Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Is the Ford Everest 2.2 Titanium+ the Perfect City Slicker SUV?


What is it like to drive a truck? Well, give the Ford Everest a try and it’ll give you a pretty good idea. While the Everest is now a common sight on the streets of Manila, it’s completely different to actually drive one.

From the vantage point of a petite female, the only word to describe it was ginormous — a whale, if you will. This particular whale is the 2018 Ford Everest 2.2 Titanium+ 4x2 variant—the “+” connoting that it’s equipped with a slew of additional safety gear. More on that later.


Going back to its whale-like structure, it is, at first, intimidating to be close to, much less get behind the wheel. At 5-feet and 3-inches, the grab handle on the front side panel is a necessary aid to get in. Once settled into the driver’s seat though, it feels like an entirely new experience—the height is certainly refreshing. It feels like being in an executive sedan, but higher—way higher.

The first drive out of the garage was straight into a rainy night’s downpour, which made it a challenge, not only in terms of adjusting to the new height perspective, but also all-around visibility. Here, it’s obvious that higher isn’t always better. Sure, everything is visible beyond the front of hood, but it also made the various blind spots more glaring. Suddenly, the door frames block too much of the view of vehicles approaching from either side of the car, and approaching motorcycles on the right side is difficult to see until they’re already beside the hood (thank God for the blind spot indicators).



On a clear day and driving on a highway though, these obstructions are easier to adjust too; perhaps save for the door frames which still require bending over in order to properly see out of.

When looking at its truck-like design, the first thing that comes to mind is an SUV with a tough steering and an extremely bumpy ride. However, driving it is surprisingly similar to driving a compact crossover! The electric power steering is light and responsive, making this two-ton SUV easy and seamless to maneuver despite its wide girth. Plus, the suspension is nicely balanced, cushioning out the bumps better than any other SUV in its class, and the brakes bite immediately without having to put your foot through the floor.


Being the Titanium+ variant, model also boasted of a sunroof that extends all the way to above the second row. This isn’t necessarily an important feature, but rather, a fun novelty to play with, especially on days when the sun was not too harsh. It allows natural illumination inside the cabin that eliminates the claustrophobic feel when having been in a vehicle for too long.

One disappointing experience though is the air conditioning which conked out on the third day of use. At this point, the first thought that came to mind was, “Is this what people mean when they question the reliability of Ford vehicles?” One quick call to Ford Philippines meant the unit was replaced in a day, but this isn’t a luxury most owners would have.


When it comes to its ability to move people, the Everest delivers on that. Not only are the driver and passenger seats roomy, it’s supportive though it could use more lumbar support during longer stints behind the wheel. The second row is decidedly spacious, easily offering generous legroom for 3 full-sized adults. The third row is tighter, as is common in most 7-seaters, making it comfortable for, perhaps, small children and teenagers more than grown-ups.

Speaking of space, the cargo hold has its own story. In most SUVs, the third row requires the driver to manually fold down the seats, but not with the Everest. Here, all it takes is the push of a button and the third-row seats fold down into the floor providing a truly flat surface.



Without a doubt though, safety is where the Everest leads the entire pack of mid-sized SUVs. As a Titanium+, it not only gets the whole array of airbags, ABS, and stability control, but it also gets blindspot indicators (don’t leave home without it), lane keeping assist, and forward collision warning.
The best feature though is the automatic parking assist system. More than simply putting in a 360-degree camera and have you do all the hard work, this system actually does the parking for you. All you need to do is push a button, have the system scan a suitable space, and operate the shifter and pedals. It’s amazeballs.

Although the Everest carries an all-American badge, it’s one SUV that feels like it’s been designed for Philippine roads from the get-go. Despite its reliability hiccup, the Everest feels like the perfect SUV for the road warrior; even for the narrower streets and congested city traffic in this side of the pond. With its easy steering, small car feel, comfy ride, and countless tech features, drivers of both genders can quickly adjust to this as a daily driver. There’s no midsized SUV that gives more confidence to tackle an adventure than the Ford Everest.

Words and Photos by Gen Tiu.

2018 Ford Everest 2.2 4x2 Titanium+
Ownership 2018 Ford Everest 2.2 4x2 Titanium+
Year Introduced 2016
Vehicle Classification Mid-sized SUV
The Basics
Body Type 5-door Mid-sized SUV
Seating 7
Engine / Drive F/R
Under the Hood
Displacement (liters) 2.2
Aspiration Turbocharged
Fuel Delivery Common Rail Direct Injection
Layout / # of Cylinders I4
BHP @ rpm 160 @ 3,200
Nm @ rpm 385 @ 1,600-2,500
Fuel / Min. Octane Diesel
Transmission 6 AT
Cruise Control Yes, Adaptive
Fuel Economy @ Ave. Speed 7.57 km/L @ 14 km/h
Dimensions and Weights
Length (mm) 4,893
Width (mm) 1,862
Height (mm) 1,836
Wheelbase (mm) 2,850
Curb Weight (kg) 2,180
Suspension and Tires
Front Suspension Independent, Double Wishbone
Rear Suspension 4-Link Coil Springs with Watts Linkage
Front Brakes Vented Disc
Rear Brakes Disc
Tires Goodyear EfficientGrip SUV 265/50 R 20 T (f & r)
Wheels Alloy
Safety Features
Airbags 7
Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS) Yes, with EBD
Traction / Stability Control Yes
Parking Sensors Yes, Front & Rear, with Camera
Active Park Assist
Other Safety Features Hill Hold Assist
Hill Descent Control
Blindspot Monitoring System
Lane Keep Assist
Tire Pressure Monitoring
Forward Collision Mitigation
Exterior Features
Headlights HID
Fog Lamps Yes, Front & Rear
Auto Lights Yes
Rain-sensing Wipers Yes
Interior Features
Steering Wheel Adjust Tilt
Steering Wheel Material Leather
Seating Adjustment Electric (front)
Seating Surface Leather
Folding Rear Seat Yes, 60/40 (2nd row); 50/50, (3rd row, electric)
On-Board Computer Yes
Convenience Features
Power Steering Yes
Power Door Locks Yes
Power Windows Yes
Power Mirrors Yes, with Fold
Climate Control Yes, Dual (front), Manual (rear), with Rear Vents
Audio System Stereo
CD
MP3
Aux
USB
Bluetooth
GPS
# of Speakers 10
Steering Controls Yes

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