Fri | Sep 21, 2018

Climb up to everest by Ford

Published:Sunday | January 1, 2017 | 12:00 AM

If you are thinking about climbing Everest then you need not go to the Himalayas. Step into a Ford Everest. Though it might not be a mountain, it?s still something spectacular.

Kingston Industrial Garage (KIG) is offering the new model in three trim levels - Ambiente, Trend and Titanium. Sales representative, Jessy Robinson arranged our test drive. The job of giving all the technical details fell to a very able technical sales representative, Nicholas Thomas.

We got the mid trim level, Trend. The unit as presented came in Metropolitan Grey. The bold exterior is softened at the appropriate lines making it easy on the eyes. Ford went all out with grey leather seats and thick carpeting. There is coziness about the interior once you shut the door.

Nicholas quickly described the creature comfort features. Dual climate zones for driver and front passenger and climate controls for the rear come standard in the Trend. It also includes seven air bags, Hill Start Assist, Hill Descent Control , noise cancellation and seven seating capacity. The gauges have a nice indigo glow even in the daytime. This is complemented by an 8-inch touch screen in the centre giving even more information through data feedback.

Bluetooth mobile phone, Ipod and USB integration all assist communication. A Rear View Camera System, Rear parking sensors and Front parking sensors are just some of the safety features that come in handy. The Everest test unit came with a 3.2L Duratorq Diesel 5-cylinder TDCi engine mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission with tiptronic and sport mode.

The Electronic Power Assisted Steering (EPAS) made light work of exiting the parking lot and joining midday Spanish Town traffic. The five-cylinder engine had a nice grumbling note that was close to the smoothness of a six. A responsive turbo charger enhanced power delivery. The 3.2litre really answers. Wide open throttle yields maximum power of 200 Hp at 3000RPM. It delivers 470Nm of torque between 1750 and 2500RPM. Step on the gas for a lane change and the Ford Everest will get up and go, moving the needle quickly from 0 to 100 kmph.

Soon we were at the Plantation Heights proving grounds. The Everest soaked up bumps and potholes without resorting to the usual SUV body roll. Rough roads and hills are flattened by the power on tap. The terrain management system has three settings - sand, mud and rock; add a hill descent feature and standard traction control.

Back on Mandela Highway, lane changes are smooth with pretty responsive performance. Steering inputs were a breeze; however be prepared to sacrifice some amount of road feel. In the event of an emergency you can be sure that the brakes will perform and the Antilock Braking System will work unobtrusively.

The fun starts in sport mode. Don?t expect it to redline and change automatically since this tiptronic needs driver input to row up or down the gears leaving you with a silly grin. Cabin noise was at a minimum so that nothing will interfere with your enjoyment of the six speaker sound system.

Nicholas tells me that fuel efficiency averages 28 mpg combined in the test model. The 2.2L averages 36 mpg. The 45 minute test drive ended too soon leaving me searching for an excuse to go back on the road.

There is a choice of six colours to suit those who like to make a statement. The vehicle as presented normally sells for $7.7 million, however it is currently on sale for $7.4 million.