If you’re searching for a family-orientated SUV in South Africa, then you’re spoilt for choice. The market is chock-full of options at different price points, making the decision to pick one that much more difficult. Not one to shy away from competition, Ford South Africa has bolstered its position in the expanding and highly competitive sport utility vehicle with the introduction of the new Everest Sport. Based on the popular Everest XLT, the new Sport derivative includes a host of feature enhancements, both to the exterior and the cabin, to give SUV drivers a vehicle with style, convenience, and true grit.
I’ve had the pleasure of test driving a few of Ford’s new vehicles this year and the new Everest Sport is my favourite of the fleet thus far. I spent a week with the Everest Sport 2.0 SiT 4×4 10AT and fell completely in love with it during our short tryst. While previous years versions of the Everest were great vehicles, I always found them to be a little too big and cumbersome to drive, but the new Everest Sport feels light and handles like a dream. It’s surprisingly nippy considering its large size and at times I almost forgot I was driving a large 7-seater family-sized SUV.
If you’re a mom who is reluctant to trade in your sporty little hatchback for a typical ‘mom car’, then the Everest Sport will make the transition an easy one. The addition of the Sport pack gives the Everest a more dynamic and athletic look, and adds to its appeal as a versatile vehicle for those with an active lifestyle. This sporty iteration of the much loved Everest was designed to cater to buyers who appreciate the qualities of the Everest XLT models, but would like to set themselves further apart from the crowd through distinctive styling and feature enhancements.
With its sporty design enhancements, it’s easy to tell the classic Everest XLT and Everest Sport apart on the road. The Everest Sport boasts a black mesh grille and unique Everest badge on the bonnet, along with black mirror caps and door handles, replacing the chrome finishes on the Everest XLT. Further reinforcing the dynamic appearance is the black treatment for the front bumper chin and rear valance in place of silver, along with ebony roof rails, special ‘Sport’ decals on the rear doors and striking 20-inch black alloy wheels. There are also six body colours to choose from including Diffused Silver, Frozen White, Agate Black, Moondust Silver, Sea Grey and Copper Red.
What’s more, it’s oh-so-luxurious. The Everest is Ford’s premium offering in the SUV market and offers quality, refinement and luxury, combined with exceptional space and practicality. Available in 4×2 and 4×4 guise equipped with an electronic locking rear differential as standard, the Everest Sport offers excellent practicality and capability.
Inside the Ford Everest Sport’s cabin, the seats and steering wheel have been zhooshed up with blue contrast stitching and the leather seats feature an embossed ‘Sport’ logo. There’s also a fresh-looking blue carbon-fibre-style dashboard, with soft-touch leather treatment surrounding the front of the cabin. The driver’s seat takes comfort to a new level with eight-way power adjustment. Adjustable seats make a huge difference in a car like the Everest. Especially when you’re on the short side like me and need a little bit of help getting close to the pedals and seeing over the steering wheel.
Of course, the Everest Sport also comes fitted with Ford’s easy-to-use SYNC3 infotainment system. The system offers easy connectivity and plenty of multimedia options, along with voice control to make operating the system easy and safe while you’re driving. The system comes standard with embedded navigation – comprising standard mapping as well as ‘Tracks for Africa’ for those venturing off the beaten track – and is linked to an integrated eight-inch touch-screen colour display that recognises multi-touch gestures such as swipe, slide, scroll and pinch-to-zoom. In addition, SYNC3 offers the benefits of smartphone integration provided through Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.
Another brilliant high-tech feature of the Everest Sport is the Passive Entry and Passive Start (PEPS), a keyless entry and passive start system that uses intelligent access to allow the driver to unlock the vehicle and start the engine without removing the key fob from his/her pocket or bag. When the key is detected in the vehicle, the driver simply presses the Start/Stop button while applying the brake pedal to start the car. It may sound like a nothing feature, but it’s a lifesaver when you’ve got your hands full and aren’t able to dig around in your handbag or pocket for the key before you hop inside.
Enhanced driving features
Under the hood, the Everest sport is supremely capable. Customers have the choice of 4×4 and 4×2 models, both of which are available with Ford’s frugal 2.0-litre Single Turbo diesel engine mated to 10-speed automatic transmission. While there’s nothing particularly new or ground-breaking about the engine (it’s the same engine found in other Everest and Ranger derivatives), performance is good, with strong overtaking power and a good amount of power off the mark. The gearbox is particularly impressive, offering smooth, quick changes for a highly responsive driving experience. The Everest Sport offers impressive fuel economy for a vehicle of its size, with Ford claiming a fuel consumption of 7.1L / 100km, operating at its most frugal.
The Everest Sport also comes standard with LED headlamps and daytime running lights, cruise control and front and rear park sensors with a rear-view camera. The park sensors and rear-view camera make parking the Everest Sport super easy, and manoeuvring in and out of tight spaces is no problem with the sensors guiding your way. Speaking of manoeuvring your way out of a tight spot, the Everest Sport also comes standard with Electronic Stability Programme with traction control, Trailer Sway Control, Hill Launch Assist and Roll Over Mitigation, in order to make driving the vehicle on long roads and tough terrain an absolute breeze.
Further enhancing the driving capability of the Everest 4×4 models is the standard Terrain Management System which allows the driver to easily select the preferred driving mode to suit the terrain by simply turning the TMS dial, ranging from snow to mud, grass, rocks or paved roads. Additionally, Hill Descent Control helps owners safely negotiate steep slopes with supreme confidence. There’s a mode for every situation and terrain, giving you peace of mind that you’re ready to take on the world in your Everest, and toggling between them is super-easy and noticeably responsive.
It’s also supremely safe, with a total of seven airbags (front, side, curtain and driver’s knee airbag) working to further enhance the family-oriented nature of the Everest’s seven-seater configuration. If you’ve got small children, ISOFIX child seat anchorage points make life with a car seat so much easier and safer for you and your child while travelling.
The Ford Everest Sport 2.0 Single Turbo 10AT 4×4 is available at R718,000.
All Everest models come standard with Ford Protect, comprising a four-year/120 000km comprehensive warranty, three-year/unlimited distance roadside assistance and five-year/unlimited km corrosion warranty. A six-year/90,000km service plan is included, with 15,000km service intervals.
For more information on the new Ford Everest Sport visit the Ford South Africa website.
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.