We enjoy driving as a family. When I think about it, some of our best family times have been facilitated by the car.
- I have fond memories of our 2011 road trip from Brisbane down to Canberra. You can find our route here.
- Sometimes I drive down different streets with the kids, just for fun or go to a park outside of my local area. It’s fun to mix it up.
- Our family often does mini road trips to explore as much as we can around us. It’s part of our quest to be a tourist in the region where we live.
- Sometimes I drive to just anywhere. We’ve created many family memories by doing this.
- Driving together means everyone in our family is in close quarters, and we have many opportunities to talk or have a family meeting.
- The car has been the pack horse that has enabled us amazing camping experiences.
I did my first vehicle review back in 2011, and since then, I’ve enjoyed looking at different models and brands to see what they offer for families. You can read my review of the Ford Escape here. This time, I am looking at the Ford Everest which is one of Ford’s SUV range, including the Escape (formerly known as the Kuga), Everest, and EcoSport. Ford’s focus for their SUV (Sports Utility Vehicle) range is to provide a variety of models that suit different consumer needs. The demand for SUV cars has grown in the last decade, especially with families who want more out of their vehicle.
The Everest is a powerful genuine off-roader offering seven seats, the ability to fit five child seats, noise cancellation, advanced 4WD system, efficiency on the road and a host of clever safety features.
The test drive was a highlight for me. I was quite nervous driving off-road, but ended up having a blast! The drive was located in the Clark Pampanga district on the Luzon island in the Philippines. We drove out to the Pampanga Lahar beds which were created after the June 1991 volcanic eruption of Mount Pinatubo. The eruption that lasted 9 hours, and was the second largest recorded in the twentieth century. It’s sobering to think these sandy beds covered entire villages. The Lahar beds were spotted with locals going about their daily business and adventure seekers enjoying the towering sandy cliffs and windy river beds.
The trail took us through rocky streams, rugged inclines, sandy flats and muddy sections. It surely put the Everest through the paces. Lahar is composed of a mix of sand and volcano ash, and when mixed with water, it creates a thick moving mush. The vehicle smashed through each obstacle with ease, and I think most importantly, I felt safe as I navigated the varying environments. One section of the trail had me driving through a section of water, and I felt apprehension as water sprayed around me; however after a few moments, I relaxed and trusted the vehicle’s capabilities and went with it. Exhilarating! I’ll go into some features I appreciated in relation to adding value to family life further below, and for a comprehensive review of the features and specifications, this review by Which Car is easy to navigate.
Below is a short video I put together with a snap shot of the Clark Pampanga lahar trail. Truly beautiful!
One of the first things I look at in a vehicle is boot space. As a parent, I need room for stuff! All kinds of stuff, from school bags and musical instruments; from sporting equipment and groceries. Pictured below are the storage configurations possible for the Everest. The first image shows the regular boot when all seats are up; easily fit a suitcase and more.
If extra space is needed there are a variety of fold down options. The 3rd row of seats fold flat with a press of a button so you don’t have to struggle finding levers and folding down seats. The tailgate also has an automatic option; simply press the power button and the tailgate can open and close by itself.
Inside the Everest you’ll find many modern features including USB charging points, sunglasses storage (one of 30 storage compartments), panoramic roof option (in selected models) and flick of a button terrain control options. The seven seater can fit five standard child seats and has two anchor points included.
The Everest offers versatilely in an SUV with its aerodynamically design for on road use and powerful features that enables the full off-road experience. The vehicle has the ability to wade through up to 800mm water and navigate harsh terrain with 225mm ground clearance.
Active Noise Cancellation
If you’re looking for a family vehicle for both everyday use and off-roading, noise, specifically reducing noise, becomes important. The Everest employs a similar system to noise cancelling headphones; by using microphones to monitor low-frequency sounds in real time, the vehicle cancels unwanted sounds through the audio system.
Terrain Management System
I was impressed with the Terrain Management System. At the flick of a dial, you can maximise control for varying conditions.
Rock. Conquer extreme off-road terrain. Choose this mode to keep 4WD in first gear for superior control.
Sand. Glide through sand with increased accelerator sensitivity that adapts to the environment.
Mud, Grass or Snow. From muddy tracks to fresh snow, this mode gives optimised traction and control.
Road. Switch to Road to maximize traction and stability for greater control when travelling along sealed roads.
The in-connectivity system enables you to control entertainment, climate settings, navigation and phone, completely hands free. This will be standard across all future Ford models, even at the entry level.
Below are some of the many safety features.
Lane Keep Aid: If your indicator isn’t on and you start drifting from the centre of the lane, the Lane Keeping System can alert you by vibrating the steering wheel.
Air Bags: Seven air bags.
Rear View Camera & Rear Parking Sensors: See what is behind you and rely on the sensors to assist with reversing close to objects.
MyKey: The MyKey feature is a brilliant safety feature. It allows you to program a key specifically for younger drivers. This is designed to inhibit incoming calls while driving, inhibit top speeds, and there’s even an option to disable the stereo if seat belts are not fastened.
Two ISOFIX anchor points: There’s seven seats as standard and the ability to fit five child seats as well as the inclusion of two ISOFIX anchor points.
There’s a lot to like about the Everest. What I liked most was how it felt to drive; when I was on the road, it didn’t feel like I was driving a huge 4×4 car, and yet it had all the grunt to navigate through various conditions of the lahras. The only consideration I noted was in relation to the seat size, depending on the age of the children you have. It’s certainly roomy enough in the front and middle, however adults or teens may find it cramped in the rear seats. The Which Car review I linked to explains the vehicle features and considerations in greater detail.
The Everest is a classy all rounder seven-seater SUV with powerful rugged grunt cased in an elegant and sophisticated shell. Ford obviously put a lot of thought and expertise into this vehicle, building on 50 years of SUV experience as they continue to challenge the boundaries of vehicle flexibility and functionality.
Bring a bit of the off roading fun to the backyard with this play idea. I set this up for my son after I returned home from the Philippines adventure and he absolutely loved it. It’s easy to set up and you don’t need many materials. For more details and tips, check out the post here.