The 2019 Ford Everest comes with the option of a more powerful and efficient turbo-diesel engine, as well as added safety features and minor styling updates.
What is the 2019 Ford Everest?
For 2019 Ford has dropped the Ranger Raptor’s 2.0L four-cylinder bi-turbo-diesel engine and 10-speed auto into the Everest wagon… and it’s retained the original 3.2-litre five-cylinder turbo-diesel engine and six-speed auto for those who prefer cubes over efficiency.
Based on the Ranger ute platform, the Everest wagon was launched to market as an all-new nameplate in 2015 and, since then, it has racked up 12,500 sales in Australia. Year-to-date in 2018, it’s the third best-selling ute-based wagon on the Aussie market behind the Isuzu MU-X and the Mitsubishi Pajero Sport, both of which significantly undercut the Everest on price.
The Everest wagon is available in two- and four-wheel drive formats and in three trim levels. Up until now, all variants were powered by the biggest-in-class 3.2-litre five-cylinder turbo-diesel engine mated to a six-speed auto transmission.
For 2019, this powertrain is joined by a more powerful and more efficient 2.0-litre four-cylinder bi-turbo engine mated to a 10-speed automatic. This is the same engine used in the Ford Ranger Raptor ute, and it will also be introduced in run-of-the-mill Rangers in a few weeks.
The base-spec Everest Ambiente is available in RWD and 4WD formats with the existing 3.2L engine. The RWD version starts $49,190 and the 4WD at $54,190. Third-row seats are a $1000 option on Ambiente, but standard equipment in higher grades.
The mid-spec Trend RWD gets the new 2.0L engine and it costs $56,190. The Trend 4WD is the only variant available with either the 3.2L engine or the new 2.0L engine. The Trend 4WD 3.2L costs $59,990 while the Trend 4WD 2.0L is an additional $1200 at $61,190. The top-spec Titanium 4WD is only available with the new 2.0L engine for $73,990.
Claimed peak outputs for the existing 3.2L five-cylinder engine are unchanged at 143kW of power at 3000rpm and 470Nm of torque from 1750-2500rpm. The new 2.0L four-cylinder engine is claimed to make 157kW at 3750rpm and 500Nm at 1750-2000rpm.
Of possibly more significance than the extra output generated by the new 2.0-litre four-cylinder bi-turbo engine is its greater efficiency, which is no doubt aided further by the new 10-speed auto. Ford claims a combined fuel consumption figure of just 6.9L/100km for the Everest RWD 2.0L and 7.1L/100km for the Everest 4WD 2.0L, compared to 8.4L/100km for the Everest RWD 3.2L and 8.5L/100km for the Everest 4WD 3.2L.
In addition to the new powertrain, the Everest has had a minor styling makeover with a new front grill and bumper facia design, and a new rear bumper aimed at giving the vehicle a wider look to enhance a feeling of stability.
What equipment do you get?
Ford has added equipment across all model grades and tweaked the price accordingly. Ambiente prices are up by $1200, the Trend 4WD goes up by $1000, the Trend RWD is up $2200 and the Titanium (with new 2.0L powertrain) is down by $711.
New equipment on Ambiente includes halogen projector headlamps with manual headlamp levelling and bulb daytime running lights, power-fold exterior mirrors, keyless entry and start, and a laminated acoustic windscreen.
Considering its base-spec status, the Everest Ambiente is well appointed with standard gear including 17-inch allow wheels, side steps, auto headlights, fog lights, LED taillights, roof rails, six-way manually adjustable driver’s seat, instrumentation cluster with dual 4.2-inch TFT screens, eight-inch colour touchscreen with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto,
Rear-view camera, rear parking sensors, cruise control with adjustable speed limiter and steering wheel mounted controls, dual-zone climate control, rear HVAC controls, active noise cancellation system, 10-speaker audio with DAB+, alarm system, and numerous power outlets including two USB ports, three 12V sockets and a 230V outlet.
