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The Australian-engineered and designed Ford Everest range will expand even further in the second quarter of 2017 with the launch of a new price-leading five-seat version.

The five-seater option will only be available on the base Ford Everest Ambiente, in both four-wheel drive and rear-wheel drive configurations, pointing to a focus on big fleets as well as “value conscious” buyers.

Given the current 4WD seven-seat Everest kicks off at $54,990 plus on-road costs, one might speculate that the new five-seater RWD option will take pricing below $50k for the first time.

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The announcement of a new five-seat Everest derivative follows the recent news that Ford Australia would introduce the RWD drivetrain on the mid-spec Everest Trend in a few months time, with a $5000 price reduction over the 4WD at $55,990.

This all means that from around April/May next year, the Everest range will comprise the Ambiente five-seater RWD and 4WD, Ambiente seven-seater 4WD, Trend seven-seater RWD and 4WD and Titanium seven-seater 4WD.

All will offer the same 143kW/470Nm 3.2-litre TDCi engine, six-speed automatic transmission and 3000kg towing capability, and 225mm ride height.

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As part of the flagged Everest update before the end of this year, the MY17 Everest will also get Sync 3 infotainment (8.0-inch screen, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, better voice control and integrated apps) on the Trend and Titanium.

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.

The broader 2017 Ford Everest line-up will almost certainly boost the Blue Oval’s sales in this fiercely fought hardcore SUV segment. The car’s half-yearly sales this year (its first year) were 1892 units – about half that of the cheaper Isuzu MU-X, and less than the Mitsubishi Pajero Sport (2564) and Toyota Fortuner (2222).

MORE: Ford Everest v Isuzu MU-X v Mitsubishi Pajero Sport v Toyota Fortuner v Nissan Patrol




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