Ford Everest RWD 2017 Review

  • By Website Team Technicians
  • 07 Feb, 2017

No SUV will ever really replace the Ford Territory. Nope, but Ford’s hoping a few different SUVs might be able to fill the gap and the new rear-wheel drive version of the Everest could be one of them.

By Richard Berry

While we loved the Territory for the way it drove, its practicality and because it was made by Aussies, as an SUV it couldn’t do everything everybody wanted. Being based on the Falcon platform limited the Territory’s off-road and towing ability.

 

Enter the Everest in 2015 – a seven-seat hardcore off-road SUV. Problem solved, right?. Well no, not really, see while it’s a total genius over tough terrain it’s not the most dynamic or agile SUV on the road, and is priced more like a Prado than logical rivals like the Fortuner and Pajero Sport.

Now a rear-wheel drive version of the mid-spec Everest Trend has been introduced. So what’s the point? Isn’t this the SUV equivalent of clipping a bird’s wings? Or is this the SUV you’ve been waiting years for?

Design

Like its all-paw brother the rear-wheel drive is 4892mm end-to-end, 2180mm wide, has a wheelbase of 2850mm and stands 1837mm tall. It also has the same 225mm ground clearance as the four-wheel drive, so even with just rear-wheel drive you’ll be able to cross some fairly rough terrain. The rear-wheel drive also has the same 800mm wading depth. For now, the rear-wheel drive Everest only comes in the Trend grade. The cabin is stylish, but not luxurious with cloth seats and some hard plastics.

Practicality

The Everest is big, but at 191cm I have more legroom in a Toyota Corolla when I sit behind by driving position. Still there’s a couple of fingers' width of space between my knees and the seatback. The third row is a bit tight for me but it’s impressively spacious and comfortable back there for a seven seater. Headroom throughout the entire cabin is excellent. Storage is also great with two cup holders up front, two in the fold-down armrest in the second row and another two in back seats. There’s also bottle holders in all the doors. Under the boot floor are more storage areas, there’s also a large bin under the armrest in the front big enough for three 500ml bottles.

Engine And Transmission

The rear-wheel drive Everest has the same 143kW/470Nm 3.2-litre five-cylinder turbo diesel and six speed automatic transmission as the rest of the line-up, but in the case of the rear-wheel drive power is sent to just the rear wheels. Unlike the Ranger ute which the Everest is based on there is no six-speed manual gearbox.

Fuel Consumption

Ford claims the average combined fuel consumption of the rear-wheel drive Everest is 8.4L/100km which is just 0.1L/100km less than the four-wheel drive. It all adds up though and over time this should see you save a little bit of money at the pump.

Driving

The real benefit of the rear-wheel drive Everest is an improvement in ride, handling and steering on the road. We’re not talking sports car performance or even the same level of drivability of a car-based SUV such as the Territory, that’s just not physically possible for a vehicle that has a ladder frame chassis and was originally built for hardcore off-roading. In the case of the Everest much of that weight hung out past the front axle. Picture yourself pushing a shopping trolley with your mate hanging off the front of it – as hilarious as it might seem at 3am it’s much easier to steer without the drongo on there. Same thing with the Everest, it’s now feels better balanced and less nose heavy. The conversion to rear-wheel drive also meant the steering had to be retuned, too. The steering is light, quick and accurate. Along with better balance, being rear wheel drive means there’s no torque steer either.

 

The overall result is impressive. The Everest feels more car-like to drive – sure you’re still high up on stilts but coming into my first roundabout for a right-hand turn with the type of speed that would have had had the four-wheel drive wanting to continue straight on revealed the rear-wheel drive could change direction far more easily.

As with the rest of Everest line-up the seating position is quite upright, but pedal feel is great and visibility is also good. There wasn’t an opportunity during the launch to take the rear-wheel drive Everest off-road, but that’s okay seeing as most of its buyers won’t be doing any heavy duty bush bashing. At the same time thanks to its good ground clearance and ladder frame the rear-wheel drive Everest will go where soft roaders can’t.

Safety

The rear-wheel drive Everest has been given the maximum five-star ANCAP rating. Along with seven airbags, including curtain airbags which extend all the way to the third row, the Trend grade adds adaptive cruise control with auto braking and forward collision alert. There’s also a lane keeping system which will steer you back into your lane if you stray out of it and an emergency assistance call function which will ring the emergency services if a significant collision is detected.

 

For child seats the second row has two ISOFIX mounts on the outside and three top-tether anchor points, while the third row as two top tethers.

