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  Ford Everest 3.0 Limited - Overkill  
- Monday, January 10, 2011  By KON  Bookmark and Share
 
 
 
     
Ford Everest 3.0 LTD

KON renews his acquaintance with the rough-edged Ford Everest....

[+ click to enlarge]
Ford Everest 3.0 LTD
Ford Everest 3.0 LTD
Costs RM14k more than the 2.5 auto
Costs RM14k more than the 2.5 auto
3.0-litre Duratorq engine makes 154hp & 380Nm
3.0-litre Duratorq engine makes 154hp & 380Nm
Dash is identical to 2.5's but with different colour scheme.
Dash is identical to 2.5's but with different colour scheme.

Some of you might recall our review of the Ford Everest 2.5 early last year. Since then, nothing has changed the fact that the Everest was by far, one of the crudest and most unrefined test cars that came across my hands. It had all the class and sophistication of a bulldog.

The driving experience offered by the Everest is something of an acquired taste. By all accounts, ingredients such as ball & nut steering, ladder frame chassis, diesel engine engine, live rear axle, and leaf spring suspension form the nightmare of most true blue petrol heads. It is not a precision instrument to be sure, but this brutish nature of its character is central to its charms.

Although the Everest 2.5 had a pretty strong engine, you are never tempted to put all 141 of its horses down on the road simply because its driving dynamics are not geared for edge of the seats driving. It is more pleasing instead to allow its 330Nm of torque to gently pull you along. So, how does the Everest fare when you enlarge its engine and give it access to an additional 13hp and 50Nm?

Compared to the 2.5 auto, the flagship Everest 3.0 asks for an extra RM14k of your hard-earned money, with the final price going at RM176,791 on-the-road with insurance in Peninsula Malaysia. In addition to the bigger engine, extra equipment offered for the money are bigger alloy rims (18"), puddle lamp (mounted on the side mirrors), 6CD changer, and some wood paneling.

The wood paneling did not impress me a great deal, looking distinctly out of place in a cabin designed and built for ruggedness. The shiny wheels, however, upped the Everest's bling factor by a few notches, and tremendously improved its aesthetics if viewed from the side.

Bigger rims also brought about bigger tyres. From the 245/70 R16 Michelin Cross Terrain rubber in the 2.5, Ford offers the Everest 3.0 with lower profile 255/60 R18 Bridgestone Dueler H/T tyres. Ford's switch to highway terrain tyres meant that our intentions to put this Everest through an off-road assessment were quickly scrapped as well. However, the 4x4 system is identical to the 2.5's which took us into the forests of Slim River and back without too much fuss, so we don't see the 3.0 having any problems if a set of all-terrain tyres are swapped in.

The big news, of course, is the bigger engine, and with 2,953cc of combustion volume to play with, this version of the Everest twists out a very useful 380Nm @ 1,800rpm, not that the 2.5's 330Nm is in anyway weak to start with. Full power of 154hp comes in at 3,200rpm, and goes to a shift-on-the-fly three-mode (2H, 4H & 4L) 4x4 system via a 5-speed automatic transmission.

On the move, the Everest 3.0 quickly reminded us of all that was good and not of its 2.5-litre sibling. Unlike the punchier 2.0-litre motor of the Focus TDCi, the more rugged engines of the Everest have a lazier character, but possess have plenty of low-down grunt. In hill climbs, the lower gears are only ever needed for the purposes of engine braking, not summoning more torque. There was never a need to rig the transmission to step down a cog when climbing tarmac-laid slopes.

In fact, the Everest 3.0 did not feel too different from the 2.5 other than a slightly harsher ride, most likely caused by its bigger and lower profile tyres. The additional amounts of torque twisted by the engine also made for a livelier rear when driving in 2H mode - inducing wheel spins was all too easy, especially on mud.

The generous dollop of torque on offer nevertheless allows the Everest to make light work of its sizable bulk. The less powerful 2.5 was already no slouch, and the additional grunt of the 3.0 gives it a bit more reserve and allows the Everest to keep up with the best of them on highways. Nevertheless, we do advise, for the sake of your good health, not to take too many liberties with it at corners. It is after all, a tall car sitting on some pretty crude underpinnings; cheating the laws of physics is not in its repertoire.

Refinement is also not exactly the Everest's forte. While wind and tyre noise are not much of a problem, the engine up front has a habit of generating a massive roar whenever you choose to gun it. The leaf springs behind also contribute to a rather bouncy ride when the vehicle is not fully loaded. One of its closest rivals, the Mitsubishi Pajero Sport, feels a lot quieter and quite a bit more refined in comparison.

However, the Everest redeems itself with a feeling of unbeatable toughness as you hustle it around. Drive it long enough, you get the sensation that you can take the Everest anywhere and it will get you out without complaints or breaking down. We would, however, suggest a return to the higher profile cross-terrain tyres should you like to take this car off the beaten track, because there is certainly where it feels most at home.

If there is one car that truly epitomizes Ford's 'Built Tough' tagline, the Everest would be it. This would be the SUV to go for if you still subscribe to the traditional adage that SUVs should be mean and tough machines. Those looking to maintain a higher degree of refinement might want to consider the Pajero Sport instead. But if ruggedness is a priority, there is another option to consider. It's the Ford Everest 2.5.




 


     Picture Gallery
[+ click to enlarge]
18-inch wheels adds more bling factor to the Everest.
18-inch wheels adds more bling factor to the Everest.
Middle and third row seats allow for highly flexible configurations.
Middle and third row seats allow for highly flexible configurations.
Instrument panel features red backlighting.
Instrument panel features red backlighting.
Side airbags
Side airbags
5 A/T paired with Shift-on-the-Fly 4x4
5 A/T paired with Shift-on-the-Fly 4x4
Centre stack is also identical to 2.5's and Ranger's.
Centre stack is also identical to 2.5's and Ranger's.
Wood trim looks a little out of place here.
Wood trim looks a little out of place here.
Low-profile highway terrain tyres good news for neither comfort nor off-road ability.
Low-profile highway terrain tyres good news for neither comfort nor off-road ability.
Glove box and drawer.
Glove box and drawer.
Rear live axle with leaf springs.
Rear live axle with leaf springs.
Tailgate mounted spare emphasizes Everest's macho nature.
Tailgate mounted spare emphasizes Everest's macho nature.


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