DEVELOPED by Australians for Australians: that's Ford's teaser surrounding its new seven-seater Everest SUV.
The Toyota Prado-sized rival is the centrepiece of Ford's nearly $2billion R&D investment in Australia over the past six years, with Ford telling buyers that although local manufacturing is winding up, this is an SUV locally developed for our tough conditions.
The all-new Everest will be sold in a range of Ford markets globally, and this week we received full details of the Australian Everest range's line-up, prices and its key features.
It's not cheap as the spearhead of Ford's SUV portfolio (it joins EcoSport, Kuga and Territory), with before on-road pricing starting at $54,990 for the base Everest, $60,990 for Everest Trend and $76,990 for Everest Titanium. This makes the Everest the priciest model in Ford's lineup.
The only engine available is Ford's Ranger-sourced 3.2-litre five-cylinder turbo-diesel with 143kW and 470Nm (16kW more power and 60Nm more torque than a Prado, Ford happily points out), with a six-speed automatic gearbox and combined fuel economy of 8.5-litres/100km.
The Everest features an electronic locking rear diff, can tow 3000kg and has a wading depth of 800mm, while a four-mode Terrain Management System comes as standard with Normal (road), Snow/Mud/Grass, Sand and Rock settings relevant to specific driving terrains.
Clever tech includes Ford's Curve Control Technology which brakes all four wheels if entering a curve too quickly, there's Hill Descent Control and even Active Park Assist and Blind Spot warning in the range-topping Titanium model. Adaptive cruise finds its way into Trend and Titaniums.
The seven-seater has up to 2010-litres of luggage space with the seats folded down, while there are family-friendly 30 different stowage spaces throughout the cabin offering 48-litres.
At about $80k drive away you'd expect the range-topping Titanium (Everest's peak, if you will) to be flush with goodies, and it delivers with 20-inch wheels, 8-way powered and heated front leather trimmed seats, power panoramic glass sunroof, 8-inch colour touchscreen, navigation, and a suite of active and passive safety features.
The new Everest range will go on sale here from October.
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