Ford Everest Limited: Sitting high

Ford Everest Limited Sitting high 001
(Photos: Ford Everest Limited)
An authentically capable off-roader that doubles as a comfortable and user-friendly daily-drive family vehicle, the Ford Everest is a ruggedly old-school SUV that is instilled with modern build quality, dynamics, efficiency, comfort, amenities, tech and safety systems. The mid-size seven-seat SUV is already a fixture in many automotive markets notably including Australia and South Africa, but recently made its expected Middle East debut in its new third generation. Introduced to the region at a punishing and extensive off-road test drive event in Oman, the Everest dispatched the demanding routes and conditions with aplomb. اضافة اعلان

Slotting in between Ford’s ever larger and more luxurious Explorer and more dedicated off-road Bronco SUVs, the Everest is a more affordable alternative that combines more than enough of its sister models’ attributes to satisfy most motorists. The Everest shares a basic platform with the Ford Ranger pick-up, and is – like most in-segment rivals – a truck-based SUV that benefits from tough body-on-frame construction and live axle rear suspension. Its contiguous wagon-style body however further improves rigidity, while rear suspension is modified with a coil spring Watt’s link design for enhanced comfort and handling properties.

Chiseled characterUnmistakable in it design DNA and relation to sister Ford SUVs and trucks, the Everest bears a boldly upright and statuesque styling sensibility becoming of its namesake. More sophisticated than the outright aggression of some rivals, the Everest’s design is strikingly dramatic, yet subtly sophisticated, with its high bonnet projecting a requisitely granite-like impression, and huge 21-inch alloy wheels to better fill its wheel-arches in Limited specification. Its jutting fascia is meanwhile imbued with dramatic tension and urgent momentum, and incorporates a deep mesh pattern grille, heavily browed C-shaped headlights and twin-spoke metallic slats.

Under its chiseled skin and twin dome bonnet the Everest is powered by a turbocharged in-line 2.3-litre four-cylinder engine, for Middle East markets. Shared with the Mustang and other performance Fords, its muscular yet efficient engine produces 300HP and 420Nm torque, peaking at around 5,500rpm and 3,000rpm, respectively. Quick to spool from idle, the Everest is responsive from standstill, with little observable turbo lag. Brisk in acceleration, even if exact figures are unspecified, the Everest hauls its estimated 2.4-tonne mass with consistent confidence throughout, and is eager to spin up to its rev limit.

Effortless off-roaderWith generous mid-range torque reserves providing effortless progression for overtaking and steep inclines, the Everest’s 10-speed gearbox’ broad ratio range meanwhile optimizes performance, flexibility, refinement and efficiency. Smooth and slick in operation, its gearbox may lack paddle shifters and only allow manual shifting through a fiddly small lever-mounted button, but automatic mode is nevertheless superbly intuitive in making gear choices in default auto mode. Driving the rear wheels for on-road efficiency, the Everest can engage four-wheel-drive when on the move from a rotary dial, or by activating different off-road driving modes.

Boasting low-ratio four-wheel drive for demanding off-road condition and a locking rear differential for added traction over loose surfaces, the Everest is an accomplished off-roader, with 220mm ground clearance, 800mm water wading capability, and generous off-road angles. Driven extensively – and spiritedly – through steep high power sand dune climbs, and over rough and uneven terrain, including harsh stretches through river beds covered with small jagged rocks, the Everest proved to be a rugged workhorse, even as equipped with more on-road biased lower profile 275/45R21 all-season tires, rather than the XLT version’s sturdier all-terrain 255/65R18 tires.

Capable and comfortableShrugging off punishment with ease, the Everest’s cooling and AC systems meanwhile proved faultless under such intense conditions and heat. The Everest is however equally accomplished on-road, with tidier, more agile and better handling than typical for its dimensions, size and weight. Turning crisply with quick and direct steering, it is also brilliantly balanced through corners, and hard gripping on exit. Well-controlling cornering lean and settled over imperfections, it is slightly firm over jagged low speed bumps, but otherwise a smooth, comfortable and stable long distance seven-seat cruiser.

Sitting high with a supportive and commanding driving position, the Everest’s level waistline meanwhile provides good visibility. Refined and well-insulated inside, it even features an innovative side mirror design to reduce wind reverberation. The Everest is spacious for front and middle row passengers, with easy third row access and generous configurable luggage room. The Everest’s cabin is uncluttered and incorporates mostly good materials and extensive standard convenience and safety systems, including a large infotainment touchscreen. The upmarket Limited specification meanwhile includes power-folding rear seats and a suite of high tech driver assistance systems.

Specifications: Ford Everest LimitedAuthor’s rating: 9/10
Good: Engine, gearbox, off-road ability, design, handling, comfort, space
Bad: Gear lever button, no paddle shifting, some hard cabin surfaces, firm ride over low speed bumps
Body type: Five-door mid-size SUV
Engine: 2.3-litre, turbocharged, in-line 4-cylinders
Gearbox: 10-speed automatic, four-wheel-drive, low gear transfer case, locking rear differential

Power, HP (PS): 300 @ 5,500rpm*
Torque, Nm: 420 @ 3,000rpm*

Length: 4,914mm
Width: 1,923mm
Height: 1,841mm
Wheelbase: 2,900mm
Weight: 2,400kg*

Cabin space:
Seating capacity: 7
Headroom, F/M/R: 1,024/992/925mm
Legroom, F/M/R: 1,057/912/806mm
Shoulder room, F/M/R: 1,450/1,443/1,328mm
Luggage volume, min/max: 259-/1,823-litres*

Off-road capability:
Ground clearance: 226mm*
Water fording: 800mm
Approach / departure / break-over angles: 30.2°/25°/21.9°*
Towing, braked: 3,100kg*

Suspension, F/R: Double wishbones / Watt’s link, live axle, coil springs
Steering: Electric-assisted rack & pinion
Turning circle: 11.8-meters
Brakes, F/R: Ventilated discs / discs
Tires: 275/45R21

Estimate Price: starting from JD 34,950, as driven (without import duties, taxes and insurance)

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