Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Review: 2012 Ford Everest 2.5 Limited

Photos by Ulysses Ang
Everyone likes change. If change didn’t happen, then you’ll still be making phone calls in a booth, and you wouldn’t be reading stuff like this over the internet. Though change is generally good, there’s a fine line of being too conservative and too radical. If there’s too little challenge, you’ll be branded as passé. If you’re too radical, they’ll say you’re weird. Finding the exact mix is the challenge to becoming well-received.

Take a look at the Ford Everest, for example. When it was announced way back in 2003, it was dubbed as the future of mainstream Filipino transport.  At the time Toyota was hawking its Revo and Mitsubishi its Adventure, Ford presented a much more modern, much more robust vehicle that can go anywhere and can still seat the extended family (naturally). Unfortunately for Ford, the other car makers followed suit and soon, you have the likes of the Fortuner and the Montero Sport nipping at the heels of the Everest. A full model change in 2007 and a refresh in 2009 managed to close the gap, but didn’t show something particularly mind-blowing.



Thanks to the revolution called Ranger, the Everest is already showing signs of middle age. Sure, the metal wrapper is still handsome in a rugged sort of way but for all intents and purposes, it’s dated. The 18-inch alloys for example look great on the corners of the Everest, but not when it’s stuck at the back as a spare tire. At a time when the extra wheel is often hidden from view, the Everest still showcases its asset in all its glory. Worse still, this same spare tire hinders access to the rear wiper during replacement and makes an already challenging vehicle even more difficult to park thanks to an increased length.

Still, this hasn’t stopped Ford from giving the Everest yet another facelift before the expected full model change. But this time, they are very, very minor; almost invisible to all but the truly observant. For instance, the grille is now smaller and features a black trim running through the three bars making the Everest’s nose look smaller. The front bumper has been retouched a bit, and the words, “Everest” once emblazoned on the grille are now a sticker on the hood.



Because this Everest feels more like a Version 2.75, the interior remains largely unchanged. This will undoubtedly play to those who love a straight -forward cabin, but if you’re expecting a bit of avant-grade styling, you’ll be better off somewhere else. The driver’s seat can’t be adjusted for height, but at least the steering column offers tilt adjustment. This gives a very truck-like driving position, where you’ll be more hunched towards the steering wheel than when you normally would be in other cars.  The truck-like atmosphere is emphasized even more with the Everest’s lack of a dead pedal as well as the umbrella-type parking brake. 

The same is true for everyone else. For example, the person riding shotgun will complain for the lack of seat width—not good for long-distance driving. But while the people at the front may be clamoring for comfier seats, those in the second row will revel in the king-sized leg room. Thanks to the Everest’s long wheelbase, the middle row occupants can cross their legs with space to spare. But, once they put uncross their legs, their knees will end up slightly raised because of the Everest’s tall floor. The third row occupants are actually the worse off because of the primitive headrest-less seating. And you can’t even lean your back for long in these seats because you’ll end up hitting the rear glass. Thankfully, everyone gets leather seats so that’s one less thing to complain about.



Though the Everest’s long length should have translated to a cavernous cargo hold, this isn’t true. The cargo flexibility is meager at best. First, the second row flips up in a 50/50 split rather than the standard 60/40. This severely limits the passenger count of the second row to one when loading long objects, compared to two (in a squeeze) on other SUVs. And then you have the third row that simply folds as one whole piece. This means you can either fit luggage or a sixth person for that trip to Baguio. Plus, the third row lacks any sort of sophisticated locking mechanism. Need to stow the third row up?  You need to latch it to the second row’s headrest with a strap. You can’t get cruder than that.

The recently revamped Everest finally sees a more advanced audio system replacing the old aux-less set-up. It may be an aftermarket job from AVT, but the ICE or In-Car Entertainment system does the job will all sorts of gimmicks from DVD playback to iPod capability to being the only local Ford product with a GPS navigation installed as standard. Unfortunately, after a week setting the bass and tremble still remains a mystery.



The 2.5-liter DuraTORQ has more than enough juice for city driving. Unfortunately, that experience involves a lot of times where you’re overtaken by Fortuners, Montero Sports, and Santa Fes. Once you’ve tasted the next-generation 2.2-liter and especially the new 3.2-liter DuraTORQ, there’s no going back. This old engine is a different animal together. Like all Ford diesels, it’s smooth, but with noticeable clatter. It feels adequate, but not quick from a standstill. The five-speed automatic may have been the one to have before, but there’s noticeable shift shock and lag. Again, blame the bar set by the Ranger’s crisp six-speed box. And surprisingly enough, a week’s worth of driving returned just 8.2 km/L in mix city/highway driving.

The Everest is known to have balanced the ride/handling equation quite well. And it still continues to do so despite the pick-up suspension. It certainly doesn’t handle like a sports car, but it’s commendably stable and predictable through corners while giving a forgiving ride. The body structure is largely rattle-free, but the primitive third row strap can cause a bit of a ruckus. The large 18-inch tires may delight pimpmobile enthusiasts, but contribute to heavy low-speed steering and a bigger than expected turning radius.



In the end, though the Ford Everest has substantially changed for at least three times now, most of the changes have to do with cosmetics rather than mechanical. That said, Ford could have given the Everest some of the Ranger magic, but alas that’s something that remains as a future product plan. As it stands, the Everest continues to be a practical family hauler, only it’s showing its age.

