We have three months with the Everest Titanium to find out if the bi-turbo engine, the seven-seat layout and its rough-road ability make it a must-buy for families.
What are we testing? The 2019 Ford Everest Titanium
Who’s running it? Isaac Bober
Why are we testing it? To find out if the Everest is the best family rough roader wagon.
What it needs to do? While we’ve got the Everest, we want to find out if it can do it all, from the school run to the supermarket shop, to highway runs, towing and off-roading.
11 October 2019: Apologies for the radio silence bit we’re short-staffed at the moment so it’s been a case of all hands on deck to get magazines out and keep websites ticking over. The Everest hasn’t been idle, though and plans to improve its touring capability are well underway. Hopefully in the next couple of weeks it’ll look very different to what it does now. Moving on.
My plan was to test out the Hill Descent Control on the Everest. Sure, I know plenty of four-wheelers are against a computer controlling how fast or slow you travel down a hill and, that’s great if you’ve got a Jeep Wrangler which in low-range first gear will literally inch down a hill no matter how steep it is. But, for most modern 4×4 wagons, HDC is the way to go. And the HDC set-up in the Everest is excellent, in fact, it’s probably the best in its segment. It’ll drop down to 4km/h which seems maybe a little too quick when on a steep hill but it isn’t and it won’t switch itself off when it levels out. And, even if you hit the brakes it’ll engage again as soon as you come off the brakes. Speed is controlled via the ‘+’ and ‘-‘ buttons on the cruise control.
The photos you see hereabouts show the Everest on a very steep hill even if my dodgy photography skills don’t make it look steep. It’s long and steep and there are some humps and ruts along the way too. Perfect test for HDC…but it threw up something else.
See, halfway down the hill I wanted to stop, jump out and grab a quick snap to show you all the vehicle, well, on the side of a hill. But with the vehicle stopped, in P for park and the handbrake on and my foot still on the brake pedal all was fine. As soon as I took my foot off the brake pedal the Everest began to slide. There was a graunch as the centre clutch engaged and the thing stopped sliding. But, just as quickly the centre clutch disengaged thinking the vehicle had regained traction and it then started slipping and so on it went all the way down the hill. And remember, the transmission was in Park and the handbrake was on, as you can see in the images. Glad I didn’t try and climb out of the vehicle.
This is not a phenomenon unique to Everest. The problem is that with a lot of these wagon 4x4s the handbrake only works on the rear axle. Meaning, when you’re pointing downhill, and you’re on a steep hill, then you’ve got weight transferring onto the front of the vehicle and the now unbraked front axle (as you’ve taken your foot off the brake pedal). With less weight on the back axle, the vehicle will begin to slide; the handbrake unable to hold the vehicle still.
For the sake of getting a photo, I let the vehicle do its thing – slipping and gripping and gently steered it towards the side of the track as the track began to rise slightly. As you can see the Everest slid on an angle but as the ground began to rise the weight transfer began to equalise and there was enough weight on the back for everything to do as it should. The vehicle stayed put while I got out and took the snap and then quickly ran back and continued driving it down the hill.
So, if you find yourself in a similar situation, please don’t try and get out of the vehicle and hope it’ll stop within an inch or two. And don’t reef the wheel and try and nose the thing into the side of the track either. You could end up rolling the thing down the hill. So, simply give up on getting out at that spot and drive the vehicle to the bottom of the hill under control.
That said, anyone else experienced a similar situation with the Everest or any other 4×4 wagon?
21 September 2019: Two deadlines in two weeks meant the Everest hasn’t been out much, but the mental weather we’ve been experiencing in NSW across the last month meant we saw snow early last week. And last week’s dumping of snow on the upper Blue Mountains came a month after a record dumping across the same area. Perhaps the weirdest bit of the snow day was that it had followed a glorious summer-esque day.
While I would have much preferred to hit the tracks and get some shots of the Everest in the snow, it wasn’t to be. The rain started to fall only a few hours after the snow had stopped, and it soon washed away.
Was interesting to watch people driving with their vehicles covered in snow and using the windscreen wipers to clear the snow. That’s a huge no-no, unless you want to bust your windscreen wipers. You should always start up your vehicle with the windscreen demister on and use a soft-bladed scraper to remove the snow/ice from your windscreen. Never pour hot water onto a cold windscreen to clear it…cold things meeting hot things don’t mix very well.
13 September 2019: Short one this week with Unsealed 4×4 on deadline, so, the Everest has mostly been used to ferry me from work to home and back again. But, it’s not all as boring as it sounds. See, the Everest has just ticked over 2500km. Well, 2700km, to be exact. But it seems it was 2500km that was the magic number.
The Everest has had a fairly easy run-in period with us but at, say, 60km/h and below there was some notchiness to the gear shift. Usually that was when easing off the throttle and then getting back onto it straightaway, or when stomping on the throttle to get through an interection, or just when I was generally driving to trip up the transmission.
Until we’d hit 2500km, tripping up the transmission was a cinch. But no more. Not sure if other owners have experienced this, but the eight-speed automatic is now super smooth in all driving situations. Well, all road-based driving situations. Last week we were out in the bush and we some thumping between gears in low-range. This was the same sort of thumping I was experiencing at low road speeds. But that’s all gone.
What else is there to report this week? The Everest is still filthy dirty inside and out after last week’s trip off-road. That will be remedied on the weekend. Until next week. – Isaac Bober
September 05, 2019: In this update I thought I’d address some of the questions at the bottom of our welcome article. That’s largely because this week has been taken up with deadline work and a two-car comparison for sister publication Unsealed 4×4.
