Driven: Ford Everest XLT
By Lebohang Kobeli
I test drove the Ford Everest XLT, it’s my first vehicle since lock down “ended” and being on the road again is blissful. I took the vehicle to the nearest province I could get myself and team to, North West Hartbeespoort.
Let’s get straight to it, I don’t want the first words you read to be, “it’s a great vehicle”. However, it’s quite a diverse vehicle set to flourish in one specific setting, “the bundus” gravel/dirt roads. It manages to soak up bumps and potholes at speed and does a good job ironing them out. The suspension set-up feels soft enabling comfort for everyday use.
The new engine has a 10-speed transmission, which is capable of keeping the Everest at peak torque while shifting through short ratios. The ‘box shifts quickly and avoids those slumps or bog-downs that commonly accompany shifts in a big-rigs like this one. It’s also able to jump a few gears at a time when needed.
Standard leather upholstery gives the updated cabin of the 2.0 Bi-turbo 4×4 XLT a distinct “glamorous off-roader” tone. For something that’s built to travel to hard-to-reach locations the Everest is rich inside. The infotainment system sets the standard for this segment: the SYNC3 menu is easy to use, Apple Car Play- and Android Auto compatible and includes off-road-track maps. The 2 USB ports up front are useful, but you don’t get a 24V plug in the XLT derivative.
Practicality is where the Everest outshines its competition, It has more headroom and kneeroom than the Toyota Fortuner and Mitsubishi Pajero Sport. The sliding rear seats makes it easy to acesss the 3rd row to seat and allows for passengers to sit comfortably on those long trips to Kruger National Park. In five-seat configuration, the capacious boot measures 1050L however luggage capacity is restricted to carry a couple of carry-on bags as a seven seater.
The Everest is a beautiful, family car that I would definitely recommend to anyone with a huge family, however it would have to be a family keen on doing game drives or a family that regularly travels to off road destinations for a further experience.
Price: R701 500
Engine: 2.0-litre bi-turbodiesel
Power/Torque: 157 kW / 500 Nm
Transmission: 10-speed automatic
Fuel economy: 7.6 L/100 km (claimed)