Verdict

The rear-wheel drive Everest is not a rival for the Toyota Kluger or Mazda CX-9. It’s hugely tougher than these soft roaders and far more capable off the beaten track, but it doesn’t have their refined ride and more adept handling. Yet, the rear wheel drive Everest is the SUV many people have been waiting for – its 225mm ground clearance, the ladder frame chassis and 3000kg braked towing capacity makes it perfect for Australians who caravan, camp and go boating but don’t need four-wheel drive. And with better balance, ride and handling the Everest will make touring this giant land of ours a more comfortable experience.

Latest News

By Website Team Technicians 09 Apr, 2017

By Top Gear

The Prius gets better in the areas it needed to. Fresh-feeling cabin, urban economy, powertrain.

By Website Team Technicians 05 Apr, 2017

By Adil Khan

For decades, people have been speculating on topics ranging from car colour affecting insurance premiums to outlandish service intervals. You might ask yourself why these misconceptions exist and where these myths come from. It’s partially due to the lack of transparency in the industry itself as well as the fact that most people find the world of cars to be a little confusing. Whatever the reason, we’re debunking five of the silliest misconceptions about cars, once and for all.

By Website Team Technicians 03 Apr, 2017

By Craig Jamieson

Ah, the Skyline. Against a skyline. Nice.

The Skyline, in our opinion, is the car that made Nissan.

 

Never mind that it was actually invented by Prince – no, not the ‘Purple Rain’ one, the Japanese car manufacturer, which merged with Nissan in the 1960s. Nissan kept the excellent ‘Skyline’ name – and the somewhat suspect ‘Gloria’, but we digress.

 

The Skyline nameplate dates all the way back to the late 1950s, but it’s the 1989 R32 Skyline GTR that really put Nissan on the map. Even though there had been quite a few highlights in the range over the years – the original 1969 GTR, for instance, and the R31 GTS-R – the R32 left an indelible mark, both on the road and in motorsport.

By Website Team Technicians 28 Mar, 2017

By KBB.com

Families have moved on from the family sedan.

Looking at sales trends, soccer fields and school drop-off lines it’s clear that today’s family car is actually an SUV. And the family-friendliest vehicle of them all, the minivan, continues to appeal with its purpose-built practicality.

As SUVs have grown more comfortable and more efficient over the years, families and car shoppers in general have demonstrated an increasing preference for the elevated driving position, superior cargo versatility and higher profile of SUVs. Whether it’s the sliding doors and cavernous interior of a minivan or the high-riding nature and available all-wheel drive of an SUV, each of these vehicles is simply more functional as a family car than a traditional sedan.

~ Best 2-Row SUVs for Families

2017 Honda CR-V

Totally redesigned for 2017, the CR-V is the best-selling SUV in the country and one of our most awarded cars every year.

By Website Team Technicians 27 Mar, 2017

By Robert Liwanag

Ford Motor Company's futurist shares six automotive trends that will shape the car industry this year.

By Website Team Technicians 22 Mar, 2017

By Reader’s Digest

The Internet is a great tool to research and shop for used cars. Here's how to use online resources to your greatest advantage as a used car buyer.

By Website Team Technicians 20 Mar, 2017
By David Muhlbaum

Cars in general have become more reliable over the years. Yet there are some models that just seem to keep rolling along, whistling past the junkyard. We bet you’ve seen one of these still cruising the highway recently. We've identified 15 cars with exceptional—sometimes surprising—endurance and value.

Honda Accord Model years: 1976-Present
By Website Team Technicians 10 Mar, 2017

The all-new 2018 Range Rover Velar has been revealed, filling the space between the smaller Evoque and larger Sport in the British marque’s line-up, and will land in Australia later this year, in the Summer. Pitched as the “avant garde Range Rover“, the Velar is claimed to offer new levels of refinement and technology for the brand, and is set to go on sale in Europe later this year.

When the Velar goes on sale in Australia, pricing will range from $70,300 to $135,400 before on-road costs. A special ‘First Edition’ variant will also be offered at launch, priced from $167,600 – again before on-road costs are applied.

Although full Australian details are still to be revealed, headline features in the Velar include the debut of the new Touch Pro Duo infotainment system with two high-definition 10-inch touchscreens, along with Matrix Laser-LED headlights, Jaguar and Aston Martin-esque flush deployable door handles, and a minimalistic design approach.

By Website Team Technicians 02 Mar, 2017

Do you know what it’s like to be the most popular person in the room? What about the most attractive? No, I don’t either, I was just wondering if anyone had felt the way Mazda must feel in Australia at the moment. Everything the Japanese brand has touched of late has turned to gold and one blinding example of that is the 2016 Mazda 3 Maxx.

