DRIVEN: FORD EVEREST SPORT

Ford’s Everest is involved in a mammoth battle here in Mzansi, one that requires constant attention and energy. In its segment the class-leading Toyota Fortuner completely dominates, regularly featuring in the top 5 best-selling cars in the country. Ford Everest (Isuzu MU-X, Mitsubishi Pajero Sport too) the odds are highly stacked against them. So when the Everest Sport showed up a fresh lease on life was thrown to the badge, with the hope of at least keeping the battle alive.

Don’t get it wrong; this is not an all-new Everest at all. It is actually based on the existing XLT model, with some added features that make it stand out from the rest. First the powertrain. Fitted with the familiar 2.0-litre single turbo diesel engine, the Everest Sport produces 132kW of power and 420Nm of torque, the latter made from a lowly 1 250rpm. Coupled with the motor is the trusted 10-speed automatic transmission that should be left to do its job, because when it does, the changes are smooth. We averaged 11.5 litres per 100km under daily driving, which seems to be par for the course in the segment. We were hoping for less though, given the small engine and 10-speed automatic transmission.

Ford is giving potential buyers the choice of either a 4×2 or 4×4 model for the Everest Sport, which means those who don’t need to go off-road and don’t feel like dolling out the extra cash, will have choices. For the off-road types the Terrain Management System is easy to use, through a dial, and it gives the driver the ability to traverse over surfaces such as Mud, Grass, Rocks or paved roads with no major issues. During our test, we averaged 10.5 litres per 100km in diesel consumption.

The Everest Sport – available in six exterior colours, including Moondust Silver and Copper Red – is recognisable from regular models via a number of features. They include black side mirror caps, door handles, front bumper chin, the front mesh grille, roof rails, 20-inch alloy wheels and others.

Interior perks include the likes of the SYNC3 infotainment system with a 20.3cm touch screen, Apple Carplay and Android Auto integration, USB connectivity, a two-pin plug at the rear, Bluetooth, mapping (with Tracks for Africa), dual-zone climate control and a host of others. Keep in mind the Everest Sport is a 7-seater, the third row of which is completely foldable for normal operation, while the second row can also be folded to give extra loading space if need be.

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