Summer’s drawing to a close, and maybe flying off to a beach resort on some island may no longer seem practical once the rains begin. Don’t fret; there are so many places to go by land, where you can enjoy whatever the weather. All you need is the company of your loved ones, your sense of adventure, and a reliable SUV to take you wherever you want to go with all your luggage in tow.
Road trips aside, we also need a bigger SUV in preparation for the rainy season, when the roads would start flooding yet again.
As for my fiancé, Jessie, he’s looking for a reliable new SUV that he can drive from his farm an hour away from Iloilo City and back that can withstand the rough roads on the way. He chanced upon the all-new Ford Everest and said he wanted to get the fiery red one (his favorite color). He asked me what I’ve heard about it, but I thought of something better: I asked Ford if we could test-drive one to help him decide if he really wants to buy one.
Before test-driving, what I knew about the all-new Ford Everest is its blend of stylish design, advanced technologies, first-in-segment features, stunning off-road and on-road capability, and a refined, premium interior for up to seven passengers. The all-new Everest is reportedly a refined and technologically-savvy SUV for city driving or even taking on the toughest terrains.
Now, allow me to share what we discovered about the new Everest based on our experience of driving it around Manila and all the way to Batangas and back for a few days.
Our road trip destination in Batangas
Great for both driving on rugged terrains and around the city
Before taking it with us out of town, we first drove the new Everest around Metro Manila and through its traffic-heavy roads. Jessie thought it was comfortable and great for city driving.
Of course we had to test the claim of Ford that the all-new Everest was designed to be one of the toughest SUVs in its segment today with the durability to take on the most challenging environments. The Everest has a true body-on-frame design, assuring the torsional strength required for challenging terrains. Together with an intelligent four-wheel drive system, an active transfer case with Torque on Demand and best-in-class ground clearance of 225 mm and water-wading capability of 800 mm, and 20-inch alloy wheels, the new Everest helps drivers navigate difficult terrain with ease.
My fiance Jessie behind the wheel of the new Ford Everest review unit
We didn’t really encounter extreme terrains, but we did take it with us when we went on a spontaneous road trip to Batangas to stay overnight in a beach resort. Jessie was pleased that the Everest drives smoothly like a car, yet packs more power and handles fast speeds well, especially on the freeway. He says you don’t even feel that you’re already going 140 with its effortless acceleration on the highway.
We did encounter some rough, unpaved roads on the way to the beach, so we were able to put to the test its advanced, first-in-class Terrain Management System (TMS) with four terrain settings: Normal, Snow/Gravel/Grass, Sand, and Rock. Each setting adjusts the vehicle’s throttle response, transmission, intelligent four-wheel drive system, and traction control to confidently tackle any situation. Jessie was easily able to drive on sand and rocky roads because of this.
Hill Descent Control is another feature that sets and maintains a constant speed to drive down steep descents with ease on any terrain. The Electronic Locking Rear Differential feature helps prevent rear wheels from spinning while driving off-road, increasing traction in challenging conditions. This was especially useful to us when we were driving up and down some elevated gravel driveways, and this will prove useful to Jessie if he decides to get this in Iloilo, since their farm is quite hilly and rocky. He definitely needs a four-wheel drive.
Jessie also commented on the great torque. The Torque on Demand via Active Transfer Case is supposed to maximize performance by automatically transferring torque between front and rear wheels to give maximum traction and control even in slippery and challenging driving conditions. For extreme off-road environments, drivers can manually lock the transfer case in low-range four-wheel drive mode for increased control. Thanks to its coil spring front and rear suspension and a Watt’s linkage on the rear axle, the new Everest provides a comfortable, stable ride with agile and predictable handling on the road.
He finds the Everest to be a sleek-looking car that has tough, capable features that he’s looking for in an SUV. Its unshakable toughness and premium comfort makes it a great solution for those looking for a tough and highly capable vehicle.
