The Ford Everest range will expand in September with the introduction of a new rear-wheel drive variant, availably solely in mid-level Trend specification.
The Ford Everest Trend RWD will cost $5000 less than the 4WD Everest Trend, at $55,990 plus on-road costs, making the mid-range offering more accessible to a greater number of prospective buyers.
The Everest Trend RWD will offer the same 143kW/470Nm 3.2-litre TDCi engine, six-speed automatic transmission, seven-seat capacity and 3000kg towing capability as the Trend 4WD. The latter is key, as regular towers are a major target.
Because the Everest Trend RWD also retains the same tyres and 225mm ride height as the 4WD, it can still handle more gentle off-roading, just like its RWD Isuzu MU-X rival.
Pictured: Ford Everest Trend 4WD
The Everest RWD will fill a few key areas in Ford’s line-up. On the one hand it will make the highly priced offering more affordable, and on the other it will provide a seven-seat option for the range beyond the end of the Australian-made Territory in October.
As we know, Ford Australia’s eventual Territory replacement due in 2o17 will likely be the North American-made Edge (though it’ll probably wear the Territory badge). This car is Hyundai Santa Fe-sized but only has five seats.
Meanwhile, the MY17 Everest will also get some key specification upgrades from September, with Sync 3 infotainment (8.0-inch screen, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, better voice control and integrated apps) to feature on the Trend and Titanium.
Pictured: Ford Sync 3 system pictured in US-market Mustang
This somewhat addresses the fact that integrated sat-nav is only an option on the Everest Trend.
Furthermore, Ford will also address a key issue for family buyers by adding a pair of ISOFIX child seat attachment points to the middle row of all Everest models, matching class leaders.
As we know, Ford’s 1100-strong Australian product development team had a key role developing all Everest models as a centrepiece, along with Ranger, of Ford’s $2 billion investment in local R&D since 2009.