The Next-Generation Ford Everest raised the bar for luxury, sophistication, and capability in the mid-size sport utility vehicle (SUV) segment when it was launched in South Africa late last year. But, the fun didn’t stop there; soon after Ford South Africa announced it was upping the ante once again by expanding the range from two to six derivatives.
Of particular interest is the introduction of Ford’s legendary Wildtrak specification on the Everest for the first time. This exciting derivative slots in below the opulent Everest Platinum, but shares the same 184kW 3.0L V6 turbodiesel engine and permanent four-wheel drive system as the range-topping model.
Introducing the Wildtrak series to Everest for the first time is especially exciting for Ford fans, as the namesake has been immensely successful on Ford’s Ranger line-up for well over a decade. Now, for Everest drivers, Ford offers the opportunity to enjoy the Wildtrak badge and specifications in the form of a more family-orientated SUV. The Wildtrak badge embodies trend-setting style, luxury, comfort and advanced driver assistance technologies and now, the new Everest Wildtrak aims to continue this legacy as an aspirational model that will further reinforce the Next-Gen Everest as a leader in design and innovation.
There’s plenty to love about the Everest Wildtrack. I’m a big fan of the Ford Ranger Wildtrak so seeing this spec on an Everest was particularly exciting for me. Getting the Wildtrak treatment means the new Everest derivative is more athletic, sportier and more rugged than the core models.
With some added features and Wildtrak styling, this Everest version of the namesake definitely captures the dynamic flair of the Wildtrak series that has been so popular in the Ranger bakkie over the years.
The distinctive character of the Everest Wildtrak is evident in the athletic design which incorporates a Wildtrak-specific bold front grille with horizontal bars and a tough mesh, all of which is painted in signature ‘Bolder Grey’. This liquid-like metallic accent colour is also applied to the front bumper design which is unique to this model. Adding to the eye-catching look is a front bash plate, with a contrasting ‘Super Alloy’ silver finish, where dual recovery points are housed well as additional underbody protection (fitted as standard on the high-spec four-wheel-drive models).
In keeping with its exclusive status, the latest addition to the Everest line-up proudly features ‘Wildtrak’ raised lettering on the leading edge of the bonnet, finished in the dark grey accent colour which is also applied to the mirror caps, rear bumper and the Wildtrak and 4×4 scripts on the rear tailgate.
Added visual appeal is added to the muscular design by bright-finish side steps, stand-off roof rails and privacy glass. And, in true Wildtrak fashion, an additional paint colour, Luxe Yellow, is exclusively available on the Everest Wildtrak.
Of course, you want to make sure the kicks are looking slick too, so drivers will be thrilled to hear that striking machine-faced two-tone 20-inch alloy wheels with 255/55 R20 tyres are fitted as standard on the Everest Wildtrak. Customers can however also opt for 18-inch rims and 255/65 R18 all-terrain tyres should they be more inclined to venture off-road on a regular basis.
The cabin environment of the Everest Wildtrak is equally appealing. The interior of this high-spec model features a modern and upmarket design, incorporating a modern coast-to-coast dashboard and plush materials throughout. Additional sporty flair is added courtesy of contrasting yellow stitching on the dashboard, door trims, steering wheel, gear lever and premium leather seats that incorporate the Wildtrak logo on the front seats.
Creature comforts like a dual-panel powered Moon Roof, eight-way power-adjustable front seats, wireless charging pad (for cable-free smartphone charging) and a built-in 400W/240v inverter all go the extra mile to further enhance the upmarket ambience of the Everest Wildtrak.
The comfort and convenience of the Everest is greatly emphasised by its versatile interior seat configuration. The 7-seater vehicle can be configured in a number of ways to carry more passengers, or more cargo at any given time, depending on your needs. The seats effortlessly slide backwards and forwards, folding down flat when needed to create an oversized interior bed for cargo, dogs, or anything else you can dream up. Being able to fold the seats completely flat proved to be a massive asset for a household, especially when transporting our labrador. The space and flexibility of this vehicle is unmatched and I highly recommend it for anyone who needs to cart around kids, pets, and any number of cargo on any given day.
Some impressive technology features also go a long way to enhance the interior’s comfort and convenience. The Wildtrak features a high-end full-colour 12-inch touchscreen running Ford’s Sync 4A infotainment system with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, an eight-speaker sound system, as well as USB-A and USB-C connectivity and charging ports.
The Wildtrak is equipped with a dedicated off-road Sync screen and a rotary Drive Modes control that accesses six settings: Normal, Eco, Tow/Haul, Slippery, Mud & Ruts, and Sand.
It also features an impressive range of driver assistance technologies as standard, comprising Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop & Go and Lane Centering, Blind Spot Monitoring with Trailer Coverage, Cross Traffic Alert, Evasive Steer Assist, Lane Keeping System with Road Edge Detection, Pre-Collision Assist, Reverse Brake Assist and Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS).
Also available on the Everest Wildtrak as an option is Ford’s Active Park Assist 2.0 with full autonomous parallel and perpendicular parking, in combination with the 360-degree camera system that replaces the standard rear-view camera.
Engine and handling
The Everest Wildtrak’s powerful 3.0-litre V6 turbodiesel engine is mated to the latest version of Ford’s advanced 10-speed automatic transmission which uses the innovative electronic E-Shifter. This impressive combination ensures a smooth ride, with plenty of power underfoot.
If you’re searching for a car that will ensure you have an easy drive, no matter where the road takes you, then this new Everest is sure to impress. Having the freedom to go anywhere has never been this easy. In 3.0L V6 guise the Everest boasts a permanent four-wheel drive system that uses an electronically controlled on-demand two-speed electromechanical transfer case (EMTC).
The default driving mode for this system is 4A (Automatic) which can be used on and off-road as it constantly adjusts the flow of drive between the front and rear axles for enhanced traction in all road conditions. Based on the driving conditions, 4H for four-wheel drive high-range can be selected by simply pushing a button to improve grip and control on loose surfaces, or low-range (4L) for steep or rocky tracks and deep sand where enhanced low-speed control is required. There’s also a 2H mode which engages rear-wheel drive only.
Piloting the Everest Wildtrak is an enjoyable experience, to say the least. The luxury SUV’s power delivery is impressively strong, giving you the distinct feeling that this car can go anywhere and do anything. Comparing the Wildtrak model to the Ford Everest Sport I test-drove earlier in the year, you’re definitely getting a more premium experience with this model. While the Sport doesn’t leave you wanting, the added little features that come along with the Wildtrak certainly make a difference in upping the luxury feeling inside and out.
Pricing (includes VAT):
The Everest Wildtrak 3.0L V6 4WD 10AT is available in South Africa at R 1,084,000.
Included as standard is a four-year/120 000km warranty, four-year/unlimited distance Roadside Assistance and five-year/unlimited distance corrosion warranty. The recommended service interval is 15,000 km or annually, whichever occurs first.
Customers have the option of purchasing service or maintenance plans up to eight years or 165,000 km. The warranty can be extended up to seven years or 200,000 km, while the Roadside Assistance can be extended for an additional one or two years. Terms and conditions apply.
After years of working as an Editor and writer for popular websites like Joburg’s Darling, Cape Town’s Darling and Joburg.co.za, Crystal left her sanity and an established career in lifestyle journalism behind to follow her dream of creating a website for the intellectual and discerning woman. Today she spends her time chasing the thrill of being the first to know about ‘the next big thing’. She’ll try anything once and has been known to put her body, hair and health on the line – all in the name of research.