With global reveals for both the next-gen Ford Ranger and Ranger Raptor in recent weeks, it came as no surprise that its SUV sibling, the Everest, would also be upgraded to its next generation (set for release in the local market following on the heels of the next-gen Ranger). From what we could learn reservations for the next-gen Everest will open in the second quarter of 2022 with exact launch timings and local specifications still to be confirmed.
What we did learn during a the global live-stream reveal with the global development team was that – similar to the Ford Ranger – customers’ input were central to the development of the new SUV derivative in the line-up. It certainly looks more sporty and expressive on the outside, but special care was taken to create a sanctuary-like interior to ensure premium comfort and safety for both driver and passengers.
Rugged, yet refined
Everest’s wider track and longer wheelbase enabled designers to create a more progressive, muscular appearance. Ford’s global design DNA is reflected in the C-clamp headlamps and strong horizontal upper grille bar. The front end also has a mix of horizontal and vertical elements, while on the side there is a strong shoulder line front to back, while the wider track results in a more dramatic swell over the wheels, enhancing the strong SUV-stance.
Customer research lead the team to develop a premium interior cabin, with – according to the designers – dramatically reduced noise and vibration levels. Designers also put a lot of thought into the function and feel of the interior, taking inspiration from modern homes and bringing in plush materials, premium finishes and ambient lighting all in areas where customers can appreciate them the best.
Everest’s sense of spaciousness is amplified by the full-width coast-to-coast instrument panel and centre console with dual cup holder recesses, plus dash-mounted ‘pop out’ cup holders for front seat occupants. High-series models are equipped with integrated wireless charging, a svelte new leather trimmed e-Shifter and an electric parking brake. Depending on the variant, heated and ventilated 10-way power adjustable memory function seats are available for the driver and 8-way for the passenger. Heated seats are also available for the second row, depending on the variant.
Access to the third-row seats is much easier thanks to second-row seats that slide further forward than before. Additionally, all occupants now have places to store their things and depending on the model, charge their devices with power outlets in all three rows. Ford has prioritised flexible seating in the next-gen Everest; the second-row slides with a 60:40 split seatback and the 50:50 split third row in the seven-seater configuration can be folded at the touch of a button on high series models. Importantly, both the second- and third-row seats have been designed to fold flat to allow for long loads to be carried safely.
To stop items falling out of the back when the tailgate is lifted, the team created a small lip, affectionately known as the “apple catcher” valley, at the rear of the cargo area. Adding to the utility factor, an underfloor storage space was created which will surely help to the rear of the Everest organised.
Tech & safety for days
In addition to a more refined and comfortable interior, Ford focused on incorporating the latest connectivity and technology features into the next-gen Everest. Depending on trim level, Everest comes with 8- or 12.4-inch digital instrument panels that replace the traditional analogue clusters. Everest also features large, high-resolution portrait 10.1- or 12-inch touchscreens.
Next-gen Everest is loaded with Ford’s latest SYNC® 4A system, which comes customer-ready with its voice-activated communications, entertainment and information systems. Additionally, there’s an embedded factory-fitted modem, allowing customers to connect to Everest when linked with the FordPass™ App. FordPass enhances the ownership experience with features like remote start, vehicle status check, and remote lock and unlock functions via most mobile phones. Additionally, the portrait-orientated screen is linked to a 360-degree camera with split-view display to make parking a breeze in tight urban spaces or to assist when negotiating particularly tricky terrain while out exploring. From a safety perspective, customers can control Everest’s new exterior zone lighting system via the touchscreen or the FordPass App, which means they don’t have to park, work, camp or do anything in the dark.
In terms of driver aids and safety, the next-gen Everest is loaded with all the bells and whistles to ensure a stress-free and focused drive. With Active Park Assist 2.0, next-gen Everest can help the driver fit safely in tight spaces at the press of a button. The system takes care of the steering, gearshifts, acceleration and braking to navigate into parallel or perpendicular parking spaces with ease. It will also steer itself out of parallel parking spots when prompted.
New to Everest is Ford’s adaptive cruise control system, available in three versions depending on market and model.
