- Doors and Seats
5 doors, 7 seats
3.0DT, 6 cyl.
- Engine Power
10 Spd Auto
5 Yr, Unltd KMs
- Ancap Safety
5/5 star (2022)
2023 Ford Everest Platinum review
This large seven-seat SUV ticks a lot of boxes for active families on a $90K budget, but it has one flaw, as Glenn Butler discovers.
- Versatile and spacious interior
- Muscular engine has plenty to give
- Easy to manoeuvre despite its size
- Ride is too firm and reactive
- High waistline and dash can feel claustrophobic
- Ten-speed gearbox sometimes gets it wrong
2023 Ford Everest Platinum
In many ways, the Ford Everest is the spiritual successor to the much loved, homegrown Ford Territory (2004–2016). For starters, both vehicles were clearly designed with active families in mind. Both are large five-door SUVs configured with versatile and practical interiors. Both have seating for up to seven adults, and both came with robust engines and the option of all-wheel drive.
In short, the Ford Territory and the Ford Everest have been designed and developed to keep up with the multi-faceted and punishing Australian family lifestyle.
Before you think the similarities are just coincidental, these two vehicles share more than just a Blue Oval badge. The 2023 Ford Everest’s AJD 3.0-litre turbocharged V6 diesel engine actually traces its heritage directly back to the 2011 Ford Territory’s 2.7-litre turbocharged diesel unit.
So, while it’s sad to have seen a locally conceived, designed, developed and built vehicle like the Ford Territory killed off, it’s gratifying to see that the inspiration lives on.
Ford has a huge SUV portfolio locally, which is no surprise in a country where SUVs outsell passenger cars by almost three-to-one. The Ford SUV family kicks off with the Puma light SUV, then there’s the Escape mid-size SUV and the Everest large SUV.
If you’re interested in cross-shopping the Ford Everest, then take a look at the Isuzu MU-X, the Mitsubishi Pajero Sport and the Toyota Fortuner. You may also want to consider the Toyota LandCruiser Prado.
How much does the Ford Everest cost in Australia?
The Ford Everest is available in four trim levels: Ambiente, Trend, Sport and Platinum, with prices ranging from $59K to $86K drive-away. The Ambiente and Trend are powered by a 2.0-litre bi-turbo diesel four-cylinder engine and the choice of rear- or all-wheel drive. The Sport and Platinum are all-wheel drive only and have a more powerful 3.0-litre turbo diesel V6 engine.
All Everests have a 10-speed automatic transmission.
The Everest Ambiente comes with two rows of seating (five seats) and can be optioned with a folding third row for $950 taking total seating capacity to seven. All other Everests come with three rows fitted as standard, and the third row can be folded away to prioritise luggage capacity.
All Ford Everest variants have alloy wheels of 17 inches or larger and carry a full-size spare. LED headlights are also standard across the range, as are side-steps and roof rails. Remote central locking includes a proximity sensor that unlocks the car on approach.
The Everest Platinum wears 21-inch alloy wheels, matrix LED headlights that can ‘channel’ the light at night to provide superior visibility that also is less blinding to other road users, and finished steel side-steps. The Platinum also has a hands-free power tailgate and a panoramic sunroof with power blind.
|Key details||2023 Ford Everest Platinum|
|Price||$76,880 plus on-road costs|
|Colour of test car||Equinox Bronze|
|Options||Towing Pack – $2210
Prestige Paint – $877
|Price as tested||$79,967 plus on-road costs|
|Drive-away price||$89,216 (Melbourne)|
|Rivals||Isuzu MU-X | Mitsubishi Pajero Sport | Toyota Fortuner|
How much space does the Ford Everest have inside?
The Ford Everest Platinum is a seven-seater that will actually fit adults in all three rows. Space at the very back is not generous, that’s for sure, but adult occupation is possible. More on that in a moment. Let’s start up front for now.
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The Everest Platinum has a full leather interior with a quilting treatment on the seats that adds an air of luxury.
The front seats are electrically adjustable, heated and ventilated. The steering wheel is manually adjustable for reach and tilt, which means 99 per cent of drivers will find a good driving position.
The dashboard is quite high, which makes the Everest feel a touch claustrophobic inside. It also has a weird side-effect of making the Everest feel large and intimidating to drive, especially for smaller adults. But it’s not at all intimidating to drive, as I detail below. It just imparts that vibe because of the high trimline and dashboard.
Both front doors have bottle holders, and there are two cupholders on the centre console, as well as a smartphone charger and a specially designed McDonald’s fries holder. Because, well just because.
