill launch; hill descent; emergency braking warning; adaptive cruise control with forward alert, distance alert, collision mitigation and HUD; roll-over mitigation; trailer sway control; adaptive load control; lane keeping aids and blind spot monitoring with cross traffic alert.

Nice to haves: 230-volt power point; keyless entry and starting; powered and warmed leather seats with lumbar support; 60:40-split second row with recline, slide, tip and fold-flat; powered raising and lowering of third row chairs; single-touch powered windows front and rear; rear screen de­froster; rain sensing wipers; dual-panelled, powered moon roof; automatic, dual zone air conditioning with separate controls in the rear; four x 12-volt power points; all the parking aids; auto-everything HID headlamps; LED tail- and stop lights; fog lamps at both ends: trailer hitch and dipping rearview mirror.

Unlike Rangers, Everest provides full-time awd thanks to a central differential that distributes power fore and aft as needed. During easy driving, like on dry asphalt, 90 to 95% stays with the rear wheels but, as demands change, more is sent forward.

Most off-road challenges can be met by using the terrain selector with its mud/grass/snow or sand settings. But when things get technical, select 4Lo and Rock Crawl. When the chips are down, engage rear diff lock.

Because recent rains had washed away much of the binding soil, the stony hill on our local forest trail posed more of a challenge than usual. But it was still no match for 225 mm of clearance, 4Lo and Rock Crawl.

Regular adventurers will be pleased to know that practical, 265/60R18, M+S tyres are a no-cost option on Limited.

Then there’s Everest’s all-coil suspension; independent in front, Watts linkage at the back and revised spring and damper settings. It works well. The rippled and jouncy road past the veggie farms barely fazed it, even at low speeds that usually bring out the worst in any setup. We were impressed. It comes very close to ride quality provided by expensive, air-sprung offerings. The new ten-speed automatic, on the other hand, felt rather ordinary. It works OK but not impressively and tended to hunt between gears quite easily. We hear the marketing logic behind so many ratios but suspect that it’s more about a numbers race than any real advantage. We would be happier if Ford just dropped four gears and tightened up its responses.

Apart from that, not much is new. Third row seating still accepts adults of medium height but they’d better be reasonably supple; there’s lots of storage; cargo space is plentiful and, all-‘round, it’s a very decent SUV.

Test unit from FMCSA press fleet.

THE NUMBERS

Price: R776 500

Engine: 1995 cc, DOHC, 16-valve, inline four, CRDI, biturbo diesel

Power: 157 kW at 3 750 rpm

Torque: 500 Nm between 1 500 and 2 000 rpm

Zero to 100 km/h: 10.9 seconds

Top speed: Worldwide secret

Real life fuel consumption: About 9.6 l/100 km

Tank: 80 litres

Maximum towing capacity (braked): 3 100 kg

Warranty: Four years/120 000 km

Roadside assistance: Three years/unlimited km

Service plan: Six years/90 000 km at 15 000 km intervals

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