The Ford Everest is one of the most talked-about new models to launch in 2015. Whichever way you cut it, the rugged seven-seater has engendered massive interest. The reasons are varied and obvious. First, few cars attract the kind of fervent partisanship of the Ranger, so it’s natural this might extend to an SUV spun off the same architecture. Second, the Everest was developed in Australia, where Ford headquarters its Asia Pacific research and design division. Third, it’s an example of the stream of new nameplates being introduced by Ford as it dips ever more into its global range.
We’d establish from the outset that you’d be mistaken for thinking the Everest is just an SUV ‘top-hatted’ onto the Ranger’s ‘T6’ platform. The Everest also sports its own rear suspension, off-road setup and unique powertrain tune. The changes are apparent at most levels.
Think of it like the theory of evolution, where two creatures share a common ancestor but diverge on differing paths to best suit their purpose.
Of course, their are commonalities as well, many of which can be found inside the Everest’s cabin. It is pure Ranger — which is both a good and bad thing, because the Ranger has the best cabin of any ute at present, though there are elements that don’t feel quite worthy in this context.
On the plus side, the 8.0-inch touchscreen with Ford’s SYNC 2 multimedia system and voice control is easy to use with familiarity, and it sports features such as DAB+ digital radio and an exceptionally clear reverse-view camera.
Additionally, the instruments ahead of the driver are good with the exception of the useless tachometer. The setup comprises two small colour screens flanking an analogue speedo, controlled by corresponding wheel buttons. The left screen shows audio/phone/sat-nav, the right a trip computer.
They might be less enthused by some of the hard and fairly low-rent plastics scattered about the cabin — lifted partially by leather pads on the dash and armrests in a nod to civility — the lack of steering wheel reach adjustment (bloody hell, Ford) and the hard-wearing but utilitarian, almost mine-spec, cloth seats.
Published: Monday, November 2, 2015