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ELEVATE YOUR EXPERIENCE

Ford Everest 3.0 V6 4WD Platinum

Taking a massive leap forward in technology and comfort, the new Ford Everest is a beast of an SUV that injects a significant boost in capability into a segment that feels predominantly agricultural – with some exceptions. The catch? It does so at a price.

Those in the know understand that the Ford Everest is, essentially, a swanky Ranger-based SUV. While technically accurate, the new Everest and, specifically, the 3.0-litre V6 Platinum elevates the overall Everest experience to a level where it can, finally, stake its own claim in the expanding luxury SUV market.

GEARED FOR ANYTHING

The Everest line-up starts with the 4×2 XLT variant, priced at R832,400, and progresses to a 4×4 XLT version and two Sport derivatives in either 4×2 or 4×4 guise. The recently released Everest Wildtrak comes in second from the top at R1,084,000. The Platinum variant is the pinnacle of luxury, commanding a price of R1,146,500. While this may seem a hefty sum, the Everest Platinum is packed with standard features.

On the outside, you’ll find sleek 21″ wheels (with the option for 18″), automatic Matrix LED lighting, auto wipers, keyless entry and start, heated and auto-folding mirrors with puddle lamps, and a panoramic sunroof. Step inside the cabin, and you’ll be greeted by leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, 10-way electrically adjustable front seats with driver’s memory function, a magnificent 12″ portrait touchscreen supporting wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, satellite navigation with live traffic updates, digital radio, a premium 12-speaker Bang and Olufsen sound system, dual-zone climate control with rear fan speed control, a convenient wireless phone charger, and electric-folding third-row seats.

Safety is paramount in the Everest Platinum, which boasts nine airbags, autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian, cyclist, and intersection assistance, adaptive cruise control with stop/go functionality, and lane-keep assist with lane-trace assistance. There is also blind-spot monitoring, front and rear cross-traffic alert, driver attention monitoring, rear occupant alert, rear auto braking, a 360-degree parking camera, and front- and rear parking sensors. 

It’s an impressive suite of safety features, although we missed amenities such as a head-up display, paddle shifters, more rear USB ports, and a separate rear climate zone.

DIGNIFIED PERFORMANCE

While the Everest offers a 157kW/500Nm 2.0-litre bi-turbo diesel engine in other models, the Platinum variant is powered exclusively by the 3.0-litre V6 turbodiesel, also found in the Ranger. Generating 184 kW of power at 3,250 rpm and 600 Nm of torque between 1,750 rpm and 2,250 rpm, the V6 is both smooth and exceptionally powerful and, paired with Ford’s 10-speed torque converter automatic transmission, delivers a refined driving experience befitting the Platinum’s luxurious interior.

The transmission responds intuitively, effortlessly downshifting even with gentle throttle inputs. Though it can be operated manually using a button on the gear lever, this function can be a bit fiddly and prone to accidental activation. Paddle shifters would be a more elegant solution for a vehicle as classy as the Everest.

RIDE AND HANDLING

The Everest Platinum offers exceptional driving dynamics, with the only drawback being the ride quality of its massive 21″ wheels. Opting for the Sport variant with its 20″ wheels (or even the no-cost optional 18″ wheels) would provide a softer ride without compromising the SUV’s handling prowess.

Ford claims an average fuel consumption of 8.5 l/100 km for the Everest Platinum, but we achieved 10.4 l/100 km in predominantly urban driving conditions. With its 80-litre fuel tank, the Everest boasts a range of approximately 800 km based on real-world driving conditions.

If you plan to tow with the Everest, it offers the same impressive 3,500 kg braked towing rating as the Ranger. Additionally, its permanent all-wheel drive system, locking rear differential, selectable off-road driving modes, and lockable 50/50-split four-wheel-drive system make it highly capable off the beaten path as well.

EXCLUSIVE COMFORT

While the Everest Platinum shares the Ranger’s impressive off-road capabilities, its cabin takes luxury to new heights. Every inch of the interior exudes quality and attention to detail. Soft-touch materials adorn the dashboard, door tops, and centre console, creating an inviting and refined atmosphere.

Functionality is not compromised either. The Everest provides ample storage options with large door bins, a dual-level glovebox, and a cavernous centre console bin. A wireless charging tray below the infotainment screen and USB-A and USB-C charging ports cater to our digital lives. Even the drinks are taken care of, with large cupholders between the seats and convenient pull-out cup holders on either side of the dashboard, ensuring they stay secure during off-road adventures.

The middle row of the Everest is spacious and well-appointed, continuing the premium feel with soft-touch materials. Despite the panoramic sunroof, there is plenty of room for taller adults in the middle row. The heated outboard seats, rear fan speed controller, vents in the roof for both the second and third rows, and additional USB-A and USB-C charging ports make the rear cabin a comfortable sanctuary.

Moving to the third row, passengers will find cup holders and airbag coverage, though charging ports are absent. Accessing the third row is a breeze, as the middle-row seats fold forward easily. However, taller adults may find the headroom lacking in the rearmost seats.

When it comes to cargo space, the Everest doesn’t disappoint. The luggage compartment is generously sized, and the third row electrically folds away to create even more room. Tie-down hooks, under-floor storage, and a 12V socket enhance practicality. With all seats in use, there is 259 litres of space available. Folding away the third row expands this to 898 litres, and with all rear seats folded flat, an impressive 1,818 litres of cargo space can be utilised.

LAST WORD

Like its Ranger sibling, the Ford Everest Platinum raises the bar compared to its already capable predecessor. It enhances the all-around excellence of the previous model with more power, more advanced features, and a touch of class that befits the Platinum trim. The Everest Platinum stands ready to conquer any terrain while offering a luxurious and comfortable ride for those seeking adventure and refinement.

Report by BERNIE HELLBERG JR | Images (c) FORD SOUTH AFRICA

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