Test driving the Ford Everest
“You’ll feel for yourself - it’s pure comfort,” Anna-Maria Hatting explains as we set off from Malalane Ford, heading towards Kruger Park. “You just put your foot down, and off it goes”.
Go Nelspruit had the opportunity of test driving the Ford Everest 2.2 TDCi XLS, with 2-wheel drive and an automatic/tiptronic transmission. “The XLS, like we are driving today, costs R467 000 at the bottom of the range,” Anna-Maria adds as we gently cruise over the Crocodile River. “The car is also fuel efficient; if you drive down from Johannesburg you will get about 10km per litre - which is fantastic, considering the size of the vehicle.”
"The Everest comfortably seats 7 people and it has individual lights, cup holders and aircon vents from the front all the way to the back"
Who will enjoy the Everest?
“It is a family car,” Anna-Maria says smiling. “It’s perfect for moms with children, especially if you need loads of space for a pram in the back.” The Everest also excites Ford’s older customers, ready for retirement and long road trips.
“It has three 12 volt plug points and the seats can easily collapse into themselves, leaving plenty of space for packing in the back, which means you don’t have to rely on trailers,” Anna-Maria adds. “But it also has a 3, 5 ton towing mass, a reverse camera and Trailer Sway Control, which makes it easier for people who would like to tow caravans, boats and trailers”.
The Adaptive Load Control assists with stabilizing a heavy cargo in the vehicle, and the Electronic Stability Programmme keeps the Everest steady on the road, especially when turning quickly. “It has air bags all around, stretching until the back, as well as knee airbags,” Anna-Maria adds.
The Everest boasts childproof door locks and ISOFIX child-seat anchorage points; a metal fastener in the chair which allows you to securely attach a safety-seat. “If you have an accident, that little stool isn’t going anywhere - it is solidly fixed to the seat”.
Interior and comfort
The Everest comfortably seats 7 people and it has individual lights, cup holders and aircon vents from the front all the way to the back - perfect for big family outings in the sweltering Lowveld heat. There are also three 12 volt power points, two in the front and one in the back. “You and your friends can pack a fridge filled with wine and beer and head to Kruger,” says Anna-Maria, grinning widely.
Ford also provides fibre protect on the fabric seats - similar to Scotchgard - with a three year warranty. “Liquids won’t seep into the seats at all. If there is a spill, you simply wipe it off and viola – no more stains!”