Back in the summer of 2012, we had our first glimpse of the current number one pickup in our market--the Ford Ranger. Normally, once an all-new pickup is introduced, the SUV twin arrives about a year later. Last night, at a specially built mini off-road track in Alabang, Ford Philippines officially launched the much-awaited Everest.
To say that the excitement is high for this Toyota Fortuner competitor is like saying the weather has been a little hot lately. Ford said customers were already placing deposits at this year’s Manila International Auto Show sneak peek, even before official prices were declared. Well, now we know how much the Everest lineup costs. And for those who haven’t been swayed right away by the brawny good looks, here are seven reasons the Everest should be a hit.
1. Power! - The Everest has two diesel engines available: a 2.2-liter in-line four-cylinder for the 4x2 variants, and a 3.2-liter in-line five-cylinder for the 4x4 variant. The smaller powerplant already generates 158hp and 385Nm. The bigger mill puts out 197hp and an earth-shaking 470Nm. None of the market-leading Japanese SUVs can match this kind of power.
2. Tall ground clearance - Like its Ranger sibling, the new Everest is designed to clear obstacles and wade through floods. It has 225mm of ground clearance, which is good enough for 800mm of wading depth. The Everest’s height advantage was ably demonstrated during the launch last night, where it ferried guests around a short off-road track.
3. Off-road driving modes - If sports cars have driving settings that vary suspension and shift input, the Everest has its Terrain Management System that allows the Ford SUV to tackle gravel, grass, sand, rock and, er, snow by just flicking a rotary switch. This is similar to the Terrain Response feature of Land Rover, a company that Ford used to own. Hmm...
4. Controlled descent - A feature that used to be available only on high-end SUVs is hill descent control. By modulating its brakes, the Everest can go down steep hills while you enjoy the view.
5. Foldable power third-row seats - Loading items in the back is easy. Press a button to open the power liftgate, then press another button to fold the seats for a flat third row.
6. Electronic assistance - The Active Park Assist feature is now on the Everest. If you’re worried about parking such a massive SUV, this system will do it for you. There’s also a Blind Spot Information System and Adaptive Cruise Control with collision warning.
7. American conveniences - Inside the cabin, there are 30 storage spaces, several power outlets, and flexible seating arrangements. There’s even Active Noise Cancellation inside, similar to how noise-canceling headphones work.
The only thing left to see is how the 2016 Ford Everest rides and drives. With its coil spring suspension, the new Everest should be fun and comfortable on the road. You’ll be hearing from us soon.
Photos by Dinzo Tabamo