4x2 SUV picks: Fortuner or Everest?

Help our letter sender decide
by Botchi Santos | Aug 6, 2011

Hi, Botchi!

I'm planning to upgrade to a sport-utility vehicle. I have read some of your columns and found comparisons between the Toyota Fortuner and the Ford Everest.

I'm comparing the Everest 4x2 2.5 LTD Ice and the Fortuner 4x2 2.5 Diesel, and I'd like to ask for your opinion as to which one is the best.

Thanks in advance and God bless!


Hi, Ray!

If I were to choose simply between an Everest and a Fortuner, I'd pick the Fortuner.

Despite the very firm ride, the Toyota Fortuner over the years has in fact had its suspension improved and revised considerably. You still get a very firm suspension, which personally doesn't bother me at all whenever I drive my dad's 2010 model Fortuner. And the harshness I used to mention in earlier comments has in fact gone out of the proverbial window. It feels smooth and the firm suspension helps harness all of the Fortuner's power and get it down to the pavement, propelling the Fortuner forward really fast. On winding roads, you'll love the Fortuner's firm suspension as body roll is kept well in check; you become more confident in attacking corners with gusto, or at least, as confident as can be.

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My biggest beef with the Ford Everest is that it feels harsh inside and out. The interior leaves much to be desired because it feels slightly unfinished, with a lot of parts left exposed and without proper interior cladding and covers. From my various visits to Ford dealerships for WCRC shots, whenever a guest is looking into an Everest, I always open the doors and always see the same things: hard parts and wires in plain view underneath the dashboard. It feels very much like a raw, rough and uncouth truck to drive and can get very tiring on a long day. If you like the rawness, then perhaps this truck's for you. But I like my cars and SUVs to be as refined and as smooth as possible and this is why I generally dislike the Everest.

As a saving grace, however, the Everest has an excellent hard-core off-road ability. A winch and mud-terrain tires are all its needs to start trailing up Mt. Pinatubo! Traction on rough stuff is excellent, and ground clearance, despite the seemingly low-ish ride height is surprisingly good. According to Top Gear Off-Road Editor and resident four-wheeler expert Beeboy Bargas, the Everest clears a lot of obstacles a lot of higher SUVs and trucks fail to clear as Ford carefully engineered its underparts well to avoid snagging rocks and the like.

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If you want a proper city-slicker SUV and willing to make a more adventurous choice, the Hyundai Santa Fe is really good, especially in R-eVGT variant with the six-speed automatic transmission! I love this one!

Hope this helps Ray! Good luck and God bless!

Botchi Santos
Consumer editor

Lost in a sea of cars and not quite sure which one to get? Click here to email your car query so Botchi can help you pick the right vehicle!

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