Ford’s rear-wheel drive Everest Trend is scheduled to go on sale in September – just one month before production of the locally-built Territory ends.
The Everest 4×2 is a vehicle hand-chosen to fill a very specific gap in the expanding market for SUVs – soon to outsell passenger cars in this country. But it’s not a replacement for the Territory, which will end its 12-year run in October.
As we know, Ford Australia’s eventual Territory replacement due in 2o17 will likely be the North American-made Edge (though it’ll probably wear the Territory badge). This car is Hyundai Santa Fe-sized but only has five seats.
Meanwhile, the MY17 Everest will also get some key specification upgrades from September, with Sync 3 infotainment (8.0-inch screen, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, better voice control and integrated apps) to feature on the Trend and Titanium.
Beyond the new two-wheel drive variant, Ford will also address a key criticism of the Everest and that is that it didn’t offer ISOFIX mounting points. According to Ford, 2017 models will offer two sets of ISOFIX mounting points, in addition to the five top tether anchor points it already offers.
SYNC 3 has been out in other markets since 2015 and it’s now finally available in Australia. It will be standard on Everest Trend and Titanium. The latest-generation platform allows integration with Apple Car Pay and Google Android Auto and, according to Ford “faster performance, more conversational voice recognition, intuitive smartphone-like touchscreen and an improved graphic user interface. It combines the best features of the outgoing system with new technologies designed to help customers stay better connected”. We’ll pass final judgement when we’ve had a chance to test it.