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Date: 29 Jan 2018 Author Type: Public Review
Author: Julian Lurie Edited by Liam Mothilall
Source: Julian Lurie
When the all new generation Ford Everest was introduced in September 2015 it was an immediate hit, being light years ahead of the model it replaced and reaching to the top of the sales charts. Whereas the new range was originally imported from Thailand, the new models are now produced at the Ford Silverton Assembly Plant in Pretoria, following an investment by Ford of R2.5-billion. The range comprises eight derivatives of which five is new 2.2-litre versions in XLS or XLT trim, and the balance are 3.2 litre models. Buyers also have a choice of three specification levels, manual and automatic transmissions, as well as the option of two or four-wheel drive. The model featured in today’s road impressions is the Everest 2.2 TDCi XLS 6-speed manual 4x4 – one of the most popular models in the new range which offers the practicality of a seven-seater configuration, impressive levels of standard specification, great performance and good value for money.

The new Everest now has a bold, more modern look with a muscular hood that flows into a strong new grille and which connects seamlessly with the chiseled new projector headlamps. Viewed from the sides; the twin roof rails, the height off the ground, the sturdy side steps along with the 5-arm 17” alloy wheels with Bridgestone 265/65R17 all terrain tyres, give it a macho look and it has a full size spare. At the rear, the tailgate is topped with a discreet spoiler, there’s a rear window washer/wiper and a rear “B:” Sting antenna.

The Everest 2.2 XLS 4x4 manual is fitted with Ford’s intelligent four-wheel drive system providing permanent drive to all four wheels, through an active transfer case with high and low range, a rear differential lock and “Torque on Demand” for optimum performance and traction in all conditions. This is bolstered by the 225 mm ground clearance and substantial 800 mm water wading depth. The 2.2 XLS 4x4 manual, as tested, comes with Ford’s innovative Terrain Management System with four driving modes: Normal, Mud, Sand and Rock Crawl. These modes are selected via a rotary dial adjacent to the gear lever. It adapts throttle response and gear shift patterns on the automatic models, and the intelligent four-wheel drive system and traction control to tackle any type of terrain.

The new Ford Everest 2.2 TDCi XLS press vehicle was well spec’d with a full house of comfort and convenience features, including SYNC1 complete with Bluetooth with Voice Activation, plus mobile and multimedia device integration, rear view camera, fully adjustable front bucket seats, attractive cloth upholstery, rear parking sensors linked to a full colour rear view parking camera on a 4-inch display and a multi-function steering wheel with no less than sixteen buttons to various functions. Behind the steering wheel, a new dual-TFT instrument cluster provides the driver with information about the vehicle, as well as entertainment and cellphone features at a glance.

The new Everest is a full 7-seater with a 2+3+2 seating layout. Head, shoulder and leg room are plentiful and getting in and out the cab is easy assisted by the side steps. As for luggage space, the rear seats in the XLS are collapsed manually, while the second row can be slid and tipped forward to aid access to the rear, reclined for added comfort, or folded flat. Load space is rated at 1 050 litres with the third row seats folded, expanding to 2 010 litres with both second and third rows folded completely flat.

Other sophisticated technologies fitted as standard on the Ford Everest include; Electronic Stability Programme with Traction Control, Hill Launch Assist and Trailer Sway Control. Safety features include dual front, side and full-length curtain airbags.

The 2.2 litre Ford Everest 2.2 TDCi XLS 6-speed manual 4X4 is powered by Ford’s locally built 4-cylinder 2.2 turbo-diesel that pushes out 118 kw at 3 700 rpm and 365 Nm of torque from 1500 rpm, which delivers power to all four wheels through an all-new 6-speed manual gearbox. In acceleration tests, the Everest 2.2 did the 0 to 100 km dash in just under 15 seconds after three gear changes – not particularly quick but adequate enough for a large SUV.The brakes too, were excellent, stopping the Everest from 100 km/h in 3.5 seconds with no sign of fade. With a ground clearance of 225mm and water-wading capability of 800 mm, the new Ford Everest can navigate even the toughest terrain with ease. An intelligent four-wheel drive system is used on the all-new Everest, employing an active transfer case with Torque on Demand.

Safety and driver assist features comprise a rear view camera and seven airbags. A perimeter alarm is fitted with a battery back-up system, along with remote keyless entry with two-stage unlocking. Also standard are Electronic Stability Program, Traction Control, Hill Launch Assist, Hill Descent Control and Trailer Sway Control, along with Ford’s Electric Power Assisted Steering. A two-speed transfer case provides more low-down pulling power for truly rough going, and the rear differential can lock for even more traction. Without it, torque can be vectored from side-to-side via the braking system.

The short 4x4 off road course that I sometimes use for testing, had a few very steep climbs and a few “drop offs” but the 2.2 Everest 4x4, with all the off-road equipment needed to tackle the obstacles available at the touch of a button, didn't skip a beat, nor did the lumpy terrain slow it down, on the gravel stretch of road, and especially on the “washboard” surface, where the SUV was most impressive at ironing out the bumps.

The recommended retail selling price of the Ford Everest 2.2 TDCi XLS 6- speed manual 4X4 is R544 900 which includes a four-year/ 120 000 km comprehensive warranty, five-year/ 100 000 km service plan, three-year/ unlimited km roadside assistance and five-year/ unlimited km corrosion warranty and service intervals every 20 000 km.
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