The entry fee into Ford's Everest line-up is set to drop with the carmaker announcing that a five-seater rear-wheel drive version of its large SUV will join the range 2017.
Arriving early next year, the five-seat two-wheel drive Everest will be available only in the base Ambiente specification, which currently comes purely as a seven seater with four-wheel drive – as does the rest of the line-up.
The cut-price five seater will follow the November addition of a rear-drive - but seven seat - version of the mid-spec Trend along with Sync 3 and ISOFIX upgrades to the Trend and Titanium. This update was originally planned for September, but signs are now pointing towards a November arrival.
The addition of the five seater will the second range revision since the Everest went on sale late last year, and represents a widening of its net beyond its initial Prado-centric positioning.
The top-spec Titanium will retain its ambitious $76,705 price point, but the new five seat entry point will likely drop the Everest starting price well below the current $54,990 seven-seat four-wheel drive Ambiente.
Ford is yet to confirm pricing for the five-seater, but given the $5000 knocked off the price of the Trend by adding a two-wheel drive option, the new entry point will likely be well under $50,000.
Ford also used this event to also announce other additions to its SUV line-up.
Speaking at a media event this week, Ford Australia boss Graeme Whickman said adding a five-seat Everest was part of the company's plan to give consumers more variety.
"We will be offering this five-passenger derivative to try to answer some of the proliferation of consumer demands in the market. That will pop into our showrooms in the early part of 2017."
Ford also used this event to also announce other additions to its SUV line-up – the big news being the arrival of an Edge-based SUV in 2018. An updated Kuga will also land next year, while a the special edition EcoSport Shadow is now in dealers.
Would you prefer a five-seater Everest to a seven? Why, or why not? Tell us what you think in the comments below.