In the past week Ford South Africa launched a new derivative of the popular Ford Everest in the shape of the Everest Sport. It has been a while since I drove the Everest and getting in behind the wheel of the Everest Sport over the two days was great fun.
The Everest Sport comes in two guises the both sports the 2.0lSiT Diesel motor from Ford with 132kW and 420Nm coupled to their 10-speed auto. Available in 4×2 and 4×4 guise equipped with an electronic locking rear differential as standard, the Everest Sport offers excellent practicality and capability. The vehicle is thus perfectly positioned to focus on the Urban and Leisure market, exactly what Ford aimed for.
The Sport is based on the Everest XLT and according to Doreen Mashinini, General Manager for Marketing at Ford South Africa “The Everest XLT models are already extremely well equipped, with an eye-catching design, a refined and luxurious cabin, several trend-setting technologies and Ford’s legendary capability and durability all forming part of the package. In Sport guise, it offers all these features, and much more,”
The new Sportier design brings with it some visual changes with the black mesh grille and unique Everest badge on the bonnet, along with black mirror caps and door handles – replacing the chrome finishes on the Everest XLT. Further reinforcing the dynamic appearance is the black treatment for the front bumper chin and rear valance in place of silver, along with ebony roof rails, special Sport decals on the rear doors and striking 20-inch black alloy wheels.
Befitting a vehicle of its sportier status, key interior features of the Everest Sport include model-specific embossed leather seats with distinctive blue stitching, soft-touch leather treatment for the dashboard and a driver’s seat with eight-way power adjustment.
The Everest Sport also comes standard with LED headlamps and daytime running lights, cruise control and front and rear park sensors with a rear-view camera.
The extensive standard safety package comprises Electronic Stability Programme with traction control, Hill Launch Assist and Roll Over Mitigation. Enhancing the family-oriented nature of the Everest’s seven-seater configuration, occupant protection includes a total of seven airbags (front, side, curtain and driver’s knee airbag).
Another high-tech feature of the Everest Sport is Passive Entry and Passive Start (PEPS), a keyless entry and passive start system that uses intelligent access to allow the driver to unlock the vehicle and start the engine without removing the key fob from his/her pocket or bag. When the key is detected in the vehicle, the driver simply presses the Start/Stop button while applying the brake pedal to start the car.
One of the key features carried over to the Sport derivative is Ford’s pioneering SYNC®3 infotainment system, which offers exceptional connectivity and multimedia options, along with intuitive voice control for ease of use. The system comes standard with embedded navigation – comprising standard mapping as well as Tracks for Africa for those venturing off the beaten track – and is linked to an integrated eight-inch touch-screen colour display that recognises multi-touch gestures such as swipe, slide, scroll and pinch-to-zoom. In addition, SYNC®3 offers the benefits of smartphone integration provided through Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.
Customers have the choice of 4×4 and 4×2 models, both of which are available with Ford’s frugal 2.0-litre Single Turbo diesel engine, delivering 132kW and 420Nm – with up to 340Nm available from just 1 250 r/min. This is mated to Ford’s sophisticated 10-speed automatic transmission, which contributes to exceptional fuel and all-round performance.
Further enhancing the capability of the Everest 4×4 models is the standard Terrain Management System which allows the driver to easily select the preferred driving mode to suit the terrain by simply turning the TMS dial, ranging from snow to mud, grass, rocks or paved roads. Additionally, Hill Descent Control helps owners safely negotiate steep slopes with supreme confidence.
The 4×4 version is permanent AWD and does not come with High Range gear selection – instead the Terrain Management Systems is used to select the type of surface you on and the Terrain Management Systems does the rest. Low range can be engaged by a button situated in front of the Automatic Gear box selector along with the selection button for rear diff lock.
The Everest Sport really ticked some boxes for me and although some might want the extra drivers aids in Lane Keeping Aid, Lane Departure Warning & Driver Alert System this SUV did tick all the other boxes. It is very capable; drive comfort was exceptional and the cabin is spacious and well designed. One of my colleagues on the launch pointed out the pricing and positioning of this model was also very cleverly placed right between the 2.4 and 2.8 Fortuner. Making this a very attractive option. And with Felix Sebata from Ford jokingly pointed out that this new vehicle should be called the Ford Neverest and that they should be brining out more derivatives for the brands.
So, if you are in the market for a 7-seater go anywhere vehicle go take this sporty Everest for a test drive.
2.0 Single Turbo 10AT 4×2 R675 600
2.0 Single Turbo 10AT 4×4 R718 000
All Everest models come standard with Ford Protect, comprising a four-year/120 000km comprehensive warranty, three-year/unlimited distance roadside assistance and five-year/unlimited km corrosion warranty. A six-year/90 000km service plan is included, with 15 000km service intervals.