Even though the Ford Everest 2023 has been a top choice in the large ute-base 4×4 market for a long time, it has always been far behind the related Ranger pick-up on the sales charts. That is, until recently.
The “Next-Gen” Everest, which came out in July or August 2022, broke several sales records last year, putting the Blue Oval in a strong position to lead the segment in sales. This seven-seater that can go off-road could get back on track with a full year of sales in 2023.
Here, we’re testing the one step up from the base 2023 Ford Everest Trend Bi-Turbo with the optional 44 system, which might be the only way to get the most out of the Everest’s abilities anyway. Could this be the range’s sweet spot?
How much does it cost to buy a Ford Everest 2023 Trend?
The cheapest Ford Everest, the Ambiente 42, starts at $53,290 plus on-road costs, but the Trend 44, which we tested, starts at $65,590 before on-road costs.
The 42 version of the Everest Trend Bi-Turbo costs $60,590, but if you want to go off-road, you should get the all-paw version instead.
Even though the Trend is one step up from the base Everest trim, it costs the same as the high-end versions of most direct competitors.
A drive-away price for an Isuzu MU-X LS-T is $65,990, while a drive-away price for a Mitsubishi Pajero Sport GSR 4WD is $65,490.
Even the top-of-the-line Toyota Fortuner Crusade is cheaper at $62,945 plus on-roads, while the best-selling LandCruiser Prado GXL starts at $67,530.
|Ford Everest Ambiente 4×4 Bi-Turbo 5-seat
|Ford Everest Trend 4×2 Bi-Turbo
|Ford Everest Sport 4×2 Bi-Turbo
|Ford Everest Trend 4×4 Bi-Turbo
|Ford Everest Sport 4×4 V6
|Ford Everest Platinum 4×4 V6
The first Ford Everest came out for the first time in 2003. It was a simple, rugged SUV based on the Ranger, and it also looked the part.
The front half of the Everest was the same as the Ranger’s, but the back was very different. It had a boxy wagon-style body with a swing-gate rear door and an external spare tyre.
It still had a leaf spring in the back, like a pickup. The second generation Everest was better than the first, but it was still mostly the same. The third generation of the Everest came out in 2014 for the 2015 model year. It was a huge improvement over its predecessors because it looked more modern and had a rear coil spring suspension.
The Ford Everest is all-new for 2023. It has a tougher, more angular design. It gets a bolder grille and C-clamp headlights that make it stand out.
Like its brother, the Ranger pickup, the new Everest has a stronger shoulder line and fenders that are wider. It has a modern dashboard like the brand-new Ranger. All of the models have a SYNC 4 system and a large touchscreen in portrait mode. As expected for this type of vehicle, it has room for seven people.
There are two inline-4 diesel engine options for the 2023 Ford Everest: a 2.0 Turbo mill that makes 168hp and 405Nm (4×2 variants) and a 2.0 Bi-turbo unit that makes 207hp and 500Nm (Titanium+ 4×4 variant). The top 4×4 model comes with a ten-speed automatic transmission, while the 4×2 models have a six-speed automatic transmission.
The 2.0 Bi-Turbo Titanium+ 4×4 comes standard with Ford’s intelligent four-wheel drive system. The Terrain Management System lets the driver switch between six different modes to match the terrain.
It has a double wishbone independent coil spring front suspension, and a live axle with coil springs at the back.
What does the inside of the Ford Everest Trend look like?
Ford has done a great job of making the Everest Trend’s interior competitive at this price point, even though it’s only one step up from the base level.
The Trend’s central infotainment system is a bigger 12-inch screen than the Ambiente’s “basic” 10-inch screen, and the Ambiente’s soft-touch door tops and leather-accented trim really make it stand out over the Trend.
The 8.0-inch digital instrument cluster is the same for all models except the top-of-the-line Platinum. The leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel looks good and feels good to hold.
The 12-inch Sync 4 infotainment unit has the largest display area in its class, and its usability and response may be the best in its class. It also has a lot of features. Voice control, wireless smartphone mirroring, built-in satellite navigation with online updates, and DAB radio cover everything.
In practise, the screen is easy to use, and everything works as it should. Wireless Apple CarPlay always worked on the first try with my iPhone 14 Pro Max. The screen is quick to respond to touches, and the menus are all set up in a way that makes sense.
Ford gets props for having both virtual and physical climate controls. You can change the temperature by using the base of the screen or the knobs underneath. It keeps you from having to use touch controls, which can be awkward if you need to make changes on the go.
What’s Going Inside the bonnet?
The 2.0-liter Bi-Turbo four-cylinder diesel is the only engine option for the Everest Trend, which was tested here with the full-time 44 drivetrain.
The four-pot oiler is rated at 154kW (3750rpm) and 500Nm (1750rpm–2000rpm). A standard 10-speed automatic transmission sends power to the full-time 44 system through the engine.
As was already said, you can save $5000 by getting the Trend-spec as a 42 that only drives the back wheels. The engine and transmission are the same in every other way.
In the Sport and Platinum models, you can also choose a more powerful 3.0-liter V6 turbo-diesel with 184kW/600Nm.
Ford says that the combined fuel use is 7.2 litres per 100 km, and the fuel tank holds 80 litres. The engine is approved by Euro 6 and has technology that lets it stop and start at idle and adds AdBlue.
With a trailer that has brakes, the Everest can pull up to 3,500 kg. This model has a curb weight of 2383kg, a gross vehicle mass (GVM) of 3100kg, and a gross combination mass (GCM) of 6250kg.
