December 08, 2022 By Kevin C. Limjoco Photos by Isabel N. Delos Reyes

2023 Ford Everest Titanium+ 4×4

A Rocking Reboot

My personal high hopes for the next generation Ford Everest to be the definitive very best in its class was thwarted by its initial domestic packaging. For my second round of product immersion, I retested the same locally available top-spec Titanium+ model in its unique and attractive Equinox Bronze variant-exclusive color. Now with more time for real-world in-country testing, most of my assessment has remained consistent, however, I will note that a few new model features have brightly risen to occasion.

First, settling some dimensional confusion. Both the next generation Everest and Ranger received significant chassis and drivetrain upgrades that improved both their comfort, capacity, and off-road abilities. Each in their own particular improvements which makes both updated models their very best versions of themselves. However, as I shared with my last review of the Ranger Wildtrak 4×4, the bulk of these upgrades are applied to functions that unfortunately may not be used as exhaustively as in other markets. I am very pleased that these new features exist but for our market, they cannot solely define the models.

For example, the 50 mm longer wheelbase and 50 mm wider tracks on the Everest did improve interior capacity but nowhere nearly as profound as we had expected. Because we at C! test vehicles for a living, we are by vocation more sensitive to changes. For the “every person” though, if not informed in advance, the majority may not perceive the minute nuances beyond being drawn to the new obvious electronic screens and aesthetics. We had quite a few folks, who own the last generation Everest in top form, step inside and they could barely recognize the proportional size improvements in the cabin. Moreover, these same current customers expected better-designed seats with more color and material options. The older Sony-based 10-speaker SYNC3 infotainments systems also sound exponentially better than the new 8-speaker SYNC®4A system. The lovely huge screen actually makes that aural difference even more irritating.

Just like the Ranger Wildtrak 4×4, the current top variant Everest Titanium+ 4×4 gets the revised Bi-Turbo engine and recalibrated 10-speed automatic gearbox. Amazingly, despite losing some precious horses (-4 bhp) in the process of achieving pronounced NVH refinement and better engine efficiency, both top variants had clear dynamic performance improvements, which is a relief. I still pine for the new 3.0-liter V6 twin-turbodiesel producing 247 bhp / 442 lb-ft of torque and the intelligent 4A transmission mode but I am willing to accept the current drivetrain setup for practical reasons. The new Everest and Ranger do perform better than before using the mostly carried over overachieving 2.0-liter Bi-Turbo engines. What frustrates me is that Ford Philippines came so close to importing the very best in class models. Thankfully for both the end users and for Ford, all they have to do is add some items in the available parts bin. For the high retail prices though of the top-spec models, these features should have come as standard; the 12-speaker Bang & Olufsen™ audio system, 9-airbags (two more than what we get now), 12.4-inch instrument gauge (with more graphic configurations that include classic analog tachometer and speedometer instrumentation) and ambient interior lighting.

Again, much like the new Ranger Wildtrak, the off-road ability of the Ford Everest Titanium+ 4×4 is best-in-class where it feels peerlessly planted, effortless, and confident. The wealth of new gadgetry combined with focused engineering makes the midsize 4×4 SUV the most accomplished in its class off-road. On-road the ride is choppier than before as it runs on 10 mm less tire width, 255 now compared to the previous 265 but ironically on better compound tires. I expected much flatter handling and posher ride compliance after the wheelbase stretch and updated suspension. Thankfully the NVH is remarkable. The steering is more precise and definitely looks and feels better than before. The new brakes are more powerful than before and work better with all the active safety measures.

The new cabin has the most soft-surfaces and contrasting finishes in its class which will definitely attract new buyers especially those who are purchasing their first mid-size SUV. The new cabin is the most sophisticated and most comfortable for the model series ever with abundant charging points that include secure wireless smartphone charging and a wealth of cup/drink holders. Cabin volume remains essentially the same though the third-row seats do have a touch more legroom than before which is important. The cool new short-throw back-lit e-shifter is great. For extra traction on 4L, the electronic rear differential lock can be activated but through the Sync4 infotainment touchscreen, I wish there was a dedicated physical toggle for this function.

