Ford South Africa has introduced the new 2.2 powerplant version of the Everest to the market and to celebrate the launch, we drove the new Everest on a 500 kilometer round-trip to experience the on and off-road ability of the new offering.
The 2.2 power-plant joins the flagship 3.2 option South Africans are already well acquainted with. The newest installment has the updated SYNC 3 as the interface with exciting phone to screen options for Apple and soon to be added, Android phones.
All Everest 4×4 models feature Ford’s innovative Terrain Management System that boasts four driving modes: Normal, Mud, Sand and Rock Crawl. These modes are easily selected via a convenient rotary dial adjacent to the gear lever. It adapts throttle response, gear shift patterns on the automatic models, the intelligent four-wheel drive system and traction control to confidently tackle any terrain. This is bolstered by the 225mm ground clearance and substantial 800mm water wading depth.
The Ford Everest is equipped with numerous advanced technologies such as Electronic Stability Programme (ESP) with Traction Control, Hill Launch Assist and Trailer Sway Control. Further safety features encompass dual front, side and full-length curtain airbags. A driver’s knee airbag is standard on the XLT and Limited, and optional on the XLS.
All three specification grades include rear parking sensors linked to a full colour rear view parking camera on the 4-inch display for the XLS or the 8-inch touch screen for XLT and Limited – the latter also featuring front parking sensors. Ford MyKey is standard on the two high-spec ranges, enabling vehicle owners to programme a variety of functions into a secondary key, such as a maximum speed limit, audio volume limit, and prevents the ESP system from being deactivated.
Hands-free parallel or perpendicular parking manoeuvres are easily completed courtesy of Active Park Assist, while the Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) with Cross Traffic Alert informs drivers when there is a vehicle in their blind spot while driving or when preparing to reverse out of parking spots.
Plan on heading far off the beaten track? There’s the Everest 2.2 XLS 4×4, equipped with a manual transmission. The intelligent four-wheel drive system provides permanent drive to all four wheels, using an active transfer case with high and low range, a rear differential lock and Torque on Demand to deliver optimum performance and traction in all conditions.
Ford Everest expanded model range with recommended retail pricing:
· 2.2 TDCi XLS 4×2 Man – R453 900 inc VAT
· 2.2 TDCi XLS 4×2 Auto – R470 900 inc VAT
· 2.2 TDCi XLS 4×4 Man – R529 900 inc VAT
· 2.2 TDCi XLT 4×2 Man – R478 900 inc VAT
· 2.2 TDCi XLT 4×2 Auto – R495 900 inc VAT
· 3.2 TDCi XLT 4×2 Auto – R554 900 inc VAT
· 3.2 TDCi XLT 4×4 Auto – R634 900 inc VAT
· 3.2 TDCi Limited 4×4 Auto – R698 900 inc VAT
All models come standard with Ford Protect, including a four-year/120 000km comprehensive warranty, five-year/100 000km service plan, three-year/unlimited km roadside assistance and five-year/unlimited km corrosion warranty. Service intervals are every 20 000km.
My personal favourite is the manual, a little more responsive than the auto gearbox although the model we drove sacrificed the SYNC3 for the much older, original SYNC technology. Check with your dealer if the SYNC3 is available as this will be a game changer!