 

Positioned as the second most affordable 3 in the range, the Maxx actually pushes our pick of the 3 range – the SP25, based on our launch review – all the way when you sit down and weigh up driving engagement, pricing and specification. In fact, if you’re shopping on a tight budget, and you don’t absolutely need the 2.5-litre engine, the Maxx is without doubt the model we’d recommend. Yes, it is that good.

 

Standard safety kit was part of the recent revision to standard specification across the range, and as such, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert and smart city brake support are included. The amount of standard kit you get at this price point is genuinely impressive. Luxury Euro vehicles with stratospheric price points don’t get some of the gear that the 3 Maxx gets standard.

 

The Maxx is powered by a 2.0-litre, four cylinder petrol engine, which generates 114kW at 6000rpm and 200Nm at 4000rpm and, as tested, features the aforementioned six-speed automatic gearbox. The engine is pretty high tech too, with stop/start and direct injection, all part of Mazda’s SkyActiv-G technology under the bonnet. All petrol Mazda 3 models will drink regular unleaded, although we tend to run 95RON as a matter of course. The ADR fuel consumption claim is 5.8L/100km with the automatic transmission.

 

External styling is a Mazda 3 strong point and the Maxx is an attractive small hatch. It is part of the reason the 3 is so popular in Australia – we definitely buy vehicles on style in this country. Mazda’s Kodo design language delivers a fluidity in the proportions from front to rear. The signature swooping design cues might eat into second row headroom a little compared to the outgoing model, but there is still room for two adults in the second row. One exterior highlight is the stylish 16-inch alloy wheels, with sensible sidewall tires that add to the driving comfort around town – more on that in a minute.

 

Controlling the system is beautifully simple via the rotary dial that is mounted within easy reach and is incredibly easy to understand even for first timers. Cleverly, the touchscreen function is deactivated when the Maxx is in motion. The satellite navigation software is quick to load and accurate when directing you to a destination. The audio system works well too, with Bluetooth phone connectivity always crystal clear and never dropping out. You also get DAB+ radio and internet radio integration. The screen displays all you need to work through in an easy to understand fashion.

 

The driving position, visibility and comfort are all perfect. There’s plenty of seat adjustment for tall occupants even in the passenger seat, but keep in mind, tall adults up front will eat into leg space for passengers in the second row. If the Maxx is a family runaround though, there’s more than enough space to truck the brood around.

 

The second row seats are actually nicely sculpted and comfortable for adults even on longer trips. You tend to sit down into them rather than up on top of them, and the material is both hardy but comfortable. Your passengers will appreciate the second row accommodation, that’s for sure.

 

The small console bin and small glove box don’t offer up much space for workers using the Mazda 3 as a mobile office, but there’s safe storage for a wallet and phone ahead of the shifter and the cup holders/bottle holders are well positioned too. The hatch section is low enough to make loading and unloading gear easy and again, there’s enough usable space to haul the kind of gear that most Mazda 3 owners will need to carry.

 

On the move, the 2.0-litre engine presents – at city speeds at least – as a quiet and refined power plant. It’s only when you lean on the throttle a little heavily, or coax the Maxx willingly up to highway speeds (or roll on overtake from say 60km/h), that it starts to feel like you’d be better off with the 2.5-litre engine. Under all other conditions, the 2.0-litre is more than up to the task. The real world fuel usage reflects the fact that the engine has to work harder than its bigger sibling, returning an indicated 10.3L/100km.

 

The gearbox is crisp regardless of how hard you’re working the engine, and paired with sharp steering, it makes the Mazda 3 Maxx feel like a nimble little hatch. You find yourself darting around town, like you’re piloting a go-kart, such is the all-round balance and feedback. We loved the way the Maxx rode over poor surfaces, thanks in part to sensible 16-inch wheels and tall tires, but also to an inherently capable suspension tune. While it can turn in sharply and stay balanced through corners, it can also ride comfortably when the going gets nasty – it’s a solid compromise.

 

As we stated at the outset, the Mazda 3 Maxx really does give the SP25 a red hot run for its money as the overall pick of the 3 range. It’s only piped by the more effective engine and extra inclusions for those buyers not on a tight budget. In Maxx specification though, we reckon the Mazda 3 earns a solid eight overall, such is its all-round ability. It’s not hard to work out why the Mazda 3 is so damn popular with Australian buyers.

By Website Team Technicians 27 Feb, 2017

By Allison Martin

More Posts
Share by: