Ford Everest (Titanium AWD): Comfort packed SUV for the jungle

The seven-seater Ford Everest is a comfort-packed behemoth that tries to do everything and be a master of all it surveys, whether in the urban jungle or on off-road terrain where you want a tough and sturdy vehicle with 4WD (four-wheel drive).

Here, our review unit is the flagship RM258,888 Everest in Titanium trim and a more powerful bi-turbo 2.0-litre diesel engine that makes 213ps and 500Nm of torque.

Those who don't mind a little less muscle and features can save RM30,000 with the cheaper RM228,888 Everest in Trend trim, which has a 2.0-litre VGT (variable geometry turbo) diesel engine that makes 180PS/420Nm.

The Titanium variant gets bigger 20-inch wheels (versus 18-inch on the Trend variant) and extras like a 230V AC outlet, panoramic moon roof, powered folding third row seats, front parking sensors, powered front seats, all one-touch powered windows and Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) with Cross-Traffic Alert.

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Features and Technology

Ford threw everything but the kitchen sink into this facelifted Everest, which arrived here in late 2018, and you get a long list of attractive features which comes standard.

Unlike the previous Everest, this has a 10-speed automatic transmission instead of a six-speed auto.

For tough off-road environments, you have the standard 4WD, electronic locking rear differential (for more traction and grip as this locks the rear axle) and a Terrain Management System (TMS) which is activated by turning a dial next to the gear shifter.

We have tried the Snow/Mud/Grass mode of the TMS before on slippery and muddy jungle paths, and it definitely provided more traction and control on such unfriendly terrain.

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The TMS also provides Sand and Rock modes to tackle such off-road ground.

For hilly terrain, you also get Hill Descent Control (control slippage and maintain preset speed when going down a hill) and Hill Start Assist (prevents rollback when making a hill start).

If you are making use of the Everest's three-tonne towing capacity, Ford's Trailer Sway Control can detect trailer sway and reduce vehicle speed to help solve the problem.

Also, drive right through deep water with the Everest's best-in-class water wading depth of 800mm, and 225mm of ground clearance.

Its off-road credentials are further accentuated by details like underbody protection, and front and rear mudflaps.

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Interior and practicality

Both rows of rear seats can be folded flat and it's worth noting the convenience of having powered third-row seats - activated via buttons on the rear right sidewall.

With all rear seats folded flat, you get a huge 2,010 litres of cargo space.

Creature comforts here include nice leather seats, powered front seats and a panoramic moon roof that lets in plenty of light.

A hands-free power liftgate is conveniently activated by moving our foot below the rear bumper, when our hands are full.

There are also rain sensing wipers, dual zone automatic air-conditioning, rear air-conditioning vents and eight-way powered front seats, and even all one-touch up/down powered windows.

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This is really an SUV that you can bring into the jungle and still enjoy premium executive comforts normally reserved for high-end passenger cars.

The Ford Sync 3 infotainment system comes with a sizeable eight-inch touchscreen that supports Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto Support and AppLink.

You also get two USB ports to charge your mobile devices and enjoy music via a high quality 10-speaker system as you go into unfriendly terrain.

To store those small items, there are front seatback pockets and hooks (behind the driver's seat), as well as door bins and a deep centre storage box between the front seats.

The leather-clad interior looks nice, and has the premium ambience expected of a car that comes with a high price tag.

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The drive

The new 10-speed automatic transmission, which replaces the previous six-speed auto, smoothens the driving refinement and also improves fuel economy.

Also new is the 2.0-litre bi-turbo (Titanium variant only) diesel engine which produces 213PS and 500Nm, which provides a massive amount of grunt for those tough terrain or towing jobs.

The 10-speed auto gearbox is fairly intuitive and responsive, and works well at low speeds.

At higher speeds, the new transmission is a smooth shifter and matches well with the torquey bi-turbo engine, and is definitely an improvement over the previous six-speed auto.

Still, the Everest is built on a platform shared with the popular Ford Ranger pick-up, and the drive quality does feel a bit rough and truck-like.

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This is quite different from the monocoque or Unibody SUVs which offer more refinement and smooth handling, and a more comfortable ride.

It's meant to bring you into the jungle in high luxury and comfort, while also being that premium comfort-packed family car for trips to the shopping malls.

And if you encounter flooded roads (happens often enough in parts of the Klang Valley), just drive right through deep water with the Everest's best-in-class water wading depth of 800mm, and 225mm of ground clearance.

After all, this is an SUV that is built to tackle bad off-road terrain and yet, is fitted with premium stuff like automatic HID headlamps with auto-levelling.

Running on big 265/50 R20 tyres, this huge seven-seater absorbs road irregularities and speed bumps like a sponge.

It's also a big and long creature at around 1.84-metre in height and 4.9-metre in length, so parking and manoeuvring it is quite a job, especially in basement car parks even with the aid of the rear view camera and front and rear parking sensors.

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At this price tag and its ladder-frame chassis, the Everest is in a league of its own.

It would appeal to those who can appreciate its rugged and robust qualities that would serve very well off-road, as well as its feature and comfort-laden package (such as Active Noise Cancellation technology) that provides a certain level of refinement.

It does feel somewhat agricultural in drive quality, especially compared with the cheaper petrol-powered monocoque SUVs which are really meant for tamer and less strenuous city adventures.

This latest Everest with an improved powertrain continues to stand out as a beefy off-roader with seven seats and a well-appointed, leather-clad cabin packed with a premium digital infotainment system.

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Ford Everest (Titanium AWD)

Engine: 1,996cc diesel bi-turbo, commonrail direct injection

Maximum power: 213PS at 3,750rpm
Maximum torque: 500Nm of torque at 1,750 to 2,000rpm
Transmission: 10-speed automatic with Selectshift
Safety features: Seven airbags, Electronic Stability Control (ESC) with Traction Control, Emergency Brake Assist, Roll Stability Control, Rear View Camera, Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) with Cross-Traffic Alert, Roll Stability Control, Trailer Sway Control, Hill Descent Control, Hill Launch Assist, Ford MyKey system, ISOFIX child seat points, front and rear parking sensors
Features: Automatic HID headlamps with auto-levelling, LED daytime running lights, LED taillamps, panoramic moonroof, rain sensing wipers, 8-way powered front seats, hands-free power lift gate, 265/50 R20 tyres, powered folding third row seats, front and rear fog lamps, e-Locking Rear Differential, Terrain Management System, underbody protection, dual zone automatic air-conditioning, rear air-conditioning vents, keyless entry with push-start button, cruise control with adjustable speed limiter, leather seats, all one-touch up/down powered windows, Ford Sync 3 infotainment system, eight-inch touchscreen with Bluetooth, voice recognition, two USB ports, 10 audio speakers, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto Support and AppLink
Price (on-the-road without insurance): RM258,888
Warranty: 3-year warranty or 100,000km (whichever is first)

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Autos Ford
CarSifu's Rating: 7.4