- Adaptive cruise control with stop and go allows drivers to maintain a pre-set speed and distance from the car ahead and will even bring the car to a complete stop if required.
- Adaptive cruise control with stop and go lane centering is able to detect lane markings and help keep the vehicle centred in the lane.
- Intelligent adaptive cruise control adds speed sign recognition that can automatically adjust vehicle speed to the posted speed limit.
Additional features include, amongst others, a new lane keeping system with road-edge detection, evasive steer assist, reverse brake assist and blind spot monitoring system with trailer coverage; while the pre-collision assist has been enhanced with intersection functionality.
A new far-side airbag positioned between the driver and front passenger provides additional protection in the event of a side impact, while (depending on the variant), the addition of the far-side airbag and dual knee airbags brings the number of airbags up to nine, including front driver and passenger, dual seat side thorax airbags and dual side curtain airbags which cover all three rows, depending on the variant and the market.
Everest customers told Ford that they wanted more power and torque for towing, carrying heavy loads and off-roading, so the team selected Ford’s proven 3.0-litre turbodiesel V6 engine and refined it for the Everest. It is one of three turbodiesel engine options available at launch, depending on the market. While the new 3.0-litre turbodiesel V6 spearheads the line-up, next-gen Everest gives customers a choice of engines to suit their lifestyles, including Ford’s proven Single-Turbo and the Bi-Turbo 2.0 inline four-cylinder diesels and a 2.3-litre EcoBoost petrol engine. Depending on the model, either a six-speed automatic or Ford’s efficient 10-speed SelectShift automatic will be available.
The Single Turbo diesel engine delivers power, torque and fuel economy, while the Bi-Turbo engine is a sophisticated, performance variant for customers who want more power but need to maintain fuel economy. For petrol lovers, the powerful direct-injection 2.3-litre EcoBoost four-cylinder engine (which underpins a range of Ford products locally) delivers a broad, flat torque curve with maximum torque throughout the rev range.
A 50mm increase in next-gen Everest’s track helps deliver a more controlled ride on-road, while tweaks to damper settings allowed the team to inject more fun and control into the Everest’s ride, both on- and off-road. For those wanting to explore, the next-gen Everest offers a choice of two four-wheel drive systems, underbody protection and off-road selectable drive modes plus rear locking differential, two functional tow hooks upfront, and upfitter switches for accessories.The two 4WD systems available are: A two-speed electronic shift-on-the-fly transfer case, also known as a part-time 4WD system; and an advanced, permanent four-wheel drive system that uses an electronically controlled on-demand two-speed electromechanical transfer case (EMTC) with selectable drive modes. Depending on the market, Everest also is available with two-wheel drive. Where available, Everest’s dedicated off-road screen displays vehicle information and a front camera view of the terrain ahead, with predictive overlay guidelines designed to help the driver negotiate obstacles. With a single button press, the driver can view their driveline and diff-lock indicators, steering angle and guides, and vehicle roll and pitch angles.
Next-gen Ford Everest has a water wading ability up to 800mm and a maximum braked trailer towing capability of up to 3,500kg (braked), while space in the engine bay allows for a second battery to power aftermarket accessories. Everest’s impressive towing capability is supported by smart technologies that make towing easier. A dedicated tow/haul drive mode has been tuned to optimise gear shift timing to maintain the best power delivery and engine braking when carrying loads, either in a trailer or in the cargo area. In addition, an integrated electric trailer brake controller helps deliver smooth and effective control of a trailer’s brake system. Everest’s new camera views help owners guide their SUV into position to connect a trailer, while integrated SYNC features such as trailer connection checklist and trailer light check help make the job easier. Where available, FordPassTM app users can also test the trailer lights with their smartphone.
The new integrated or stand-off roof rails offers more than simply enhancing the SUV looks: they can support static loads of up to 350kg and dynamic loads of up to 100kg, providing increased versatility that enables it to carry bikes, canoes, cargo pod or roof-top tent. A universal mounting system allows customers to equip their vehicle with a range of accessories.