The 2023 Ford Everest Titanium+ 4×2 variant may look the same and it costs P316,000.00 less however it loses a lot of essential standard equipment along with the 4×4 drivetrain (with its Terrain Management System) which includes the comprehensive safety suite (Advanced Driver Assist Technology), the stronger Adaptive Matrix LED Headlights (though the LED multi-reflector system is already better than its predecessor), smaller TFT instrument cluster from 12-inches to 8-inches, no Electronic Locking Rear Differential, it uses a 6-speed automatic instead of the 10-speed, and it uses the single turbo version of the 2.0-liter engine that produces 168 bhp @ 3500 rpm and 299 lb-ft @ 1750-2500 rpm which is actually less fuel efficient among other deleted features.

Without a doubt, the new generation Ford Everest model family will be a resounding success for Ford Philippines. I reckon their issues at this point in time are making deliveries rather than sales. I am confident that the new Everest will be even more successful than its predecessor. I certainly desire more standard equipment that I feel would make the top-spec models even more desirable to more discerning buyers, but despite all that, I recognize the essential improvements and huge equipment upgrades.

Specification – 2023 Ford Everest Titanium+ 4×4

Engine: Inline-4

Location: Front, Longitudinal

Displacement: 1996 cc

Cylinder block: Cast Iron

Cylinder head: Cast Aluminum, DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder

Fuel Injection: Direct Commonrail Fuel Injection, Intercooled Twin Sequential Turbodiesel

Max power: 207 bhp @ 3750 rpm

Max torque: 369 lb-ft @ 1750-2000 rpm

Transmission: 10-speed 10R80 automatic E-Shifter, primarily rear-wheel driven. Part-Time 4×4 System: 6-Selectable Drive Mode Terrain Management System. Electronic Locking Rear Differential.

Front suspension: Independent Double Wishbone with Coil Springs, gas-pressurized dampers, and Anti-Roll bar.

Rear suspension: Live-axle, Coil Springs, gas-pressurized dampers, with Watt’s Link and Anti-Roll bar.

Fuel Capacity: 80 liters (21 gallons)

Cargo Capacity: Behind first row 1823 liters, behind second row 898 liters, and behind third row 259 liters.

Ground Clearance: 229 mm

Wading Depth: 800 mm

Approach Angle: 30.4 degrees

Departure Angle: 23.2 degrees

Ramp-over angle: 22.2 degrees

L x W x H: 4914 mm x 1923 mm x 1842 mm

Wheelbase: 2900 mm

Brakes: Front 13-inch (330 mm) ventilated discs with 2-piston calipers / Rear 12.1-inch (307 mm) vented disc with single piston caliper, ABS, ESP, TCS, EBD, EPB, HDC, Advanced Driver Assist Technology: Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop & Go and Lane Centering, Auto High Beam, Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) with Pedestrian Detection, Pre-Collision Assist, Dynamic Brake Support, Distance Alert / Distance Indication, Forward Collision Warning System, Evasive Steer Assist, Post Impact Braking, Lane Departure Warning & Lane Keeping System, Blind Spot Information System with Cross-Traffic Alert & Braking, 360 Degree Camera, Reverse Brake Assist, 7 SRS Air Bags, Hill Launch Assist & Roll Over Mitigation, Electric Brake Booster and Driver Alert System.

Wheels: 20” x 8J Multi-spoke Aluminum Alloys.

Tires: P255/55R20 110V Good Year Wrangler Territory HT

Weight: (kerb) 2383 kg. (5243 lbs.)

0-100 km/h (0-62 mph): 9.3 seconds

Top Speed (mph): 205 km/h (128 mph)

Fuel Mileage: 8.3 L/100km Overall

Price as tested: PhP 2,495,000.00 (Titanium+ 4×2 variant PhP 2,179,000.00)

C! RATING 9.5/10

+Superior to its predecessor, excellent C-Clamp signature adaptive matrix full-LED headlights and rear LED lights with LED front fog lamps, strong LED puddle lights, overall most attractive mid-size ladder-frame SUV in the market, quietest and most complete interior packaging, best off-road ability in its class, panoramic roof, most comprehensive active safety equipment, best brakes in its class, powered third row and trunk, largest infotainment screen at 12-inches in portrait form featuring SYNC®4A with Wireless Apple CarPlay® & Android Auto™ Compatibility and wireless smartphone charger.

-Price. The active safety measures can be way too aggressive, the standard 8-speaker system does the large screen an aural disservice, no optional 12-speaker Band & Olufsen audio, no 4A transmission mode, no Ambient Lighting, no 12.4-inch instrument screen option yet, limited instrument screen configurations, no 3.0-liter V6 turbodiesel option yet.

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