Ford Everest is a large, rugged 4WD / SUV that’s been around in other countries since 2003 but didn’t arrive in Australia until the release of the third-generation model in late 2015.
It’s built on the same platform as tough Ford Ranger making it a serious off-roader, unlike many in this class that look tough but are relatively soft.
There are four variants: Ambiente, Trend, Sport and Platinum. The first two come with the choice of rear- or four-wheel drive the other two are RWD only.
The entry-level Ambients have seating for five. Trend and Titanium models have the rearmost pair of twin seats as standard. The second-row seats slide forward to make access to the back row reasonably easy.
The Trend and Titanium have running boards, which makes for easier entry and exit, but can be damaged during serious off-road conditions.
The second-row seats have a 60:40 split and the third row 50:50. With all seats in place there is a reasonable 450 litres of storage space.
Folding the third seats increases that to 1050 litres while with all five rear seats down it can carry up to 2010 litres.
All Everest models get dual-zone climate control. There are air conditioning controls at the back of the centre console for rear passengers.
The earlier Everests are powered by a 3.2-litre five-cylinder turbo-diesel Duratorq engine as used in the Ranger.
It generates 147 kW (200hp) of power at 3000 rpm and torque of 470 Nm from 1750 to 2500 revs linked to a six-speed automatic.
It uses a tried-and-tested transfer-case set-up and high- low-ratio gears. Which makes it a proper 4WD in the minds of the purists.
The MY19 upgrade added the option of a new-generation powertrain, which included a 2.0-litre bi-turbo, four-cylinder diesel engine, mated with a 10-speed automatic transmission; and a raft of the latest safety systems and convenience features.
Towing capacity is 3000 kg with the 3.2-litre engine and 3100 kg with the 2.0-litre bi-turbo.
For off-road driving Everest uses Ford’s Terrain Management System to alter throttle response, transmission, traction control and an intelligent four-wheel drive system to maximise performance under varying conditions.
From a knob on the centre console the driver can select from Normal, Snow, Gravel, Grass, Sand or Rock.
The control has hill descent control, which can be activated in any conditions.
An electronic locking rear differential helps prevent the rear wheels from spinning while driving off-road, increasing traction in difficult terrain.
It can be locked automatically when using off-road TMS modes, or switched manually using the differential lock button.
Ford Everest has a five-star ANCAP rating. All have seven airbags with curtain airbags protecting all three seat rows; enhanced ABS brakes; reversing camera and rear parking sensors and trailer sway control.
The Trend adds halogen daytime running lights; front parking sensors; adaptive cruise control with forward collision alert; lane-keeping assist; and automatic high-beam control.
Titanium tops off the safety feature list with tyre pressure monitoring; blind spot monitoring; active park assist; LED daytime running lights; and, one of our favourites, rear cross-traffic alert which warns of approaching vehicles when reversing out of front-in parking spots.
Ford has been a major player in Australia for almost 100 years and there are dealers in most areas, even in the remote outback.
Some spare parts may not be stocked in all dealers but can usually be shipped out within a few business days. Pricing is about average for this class of vehicle.
Insurance is generally low-to mid-range with most companies.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
Given that it’s a serious 4WD more Everests are likely to have been used off-road than is common in this class. Check for scratches on the body side and front bumper corners.
Look underneath for any damage, particularly in the engine, transmission areas.
Muddy carpets can be another sign of off-road use, ask permission from the seller to lift them to check underneath.
Check the interior for the sort of damage caused by children and by incorrect loading of the luggage area.
Some owners have told us they’re getting false readings on the content of the AdBlue tank.
If so, it might be an idea to check with a Ford dealer, as the engine won’t start if the AdBlue isn’t available. Ford dealers can recalibrate the system.
All changes in the automatic transmission should be smooth and all-but unfelt.
For some reason the change from fifth to sixth can be harsh at times.
The Everest was recalled to check the side air-bags were defective.
Check this has been done.
Expect to spend from $28,000 to $39,000 for a 2015 Ford Everest Trend; $33,000 to $45,000 for a 2017 Ambiente; $36,000 to $47,000 for a 2017 Titanium; $38,000 to $51,000 for a 2019 Trend; $41,000 to $54,000 for a 2018 Titanium; $44,000 to $59,000 for a 2019 Sport; and $50,000 to $68,000 for a 2021 Titanium.
CAR BUYING TIPS
Buying a serious off roader?
It might have been driven by people who have treated it badly.
A full inspection by a professional, ideally from Ford, is a must.
Used car prices have generally increased during the period of new car stock shortages so hunt around for the best deal.
If checking a used car at a dealership look at other cars on the lot.
This can give you an insight to the quality of vehicles in which the dealer specialises.
Take a slow walk around any car you’re considering, looking for obvious defects.
It amuses us how many people dive into tiny details, only to later discover a major ding somewhere on the other side of the car.
Ideally any road test of a car you’re getting serious about should be done with the engine stone cold. Early morning is best.
In their later years, cars with a reputation for being long lived and trouble free sometimes attract buyers who have no intention of ever servicing them. The next owner may suffer as a result.