Years of waiting has finally come down to this. Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce to you the all-new Everest – Ford's best selling SUV. Or at least, we're quite confident that it will be once stocks arrive in September 2015.
The blue oval brand claims that this all-new model “boasts new levels of rugged capability and comfort, perfectly combining strength, smart features, and style.” It was also “designed to be one of the toughest SUVs in its segment” and have the “durability to take on the most challenging environments” or as we call it... the Philippines. If you're familiar with the award-winning Ranger pickup truck, this is it but with a longer roof, 7 seats, and a whole lot more toys.
As far as we're concerned, that's a good thing.
Sharing the same body-on-frame design as the Ranger, this SUV too has a 225 mm ground clearance and water-wading capability of 800 mm. That's a plus for us in the Philippines because it floods here... all the time. But for those who are planning to take it off-road, the 4x4 versions come with an Active Transfer Case with Torque on Demand and a first-in-class Terrain Management System (TMS). And instead of a leaf spring setup, the Everest is fitted with coil springs at the back for a more pleasant ride.
Measuring 4,893 mm long, 1,862 mm wide, and 1,836 mm tall, it's a tad bigger than the likes of the Chevrolet Trailblazer and Isuzu mu-X. The wheelbase is also few mm longer, which should allow for more passenger legroom.
As far as the interior goes, the seats are covered in leather, A/C has Dual Zone Electronic Temp Control, and the 8-inch infotainment system with 10-speakers is already connected with SYNC 2. The Ambiente variants, however, 'only' get fabric seats, manual A/C, and an 4-inch screen with 8-speakers and SYNC 1. Thankfully though, the rear A/C vents are standard across the range. There are also 30 stowage spaces, 60/40 2nd row and 50/50 3rd row fold-flat seats, and 2,010 L of cargo space.
We're not sure if all versions get the Active Noise Cancellation, but the 240V socket, panoramic moonroof, and power liftgate are for the optional Premium Package only.
The local-spec Everest comes with 2 engine options: a 2.2L Duratorq 4-cylinder TDCi and a 3.2L Duratorq 5-cylinder TDCi, both of which runs on diesel. The smaller power unit produces 160 hp and 385 Nm of torque, but only comes with 4x2. The 3.2 TDCi, however, offers 200 hp and 470 Nm on tap and is strictly 4x4 only.
If you're the odd type and want a 6-speed manual transmission, it'll only be available with the base 4x2 model, while the rest of the fleet gets a 6-speed auto.
Although you can put in your reservations now, stocks of the all-new Everest will only arrive in September 2015. So before that date arrives, you still have time to choose which version you want to take home. The base 2.2L 4x2 Ambiente MT and AT are priced at only P1,339,000 and P1,399,000, respectively. But they're as bare as you can get. A little more can already score you a 2.2L 4x2 Trend AT priced at P1,539,000 and that comes with larger 18-inch wheels, side curtain airbags, cruise control, projector headlamps, and running boards just to name a few.
The range-topping 2.2L 4x2 Titanium AT and 3.2L 4x4 Titanium AT, on the other hand, are listed at P1,639,000 and P1,899,000, respectively. Only here do you get the 20-inch alloys, chrome trim, front park assist, and rear view camera.
If you're willing to shell out an extra P100,000 for the Premium Package available on the 3.2L 4x4 Everest Titanium, it'll come with HID projector headlights, LED DRLs, 8-way power adjust front seats, power fold 3rd row seat, Heads-Up Display, Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Keeping System, Collision Mitigation, and Active Park Assist.
Honestly, an SUV is more of a want than a need. Because lets face it, no one really NEEDS an SUV. But if you've got something that looks this good, can drive this well, and so reasonably priced, you'll end up convincing yourself that life would be so much nicer if you had an all-new Everest.
I know we do.