Driving the Ford Everest 3.2 LTD

Our Women’s Day road trip to the Breede River mouth in the Ford Everest…

This Women’s Day we were able to escape the city for a fun, girl’s weekend away in the Ford Everest. Our destination? The Breede River mouth – a good 300 km drive from Cape Town to the small town of Witsands. We weren’t the only ones travelling the N2, of course, as thousands of holiday-makers filled the roads with their trailers, camper vans and adventure kits, many of whom became familiar faces after numerous stop-and-go’s due to road works.

A quick summary of the Ford Everest 3.2 LTD

The new Everest has been a much more popular contender in SA’s large SUV segment as of late, with an increasing number of them spotted on the roads, as we noted during our road trip to the Breede River mouth.

On the outside, the new Everest looks like it means some serious business – and it does, because it is packed with features that probably make it durable and tough enough to survive a nuclear warfare! It’s large, very large, and has a rather imposing on-road presence that turns many heads and makes other road-users obliged to move out of its way.

In 2016 Ford expanded the Everest range significantly to include two original high-spec 3.2 XLT and Limited 4×4 models (originally built in Thailand), while the local assembly saw the addition of a further six derivatives to suit South Africa’s lifestyle. This includes five 2.2-litre versions in XLS or XLT trims, as well as the option of the 3.2 XLT 4×2.

Read more about the Ford Everest range here.

Pricing for the latest Everest models starts from R467,100.

Girl’s weekend with the Ford Everest…

It’s all about size and space in the Ford Everest, and my girlfriends and I were excited to discover just how much of our wine luggage items we could fit into the vehicle. What was more exciting was its electronic tailgate and electronically-folding rear seats that made packing and unpacking (without men) a breeze!

It was a chilly affair to start with, with temperatures outside reaching a maximum of only 10 degrees up until midday, but once we were seated comfortably in the Everest, driver and passenger heated seats and automatic climate control settings in the cabin had us feeling warm and fuzzy as we eased into our trip.

Our road trip playlist accompanied our excitement and we were able to switch between each of our playlists (when the girls were tired of mine) after a quick pairing from all of our devices to the vehicle. Even without the music playing, the quietness of the Everest’s engine is something worth noting – there’s very little wind and road noise too so when you’re travelling at higher speeds on national roads over long distances, the level of relaxation stays uninterrupted. That being said, the Everest’s audio quality is enough to get the holiday started with your favourite tunes at high volumes.

Our 3.2 Limited model comes with a number of great features as standard, such as its super comfy leather seats (three rows of them), and Ford’s Sync 3 infotainment system. Its touchscreen interface is easy to use, with big and clear options to select from audio to navigation preferences, to name a few. There are also two USB ports to connect and charge your phone and of course, this came in super handy after 3 hours of driving when myself and my front passenger needed to charge up.

Driving the Everest felt a lot like driving a boat – in a good way! It’s durable, surprisingly agile despite its size, and it didn’t take long for us to be able to sit back, stretch out and relax on our way to the Breede River. As the driver, I loved the Everest’s light steering set up, which makes it easy to park and maneuver. Another option as standard is its reverse camera and parking distance control to add to convenience – when you’re driving a car this big, you very soon learn to rely on these features.

Our model also comes with the Everest’s latest 4×4 technology which has been designed to handle whatever obstacles or terrain you might need to tackle. Our routes were limited to gravel and a few rocky surfaces along the way, and although we weren’t exactly climbing boulders with it, we could hardly tell the difference in terrain – its terrain response literally just eats up any uneven or bumpy surfaces!

Also read: Cape Town’s storms and the Ford Everest 2.2

We reached our destination feeling just as relaxed as we did when we left Cape Town, despite a 3 hour delay (thanks to road works). Seeing the mouth of the Breede River slowly appear in the distant horizon was a perfect sight to be seen from the raised position of the Everest. We couldn’t have asked for a more fitting arrival or a better way to enjoy a (very cold), but beautiful girl’s weekend away!