It looks as if so way back now, however as soon as upon a time in Australia there was a Ford-badged SUV that was neck-and-neck with the Toyota LandCruiser Prado in gross sales.

That was the domestically engineered, locally-built Territory, which finally obtained the choice of a 2.7-litre turbo-diesel V6 engine shared with a spread of Land Rover autos.

Sadly, Ford ended native manufacturing in 2016 and the unibody Territory crossover went with it.

The excellent news is Ford has a brand new domestically engineered – if not domestically constructed – three-row SUV, and it includes a acquainted engine.

The new, body-on-frame Ford Everest, just like the Ranger it’s based mostly on, packs an out there 3.0-litre ‘Lion’ V6 turbo-diesel, an evolution of the engine that was so well-liked within the Territory.

The 2.0-litre Bi-Turbo four-cylinder diesel stays in lower-spec Ambiente and Trend fashions, whereas the Sport and Platinum are V6-only propositions.

The presence of two additional cylinders alone might assist shake up this phase. Not even the dominant Toyota LandCruiser Prado could be had with a bent-six, whereas rivals just like the Isuzu MU-X and Mitsubishi Pajero Sport are additionally four-cylinder-only.

The sharp new styling additionally helps the Everest stand out. It leans additional into its shut kinship with the Ranger, however that additionally provides it a familial resemblance to giant American Fords just like the F-150 and Expedition.

In designing the brand new Everest, Ford stated it wished to maneuver away from the softer, narrower, taller look of the previous automobile, they usually’ve in flip created one thing with extra presence and vastly higher proportions than the customarily awkward-looking ute-based SUVs on this phase.

We suspect the Everest might coax some gross sales away from its rival body-on-frame SUVs, and doubtlessly convey previous Territory homeowners again to the Ford fold in a means the earlier Everest and defunct Endura couldn’t.

How a lot does the Ford Everest Sport price?

The Everest vary opens at $52,990 earlier than on-roads for the bottom Ambiente 4×2 five-seater and tops out $77,690 earlier than on-roads for the Platinum 4×4.

The Sport sits in between, priced at $69,090 earlier than on-roads and coming solely with seven seats, four-wheel drive, and the three.0-litre turbo-diesel V6. Despite packing a extra highly effective engine than the Trend, plus extra package, Ford solely costs a $3800 premium.

Metallic paint is a $675 choice, when you can swap the usual 20-inch alloys for 18s on all-terrain tyres for no additional price.

Similarly priced body-on-frame 4x4s embody:

In quick, it’s top-spec ute-based SUV cash, which implies mid-range Prado cash. If outright off-road skill isn’t a precedence, you might cross-shop the Everest Sport with the next giant all-wheel drive crossovers:

All costs exclude on-road prices

What is the Ford Everest Sport like on the within?

Putting the Everest and Ranger interiors subsequent to one another would make for an awesome Spot the Difference.

That’s each a very good and a foul factor. The excellent news is the Everest will get the identical monumental portrait-oriented touchscreen (12 inches in Trend and up) working the most recent Sync 4 infotainment system.

It appears to be like completely trendy, response occasions are usually fast, and its menus are intuitive for essentially the most half. Importantly for Ford it leaves rival methods from Isuzu, Mitsubishi and Toyota for lifeless, and affords higher-resolution digicam views and over-the-air updates as well.

All Everest fashions additionally get a digital instrument cluster, although solely the Platinum will get the full-sized 12.4-inch show. Again, this show appears to be like crisp and up to date, and it’s simple to learn.

The total format of the dashboard is easy and easy, with tactile bodily local weather controls located beneath the display screen, and a wi-fi charging port and USB-A and USB-C retailers beneath these.

Storage can be good, with the Everest that includes a uncommon (for an SUV) higher glove field along with the common glove field.

There are additionally pop-out cupholders on every finish of the sprint. Both of those are options extra generally seen in utes than in SUVs.

While the Everest’s inside enjoys the heights of the Ranger’s, it additionally suffers from the lows. Some of these demerits, whereas tolerable in a ute, are much less so in a circa-$70k SUV.

All the Everests I sat in at Ford’s launch occasion featured the identical low-cost plastic alongside the perimeters of the centre stack, with noticeable joins and trim items not sitting flush with one another.

The ‘legs’ beneath the touchscreen equally have an excessive amount of give, and are fabricated from unforgiving, drab black plastic. Hard plastic trim abounds within the inside, although there’s a swathe of soft-touch trim throughout the entrance of the sprint.

The match and end was worse than fellow ute-based SUVs and, whereas rivals just like the MU-X additionally make intensive use of exhausting plastics, why should we forgive these autos this indiscretion after we wouldn’t do the identical for a circa-$70k crossover?

The Platinum has a considerably improved cabin atmosphere, with stitching particulars on the perimeters of the centre console, ambient lighting, and pretend wooden trim. But even it fails to cover its industrial car origins, and lacks the extra upscale – if dated – really feel of the significantly older LandCruiser Prado.

