Things we like

  • Passenger comfort
  • On-road dynamics
  • Suspension soaks up bumps

Not so much

  • Tyre-pressure monitoring system only on Platinum spec

Things we like

  • Passenger comfort
  • On-road dynamics
  • Suspension soaks up bumps

Not so much

  • Tyre-pressure monitoring system only on Platinum spec

Ford Australia’s 2023 Everest wagon is now on sale and available in four model grades and a choice of 4×4 and 4×2 drivetrains, and inline 4-cylinder and V6 diesel engines.

Everest Ambiente and Trend models are powered by the 2.0-litre 4-cylinder bi-turbo diesel engine, and the Everest Sport and Platinum exclusively get the 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine.

All Everest models use the 10-speed automatic transmission, while only the lower specification Ambiente and Trend models are offered with the 4×2, but all grades can be had as 4×4.

Ambiente Everests come standard with just five seats or seven available as an option, while all other Everests come standard as seven-seaters.

As you would expect, the new Everest borrows heavily from the new Ford Ranger which was released just a month earlier. The Everest is the wagon version while the Ranger is the ute and they ride on model-specific versions of the T6.3 ladder-frame chassis platform.

The real difference between the two is the rear suspension where the Ranger rides on leaf springs which are better suited to heavier loads and the Everest has coil springs and a Watt’s linkage for improved passenger comfort and vehicle dynamics.

Interior

Comfort and dynamics are the two areas that Ford has excelled in when creating the new Everest. The engineers set out to reduce what they call, ‘head bouncing’ or how much the passengers are bounced around inside the car when driving over rough roads and they have succeeded by delivering a cabin that is comfortable and refined for passengers regardless of what row they are seated in.

There is more leg and head room for second-row passengers, while the third row remains best reserved for kids or anyone shorter than 150cm.

Ford Everest Platinum interior

Up front, the driver and passenger are faced with a well-appointed dash. The standard centre screen is a massive 10.1-inch unit, but that only comes in the Everest Ambiente model. All other models get a bigger 12-inch screen that includes all your A/V controls, HVAC and Ford Sync 4 functions.

Ahead of the steering wheel, which is now adjustable for reach as well as height, is an 8-inch configurable digital dash so that you can set up your gauges and info to how you like. The 8-inch screen is in all models bar the Platinum which gets a 12.4-inch unit.

Ford Everest Platinum front dash

The Everest Platinum model replaces the Titanium from the previous generation Everest and it really takes the 4×4 wagon up a notch in terms of equipment and styling. Basically, it gets all the options and some exclusive extras like the Bang & Olufsen 10-speaker sound system, 10-way power adjustable heated and cooled seat and 21-inch alloy wheels.

For those that want a more practical and sensible wheel choice you can option 18s back on your Platinum.

Safety

All new Ford Everests get a full suite of class leading safety features including AEB, side airbags that extend through to the third row occupants, a centre airbag between the driver and front seat passenger to stop them smashing their noggins together in a crash, lane keeping assist that has road side detection so that it doesn’t rely on the white lines, blind spot indicators, reversing emergency brake, and radar cruise control.

The blind spot indicators work with the Sync 4 trailer set-up to take in to account the length of your trailer and adjust the range it works over. Trailer sway control and a 360° camera are other handy safety additions.

Unfortunately, the essential safety item of a tyre-pressure monitoring system, only comes on top-of-the-range Platinum Everest. When you consider that all these fancy electronic safety systems still rely on the vehicle’s tyres having the best contact with the road beneath you, then there is no more important factor than maintaining correct tyre pressures.

Towing

The Everest adopts the class-leading trailer tech that debuted on the new Ranger including the Sync 4 set-up, integration and towing checklist and an integrated factory electric-brake controller. All Everest 4×4 models have a 3500kg towing capacity to match the mid-size utes and other large 4×4 wagons while the GCM is rated at 6250kg.

Towing is also a consideration of the Everest’s multiple drive modes where there is a Tow/Haul mode that optimises the vehicle’s chassis and driveline electronics to suit pulling a load. If it works as well as it does in the Ranger, then it’s a very good setting.