20 comments:

  1. palagay ko dahil konti palang tinakbo nito, 4362km mileage palang tinakbo, titipid pa un 8.2km/l, kasi sakin 2.5wltdci ranger, with 3+kRPM nakaka 9.5km/l pako mga 80%city20%highway

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  2. mine is a first gen (2004) Everest (110,000+ odometer)and even with spirited driving and relatively fast acceleration, I achieve 10 km/l mixed city and highway driving, if I would be frugal in terms of driving I average 12-14km/l. :)it still depends on the fuel, load, aggressiveness and type of driving

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  3. I have an everest 2012 AT limited. Why i settle on everest? Its because matigas at matibay sya. Been to calatagan batangas 7adults 3kids and cargo for 3days with a road that off roaders go. It survive. Been to tagaytay with 9adults 3kids and tools and bags from swimming. It did well. Tumirik ang truck namin i towed it with my ford. Since sira ung truck i have to pull the cement mixer too. Until now wala kalampag at langitngit. Engine still doing 8-9km/l city with traffic. 10-11km/l hiway. I love fortuner kya lng it doesnt fit on my needs. By the way i tried climbing stairs with the everest. Flawless.

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  4. Obviously, this reviewer doesn't know what he's talking about. The Ford Everest is TIMELESS, not dated--as with any other Ford trucks. I have yet to try driving one, but the road presence, ruggedness and elegance are enough to seal the deal for me. It's a TRUE SUV. Not some SUV wannabe like the Monty and Fort. Those two look so much alike that they seem to come from one production line. (FYI: I drive a Santa Fe)

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    1. Porket mas mabenta lang ang Montero Sport at Fortuner sa Santa Fe mo eh wannabe SUVs na agad yung dalawa? Wow, ang talino mo naman gumawa ng comment na tungkol sa dalawang SUV na kaya namang lumusong sa baha, di kagaya ng K-Pop na Santa Fe mo...

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    2. Mas matalino ka pre. Wala naman shang sinabi tungkol sa Santa Fe nya eh. Pinagkumpara lang nya yung fortuner at montero sa everest. Ang talino mo grabe ahahahahaha. Palibhasa ingles yung comment kaya lumabnaw yung utak mo LOL!

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  5. No doubt on Everest, I've driven from Iloilo to Tuguegarao Cagayan, The engine stops only when boarded at RORo, then continue without stop with AC on even at parking until reaching the destination. Good Engine, comfort in driving in highways and Offroads.

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  6. ford everest 2012 ung sakin, all i can say about this SUV is wow... walang reklamo mga passenger ko kahit long drive kc very comfortable and ver smooth dalhin in highways and even in rugged terrain. b4 i have a monty pero mayugyog sa loob so i stick sa everest nlang. and ang galing ng makina.

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  7. Planning to buy a Ford Everest later this month. Sabi ng karamihan mahal daw maintenance?

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  8. I am driving a Ford Everest 2013, still under warranty, at 15000 km. It stalled, had it repaired at the casa, then it stalled again during their test drive, and when my brother picked it up, it stalled again after 10 minutes running. Brand new cars are supposed to run and not stall, under warranty. I am so disappointed.

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  9. So what happened next?
    Mahal ba talaga maintenance ng Ford Everest?

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  10. Normal Maintenance of Ford Everest AT is 5k at Ford Imus. Other service/distributor may quote for more but 5k can be your benchmark.

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  11. Got my Ford Everest last 2012 AT Limited w/ ICE Package. Reason why we bought Everest over Monty, Fort & Sta. FE as follows:
    1. Got 4 Airbags compared to 2 from the 3;
    2. It has an 18" wheels, biggest compared to the 3; No need to customize.
    3. It has the wider 3rd Row seat over Montero, we installed a headrest worth 5k in the 3rd Row seat;
    4. It has the longest 2nd row legroom among the 3;
    5. A great deal getting almost 200k discount;
    6. All Leather Seat materials for the Limited Variant; Leather Seat only available for 4x4 Variant in Monty & Fort;

    Why not Montero: Turned Off w/ the 3rd row cup holder that limits the capacity of the 3rd row seat.

    Why not Fortuner: That time, we thought that Fortuner has the Old Engine w/o VNT. Else it maybe considered also.

    Why not Sta. Fe: That time, New Sta. Fe is about to come out so we waited. But to our surprise, the 3rd Row seat is smaller than the old model that only small kids can fit.

    With the upcoming All New Ford Everest, it will give this Mid-size SUV segment more excitement.

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    1. Where did you get fixed the 3rd row headrest of your everest.

      I just dont like the 3rd row for not having a headrest.

      really love my everest 2014

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  12. I just got our pre-owned Everest 2012 Limited last month. Superb SUV. Love it! Runs very well, sturdy and stable on the highway. I think 10km/L is ok for the 2.5L engine. I almost got a Fortuner a few months ago, but decided to get the Everest based on its performance, safety features, options, leg room and classy look compared to the Fort, Monty and Santa Fe.

    This SUV is definitely for keeps! It was absolutely worth my investment.

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  13. I like the limited edition... so excited to get a ride of this superb SUV soon.. kachowww!!

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  14. Something about the front looks weird in the sample photos... Doesn't this model have a taller grille and an etched name imprint?

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  15. I have yet to try a Ford Everest but after reading the review, I want to explore more of the Blue Oval logo. I've tried the Fortuner 2.5 4x2 and MS 4x4 3.2 and it was just worlds apart in terms of ride and power. I've heard a lot of good things about the everest and I'd love to know if it's realy at par with the Monty ride and power and the Fort's comfy and luxurious cabin. About the Santa Fe, it's just a different story in terms of speed and having the most stable, 'magic carpet' like ride'.

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