HAS IT really been three months already? They say time flies when you’re having fun, and we’ve had our share of fun with the 4X4OTY-winning Everest Trend. And like all of our long termers, we’ll be sad to see it go back.
Since returning from its epic Red Centre expedition, the Ford Everest has been on commuter duty in Melbourne. It serves this purpose well, as it’s spacious and comfortable, and the heater warms up quickly in the mornings. It makes weekend escapes easy, too, as the cargo area takes a pushbike and a bit of gear with the second- and third-row seats folded flat.
The rear seats also accommodate passengers – ideally, two adults in the second row and kids-only in the third row. Limit it to that and there shouldn’t be any complaints from the back. On the outback trip, one of our adult, second-row-seat passengers mentioned that the seat belts tightened up uncomfortably over the rough roads, and it was tricky to get them to release.
The city grind is much different to outback touring, but we still appreciate the large glasshouse of the Ford that provides good visibility for the driver when pulling out of side streets – though we still we prefer the view of wide-open bush plains on the other side of the glass.
The urban slog is also harsher on fuel use than the open road, and around town we’ve averaged 13.2L/100km in the stop-start stab ’n’ steer environment. That equates to an average of 11.1L/100km over our three months with the Trend, which isn’t bad considering its size, weight and the heavier Cooper AT3 tyres we had fitted to it.
The Cooper tyres have been faultless, enduring the rocky outback tracks and remaining quiet on highway and city roads. Any noise is certainly cut out by the Everest’s clever active noise cancelling system, which adds to the excellent overall refinement of the wagon.
We’ve tested the Everest under many different conditions, and the past three months has reinforced our decision to award it our 4X4 of the Year accolade.