The Ford Everest is one of the best SUV offerings from the brand, seating up to seven and available with full-time dual-range, four-wheel drive. The Titanium Everest was based on the Ranger Ute, which was the precursor to the Australian SUV variants. Ford did an excellent job hiding the Ute structure, so the Everest does not come off as explicitly for the off-road. It is great on all roads and competent on rough terrain.
The body style is a five-door wagon though the Ute platform makes it larger, so it is classified as a large SUV. The differences in the latest iteration, as opposed to the 2019 model year, are quite subtle. From the front, there is a flat garnish around the bottom air intake and fog light housings. There is also a new grille which currently has a three-bar design instead of two.
The rear has LED illumination for the taillights, and that is it. There is also a new set of alloy wheels, and that makes the Everest see upmarket. Apart from those changes, it seems to be familiar. The Titanium Everest seems purposeful and butch, lacking in bad angles.
Few changes have been made to the cabin of the 2020 Everest Titanium. That is not to say that it does not have soft-touch or good quality materials. There is a generally upmarket feel, and the infotainment system is easy to use, considering it has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The buttons are also logically placed, and the dash seems to have great ergonomics.
Spaciousness is a key selling point with the Everest. There is a lot of head, leg, and shoulder room, so that’s a plus for the claustrophobic. Even in the third row, it is not limited and can allow for children or short adults.
The cockpit is graced with an eight-inch touchscreen for controlling multimedia and cabin functions such as satellite navigation, as well as a 10-speaker audio system complete with AM/FM and digital radio. Bluetooth connectivity systems are available along with voice control through the SYNC3 multimedia system supported by both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. That means the driver can plug in a smartphone and riff through the compatible apps on the touchscreen.
Buttons on the steering wheel operate cruise control. Halogen projector headlights come on automatically when it becomes dark. There are daytime running lights and automatic high beam control. In all but one of the Everest variants, three rows of seats were available for up to seven people. Smart keyless entry was also there to open the doors without having keys out of one's bag or pocket, along with push-to-start features. Each Everest has a full-time AWD system with high speed and low gearing as well as settings for different off-roading conditions like sand, mud or rocks.
The powertrain of the Everest also changed significantly for the current model year. Instead of the 2.2-litre turbodiesel unit, there is a 2.0-litre option. It may be smaller, but it intriguingly has more output than the engine it replaced. The previous 2.2-litre turbodiesel provided 380 Nm of torque. The new EcoBlue Diesel can churn 500 Nm of torque and 156 kW.
As mentioned, the drive goes to all wheels through a 10-speed automatic transmission and a permanent variable four-wheel-drive system complete with electronic locking differential. It can also send all torque to one wheel should the need arise.
The rated fuel economy for the Everest Titanium is 7 litres per 100 km, while the emission is at 184 g per km. The turbodiesel engine uses an AdBlue additive, which breaks down and minimises the nitrogen oxide emissions. Even though people did not venture off-road this time, during the 4x4 SUV comparison test, the Everest Titanium returned 12.1 litres per 100 kilometres in highway driving.
The handling is also a strong point for the Everest. While it is not a Mustang, it does feel planted and stable when taking on off-ramps at a decent pace. The body may pitch, but one does not get the feeling of instability.
The Everest secured a maximum rating of Five ANCAP stars during the initial assessment in 2015. The safety body criteria have only been made more compliant up to the present. Some of the features include Dynamic Stability Control, Load Adaptive Control and Roll-Over Mitigation. There is also Active Park Assist and Blind Sport Monitoring with cross-traffic alert systems. Autonomous Emergency Braking that detects pedestrians was made standard in 2019 across the lineup.
Automatic high beams, rearview cameras, and rear parking sensors complete the passive safety package. If an impact cannot be avoided, Everest still has the usual complement of seven airbags for the driver, front passenger, side curtains, and the driver’s knee. There is also an Emergency Assistance call out system.
The Everest is priced at $73,990 as an offering below premium models and slightly above the economic-package SUVs in the Australian market. Luckily, Ford Australia also gives a five-year unlimited warranty that covers body corrosion and adds road assistance. The four-year servicing is scheduled at 15,000-km intervals.
At a bit over two tons, the Everest Titanium is a large bus, and it feels weighty behind the steering wheel. That said, it has a proven handling ability, so it does not necessarily steer like a trailer. The improvement in power and the very comfortable interior make it feel like a plane.
When compared to the other seven-seater SUVs, the Everest is a great choice complete with off-roading ability. The suspension is independent by upper and lower wishbone control arms and coil springs everywhere. On paper, the engine may not seem sufficient for the weight, but it does quite a good job hauling it from one point to the other.
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