Gives one the power and fuel efficiency to go further
Reportedly with more power than ever, the new Everest is equipped with capabilities made possible by diesel engines from Ford’s Duratorq family, mated to durable and efficient six-speed automatic or manual transmissions. Featuring advanced technologies that improve fuel efficiency, both engines deliver excellent performance:
For maximum power and torque for heavy-duty towing, Ford is offering the latest generation of its 3.2-liter Duratorq five-cylinder TDCi diesel engine with 200 PS and 470 Nm of torque. (This is what we road-tested, so the experience may be different for the option below.) Upgrades from the previous generation include an updated exhaust gas recirculation system to boost efficiency.
For maximum fuel economy without compromising performance, Ford is also offering the latest generation of the 2.2-liter Duratorq four-cylinder TDCi diesel, putting out 160 PS and 385 Nm of torque.
Jessie noted that for a big vehicle, the new Everest’s fuel consumption is satisfactory. Our full tank lasted almost four days, which included running around the city and an out of town trip. Note that Jessie wasn’t flooring the gas—he didn’t feel he needed to.
Sleek, smart, and functional design
Besides the drive, the other thing we were keen to explore was its design. The new Everest is meant to strike a perfect balance between rugged capability and refinement with its combination of sleek and bold sculptural designs that carry an air of sophistication and comfort in both on-road and off-road situations.
Outside, the robust front end with signature LED daytime running lights connected to a prominent inverted trapezoid grille set high on the front allowed designers to maximize the headlamps’ dimensions, communicating better functionality while emphasizing the grille and the SUV’s wide stance. The result is a strong and powerful presence on the road.
At the back of the vehicle, designers placed prominent, chiseled tail lamps over a negative scallop, contrasting with the square, flat lift gates on traditional SUVs. Moving back from the upright grille, the headlamps are swept back for a modern and aerodynamic look.
It’s comfortable behind the wheel of the new Ford Everest—but I let my fiance do the driving for me this time because he’s the one interested in getting this SUV, hehe. He just shared his detailed feedback with me.
We love the moon roof!
Inside, the new Everest’s modern interior makes use of refined materials and emphasizes horizontal lines to create a comfortable, harmonious environment. Interior features balance ride comfort with practicality, including a panoramic moon roof (which we found super cool, especially when we were driving to Batangas on a clear day), a first-in-class power liftgate, more than 30 cleverly designed stowage spaces, multiple power outlets (great for charging several mobile phones), and flexible seating and cargo arrangements—including fold-flat second- and first-in-class power-fold third-row seating—to achieve a desirable balance between passenger comfort and packing efficiency. It also provides 2,010 liters of versatile cargo space, maximum legroom, and a payload capacity of up to 750kg.
I definitely enjoyed the spacious legroom, especially during heavy traffic and on our road trip. When my parents joined us for dinner across the city, we could all fit comfortably in the SUV. Our two small luggage also fit with lots of space left at the back of the Everest. We even took it to do groceries and were amazed that all our things could fit in the back.
Our road trip luggage fit in the back with lots of space left
Similar to the systems used in noise-cancelling headphones, the new Everest also has Active Noise Cancellation that uses three strategically placed microphones inside the cabin to detect and measure sounds. A smart control module instantaneously generates opposing sound waves, which are then fed through the Everest’s audio system to cancel out unpleasant noises. The result is a quiet interior, which allowed Jessie to comfortably speak with me and my parents seated behind us without having to talk over road noises.
Refined materials, finely honed details, dual-zone climate control, and HVAC multiple vents ensure maximum comfort for all passengers. I personally liked the sleek interiors with teal lighting accents (at night) and the lighted visor mirror (perfect for when I was touching up my makeup even on the go). The only thing probably missing is a holder for the phone when we’re using Waze to navigate. And perhaps more cup holders.
I’m mighty pleased with this lighted visor mirror—which I used a lot when touching up and checking on my makeup.
We just noticed a little glitch in our unit: Sometimes the lights inside the car or on the rear wouldn’t automatically turn off after we’ve killed the engine.
