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Ford Australia has finally dropped pricing for its hotly-anticipated Everest, and the Sport grade with a new headline-stealing V6 engine will start at just a touch under $70,000 before on-road costs.
But is this actually a good deal?
In the blue corner, the Ford Everest Sport packs a 3.0-litre turbo-diesel V6 with 184kW/600Nm at its disposal, sending drive to a permanent four-wheel-drive system via a 10-speed automatic transmission.
The Isuzu and Toyota competitors meanwhile, both make use of turbo-diesel four-cylinders paired with six-speed automatics, with the former outputting 140kW/450Nm and the latter punching out 150kW/500Nm – both with dual-range four-wheel-drive systems also in play.
So, the Everest has its competitors handily beat in game of engine-output Top Trumps, but with great power must also come a great fuel bill.
Ford is yet to officially reveal the fuel economy figures of the new V6 Everest, but the Isuzu and Toyota’s competitors post up an 8.3L/100km and 7.9L/100km figure respectively.
Ford’s 10-speed auto could keep the fuel bill down, but we can’t draw a definitive winner until official figures are published.
What’s all this mean for towing though?
While Ford wins at the game of engine-output Top Trumps, it is also equal first in terms of towing, sharing the Isuzu’s 3500kg rating, while the Toyota lags behind with a 3000kg braked towing capacity figure.
What about gear then? Has Ford skimped on any equipment to keep the Everest at a more affordable price?
As standard, the Everest Sport comes fitted with 20-inch alloy wheels, heated and cooled front seats, a powered tailgate, rear privacy glass, dual-zone climate control, seating for seven, keyless entry, push-button start, an 8.0-inch digital instrument display, and a 12.0-inch multimedia system with support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Buyers can also opt for 18-inch wheels with all-terrain tyres at no extra cost.
The equipment list of the Isuzu MU-X LS-T reads similarly to the Everest Sport, and includes 20-inch wheels, leather seat trim, heated front seats, privacy glass, dual-zone climate control, a digital instrument display, remote engine start and a powered tailgate.
However, the Isuzu has a smaller 9.0-inch multimedia screen and misses out on the cooled seats of the Everest.
As for the Prado GXL, it also has keyless entry, push-button start and privacy glass, but adds tri-zone climate control to the mix.
However, a leather-accented interior is optional, while its multimedia system, driver display and wheels are smaller, measuring 9.0, 4.2 and 17 inches respectively.
On the safety front, all three models feature autonomous emergency braking, lane keep assist, lane departure warning, a reversing camera, rear cross-traffic alert, blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control and traffic sign recognition and rear parking sensors.
However, the Isuzu and Ford beat out the Toyota by also including front parking sensors.
It’s clear that the Prado GXL offers the least of the three off-road SUVs, but Toyota’s extensive dealer network could easily sway a buyer into its showrooms.
The Isuzu MU-X LS-T offers a lot of bang for buck, but for those after a more potent engine, the Ford Everest Sport comes out on top.