Step into the second row and there’s loads of room, plus a pair of USB retailers. But the place the Everest’s boxy new styling has most paid dividends is within the third row.

There, headroom has been improved because of the brand new automobile’s extra squared-off form. The roof-mounted air vents end in a lowered centre part of the headliner, however it doesn’t affect headroom dramatically.

I measure 180cm and located the third row acceptable each to entry and to sit down in. With the second row pushed all the way in which again, my knees had been towards the seatbacks and toe room was restricted.

If third-row passengers negotiate with their second-row counterparts, nonetheless, a very good compromise could be reached because the second-row seats can slide.

Decently sized home windows imply the third row isn’t too gloomy, and facilities embody the aforementioned vents, and a 12V outlet and cupholder for every passenger, although no USB retailers. Curtain airbag protection does lengthen to the third row, fortuitously.

There’s a top-tether youngster seat anchor level for every seat within the second and third rows, plus a pair of ISOFIX anchor factors for the second-row outboard seats.

Behind the third row, there’s 259L of cargo area, increasing to 898L with it folded and 1823L with the second row folded. With all three rows up, you’ll be able to match both two duffel baggage or maybe one suitcase, relying on its dimension.

All Everest fashions have a full-size spare and the Sport is not any exception, with an ordinary 20-inch alloy wheel.

What’s beneath the bonnet?

The Everest Sport is powered by a 3.0-litre turbo-diesel V6 producing 184kW of energy at 3250rpm and 600Nm of torque between 1750 and 2250rpm.

These outputs are up 30kW and 100Nm on the two.0-litre BiTurbo, and are up 34kW and 100Nm on the Prado’s turbo-diesel 4.

The V6 is mated to a 10-speed computerized transmission and full-time four-wheel drive. Braked towing capability has been bumped up from 3100kg to 3500kg.

Ford claims mixed cycle gas financial system of 8.5L/100km, in comparison with 7.2L/100km for the Bi-Turbo 4×4. All fashions have an 80L gas tank.

How does the Ford Everest Sport drive?

Ford’s engineers have managed to convey the Everest nearer to unibody SUVs by way of refinement and roadholding.

Ride high quality is particularly spectacular, notably contemplating it retains a stable rear axle. There’s little or no in the way in which of body shake, and the experience is properly damped over pockmarked roads.

It additionally manages to really feel properly tied down over extra undulating roads. That’s no shock, because the final Everest additionally had exceptionally good experience high quality for a big, body-on-frame SUV.

On our drive by Mount Nebo and Mount Glorious in Queensland, a fabulously twisty route, the Everest at all times felt planted with physique roll well-controlled for a car of this dimension and building.

It nonetheless doesn’t really feel fairly as nimble because the likes of a unibody Hyundai Santa Fe or Mazda CX-9, however it feels extra poised than its ute-based rivals.

The steering is properly weighted with out being overly gentle, which conjures up confidence on winding mountain roads like these we traversed.

The headline act is the graceful turbo-diesel V6. It doesn’t push you again in your seat off the road, however there’s loads of grunt at low revs and the ability swells till, subsequent factor , you’re over the velocity restrict. Oops.

While there’s frustratingly no paddle shifters, handbook intervention is scarcely required.

Should you want to change gears manually, you’ll have to make use of the plus and minus buttons on the facet of the shifter. This is a misguided American automotive pattern we’d like to see the again of.

The 10-speed auto appears higher calibrated with this extra highly effective engine than within the four-cylinder, the place it nonetheless tends to hunt between gears regardless of modifications to its calibration.

The V6 additionally naturally sounds higher than the turbo-diesel 4, with a much less agricultural engine notice.

Ford has touted its work making the Everest’s cabin a “quiet sanctuary”, and this isn’t simply advertising hyperbole.

The cabin is genuinely hushed, with engine noise well-suppressed and little in the way in which of tyre roar permeating – even should you’re driving on coarser-chip roads on the optionally available all-terrain tyres. This applies not solely to the V6 but additionally the four-cylinder Bi-Turbo.

The adaptive cruise management options cease/go and lane centring, and the system works properly at conserving you inside your lane.

The Everest glided by our off-road course. It has 226mm of floor clearance in Sport trim, with a wading depth of 800mm.

Approach, departure and breakover angles are 30.2, 25 and 21.9 levels, respectively, and there’s a locking rear differential for rougher stuff. Also commonplace is a well-calibrated hill descent management.

The surround-view digicam, a part of a $1950 Touring Pack, is value the price of admission. It permits you to depart the entrance digicam on when you’re off-roading, and presents a high-resolution view of the path forward that includes tips. Even with out it, the bluff entrance finish is kind of simple to put.

There are Slippery, Mud/Ruts and Sand drive modes for off-roading, whereas an off-road info display screen shows knowledge just like the steering angle and car pitch and roll angles.

