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May 7, 2023

Review: 2023 Ford Everest 2.0 Turbo Sport 4x2

When carmakers lend out vehicles, often, it’s the top-of-the-line trim. This is their way of putting their best foot forward. Occasionally, however, they’d do something different. Spurred by various reasons—the two ones I could think of being the way the segment’s shaped (mid- and entry-level models, after all, typically make up a chunk of sales); or perhaps, they know they’ve got a new story to tell, they let us have a go at something other than the most expensive variant. After some seat time with the Ford Everest Sport, I could say that this is the best bang-for-the-buck variant in the line-up, and as an added bonus, it’s the best driving Everest variant too.

Priced at P 2,109,000, the Everest Sport isn’t chump change by any margin. However, putting that number into context, it’s P 100,000 and P 416,000 below the Everest Titanium+ 4x2 and Titanium+ 4x4 variants, respectively. For that amount of money saved, you still keep a surprising amount of kit from LED headlights, 20-inch wheels, dual-zone climate control, powered driver’s seat, wireless device connectivity and charging, hands-free power tailgate, and even the same 8-speaker sound system. Obviously, some features from the Titanium+ 4x2 had to go, and in the greater scheme of things, they aren’t missed: a bigger touchscreen, panoramic sunroof, and ambient interior lighting.

Although the Everest Sport trades some luxury accoutrements for a more affordable price tag, it keeps the most important thing intact: the drive. With running gear shared mostly with the rest of the Everest line-up, the story’s a familiar one, especially since I drove the Titanium+ 4x4 a week before. Its NVH is impeccable. Save for a hint of tire noise, it’s easily the quietest and most refined in its segment. Its long travel suspension and unique rear Watt’s Linkage gives it a ride so plush and stable it can honestly give a Land Cruiser Prado a run for its money.

Even better, the Everest Sport—like all other non-4x4 Everest variants—trades the iffy electric brake booster for a traditional one. At the expense of losing advanced driver assist like pre-collision braking and post-impact braking, it delivers better and more consistent brake pedal feel and response. This helps instill better driver confidence and less reliance on tech, especially considering that this is a tall-riding, two-ton SUV.

Also simplified is the powertrain. Instead of a bi-turbo 2.0-liter, the Everest Sport (again, like all other Everest 4x2 variants), gets a single-turbo 2.0-liter with 170 horsepower and 405 Nm. People who have photographic memories will know that these peak figures are slightly less than the previous single-turbo setup (minus 10 horsepower and 15 Nm), but in the greater scheme of things, the differences are negligible. Compared to the bi-turbo, the soundtrack is more vocal and gravellier. In terms of push, sensible inputs give a remarkably similar seat-of-the-pants feel. Honestly, it only loses out when driven hard.

Driven in and around the city, the Everest Sport’s biggest strength is its transmission. It loses out in a game of Trump Cards, but the six forward gears are more adept at handling local road conditions than the one with ten. Compared to the 10-speed automatic which upshifts at the lowest possible rpm the engine will allow it to, the 6-speed automatic hangs on the revs a bit more allowing it to be more attuned and ready for sudden acceleration requests. Objectively, it’s possible that the 10-speed’s faster and more economical, but subjectively, the 6-speed’s just the more natural, better tuned transmission. It’s also efficient in the city achieving 8.20 km/L. With a wide set of ratios designed for acceleration and towing (the gearbox is used in the previous Everest 2.2), it does loses out on high speed fuel mileage.

Oh, and thankfully, Ford’s made do without the electric shifter here. With the traditional gearlever protruding more pronouncedly from the center console, it falls within easy reach and operating it solely by feel is a cinch, regardless of whatever Ford says about their e-shifter.

Style-wise, the Everest Sport is basically a blacked-out version of the Everest Titanium+. Normally, I’m on the fence on sportified mid-sized SUVs, but here, especially in Blue Lightning, it works out nicely. Throw in some meaty 18-inch all-terrain tires and this could be the closest we’ll get to an Everest Raptor, looks-wise. Of note, the LED headlights here are different. Lacking the Matrix LED system on the 4WD, it uses a more traditional multi-reflector design.

Compared to the Everest Titanium+, the Everest Sport loses some of the luxury feel. For example, the leather-like dash topper’s gone and replaced by a textured, but still soft-padded plastic one. The seats, still constructed of the same leather/synthetic leather combination as the Titanium+, also feel slightly less upscale. They are well-wearing, however. These nitpicks aside, it’s still easily the best among its pickup-based peers in terms of overall execution and material choice.

The driver gets an 8-inch screen—four inches smaller than the Titanium+ 4WD’s. With no changeable display modes, this setup feels underutilized, but at least the information presented at factory default is clear-cut and easy to understand even if the tachometer is this odd vertical bar. Now, I had to mention, “factory default,” because in the menu, drivers have the option to display an oil temperature gauge. In theory, this is well and good (I mean, who doesn’t like gauges), but because it’s displayed as another vertical bar beside the fuel meter, it can cause confusion since all other gauges—engine temp, revs, and fuel level—are all displayed in the same format save for a small icon.

