One of Zimbabwe’s top-selling vehicles, the Ford Ranger, is set to become an even more gripping choice with an upgrade to the standard specification levels of all XL, XLS, XLT and range-topping Wildtrak derivatives.
The Everest Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV), receives several new features as part of the running changes to its line-up too, says Ford.
Last week Croco Motors were kind enough to let me get to know the baby to the range a little better. This one was a manual with 4×4 which is only available in XLS trim (more on this later).
The Ford Everest is one of those vehicles that appears common, yet is truly quite rare. It may be called an SUV, but your typical SUV is just a high-riding wagon with no real rough terrain or towing capability. Instead, the Everest is a wagon built on the same platform as the Ranger XLT. And that means it can tow and handle off-road work.
The Everest’s sharper new suit undoubtedly did its job, dismissing any and all assumptions that it’s no more than a utility (ute) with a fatter body. It still retained practical traits (like an additional row of seats) that we like so much, with improved aspects that its forebears fell short in. And above all else, it’s still as tough as nails.
The all-new Ford Everest now offers a combination of stylish design, modern technology, balanced on-road and off-road capability, and a refined premium interior. The Everest one of the toughest SUV in the segment, it is built on a true body-on-frame chassis matched with a 225mm ground clearance allowing it to tackle various terrains with ease.
The all-new Ford Everest will probably clutch a few sales from the likes of the Chevrolet Trailblazer and Land Rover Discovery Sport but am not sure it will taking away sales from Toyota Fortuner. It probably convinced a few people on looks alone, but when the Everest came along it had one major issue: its price, at around $67 000 to $75 000.
The Everest has done its best to look like a distinctly different product from the Ranger, and while there are recognizable elements, the Everest looks decidedly less utilitarian and far more upmarket. It’s a gorgeous thing, injecting a little machismo into a segment that has gone all swoopy and curvy.
The SUV offers a robust front end with signature LED Daytime Running Lights connected to a prominent inverted trapezoid grille that brings out a strong presence on the road. Meanwhile, the interior boasts more room for each passenger and cargo compared to its predecessor. It has more than 30 cleverly designed stowage spaces and multiple outlets for the modern family. With the 2nd and 3rd row seats folded flat, it can accommodate up to 2,010 liters of maximum cargo space. Regardless of which trim you go for, the Everest is a handsome vehicle that only gets better the higher up the range you go.
The interior lacks some of the materials of the upper model but feels solid. The design is great, blending some passenger car-like design characteristics with a feeling of bulk and solidity. The digital instrument cluster provides menus to scroll through, giving you information on everything from your trip information to what music you are streaming.
The leather trim that comes on higher-up models feels a little bit too rough to be luxurious like it came off a cow that used to smoke. Even the rearmost seats are extensive enough to accommodate adults, although only for short trips.
On the good front, there are two clearly accessible 12v sockets and two USBs, and a phone cubby. Then there’s the usual glovebox, side-pockets, drinks holders and center console which are all just par for the course.
The 2017 Everest runs Ford’s Sync3, which is one of the better infotainment units on the market. It is clear, responsive, easy to use and packed with features that are mostly usable, not gimmicks. And it’s not just the features, but how they’re done. The car also comes with Android Auto and Apple Carplay integration, but both are optional.
The Ford Everest 2017 has slotted right into the top rank of medium-4×4 touring SUVs, offering a great on-road drive, class-leading infotainment, decent safety features, a practical interior and good value. Its off-road capability is adequate, and the aftermarket support is there so it should be considered for anyone in the market for a wagon you can drive anywhere in Zimbabwe.