Let’s talk about fuel consumption. Ford claims a combined figure of 7.1L/100km but we all know that this figure isn’t worth the price of the sticker it’s printed on and that’s because of the way fuel consumption is measured. Currently, in Australia, the lab-based test to measure fuel use is short and unrepresentative which I’ll go into another article (indeed, it’s why the European Union has just made it law that all vehicles be tested under its new WLTP regime). Anyway, in my driving which has been undemanding on the vehicle with speeds up to 80km/h only and no off-road work this week, I’ve averaged 7.9L/100km and I’m happy with this. I’ll keep a watch on this over the coming months and update the article as we go forwards.
There’s another question about lane keep assist. Now, these systems can often be overly sensitive and even react to phantom lines on the road. So far, I’ve left the system on the Everest switch on and on the lowest sensitivity and haven’t had a problem with it. To be honest, in its lowest setting it’s actually handy, however, crank it up and you do end up fighting with the steering.
Ground clearance. This is another pearler. There are so many makers that claim huge ground clearance on their vehicles and it’s impossible to understand why. Talk to them and they’ll tell you it’s about running clearance, whatever that means. To be fair, ground clearance is really just the lowest part of the vehicle and that’s usually the diff pumpkin. Having measured the Everest’s clearance to this point I can say with all honesty that the measurement is 225mm.
AdBlue. Yes, the 2.0L bi-turbo has an AdBlue tank which, in the car at the moment, is showing around 8500km remaining.
Room in the front and the back? Okay, just quickly, because I will go into this in more detail down the track, I’m six-feet tall and I fit into the driver’s seat just fine. And I don’t think you’ll have any problems if you’re a bit taller. And the same goes for the back. There’s loads of head, leg and foot room for taller passengers.
What about the 10-speed automatic? Okay, this transmission is a perfect unit for the engine. It gets the most out of it at all times but in my driving this week I haven’t managed to see 10th gear, with the transmission usually hovering around eighth for most of my driving.
The transmission shifts cleanly and responds well to the throttle, but it doesn’t seem to like part throttle and then full throttle with the shift quality becoming thumpy. In undulating terrain, it can be a little the same as you’re going from full throttle to part and back again but I’m splitting hairs because against any of this car’s competitor transmissions, and that includes the six-speed unit you can get for the 3.2L engine, this 10-speeder is the pick of the segment.
Next week we’ll look at the Everest’s first trip properly off-road.
Our Ford Everest Titanium long-termer arrived only a few days after I did at Mr4x4, but after a couple of weeks’ worth of work commuting, I’ve already put 1000km on the clock. And I haven’t even had the chance to do anything fun with it. Sigh.
The Everest copped a very mild update towards the end of last year getting a new-look bumper and grille but, I’ve got to say, unless you parked them side by side, you’d be hard pressed to spot the differences. The inside copped some similarly minor updates, but it was the addition of the Ranger Raptor’s bi-turbo diesel engine and 10-speed automatic transmission that grabbed headlines. And, while I don’t want to open up that can of worms right now, I can say that, for me, the bi-turbo is more suited to the Everest than the Raptor.
While models like the mid-spec Trend offer access to both the 3.2-litre five-cylinder turbo-diesel and the new 2.0-litre bi-turbo, the Titanium Ford has given us is available exclusively with the bi-turbo motor. Ideally, we would have been long-term testing the Trend because, if you’re looking to buy a touring 4×4 then the Trend is probably the model you’d look hardest at.
The Titanium on the other hand walks a fine line between trying to appeal to those who want to explore and also take bites out of, say, non ute-based 4×4 wagons like Toyota Prado. With the update last year, while other Everest saw a price rise, the Titanium actually copped a price drop of $711, now listing from $73,990+ORCs.
For the coin it gets not-very-off-road-friendly 20-inch alloy wheels, a tow bar (but without brake controller), semi-auto parallel park assist, dual glass panel powered sunroof with power blind, eight-way power front passenger’s seat with manual lumbar adjustment, heated front seats, power fold third-row seats (individually – 50:50), ambient lighting and illuminated stainless steel front scuff plates.
While Ford offers a no-cost 18-inch alloy option for the Titanium our long-termer has arrived, as mentioned, on 20s. This isn’t ideal but given we’re not going to be building this thing up for Outback travel, we should be able to get away with it for most of the things we’ve got planned.
The Everest has always done a really good job of hiding its ute-based origins, in fact, I think you can confidently claim that as far as on- and off-road ride and handling go, it’s the pick of the ute-based 4×4 wagons. And it’s much better than a Prado too. Leave the bitumen and the Prado edges the Everest but it’s not by much and, again, the Everest is probably at the head of the pack as far as the rest of the ute-based wagons are concerned when you head off-road. Sure, there’ll be those who’ll argue something like an MU-X with its proven diesel engine is more of a known quantity, but then it lacks the refinement of the Everest around town which is where you’ll spend 90 percent of your time.
The Everest also offers a clever traction control set-up, as well as an adjustable Terrain Management System which we’ll go into further detail on in another article, and a rear differential lock to ensure there’s not a lot it won’t go up and over. Where the Everest steps ahead of its key competitors is when the rear differential lock is engaged and you run out of wheel travel, the traction control system remains active on the front axle meaning you’ll be able to maintain forward momentum. We’ll show you this in action in a video review in the coming weeks.
The off-road angles are 29.5-degrees approach, 25-degrees departure and 21.5-degrees rampover and the Everest offers an impressive 800mm wading depth, and the front and rear overhangs are 916mm and 1137mm, respectively.
So, what will we be doing with our Everest while we’ve got it? Well, beyond writing regular updates here online and in the magazine, we’ll be fitting some accessories to it to make it a little more rough-road friendly, taking it on some trips, and just generally living with it to find out what the Everest is like to live with on a daily basis. If you’ve got any questions you’d like answered about the Everest then leave a comment below.