In addition to Ambiente, the mid-spec Trend is equipped with HID headlights, LED daytime running lamps, hands-free power tailgate, 18-inch alloy wheels, auto high beam, rain-sensing wipers, heated power-fold exterior mirrors with puddle lamps, leather accented seat trim (excluding the third row), eight-way power driver’s seat.
Rear privacy glass, front parking sensors, traffic sign recognition, adaptive cruise control with forward collision alert and heads-up display warning, and lane keeping system. The Trend also comes standard with Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection (Autonomous Emergency Braking).
The top-spec Titanium also comes with 20-inch alloy wheels, a standard tow bar, semi-auto parallel park assist (Active Park Assist), dual glass panel power sunroof with power blind, eight-way power front passenger’s seat with manual lumbar, heated front seats, power fold third-row seat, ambient lighting and illuminated stainless steel front scuff plates. Ford offers an 18-inch wheel/suspension package as a no-cost option on the Titanium for those who want to fit more off-road suitable tyres.
What’s the interior like?
The interior of the Everest is largely the same as before although it’s now finished in darker tones for what Ford says is a more refined look. The darker finish works well on the Trend and Titanium grades, which have contrasting trim, but looks a little too dark on Ambiente, which now almost looks black on black.
As you’d expect of a big wagon, there’s plenty of space in the front of the Everest with a good range of adjustment, although the steering wheel is only adjustable for rake, not reach. The Ambiente offers manual driver’s seat height adjustment, whereas the Trend and Titanium have power adjustment. Only the Titanium offers height adjustment on the passenger’s seat.
While the eight-inch touchscreen is up high and within easy reach, some of the controls for heating and ventilation are hard to locate while driving – they’re low on the dash and the black switches blend in with the black facia. Other controls located on the centre console, such as to disable parking sensors, turn off the stop/start function, engage the rear diff lock, select low range or to operate the Terrain Management System are much easier to see and use.
The second-row seat offers good width and generous leg room, as well as HVAC controls, vents and 12V and 230V power outlets, while the third-row is best suited to smaller kids.
There’s enough space behind the third-row seat for a few small bags, which expands generously as the third- and second-row seats are folded to reveal a flat cargo floor with a low load height. Operation of all the seat-folding functions is straightforward and there are four luggage tie-down points in the cargo area, a cargo blind, shopping bag hooks and 12V power.
What’s it like on the road?
The Everest has always been a comfortable on-road tourer, belying its commercial vehicle origins. Ride quality is great, as is road-shock isolation and NVH levels, and the Everest steers and handles confidently… but you want to hear about the new engine, right?
Well, the new 2.0-litre four-cylinder bi-turbo certainly feels like it has more urge than the 3.2-litre five-cylinder single turbo engine, which is to be expected with its 17 per cent greater torque peak and four additional gear ratios, but the difference is not as noticeable as you might expect.
In fact, one of the things that has always made Everest stand out from the pack is its smooth inline five-cylinder engine, which has a character and sound all of its own, and it’s one that many owners are no doubt enamoured with. That’s lost in the new four-cylinder bi-turbo version, which feels and sounds more like its competitors than ever before.
Having said that, the new four-cylinder engine is great, with an abundance of low-rpm torque on offer and a free revving nature that the five-cylinder engine can’t match. It’s also smooth and quiet throughout most of the rev range, although it gets a bit gruff under load at around 2500rpm.
The 2.0-litre engine makes the most of 10-speed auto, which shifts readily to ensure it’s always in the right gear for the conditions and driver demands. Those gearshifts are almost imperceptible at partial throttle when poking around in traffic, but they are more noticeable on the open road, especially in undulating terrain.
Unless you select gears manually via the buttons on the gear lever (which brings up the gear-position indicator on the instrument cluster) you’ll probably never know exactly what gear you’re in due to there being so many of them. But that’s not really of consequence because the transmission is nearly always in the gear you want it to be, and if it isn’t it shifts rapidly, especially in Sport mode. And when braking on descents the auto eagerly downshifts with a satisfying blip of the throttle to help keep speed in check.
