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Ford Everest 2016 review: long term

EXPERT RATING
7
The last time CarsGuide road-tested a new Ford Everest, it went up in flames in spectacular fashion.

The last time CarsGuide road-tested a new Ford Everest, it went up in flames in spectacular fashion.

Colleague Peter Barnwell escaped unharmed and Ford, after inspecting the charred remains, traced the problem to a missing battery cable after the battery was replaced before being shipped from Thailand.

Even before this "one-off” incident, we were keen to get acquainted with this revived segment of the market.

Amid the popularity of "faux-wheel-drives” and "soft-roaders”, heavy-duty 4WD wagons with seven-seats have made a bit of a comeback.

The reason? They're relatively cheap because they're largely based on ute underpinnings (the Ford Everest is the same as the Ranger ute from the front doors forward).

And some buyers want to really get off the beaten track and live the dream, rather than just keeping dreaming about the big getaway.

We wanted to spend some time with the new Everest given Ford had boldly priced it $15,000 more than the Holden Colorado7, Isuzu MU-X and Toyota Fortuner. Is it worth the extra money?

The range starts at $54,990 for the Everest Ambiente but that's a bare bones proposition; we have the most popular variant, the $60,990 Everest Trend.

There's no doubt it drives better than its direct body-on-ute-frame rivals but it's not as planted as, say, a car-derived Ford Territory.

We also noticed it takes a few seconds for the transmission to warm up. Several times after starting the engine from cold on a slight incline, the Everest will unexpectedly roll back rather than engage in gear -- even though ‘Drive' in the six-speed auto has been selected.

I'm now accustomed to waiting five seconds before selecting ‘Drive', something that's not necessary in the 250 or so other cars we drive each year.

First impressions are good, though. And I'm starting to notice the subtle changes between the Everest and the Ranger. Aside from the Everest's more sophisticated rear suspension and brake set-up, audio boffins might appreciate the better sound system.

We're also looking forward to sampling its towing abilities. Until next time...

Part 2: 18/3/16 

Our Ford Everest is holding up well on our long term loan.

At first it felt cumbersome to drive, like a heavy-duty four-wheel-drive, because it is an old-school body-on-frame design. But the more time we spend with it, the more if feels car-like to drive.

That's a well-worn cliche and the Everest certainly does not handle like a Toyota Corolla or a Mazda MX-5. That said, we've become accustomed to the size and mass.

The tight turning circle (for this type of vehicle) and light steering make city and suburban driving a little easier. The rear-view camera's guiding lines turn with the steering.

The large off-road tyres and heavy duty suspension have a cushioning effect on speed bumps that dot my suburb.

The 3.2-litre turbo diesel engineaverages a respectable 11.0L/100km with mostly freeway driving and some stop-start city traffic at the beginning and the end of each day.

Meanwhile, Ford got back to us regarding our complaint that the automatic transmission takes a while to wake up after the car has been started.

Ford says this can occur when the car has been sitting for a few days because "oil drains out of the automatic transmission converter over time" and this will "take an additional few seconds to build up oil pressure to drive again".

When parked overnight, all automatics "suffer to some extent a draining of oil from the torque converter into the sump (called 'drainback')". It seems the problem is exacerbated when parked on an incline, as it was in our instance.

On the one hand we're glad that is normal, on the other hand it's worth pointing out it doesn't happen on other cars I park in the same spot for the same period of time.

Verdict

Does it bother me that it takes a while for it to wake up? Not really. It just means it takes the Everest a few seconds to gather its thoughts before the next adventure. Into city traffic.

Is the Everest a stand out SUV among its rivals? Tell us what you think in the comments below.

Click here to see more 2016 Ford Everest Trend pricing and spec info

Pricing guides

$38,994
Based on 101 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$29,990
Highest Price
$49,940

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
Ambiente 3.2L, Diesel, 6 SP AUTO $30,800 – 40,370 2016 Ford Everest 2016 Ambiente Pricing and Specs
Titanium 3.2L, Diesel, 6 SP AUTO $40,000 – 51,150 2016 Ford Everest 2016 Titanium Pricing and Specs
Trend 3.2L, Diesel, 6 SP AUTO $32,600 – 42,680 2016 Ford Everest 2016 Trend Pricing and Specs
Trend (rwd) 3.2L, Diesel, 6 SP AUTO $29,900 – 39,160 2016 Ford Everest 2016 Trend (rwd) Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
7