- shares

Ford Australia president and CEO Graeme Whickman has defended the company’s controversial $76,990 (plus on-roads) asking price for the flagship Ford Everest Titanium.

The Australian-developed Everest — an SUV based on the same T6 architecture as the Ranger ute — has been generally well received since it launched a few months ago.

But eyebrows were raised over the pricing of the top-spec variant in the three-car line-up. The $76,990 ask for the Titanium is a long walk up from the $60,990 Trend and $54,990 Ambiente.

The sticker price means the Everest Titanium bisects the Toyota Prado VX ($73,990) and Kakadu ($84,490). Ford considers the Prado to be the Everest’s main rival.

Ford Everest Titanium ext 2

But the Everest Titanium is also massively more expensive than ute-based rivals such as the Toyota Fortuner Crusade ($59,990) and Mitsubishi Pajero Sport Exceed ($52,750).

Whickman this week once again defended the positioning when asked by CarAdvice, stating: “It’s at the top end of our range and there’s a reason”.

“It’s a very well spec’d vehicle. If you’re looking you have the choice of Prado, or maybe the Mitsi… Look at the pricing between Prado, it’s a better price and much better specification.

“Somebody has to make an assessment and make the judgement. At the same time we’re priced slightly below Prado and yet we’re a better vehicle.”

Ford Everest Titanium interior

Ford has made much of the areas in which its Everest outstrips the Prado, citing 10 features that it offers not found on the Toyota such as active noise cancellation, auto high beam, parking assist, lane assist, electric tailgate and Emergency Assist.

The seven-seater Everest also has more power/torque, though it’s also 38mm shorter, 25mm narrower and 43mm lower and its cabin feels, to yours truly, to be comprised of cheaper-feeling materials and a bit pokier than the Prado.

Interestingly, it appears many buyers aren’t perturbed by the premium positioning. So far, 25 per cent of the 894 Everests sold have been Titaniums — though early orders generally favour up-spec’d variants. Ford is already offering factory-backed drive-away campaign deals on the Everest Ambiente and Trend, but not on the Titanium.

A solitary Ford Everest has also been the subject of a widely-reported fire, since deemed to be a one-off. Read more about that here.