How do you drive the Ford Everest Trend?
We’ve found in past reviews of the Everest that this latest generation is a huge step forward for SUVs that are based on pickup trucks.
The latest Everest and Ranger go beyond their workhorse roots to offer comfort and refinement on the road that are more like those of a luxury SUV. More so the Everest, because its coil-spring rear suspension is more flexible.
When you turn it on, the Bi-Turbo diesel makes a quiet diesel clatter that’s typical of smaller oilers. However, it’s never so loud that you’d call it unrefined, especially compared to its competitors.
In town, the 2.0-liter diesel doesn’t feel like it doesn’t have enough power because it has enough torque and gear ratios to move along easily.
The 10-speed automatic is a big improvement over the old Everest. It doesn’t sound like it’s always looking for the right gear, and it shifts up more smoothly when you accelerate. The old one sometimes sounded like a continuously variable transmission (CVT).
In the attached video review, Paul Maric took the Everest Trend 44 off-road. He talked about how great the off-road technology was, like the helpful displays in the instrument cluster and the different drivetrain modes.
The Everest Trend did well in all the usual CarExpert 44 tests, like the offset moguls, hill climb and descent, water crossing, and rock test, thanks to its smart traction control, 44 driveline, and optional all-terrain tyres.
In Trend trim, the Everest has a high ground clearance of 226 mm. The approach, departure, and breakover angles are 30, 25, and 21.9 degrees, respectively, and the rear differential can be locked. A well-tuned hill descent control is also standard, as Paul shows in the video up top.
Ford Everest 2023 Features
- Alloy wheels that are 17 inches in diameter
- Tires for all seasons
- 17-inch steel spare wheel
- LED headlights with reflectors
- LED daytime running lights in a C shape
- Front fog lights
- Taillights with LEDs
- Black side steps
- Side mirrors that fold up automatically
- Rain-sensing wipers
- Two tow hooks up front
- Steel protection under the body (44 only)
- 8.0-inch digital instrument cluster
- Sync4 touchscreen infotainment system with 10.1-inch screen
- Satellite navigation DAB+ digital radio
- Wireless Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a wireless charger for your phone
- 8-speaker sound system
- Voice assistant built in Ford Pass modem built in
- Ford Pass Connect with functions for the remote
- 9 airbags incl. front-centre
- Autonomous emergency braking (AEB)
- Reverse AEB
- Post-impact braking
- Lane departure warning
- Lane keep assist
- Driver attention alert
- Blind-spot monitoring
- Reverse camera
- Front and rear parking sensors
Performance and Efficiency
The Everest’s brand-new 3.0-liter V6 turbodiesel engine is one of the things that people talk about most. It gives out a whopping 184 kW at 3,250 rpm and 600 Nm of peak torque at a pleasingly low 2,500 rpm.
The engine is paired with an updated 10-speed automatic transmission that drives the flagship’s permanent 4-wheel-drive system, though most on-road driving will be done in 2H mode. Ford doesn’t say how well the powertrain works, but we can confirm that it works well.
Even when we packed as many people as possible into the cabin and strapped surfboards to the roof and bicycles to a rack in the back, the top-of-the-line Everest made short work of our long-distance trips during the holidays.
The impressive digital instrument cluster lets you choose from a number of different ways to show the information.
Not only did the Ford have good passing speed, but its 10-speed transmission was so good that the Everest never felt slow or “flat-footed.”
There are no paddles on the steering wheel, but you won’t miss them because the transmission is THAT good (well-calibrated). If you really, really want to shift by hand, there are buttons on the side of the transmission lever that you can use.
As expected, the 3.0 V6 AWD Platinum’s powerful performance comes at the cost of poor gas mileage. Ford says that the average fuel consumption is a laughably high 8.5 L/100 km, but a more realistic figure is about 10.5 L/100 km, even when the car is driven in a way that saves gas (called “Eco mode”). This means that the 76-liter tank will give you at most 723 km of range.
How does the 2023 Ford Everest fit into the picture?
Journalists who cover cars are used to driving cars that get people’s attention. After all, we test the vast majority of new passenger cars, and observant drivers may get their first look at a new model when they see a media fleet (test) car. During our long test period, the new Ford Everest got a lot of attention from people who couldn’t believe how popular it was!
Also, we didn’t see another new-generation Everest along the Garden Route, so for most people in the Southern Cape, this vehicle would have been their first (or closer) look at Ford’s highly-anticipated new 7-seat adventure SUV. And, boy, did they want to look… and ask a lot of questions!
Late last year, Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa raised eyebrows when it said that the new Everest had moved out of the “Fortuner” category of SUVs based on bakkies and should be seen as an alternative to the Toyota Land Cruiser Prado… One of the main goals of our long evaluation was to find out if the Blue Oval’s claim was just marketing talk to explain why the new model was so much more expensive than its predecessor. If you click on the link below, you can see how the Everest compares to the well-known, but older, Prado and the brand-new Jeep Grand Cherokee. At first glance, it seems like Ford may have a point.
Ford’s top SUV, the Everest, is now even better than its traditional competitors thanks to the new Everest. In one move, it made the still-relatively-new Isuzu MU-X feel decidedly old, and it gave Toyota a high bar to aim for with its next-generation Fortuner, which will also move upmarket. As it stands, though, this is the best SUV based on a bakkie that you can buy right now. It combines the ability to go on real adventures with high-end, luxurious on-road driving and the latest technology.