The new Ford Everest XL Sport gets an automatic gearbox and 4x2 or 4x4 underpinnings. Picture: PHUTI MPYANE
The new Ford Everest XL Sport gets an automatic gearbox and 4x2 or 4x4 underpinnings. Picture: PHUTI MPYANE

Ford’s relentless roll-out of models has resulted in yet another new Everest SUV version. The new debutant is the Everest XL Sport seven-seat SUV, cousin of the popular Ranger bakkie. 

It’s an entry-level derivative that aims to excel in family usefulness and typical segment ruggedness by adding a sportier look to the Everest XLT specification through carefully selected feature items.     

The fettling begins on the outside where the chrome grille is replaced with a black plastic mesh snout, unique and black Everest decals and LED daytime driving lights. Furthermore, black 20-inch alloys shod with all-terrain rubber and black mirror caps and roof rails embellish it with a menacing gaze. You can have it six body colour choices: Diffused Silver, Frozen White, Agate Black, Moondust Silver, Sea Grey and Copper Red.

On the inside, there's  the "Everest Sport" name embroidered onto the electrically adjusted and leather-clad seats with contrasting blue stitching, a dashboard with soft-touch leather treatment, a keyless entry and start system and Ford’s SYNC 3 and 20.3cm touchscreen infotainment system that supports voice control and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Ford says the system is embedded with a navigation system with Tracks for Africa.

Driving aids include cruise control and front and rear park sensors with a rear-view camera. An Electronic Stability Programme with traction control, Hill Launch Assist and Roll Over Mitigation are also standard fitment, as are seven airbags that include a driver’s knee airbag.

Power is provided by Ford’s 2.0l single-turbo diesel motor. It outputs 132kW and 420Nm and it is exclusively stoked by a 10-speed automatic transmission. You have a choice between 4x2 and 4x4 models.

The latter model gets a Terrain Management System which allows the driver to select driving modes according to the environment. It enabled us to confidently climb a lightly-muddy but nonetheless intimidating Swartberg Mountain pass gravel road with sheer drops.

Sand mode automatically apportions torque to all the wheels while the engine, transmission and traction control monitor for judicious progress. We didn’t have the opportunity to inch down the muddy abyss to test out the standard Hill Descent Control feature as it was bone dry on the other side. There are also modes for mud, grass, rock climbing pursuits and a normal road mode.


Everest XL Sport 2.0 Single Turbo 4x2 — R675,600

Everest XL Sport 2.0 Single Turbo 4x4 — R718,000

All Everest models come standard with a four-year/120,000km warranty and a six-year/90,000km service plan.

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