Another thing that’s slightly different is the infotainment screen. Not only does the portrait-style screen here give up two inches of display space versus the Everest Titanium+, the control scheme is different. Instead of displaying menu items as icons on a left column, here it’s a dropdown menu at the center. Combined with a smaller screen real estate, this means hitting the right menu item becomes an exercise in frustration when on the move. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, and in some ways, operates better. For example, there’s less lag and buffering when playing songs via Spotify compared to the 12-inch system.

Those differences aside, the rest of the cabin experience is the same as the Titanium+. The front row seats are ergonomically solid with well-appointed, well-supportive seats. The second row, despite the absence of the panoramic moonroof have similar levels of headroom too. The third row, meanwhile is best left for children. Also, it’s worth noting that the third-row doesn’t feature an adjustable recline nor does the middle bench tumble for ingress/egress.

The Ford Everest Sport joins a growing club of sporty-oriented pickup-based SUVs such as the Montero Sport Black Series (P 2,054,000), Terra Sport (P 2,119,000) and the Fortuner LTD (P 2,382,000). Yet, more important than being in price parity with its rivals, the Everest Sport manages to keep most of the top-of-the-line’s trademark features. Also, it’s also the better drive. Now, some will argue they’d want the luxury trappings of a moonroof or a better touchscreen, and sure, there’s the Titanium+ 4x2 for that. But for those who’d want a value-oriented package that offers 95 percent of the driving experience at a good price point, this one’s hard to beat.

2023 Ford Everest 2.0 Turbo Sport 4x2

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Bottom Line
Pros Great NVH, composed ride, well-packaged.
Cons Difficult 3rd row ingress/egress, poor highway mileage
TL;DR Unbeatable value king in the segment.
Year Introduced 2022
Warranty 5 years / 150,000 kilometers
The Basics
Body Type Mid-sized SUV
Seating 7
Engine / Drive F/R
Under the Hood
Displacement (liters) 2.0
Aspiration Turbocharged
Fuel Delivery Common Rail
Layout / # of Cylinders Inline-4
BHP @ rpm 170 @ 3,500
Nm @ rpm 405 @ 1,750-2,000
Fuel / Min. Octane Diesel
Transmission 6 AT
Cruise Control Yes
Fuel Economy (km/L) @ Ave. Speed (km/h) 8.20 km/L @ 16 km/h,
9.17 km/L @ 21 km/h
(fueled with Petron Turbo Diesel)
Dimensions and Weights
Length (mm) 4,914
Width (mm) 1,923
Height (mm) 1,842
Wheelbase (mm) 2,900
Curb Weight (kg) 2,278
Suspension and Tires
Front Suspension Independent, Double Wishbone
Rear Suspension Coil Spring w/ Watt's Linkage
Front Brakes Vented Disc
Rear Brakes Vented Disc
Parking Brake Electronic, w/ Auto Hold
Tires Goodyear Wrangler Territory HT
255/55 R 20 V (f & r)
Wheels Alloy
Safety Features
Airbags 7
Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS) Yes, with EBD
Traction / Stability Control Yes
Parking Sensors Yes, Front & Rear
Parking Camera Yes, Rear
Front Seatbelts 3-pt ELR w/ pre-tensioners x 2
Rear Seatbelts 3-pt ELR x 3 (2nd row),
3-pt ELR x 2 (3rd row)
ISOFIX Child Seat Anchor Yes
Other Safety Features Hill Start Assist
Rollover Mitigation
Hill Descent Control
Exterior Features
Headlights LED
Fog Lamps Yes, Front (LED) & Rear
Light Operation Auto
Wiper Operation Rain-Sensing
Tailgate Power, w/ Hands-Free
Interior Features
Steering Wheel Adjust Tilt/Telescopic
Steering Wheel Material Leather
Seating Adjustment (driver) Electric, 8-way
Seating Adjustment (front passenger) Electric, 8-way
Seating Surface Leather/Leatherette
2nd Row 60/40 Split-Fold, Reclining, Sliding, w/ Arm Rest
3rd Row 50/50 Split-Fold
Sunroof No
Multi-Information Display Yes
Convenience Features
Power Steering Yes
Power Door Locks Yes
Power Windows Yes
Power Mirrors Yes, w/ Fold
Rear View Mirror Auto-dimming
Proximity Key Yes
Climate Control Front, Dual Zone, w/ Rear Aircon
Audio System Stereo
USB Type A
USB Type C
Smartphone Connectivity Apple CarPlay
Android Auto
# of Speakers 8
Steering Controls Yes

1 comment:

  1. Hope you will be able to review the new Territory.
    Also, as a kind of comparo of compact crossovers, respective reviews of the GAC Emkoo and Jetour Dashing..


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