Earlier this year Ford announced a R2.5 billion investment into South Africa and we are now seeing the results, with the launch of the 2016 Everest. The new locally built SUV is aimed a wide range of customers as it includes eight derivatives in two engine choices, three specification levels, manual and automatic transmissions, and in either two- or four-wheel drive. If I were in the market for this vehicle, I’d have a tough time choosing which one I’d want. 


Ford’s assembly plant in Silverton, Pretoria has created 1200 jobs locally! The Everest will also be exported into Africa. Great to see results of an announcement you heard about months ago. Well done, Ford South Africa.

I got to drive the new 2.2L locally built Everest at a media event where we drove from Lanseria, making a stop at McCarthy 4×4 outside Pretoria, then onto our final destination at Legends Golf and Safari Resort in Limpopo. 


After driving two variants, an automatic and a manual, here are some of my thoughts and key takeaways I thought you should know.

1. It’s more rugged and refined than a Ranger. I do love the Ranger but prefer a more SUV-like vehicle. The Everest looks better than it’s direct competitor, the Toyota Fortuner.everest-sa

2. It has a bunch of driver technologies inside it (not the tech I normally write about, but more on that further below) such as hill launch assist, hill descent control, tyre pressure monitoring system, emergency brake warning, roll over mitigation, curve control, lane keeping system, driver alert system, blind spot monitoring with cross traffic alert, trailer sway control, adaptive load control, and it parallel parks for you (if you’re lazy cos I assume everyone knows how, or else you woulda failed your drivers licence test!)… loads of features here (and more) I can see South Africans absolutely loving!

3. The manual is a better drive than the automatic (both 6 speed) as it’s just a better, smoother ride; based on the vehicles I drove. At times, the auto felt a bit sluggish on the roads, but I totally get why anyone who sits in Joburg traffic would want an automatic. 

4. It has SYNC 3, the next-generation infotainment system built by Ford. If you like plugging in your phone while driving – great! You can access your content easily. If you like pairing it via Bluetooth and using voice commands, great, it supports it too. Additionally, it supports Apple Car Play (yay!), and Android Auto (bummer, doesn’t work in South Africa yet). SYNC 3 comes standard with XLT models, which features an 8″ touch screen; and 10 speakers; 2x USB ports. Other models come with SYNC 1 with a small 4″ screen. Not sure what happened here, or why SYNC 2 wasn’t used instead. When your Everest is parking at home, within your WiFi zone, you can update the software. Great feature since most car systems don’t really allow for updates and you’re left with a dated system by the time it gets here. 

5. You might remember the 3.2 Everest Limited was launched here last year, so what’s new? The 2016 Everest is now available in a 2.2L variant, in either auto, manual, 4×2 and 4×4. A new 4×2 3.2L is now an option. All models have 6 airbags, and according to Ford, that’s double than their competitor. Also fun fact: there are 30 spaces and compartments to put your stuff in! 

6. At the end of the day, pricing is a big deal. Here’s what you can expect to pay, VAT included:
> 2.2L XLS 4×2 (manual) – R453 900
> 2.2L XLS 4×2 (auto) – R470 900
> 2.2L XLT 4×2 (manual) – R478 900
> 2.2L XLT 4×2 (auto) – R495 900
> 2.2L XLS 4×4 (manual) – R529 900
> 3.2L XLT 4×2 (auto) – R554 900
> 3.2L XLT 4×4 (auto) – R634 900
> 3.2L Limited 4×4 (auto) – R698 900
If you’re buying a new locally built 2016 Everest, Ford will throw in complimentary 4×4 training with all 4×4 models. I think the entry level manual is best value for money.


Thanks to Ford South Africa for a unique experience in Limpopo!

PS: Remember I got to try SYNC 3 earlier this year at Mobile World Congress? Check it out here: http://www.nafisa.co.za/hands-on-fords-sync-3