The Ford Everest has moved beyond a point of speculation to a reality. The time has come to put this long-awaited off-roader with Ranger ute components through its paces on Australian roads.
The Everest is one of the most talked-about new models to launch in 2015. Whichever way you cut it, the rugged seven-seater has engendered massive interest. The reasons are varied and obvious.
First, few cars attract the kind of fervent partisanship of the Ranger, so it’s natural this might extend to an SUV spun off the same architecture. Second, the Everest was developed in Australia, where Ford headquarters its Asia Pacific research and design division. Third, it’s an example of the stream of new nameplates being introduced by Ford as it dips ever more into its global range.
Put simply, the Everest is emblematic of both ‘new’ Ford and ‘established’ Ford, a catalyst of change derived from a familiar and respected source.
It also launches at an auspicious time, given the Toyota’s HiLux-based Fortuner has also just arrived for the first time, though Ford will tell you the Everest is actually a Prado rival, while the much-improved Mitsubishi Pajero Sport we’ve jut driven overseas replaces the Challenger from December.
Here we have the mid-spec Ford Everest Trend variant. Costing $60,990 plus on-road costs, it commands a premium, though not the outlandish degree of the $76,990 Titanium flagship. Question is, does Ford Australia’s engineering nous justify its positioning?