Here’s an SUV that needs no introduction. The Ford Everest (together with the Ecosport and Explorer) is responsible for making the Blue Oval a top contender in total vehicle sales. It’s also responsible for making Ford a top choice in the prized and highly competitive midsize SUV segment, fighting toe to toe with the likes of the Toyota Fortuner, Mitsubishi Montero Sport, and Isuzu mu-X.

I got to drive the current iteration of the Everest in Thailand, even before the vehicle arrived in the Philippines. I was impressed with the overall performance of the truck, its ruggedly handsome styling, but, most of all, by the best-in-class build quality and materials used for the interior. Which is why, even more than two years after that initial drive in Thailand, it’s still a good experience reconnecting with this vehicle and experiencing its surprisingly generous range of attributes.

Best-in-class NVH suppression and overall refinement. The pickup-based midsize SUV genre isn’t known for its refinement; but the Everest does its best to debunk this. It truly has one of the best, if not the best, levels of refinement and NVH suppression—from the suspension, the drivetrain, and the chassis. It may not be a poor man’s BMW X5, but it is arguably a compelling alternative to the higher end (and substantially bigger) Explorer—especially if you need diesel fuel efficiency and the same (albeit tighter) seven-seat capacity.

Active Noise Cancellation. A major reason for the Everest’s best-in-class quiet and refinement is its Active Noise Cancellation feature. Inspired by the technology used by high-end noise-cancelling headphones, the Everest’s Active Noise Cancellation technology gives drivers and passengers the quietest cabin in its class

The system works using three highly sensitive microphones to detect and measure engine noise, then cancels it using opposing sound waves. Coupled with other interior accents such as specially designed acoustic glass in the windshield, and hydraulic engine mounts that help reduce engine vibrations, this SUV delivers a quiet and relaxing joyride regardless of external conditions like heavy traffic.

Perfect for Philippine roads (and floods). The Philippines has poorer than average roads, which get even worse during the rainy season with huge potholes and, yes, floods. The Everest boasts of an 800mm water-wading capability—one of the highest and best in its class, making traversing water-logged roads less of a stressful event.

Advanced driving aids. Low levels of visibility happen during a heavy downpour. To ensure accuracy and safety, the Everest utilizes its Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) to serve as the driver’s second set of eyes with indicator lights in the side mirrors for hazardous instances such as shifting lanes in fast moving roads or reversing out of a parking or driveway.

The Everest also boasts of a rearview camera that gives drivers (and even passengers) a full and clear vision of what’s behind them on screen. It also has rear parking sensors, making drivers more alert when it comes to obstacles around, which can include other cars or even people walking by.


VERDICT

The Everest, like its competitors from Toyota, Mitsubishi, Isuzu and Chevrolet, may be getting a tad long in the tooth—and vulnerable to the upcoming new Nissan Terra—but it’s still got many high-tech tricks up its sleeve (see Features list) to hold its own.


SPECIFICATIONS

Engine: 160ps/385Nm 2.2-liter common-rail direct-injection turbo-diesel inline-4

Transmission: 6-speed automatic

Drive: Rear-wheel

Suspension: Double wishbone with stabilizer bar/Rigid rear axle with leaf springs

Tires: 265/50R-20

Brakes: Vented discs/Drums with ABS and EBD

L x W x H: 4,893 x 1,862 x 1,836mm

Wheelbase: 2,850mm

Other features: Front & rear foglamps, power-folding heated side mirrors, puddle lamps, Blind Spot Information System (BLIS), rear spoiler, body-color roof rail, rain-sensing wipers, daytime running lamps (DRLs), leather upholstery, 8-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, 60:40 tip & slide fold-flat second-row seats, 50:50 fold-flat third-row seats, leather steering wheel with audio controls, illuminated front scuff plates, ambient lighting, 10-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3/USB/Bluetooth Gen 3 Ford SYNC audio system with 8” TFT touchscreen, electrochromic rearview mirror, dual front airbags, side airbags, curtain airbags, driver’s knee airbags, front and rear Park Assist, rearview camera, Electronic Stability Program (ESP) + Roll Stability Control (RSC), Hill Launch Assist, Electronic Park Control, adjustable speed limiter, cruise control, Ford MyKey

Price: P1,918,000

Test: Ford Everest Titanium 2.2 4x2
DESIGN8.8
BUILD QUALITY9.3
DRIVEABILITY9.3
PERFORMANCE9.3
VALUE FOR MONEY8.8
9.1Overall Score