The Everest continues to make use of a full-time four-wheel drive system, with selectable low- and high-range gearing; you too can function it in pure rear-wheel drive mode by deciding on 2H or placing it in Eco mode.

In a phase the place some autos nonetheless stick with shift-on-the-fly methods that you just shouldn’t use on pavement, the Everest stacks up properly.

If you’re towing, the optionally available Tow Pack brings with it an built-in trailer brake controller, with a trailer gentle verify perform and connection guidelines within the FordGo app. Said app additionally permits you to remotely lock, unlock and begin the car, amongst different features.

As with the Ranger, Ford has additionally left area beneath the bonnet for a second battery to energy aftermarket equipment.

What do you get?

Everest Sport highlights:

  • 20-inch black alloy wheels
  • Black exterior accents
  • Hands-free energy tailgate
  • 10-speaker sound system
  • Unique leather-accented upholstery with ‘SPORT’ embossing
  • 10-way energy driver’s seat with reminiscence
  • Eight-way energy passenger seat
  • Heated and ventilated entrance seats

That’s along with options present in lesser fashions:

  • 8.0-inch digital instrument cluster
  • 12-inch Sync 4 touchscreen infotainment display screen
  • Wireless Apple CarPlay, Android Auto
  • Satellite navigation
  • DAB+ radio
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Wireless cellphone charger
  • Dual-zone local weather management
  • LED headlights
  • Privacy glass
  • Keyless entry and begin
  • Heated, power-folding facet mirrors with puddle lamps
  • Rain-sensing wipers
  • FordGo Connect with distant begin

You’ll must step as much as the Platinum to get options like Active Park Assist, Matrix LED headlights, a panoramic sunroof, and heated second-row seats, amongst different gadgets.

Options

Towing Pack: $1700

  • Blind-spot monitoring incl. trailer protection
  • Integrated trailer brake controller
  • Tow bar

Touring Pack: $1950

  • Blind-spot monitoring incl. trailer protection
  • Integrated trailer brake controller
  • Surround-view digicam system
  • Tow bar
  • Zone lighting (lights on all sides of the car, ultimate for tenting)

Is the Ford Everest Sport protected?

The Ford Everest earned a five-star ANCAP security ranking on the again of an 86 per cent rating for grownup occupant safety, a 93 per cent rating for youngster occupant safety, a 74 per cent rating for susceptible street person safety, and an 86 per cent security help rating.

The five-star ranking applies to the entire Everest vary, and relies on exams carried out on the intently associated Ford Ranger ute.

Vehicles constructed earlier than August 20, 2022, nonetheless, will want a software update to their lane-keeping software program to reflect the specs of five-star autos. Ford says sellers will perform the replace at an proprietor’s subsequent service.

Standard security gear consists of:

  • 9 airbags
  • Autonomous emergency braking (AEB)
  • Reverse AEB
  • Post-impact braking
  • Lane departure warning
  • Lane-keep help
  • Driver consideration alert
  • Reversing digicam
  • Front and rear parking sensors

How a lot does the Ford Everest Sport price to run?

Like the broader Ford vary, the Everest is backed by a five-year, unlimited-kilometre guarantee.

Scheduled upkeep is required each 12 months or 15,000 kilometres – whichever comes first.

A capped-price servicing schedule is obtainable for the primary 4 years or 60,000 kilometres, with every of these 4 visits priced at $329.

CarExpert’s Take on the Ford Everest Sport

The Sport represents the candy spot of the brand new Everest vary.

It’s not that the Bi-Turbo four-cylinder engine is dangerous – removed from it – however the V6 turbo-diesel is simply such a pearler that it’s definitely worth the $3800 premium, which additionally features a slew of further options to sweeten the pot.

It’s not value spending the additional $8600 to step all the way in which as much as the Platinum as, whereas it receives numerous luxurious niceties, it doesn’t add something really vital and its inside atmosphere isn’t dramatically improved.

The inside is our best problem with the Everest. Slick expertise apart, it merely doesn’t really feel changing into of an SUV at this worth level by way of construct and materials high quality. Let’s hope that is addressed on the Everest’s first replace.

More importantly, Ford has carried out an excellent job engineering the Everest. For a big, body-on-frame SUV, it handles surprisingly properly and rides comfortably, whereas its steering is properly tuned and its cabin is surprisingly quiet – it scarcely looks like a ute-based SUV in any respect.

Could the brand new Everest lure potential Prado consumers to the Ford fold? We reckon so, given how properly it drives.

The Prado’s current bump in energy and torque has made it a greater drive than ever, however even its uprated 2.8-litre pales towards the Everest’s V6. We’ll must pit these two SUVs towards one another to see which one is victorious.

Make no mistake although: the Everest impresses in its integration of expertise, its off-road functionality and the poise of its dynamics.

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MORE: Everything Ford Everest

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