– New Ford Everest Sport adds exclusive exterior styling elements, including eye-catching 20-inch wheels and sporty black finishes
– Premium-quality cabin featuring embossed leather seats with distinctive blue stitching, soft-touch leather for the dashboard, eight-way electric adjustment for driver’s seat
– Available on 4×2 and 4×4 derivatives, with Ford’s 132kW Single Turbo diesel engine and 10-speed automatic transmission
The word “Sport” is thrown around quite a bit, often not signifying any real changes to the vehicle. But in the case of the newly launched Ford Everest Sport, the Sport nomenclature actually carries value.
Apart from many visual changes to differentiate the Sport model, the key feature is the gloss black 20″ wheels. A Bigger wheel allows you to fit lower profile tyres, which reduces sidewall roll and flex which improves vehicle dynamics vastly. We will go over the handling in-depth later on, but the Sport handles tar roads (especially at high speeds) very well. Lower profile tyres allows you to improve handling, without needing to make the suspension more firm. Firm suspension and off-roaders don’t mix well. Try driving a corrugated Karoo gravel road at 120km/h with a hard-riding vehicle, it’s unpleasant to say the least.
The local launch for the Ford Everest Sport was held near Oudtshoorn, which meant flying to George and jumping in the vehicle for a short 100km tar drive to the overnight accommodation at La Plume Boutique Guesthouse in the three-street town of Volmoed. About 15km South-West of Oudtshoorn the accommodation is on an active ostrich farm (something Oudtshoorn is known for). If you find yourself in the area, go pay them a visit. Their ostriches are quite tame and enjoy posing for photos.
With a fleet of Everest’s washed and lined up, we set off to an animal shelter in Oudtshoorn to donate much needed dog food. Each vehicle had four 25kg’s bags in the boot with room to spare, demonstrating the loading capacity of the Everest Sport. After visiting a few dogs we jumped back into the cars to set off for the main attraction of the launch, Swartberg Pass.
We were two journo’s in a vehicle and by chance the driver switch was at the foot of the pass, which meant I took the reins for a soaking wet Swartberg Pass. The area had experienced torrential rain leading up to the day of the launch, which led to some muddy and very slippery conditions. Surprisingly even with the slightly road-biased tyres and with the right throttle control, I experienced minimal wheelspin and very little interference from the Traction Control system even while in 2WD. After reaching the summit of the pass, it was like a 180 degree switch weather wise. The pass was dry and dusty going down into the kloof. I carried a bit more speed than I would usually recommend, but we need to find the limits of the vehicles abilities. Let’s just say, I chickened out before I could get close to the limits in those conditions. Very impressive considering it’s a completely OEM tyre setup. The 2.0L single turbo-diesel engine combined with their magnificent 10-speed gearbox is perfectly suited for the vehicle. The short ratios of the 10-speed ensures you always have the power you need, both at low and high speeds.
In terms of exterior changes, the Everest Sport sets itself apart from the rest of the line-up with a more aggressive looking black grill, black door handles, Everest badging on the bonnet and sport stickers on the side. All chrome is blacked out, which makes the vehicle appear more menacing. There are six body colours to choose from: Diffused Silver, Frozen White, Agate Black, Moondust Silver, Sea Grey and Copper Red.
The interior also received some significant changes including a leather interior and dash. The interior plastics has a blue tinted weave pattern and the vents have a slight bronze tint.
2.0 Single Turbo 10AT 4×2 R662 800
2.0 Single Turbo 10AT 4×4 R704 400
All Everest models come standard with Ford Protect, comprising a four-year/120 000km comprehensive warranty, three-year/unlimited distance roadside assistance and five-year/unlimited km corrosion warranty. A six-year/90 000km service plan is included, with 15 000km service intervals.