Other drive modes in the 4×4 Everest include an Eco mode, normal driving, slippery roads, sand driving, and mud and ruts for off-roading.

Engine and powertrain

The Everest’s new V6 diesel engine brings new levels of refinement and performance to the Ford wagon. While its 184kW of power and 600Nm of torque are not all that much more than that of the Bi-turbo 4-cylinder engine’s 154kW and 500Nm, it’s the smooth, quiet power delivery that makes the difference and contributes significantly to the Everest’s high levels of cabin quietness and refinement.

The 4-cylinder diesel has been upgraded for its application in the new Everest with changes to the injection system and other aspects, all designed to make the engine quieter, but it still can’t match the refinement of the V6. It’s 500Nm of torque still gives the Everest plenty of poke, and family users and those towing will not be disappointed in the way it gets along.

Both engines are backed by Ford’s 10-speed automatic transmission which again has been refined and improved since its application in the previous models.

ADR rated fuel consumption is 7.2L/100km for the I4 engine and 8.5L/100km for the V6 4×4 models. Everests have an 80-litre fuel tank.

The 4-wheel drive system is again a full-time, dual-range system and there’s a rear differential lock for when the going gets rough. Using the off-road systems can now be done via the off-road screen which brings all the functions to the big centre screen including the forward-facing and 360° cameras.

On- and off-road driving

The four-wheel drive section of the launch drive program didn’t challenge the Everest at all and the car was able to cover it in the 4×4-auto setting.

The suspension does a superb job of soaking up any bumps or irregularities in the road to make driving comfortable and relaxing

Still, we selected low range for a couple of steep descents and it did a great job of controlling speed without wanting to use the electronic downhill control which still relies on the vehicle’s brakes.

What became obvious when driving the Everest over the variety of tracks was the level of refinement in the cabin. It is super quiet and comfortable within the cabin thanks obviously, to excellent insulation materials used in the vehicle. The suspension does a superb job of soaking up any bumps or irregularities in the road to make driving comfortable and relaxing.

That smooth, quiet refinement continues on country backroads where the Everest’s dynamics belie its light truck underpinnings. The electrically-assisted power steering is well-weighted at both touring and low speeds continuing Ford’s excellent calibration since introducing its EPS in the earlier Ranger models.

ARB equipment

Like the Ranger ute, the new Everest benefits from Ford’s partnership with ARB 4×4 Accessories and a full range of ARB equipment will be available for the Everest directly through your Ford dealer at the time of vehicle purchase.

Included here are suspension packages, protective equipment such as bullbars and side rails, a larger fuel tank, driving lights, air compressor and rear storage systems. Everything you could want to equip your Everest for outback travel, and it’s covered under Ford’s 5-year factory warranty if the equipment is purchased when you buy the car.

Verdict

The level of refinement and dynamics, especially when powered by the V6 engine, really put the Ford Everest at the pointy end of the mid-size, three-row 4×4 wagon segment.

The Toyota Prado is the everlasting favourite of the sector with the Isuzu MU-X being the second highest seller but neither of them, with their rattly 4-cylinder diesel engines, can match the new Everest on or off road.

The Prado might beat the Ford in heavier-ability off-road use, but we’ll have to wait for a direct comparison to confirm that. Other models in this class of wagon like the Toyota Fortuner, Mitsubishi Pajero Sport, Haval H9 and SsangYong Rexton can’t come close.

This new V6 Everest will also tempt buyers looking to get in to a LandCruiser 300 Series and are unable to get one due to Toyota’s ongoing supply problems resulting in long wait times.

2023 Ford Everest pricing

Ambiente 4×2 2.0L Bi-Turbo diesel 10AT(5-seater) $52,990
Ambiente 4×4 2.0L Bi-Turbo diesel 10AT(5-seater) $57,990
Trend 4×2 2.0L Bi-Turbo diesel 10AT $60,290
Trend 4×4 2.0L Bi-Turbo diesel 10AT $65,290
Sport 4×4 3.0L V6 turbo-diesel 10AT $69,090
Platinum 4×4 3.0L V6 turbo-diesel 10AT $76,880.90

COMMENTS

Keyword: 2023 Ford Everest review: Australian first drive

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