I’ll be honest and say that up until this review, I’ve never driven a Ford Everest. Though I’ve always heard pretty good things about it, which were balanced out by the stories of “difficult and costly” ownership and maintenance. Needless to say, I’ve been curious, and I suffered from “judging this book by its cover”.
So when Ford graciously lent me the 2021 Ford Everest Sport for a few days, I had to think of a way to thoroughly test it. I wanted to find out what the fuss was all about. It always lingered on my mind “If its maintenance experience is a nightmare, why do I still see so many people buying it?”
The current generation of the Ford Everest is already on its way out, the all-new generation is on its way. This made me decide that I should give the outgoing Everest a proper send-off, by using it the way its makers intended it to be used.
I took the Ford Everest Sport (a tall 7-seater PPV) to the south for a date…
A date? that’s it? Hear me out first.
Table of Contents
Ever since the pandemic, my fiancee and I have been as careful as possible when it came to going to places and planning our trips. To make the long story short, our lives have revolved around the occasional trip here and there.
Why is this significant? It’s because my fiancee has the tendency to want to go on spontaneous road trips, sometimes just to try a cafe she saw someone share on Facebook.
On this particular occasion, I decided to indulge her. We had a car, and now we had a destination, CaKe’s Coffee, which is situated in Amadeo on the way up to Tagaytay.
We departed for the cafe at around 9:00 am and made our way south first via the Skyway, it was such a big relief that the Ford Everest Sport has cruise control, helping the mind (and foot) numbing experience of sticking to the 60kph speed limit easier.
I’ve always been critical of the Everest’s 10-speed automatic transmission, I mean, who needs 10 gears right? But on the Skyway I realized the brilliance of the transmission. While trundling along at 60kph, the Everest Sport was as quiet as a full elevator after a “passing of gas”.
It was surreal to almost hear nothing, it was as if the car wasn’t a diesel-powered vehicle. Plus because of the gearing, at 60kph, the revs were just around 1,000rpm, which of course, is good for fuel economy.
After we eased into SLEX for a proper highway run, I booted it, and was surprised to see that 60-100kph was taken care of in a matter of (quiet) seconds, even at those speeds the engine barely made much noise, just the familiar diesel rumble creeping into the cabin every so often.
We had to exit SLEX towards Cavite via the MCX, and this for me was going to be the true test. As we drove along the back roads of Cavite, I couldn’t be more appreciative of the Everest Sport’s driving dynamics.
The steering was oh so light, allowing for easy maneuverability and cornering on some of the tight streets we passed, the engine played a big part as well, making sure that attempting overtakes on slow vehicles wasn’t an anxiety-inducing activity. Plus the engine produces just enough oomph with 180PS and 420Nm of torque, that both come in smooth lumps of power.
My main criticism though would be the transmission I so very much praised earlier, on the highway, once you hit your desired cruising speed the 10-speed is perfect. On the national highways though, it’s a different story; it seemed like the transmission was indecisive as to what gear it wanted to be in, and I constantly felt the car “jerk” either during upshift or downshift.
Just to confirm my suspicions, I asked my passengers, and they felt the same thing as well.
Despite this though, everything else about the Everest Sport made the journey “relaxing”. The seats were soft, plush leather that cushion you while cruising, but can bolster you during spirited driving. The ride was also not as bumpy or jarring as its other PPV competitors. When we got to CaKe’s Coffee shop, I was still refreshed and not worn out.
As many modern travelers do, we used Waze to get to our destination. I must say, the coffee shop is almost like a mirage in a desert, it appeared out of nowhere on the right side of the road (Tagaytay bound).
I have to say though, despite its “abrupt” location CaKe’s Coffee shop is a looker. The nice white and black motif, with a lot of use for wooden materials and the occasional smattering of steel furniture, gave a true “out of town” cafe feel.
We were lucky that there were barely any people sharing the cafe with us (despite it being a holiday). We ordered and made our way to their al fresco area, only then realizing that CaKe’s Coffee has more than enough space to service droves of caffeine maniacs should the situation arise.
I highly recommend the coffee over the pastries. I also suggest ordering the coffee with the “specialty” logo beside it; best to play it safe.
Overall though, CaKe’s Coffee is a nice and quaint cafe anyone can go to for a quick escape alone or with a special someone.
Going the distance
Refueled with coffee, and not yet satisfied with the day’s activities, I convinced my fiancee to join me (as if she had a choice) for a long drive. I thought we might as well head up to Tagaytay as we were more or less halfway there at this point.
The Everest Sport continued to behave itself throughout the journey, even as the roads started to wind and the infamous Tagaytay traffic made an appearance, it remained composed and engaging when I wanted it to be, or quiet and relaxing on the flip-side.
In total, I was so into the whole “drive” that we were able to make it as far as the mid-point of the Tagaytay-Nasugbu highway. I only realized how far we were when the roads became flat, and we were no longer descending from the Tagaytay ridgeline. (Oops)
I apologized to my increasingly annoyed passenger and stopped to the side to stretch my legs and take some scenic photos before making our way back to Manila.
At Days End
We arrived back in Manila just a little past 7:00 PM: a total of around 7-8 hours out on the road. Here is where I realized the point of the Ford Everest, why so many people continue to buy it in record numbers despite the erring advice of people not to do so.
After I parked the car at home and got out. I realized how fresh I felt, with no amount of ache or pain in any limb or joint, and my usually tricky lower back was fine.
That’s because the Ford Everest succeeded where most of its competitors fall short; comfort. Because PPVs are based on pick-up trucks, the ride, and general driving experience usually lean towards feeling “utilitarian”. This includes the noisy and crude diesel engines, and the hard bumpy ride, the feeling of heft around corners or under braking.
The Ford Everest felt almost like an out-and-out SUV, it’s refined in almost all the aspects I mentioned its competitors struggle with. Which makes it surprising because this platform has been around for a longer time compared to its newer rivals.
Ford made the Everest platform something they could use for a long time just to tweak and upgrade every so often, and that gamble paid off.
Even as the last hurrah, the Ford Everest Sport did not feel like it needed to be “put out to pasture” just yet.
Oh, about my question earlier as to why people risk buying it? I think it’s because the trade-off of costly maintenance doesn’t match the everyday driving experience and comfort the Ford Everest offers.
I’m not excusing the expensive maintenance cost, and I do hope Ford addresses that issue with the all-new Everest. I just finally realized that the Ford Everest truly deserves all the love and attention it’s received over the years.
And I’m glad I got to experience (this generation) before its retirement.
Should you want to buy the existing Ford Everest Sport retails for PHP 1,928,000. Hurry though, make sure to get it while stocks last.