Ford Everest 3.2 TDCi Limited 4×4 6AT

Ford Everest 3.2 TDCi Limited 4×4 6AT

The beast from big blue. Revisited

Ford Everest Ltd

Ford Everest Ltd

The model we tested has huge 20″ tyres which may slightly inhibit you in rough terrain. I drove it on soft sand and on a muddy Helderberg 4×4 trail and experienced some slipping on the steep wet sections due to the highway orientated tyres and the, in my opinion, too low profile tyres. But I could go anywhere and with the right tyres, effortlessly.

The engine is the same one as in the bakkie and pushes out 147kW of power and 470Nm of torque. The terrain management system lets you shift-on-the-fly to maximise traction and stability. With 225mm ground clearance, 800mm wading depth, low range and the electronic locking rear differential, going anywhere is just the push of a button away. The system automatically transfers torque between the front and rear wheels with the most grip to provide maximum traction on and off-road.

Ford Everest Interior

Ford have put in Pull-Drift Compensation technology which measures the driver’s steering input, adapts to changing road conditions and helps compensate for slight directional shifts caused by factors such as crowned road surfaces or steady crosswinds. This together with the Watt’s linkage suspension and a silky smooth gearbox makes for an extremely competent ride. Much better than the bakkie, especially on fast gravel roads.

To get a better picture of this slightly bigger car I got my wife to drive it a bit. Here is what Danita has to say:
When I first set eyes on this vehicle I was quite intimidated by its bulk, so my immediate response was a bit on the negative side. I have made up my mind that this was a perfect example of the car that I would NEVER buy.
I nevertheless looked forward to a morning drive on sand, followed by a bit of 4×4.
We started to take pictures and the monster turned out to be quite handsome…beautiful lines and well designed. It stood there…a good height from the ground…proud and ready to please. The word “capable” is such an understatement!
Sooo…I decided to be bold and take it through it’s paces on the Helderberg 4×4 trail, come hell or high water. Well, during the past week it really was hell and high water, which made it….challenging for me and the beast.
I change my tune…I really stand in awe of the sheer power, willingness and capability of this lovely vehicle. It is such a pleasure to drive and not for one moment did I feel scared or in a panic…this was an adrenaline dream!

Ford claims 8.2L/100km but I was getting 10.8, so with its 80 litre tank it has a range of about 750km. Not bad for a vehicle of this size and with this power. It is rated to tow up to 3 tons braked and 750 kg unbraked.

The SUV is loaded with adaptive cruise control with collision warning, pre-collision detect, active park assist and a blind spot information system, not to speak of the automated lights and wipers. Its all top class stuff.

The car has front seat warmers, and seats which fold flat right to the front seat, which would make a great bed in lion country. Something you can’t do in the Fortuner with its silly fold-up third row seats.
Ford’s SYNC® 2 infotainment system has active noise cancellation, Bluetooth and all the goodies you would want in such a system.
Oh, there’s a 230 volt inverter too.

The Everest as tested is R698 900. The moon roof is an extra R10 360. The base model costs R459 900. The top model starts at R706 900.  For both models the warranty is 4yr / 120 000km and comes with a 5yr / 100 000km service plan.

Ford Everest Ltd

Ford Everest Ltd

The Ford Everest and Toyota Fortuner are  very different. In town and on the road the Everest completely outboxes the Fortuner, but meets its match off-road. I think the Everest takes it.
Also look at the Fortuner, Mitsubishi Pajero Sport, Suzuki Grand Vitara, Jeep Cherokee, Kia Sorent and Hyundai Sante Fe (the latter two not offering low range).

 

Ford-Everest-Ltd-nose

Advertisements

Chevrolet Trailblazer 2.8D 4×4 LTZ review

Chev-Trailblazer-thumbChevrolet Trailblazer 2.8D 4×4 LTZ

The question is: Is the Trailblazer as good as, or better than the Fortuner?

Mmmm. That depends.

It is certainly very capable and comfortable. A pleasure to drive.

General impressions Chev-Trailblazer-liftfront

The Chevrolet Trailblazer 2.8D 4×4 LTZ is big, she’s bold and has a huge GM bowtie on the grill. Chuck Morris’s SUV.

The ‘blazer is basically built on a shortened new Isuzu KB chassis so remains a bakkie at heart. She even sounds like an Isuzu bakkie, but of course has a completely new engine.

The Trailblazer has the power and torque for towing big caravans and boats. And going straight over mountains if needed.132kW @ 3800rpm and 470Nm @ 2 000rpm.

Space for seven , with three rows, or fold the seats down and load a few bikes. The third row seats fold flat into the floor creating a cavernous “boot”.

Although a big car she is easy to drive and park.

Chev_Trailblazer_dashInterior

The Trailblazer has space, and uses space cleverly. The cabin gives the impression of airy room, partially a result of the light trim used for the seats and most interior surfaces.

GM claims there are 11 cup holders. I believe them.

There is ample headroom and space for your legs and shoulders.

It has a very uncluttered look. There are quite a few power points scattered around the cabin.

The third row of seats are easy to use and work really well. They fold completely flat when not in use.

The steering wheel is great to use with cruise control on the right and audio controls on the left.

The second and third row of seats also get aircon, a nice touch.

The steering wheel is great to use with cruise control on the right and audio controls on the left.

The second and third row of seats also get aircon, a nice touch.

Exterior

She looks a lot like a Fortuner on steroids. Big and bold. I like the lines.

Chev-Trailblazer-leftbackDriving impressions

This is one big SUV that is a joy to drive.

On jeep trails the Trailblazer comes into its own. It has the grunt, the gears and the go to keep going. I tested it on the Helderberg 4×4 Trail just outside Somerset West. It passed with flying colours.

The ‘blazer comes as standard with highway orientated tyres, so if you are going to spend time in the bundu it is recommended you get A/T tyres.

Niggles

The very light leather upholstery looks great when new but I am not sure it will wear well if used for off-roading.

The biggest niggle for me is the lack of diff lock.

The bonnet is quite long when driving on 4×4 trials. You can’t see the trail directly in front of the vehicle.

The Trailblazer has loads of usable power and is very easy to drive.

Summary

The Chevrolet Blazer is going to give the Fortuner a bit of a run for its money. It feels more stable on gravel roads, a weak point of the Fortuner. In many ways it improves on the Toyota.

Price

2.5 LT 4X2 MT           R364,000.00

2.8 LTZ 4X2 AT         R429,900.00

2.8 LTZ 4X4 MT         R461,300.00

2.8 LTZ 4X4 AT         R476,900.00

3.6 LTZ 4X4 AT         R486,700.00

Service Plan 5yr/90 000km, warranty 5yr/120 000km