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Published on December 21st, 2010 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez

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Climbing A Hill With A Mountain

The next time you are in Singapore take note of the number of Ford Everest’s in army green being driven by national servicemen and women. Gone are the legendary Land Rovers and they have been replaced by this latest Everest. If it is good enough for the Singapore army purchasing department (which is corrupt free) then we believe that this new Everest is the new Mud and Jungle King. But then I am not a professional 4×4 jungle basher and have only taken some light 4×4 driving in my time. Still, the army needs serious 4×4 vehicles and I suppose they did proper testing in the jungle before signing the order form….right?

We got a weekend with the Everest and like all other times, the question of where we were going to take it was asked. If we took a trip every time we test drove a new vehicle, we would be broke and have no time to write reviews. We however managed to run some 450 kilometers in Klang Valley commute and this was what most Everest owners would do. This new Everest is neither trend setting nor dull in its exterior design. It treads the safe middle ground that will appeal to both the off-roader types, with its flared wheel arches, short overhangs and chunky 18-inch tyres and those who will probably never take it off-road, with a largely modern front end and dynamic headlight cluster. This recent facelift brings the Everest into more a modern world with its tall body, largely upright windscreen and high ground clearance.

Get inside and the seats were comfortable. We felt that the Everest’s height and a sense of interior space helped the driver to focus their awareness on the road and conditions ahead, which is better than moct compact 4WDs. The Everest is well equipped to handle 7 occupants with plenty of room for the sports equipment or camping gear in the boot.

The second row of seats offers enough space for 3 adults whilst the rear seats are more attuned to accommodate young children with separate a/c vents and climate control in both rear rows.

With the rear seats folded down, the boot offers plenty of space. The Everest falls a little short when it comes to the dash and driver cockpit feel as it lacked a SatNav system which is now standard on most crossovers and 4WD SUVs.

The Everest was fitted with a WEC inline-4 DOHC 16V 3.0-Liter which was good for 154hp and 380Nm of torque. Mated to a 5-speed automatic gearbox it had strong, straight-line performance up to the end of its speedometer.

It also has a generous amount of ground clearance and some particularly aggressive approach and departure angles, more so than in the comparable Japanese competitor but there’s also a proper low-range transfer case for more serious 4×4 jungle bashing.

Of course sharing a chassis with the Ranger pickup may contribute much to the Everest’s stellar off-road credentials but on ill-kept or uneven tarmac, it does actually become quite a hindrance in terms or overall ride quality and refinement just like the rest of the competition. However, potential owners have a clear understanding of this when looking at the ownership prospect of this range of vehicles.

The Everest’s safety features include two air bags for the driver and the front passenger, three-point seat belts for every passenger and an Antilock Brake System (ABS). The rear brakes still use drums, but we found the car’s capability to stop in time to be very reliable. The Everest’s turning circle is amazingly small for its size, and the power steering gives sufficient feedback to the driver. The asking price might be on the high side for this diesel 3-liter, but the diesel 2.5-liter at RM158,000.00 seems a better buy to me.

Ford Everest 3-liter Specifications
Engine: WEC Inline 4-cylinder DOHC Diesel
Capacity: 2953cc
Max power: 154hp @ 3200 rpm
Max torque: 380Nm @ 1800 rpm
Transmission: 5-speed automatic
Safety features: Dual airbags, ABS
Price: RM172,080.80 OTR
 


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