We'll let you in on a little secret. Our team was at the 36th Bangkok International Motor Show (BIMS) where we caught a glimpse of the all-new Everest weeks before its launch in the Philippines. And luckily, we got all the sweet details on Ford's latest midsize SUV.
Sharing the same underpinnings as the new Ranger, the all-new Everest is huge in comparison to the model it replaces. Although we don't have the exact measurements, we can assure you that it's BIGGER in all proportions. To think that the Ranger already grew by as much as 10% compared to its predecessor. Some careful sculpting, however, has managed kept the drag coefficient to a very slippery 0.389.
This production-spec model also looks identical, if not better than the version Ford previewed in early 2014. Because it's only when you see it in person do you notice the fine little details. The projector headlamps are surrounded by LED daytime running lights, while the chrome grille looks sleeker than the one found in the new Ranger. We also particularly like the LED taillights, as well as the massive 20-inch wheels.
Unfortunately, we didn't get the chance to see what it looked like inside. But judging by the official photos, the all-new Everest shares most of its interior elements with the new Ranger. Except this SUV gets beige (instead of black) seats and the metallic dashboard trim comes in a darker color. But all the other class-leading features are still there including the dual TFT instrument cluster, 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with SYNC 2 connectivity, dual-zone A/C, and the much-loved 240V outlet. And mind you, the top-of-the-line version in Thailand is fitted with 10 speakers, which is more than enough to blow out your eardrums.
On a more sensible note, those speakers are also used by the Everest's Active Noise Cancellation system, which makes the cabin a whole lot quieter.
The all-new Everest also has enough seats to fit 7 passengers (with hopefully more legroom in the 3rd row) and A/C vents at the back. Based on what we saw, it even has a dual-panel moonroof and powered rear tailgate. But what really impressed us is that this behemoth can swallow up to 2,010L of luggage with the last 2 rows folded flat and carry a payload of 750kg even with all seats occupied.
Pulling that much weight, however, requires serious muscle. That's why Ford offers the same 2.2L 4-cylinder and 3.2L 5-cylinder Duratorq TDCi diesel engines found in the Ranger, as well as the 6-speed manual and automatic transmissions. But what really sets the all-new Everest apart is a contraption they call 'Terrain Management System' (TMS).
This technology, which is more common in upscale SUVs, can be set depending on what terrain you're driving on. The 4 options are Normal, Snow/Gravel/Grass, Sand, and Rock. According to Ford, the system takes care of the intelligent 4WD, throttle response, transmission, and traction control, so all you have to do is to focus on driving.
It even has electronic doodads such as Curve Control, Active Park Assist, and Roll Stability Control to help you with more common driving scenarios.
If you like what you see here, then you should be happy to know that the all-new Everest will be making a special appearance at the 2015 Manila International Auto Show (MIAS), hopefully in left-hand-drive. But you can't buy one just yet. Because according to Ford Philippines, stocks from Rayong, Thailand are not due to arrive until Q3 of 2015.
Ford's latest SUV, however, is now listed between THB 1.269 to 1.599-million in Thailand, which works out at around P1.745 and 2.199 million. Although that's not exactly what you'd call 'cheap' compared to the likes of the Toyota Fortuner and Mitsubishi Montero Sport, you do have to consider how much more SUV you're getting for your cash.
Hopefully though, it'll be a bit less when it finally lands in local showrooms.