Boasts of cool technology for a smarter, safer drive
The other thing we found really cool about the Everest, besides its engine and interiors, are the little technological add-ons. The new Everest comes with many first-in-segment features that make it one of the smartest off-road SUVs around.
Among the segment-first technologies in the new Everest include Curve Control, designed to help drivers maintain control when approaching turns too quickly; and Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) with Cross Traffic Alert, which informs drivers when there is a vehicle in their blind spot while driving or when preparing to reverse out of parking spots. We found these features impressive, albeit a bit alarming, since the sensors trigger loud warning beeps whenever cars or pretty much anything get too close, along with an indication of where it is.
The vehicle also offers other advanced features, including Roll Stability Control and an Electronic Stability Program that works with traction control. To reduce parking anxiety, Active Park Assist enables drivers to parallel park hands-free, requiring only accelerating, shifting, and braking from the driver. The screen shows footage from the rear camera when you’re in reverse. (This, I find exceptionally useful to me!)
In addition to advanced active safety systems, a strong passenger cage built using high-strength materials like boron steel, and passive safety features, including up to seven airbags, are supposed to help keep occupants safe in the event of a collision.
I synced my Spotify onto the audio system
Other cool techie features we liked are being able to connect my phone through both USB and Bluetooth, so I was able to sync Accuweather (which we didn’t really get to use because of a bug) and Spotify. Even my playlists were synced onto the Everest’s audio system—and I must say the speakers are clear, loud, and delivered great sound quality. I was also able to sync my contacts to make calls and texts, just in case, but I never tried. Even Siri can be synced (not that I use Siri). If there’s anything we wished we could sync, it’s the visual of Waze, since only the audio could be synced. Better yet, we wished the unit had its built-in navigation system to make it the ultimate road-trip SUV.
There were just some glitches that we found somewhat off-putting, like sometimes we couldn’t figure out why we couldn’t play the radio or my music from Spotify (we had to tinker for some time with the controls), and turning the radio on/the volume up isn’t as fool-proof as you’d expect these very basic features to be. Sometimes it’s also quite a challenge reconnecting both Spotify and Accuweather. It was just these little techie glitches that dampened our experience with an otherwise great SUV.
Price points and variants in the Philippines
The new Ford Everest comes in seven colors: Cool White, Black Mica, Sunset Red, Metropolitan Grey, Aluminum Metallic, Blue Reflex (what we drove), and True Red (what caught Jessie’s eye).
The new Ford Everest comes in five variants with the following price points:
- 2.2L 4×2 Ambiente MT at P1,375,000
- 2.2L 4×2 Ambiente AT priced at P1,435,000
- 2.2L 4×2 Trend AT priced at P1,539,000
- 2.2L 4×2 Titanium AT priced at P1,739,000
- 2.2L 4×2 Titanium AT with premium pack at P1,859,000
- 3.2L 4×4 Titanium AT priced at P1,989,000
- 3.2L 4×4 Titanium AT with premium pack at P2,109,000 (this is the variant we reviewed)
Ford is also offering an optional Premium Package to the 3.2L 4X4 Everest Titanium that comes with:
- HID Projector Type Headlamps with Auto-Levelling and Headlamp Washer
- LED Day Time Running Lamp
- 8-Way Power Adjust Passenger Seat
- Power Fold 3rd Row Seat and Power Liftgate
- 240V Inverter
- Panoramic Moon Roof
- Heads-Up Display
- Adaptive Cruise Control
- Lane Keeping System
- Collision Mitigation
- Active Park Assist
Bottom line: For the engine power, interiors, and exteriors alone, the Ford Everest is definitely a good investment, especially for families who like going on road trips and joy rides around the city. We just hope they iron out the techie kinks we encountered in our review unit. Note that we reviewed the top of the line 3.2L 4X4 Everest Titanium with the optional Premium Package, so the experience may be different for those who choose other variants.
The Everest is manufactured at AutoAlliance Thailand in Rayong, Thailand.