The current Ford Everest is on its way out. How does it hold up?

Is it still competitive in its segment?
by Jason Tulio | Apr 16, 2019
PHOTO: Jason Tulio

It’s no secret that we’ve been waiting for the refreshed Ford Everest’s arrival for some time now. News of the new midsize SUV’s arrival in neighboring Thailand came out in July last year, and we’ve already had a chance to see it in the metal over there. We thought it would finally arrive this month at the Manila International Auto Show, but no such luck.

Still, automotive logic dictates that sooner or later, the latest version will make its way here. There’s plenty of reason to get excited, too. Like the new Ranger, the Thai-spec Everest has the option of the Raptor’s 2.0-liter bi-turbo mill. Fancy. 

For now, though, our market continues to sell the version pictured here, which was first launched back in 2016. That same year, we were also introduced to new generations of best-selling midsize SUVs: the all-new Toyota Fortuner and the Mitsubishi Montero Sport. So now, in 2019, the three popular nameplates have each had three years to leave a lasting impression. In the Everest’s case, it has stood the test of time in some ways while lagging behind in others.

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The exterior design, for example, still looks at home in a modern dealership. Granted, its corners are a bit rounder compared with those of newer cars, but bits like the chrome grille, daytime running lights, muscular haunches, and sharp hood strakes give the SUV a look that’s entirely its own. You wouldn’t mistake it for one of its rivals, what with the smooth edges and all, but that’s a good thing. 

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Inside, however, the Everest shows a bit of age. The interior amenities are easy enough to use, but the blocky buttons and the big knobs are from another time, as are the lack of paddle shifters and telescopic steering adjustment. It seems like Ford isn’t shying away from this look, either—the facelift shows a largely unchanged cabin design. The good news is that the interior is roomy, with decent noise-reduction capabilities. If you’re not fussed about aesthetics, those are all you really need.

As far as driving goes, the Everest holds its own in the midsize-SUV battle. During this test, we drove it from Metro Manila up to Baguio City. Ride comfort over a long drive is good, and even the pockmarked roads of Benguet caused little concern from inside the cabin. The steering is a little light for the vehicle’s size, but the vehicle handled well on the twisting uphill roads. This variant is the 4x2 Trend with the 2.2-liter engine, and it naturally felt lighter to handle compared to its 3.2-liter brothers. 

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Speaking of the engine, the 2.2-liter with its 158hp and 385Nm provides ample force for this lighter variant. With one other passenger and a load of cargo onboard, I never once found myself wishing for the beefier 3.2-liter. Overtakes and sudden uphill surges are no problem for this smaller mill. As for fuel economy, it consumed 8-10km/L during the Baguio trip. I’m eager to see how well the Everest performs with the bi-turbo Raptor engine onboard, though.

So, what are your thoughts on the current Everest? Are you looking forward to the incoming refresh? Let us know your thoughts. 

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PHOTO: Jason Tulio
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