The 2.0L Everest runs a taller final-drive ratio than the 3.2L model (3.31:1 compared to 3.73:1) and the 10-speed auto’s top two ratios are true overdrives. In fact, we never reached high enough road speeds on test for the transmission to grab hold of 10th; instead, it was happy to lope along in ninth at 100km/h with just 1500rpm showing on the tacho.
For reference, overall gearing in ninth and 10th gears are 2.281:1 and 2.105:1 respectively, which are both significantly taller than the 3.2L six-speed auto’s 2.574:1 in top gear. And it’s this taller gearing that contributes to the 2.0L Everest’s better fuel economy. On our test drive the 3.2L 4WD’s trip computer stated average fuel consumption at 10.2L/100km, while the 2.0L 4WD’s showed 9.0L/100km over the same drive loop.
So, if the 2.0L engine is more powerful, more efficient and scores a flash new 10-speed auto, why has Ford retained the 3.2L engine? The official answer from Ford is to offer customers choice, claiming that to some buyers engine capacity is important while to others fuel efficiency is of greater importance.
Having the largest capacity engine in its class is definitely a trump card, so it’s little wonder Ford has hung on to the older five-cylinder engine in case buyers shy away from 2.0L four, which is now the smallest capacity engine in its class.
We had the opportunity to sample both engines back to back on the launch drive and those who opt for the 3.2-litre five-cylinder model will not be disappointed. In day to day driving it still holds its own, offering a good spread of torque and working well with the smooth-shifting six-speed auto. In fact, the only discernible drawback is the lower final drive ratio, which contributes to the thirstier nature of the 3.2L Everest, especially on the open road, and when towing.
Ford has increased the towing capacity of the 2019 Everest and all 4WD models now have a class-leading 3100kg braked towing capacity, while the RWD variants can haul a 2950kg braked trailer.
What’s it like off the road?
It would be almost impossible pick a winner between the 2.0L and 3.2L variants for off-road capability – they’re both good. In fact, off-road capability has always been an Everest strength, and this has not changed with the 2019 update.
The Everest offers an ample 227mm of ground clearance, along with decent approach, ramp-over and departure angles. Most vulnerable mechanical components are tucked up and out of harm’s way.
While wheel travel isn’t exceptional, the Everest makes up for it with its effective electronic traction aids, which include a traction control system that remains engaged when the rear diff is locked, standard Hill Descent Control and a clever Terrain Management System with various modes to suit different driving conditions (Snow/Grass/Gravel, Sand and Rock modes).
The Everest also works well in steep country thanks to good low-range reduction and an abundance of low-rpm torque (both engines). An 800mm wading depth completes the impressive off-road package.
What safety features does it get?
Ford has improved the Everest’s already impressive standard safety package with the 2019 update by adding Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) – or Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection in Ford-speak – to Trend and Titanium models. At this stage AEB is not available on Ambiente models.
The Trend and Titanium are now equipped with Traffic Sign Recognition, while the Titanium also adds a Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) and Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) with Cross-Traffic Alert.
Other standard safety features across the range include ABS with EBD, traction control, stability control, roll stability control, trailer sway control, emergency brake assist, driver and passenger airbags, side front airbags, side curtain airbags (to third row) and driver’s knee airbag. The 2019 Everest retains its five-star ANCAP rating that was awarded in 2015.
So, what do we think of the 2019 Ford Everest?
So which one should you buy? If you want an Ambiente you’ll be driving away with a 3.2L Everest, and if you want a Trend RWD or a Titanium you’ll be heading home in a 2.0L Everest, so the engine decision will only have to be made by those intent on the Trend 4WD.
If that’s you, that decision will come down to the importance you place on engine capacity compared with engine efficiency. Either way, you’ll be on to a winner with the 2019 Everest.
Words Dean Mellor via practicalmotoring.com.au