The dashboard is dominated by a 12.0-inch infotainment screen that has been mounted in portrait mode, unlike many rivals that favour a landscape orientation. It’s partnered with a 12.4-inch digital instrument display in front of the driver, which only the Platinum gets. Other Everest models get a smaller 8.0-inch version that does the job but can’t match the flash of the Platinum’s larger screen.
Ford believes that towing is likely to play a role in owners’ lives, so it has integrated the optional trailer braking controls fitted to our test car into the dashboard layout. I would assume this is a positive because it makes the controls look consistent with the rest of the cabin and not like an aftermarket add-on. But not being a regular tow-er, I don’t know if there are downsides to this approach.
Climbing up into the second row of seats is made easier by the side steps and a prominent grab rail on the B-pillar. Once ensconced, there is plenty of leg, foot and headroom for adults, and the seat base slides fore and aft by 20cm if you need to give some of that space to the third row.
The two outboard seats have seat heating, and there are bottle holders in the door pockets as well as cupholders in the fold-down armrest.
There are air vents in the second row for airflow, and the panoramic sunroof allows plenty of light in as well.
Getting into the third row is straightforward thanks to a single lever that folds the second-row backrest and slides the base forward. There are porthole windows back there to provide some light, vents in the roof for airflow, and cupholders for both seats. One seat also has an iPad storage slot.
Into the boot now, and as I mentioned before, the Everest Platinum has a hands-free power tailgate that opens to reveal an 898L boot, assuming the third row is stowed away. If the third row is in use there’s still a decent 259L of space, both of which measurements are among the best in class.
Fold both the second and third rows away and the Everest has a cavernous 1818L of space with a mostly flat floor.
|2023 Ford Everest Platinum|
|Boot volume||259L to third row
898L to second row
1818L to first row
Does the Ford Everest have Apple CarPlay?
The Ford Everest has wired and wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and Bluetooth smartphone connectivity if you have something else.
All smartphone functions are accessed through the centrally mounted 12.0-inch infotainment screen, which has high-quality graphics, an intuitive interface and is generally easy to use… Except on the move. The Everest Platinum on 21-inch wheels has a stiffer and more reactive ride. This in turn makes it hard to aim your finger when touching the screen.
If you’re not following me, imagine sitting on a waterbed and reaching for your piping hot morning coffee on the side table. Now picture your two young kids bouncing on the bed… Not so easy to grab that cuppa now, is it? That’s what it’s like trying to stab a small onscreen button while driving.
In fact, I’d suggest that the Platinum’s ride needs more attention from Ford’s engineers, and not just to make touchscreen interaction easier. It’s out of character for a flagship model, but more on that in the Driving section below.
Of course, you can ‘anchor’ your hand by resting part of it on the dashboard surrounding the screen, but that shouldn’t be necessary. I suppose you could also resort to the vehicle’s voice control, the key phrases for which need to be learned first. Anyway, moving on… And no, I don’t own a waterbed.
All Everests have satellite navigation with live traffic functionality free for the first year. DAB+ digital radio is also part of the package, playing through the Platinum’s 12-speaker Bang and Olufsen sound system that has very good audio quality.
The infotainment screen also has functions for adjusting the climate-control settings, which in turn are supplemented by some real-world buttons and dials just below the screen. During our test week, I found some of the air-con functionality – via the onscreen virtual buttons – to be hit-and-miss. For example, the ability to adjust fan speed and temperature by moving the onscreen slider wouldn’t work on one drive but did on the next.
Is the Ford Everest a safe car?
The Ford Everest was been assessed by the independent crash safety body, Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP), in 2022 and awarded five stars.
The Everest scored highly for adult occupant protection (86 per cent), child occupant protection (93 per cent), and safety assist (86 per cent). The Everest’s vulnerable road user rating of 74 per cent is also good.
The Everest has a class-leading airbag inventory: dual front and front-side airbags, knee-protecting airbags for both front-seat occupants, a front-centre airbag to reduce head-clash injuries, and curtain airbags covering all three rows.
What safety technology does the Ford Everest have?
All Ford Everest variants come with an impressive and almost class-leading array of active safety features. This includes intelligent adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go functionality, traffic sign recognition and lane centring.
Autonomous emergency braking that is pedestrian, cyclist and junction-aware is also fitted across the range, as is lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist, evasive steering assist and blind-spot monitoring. The Everest does not have the blind-spot active assist functionality that seeks to prevent you from changing lanes into another car.
All Everests have front and rear parking sensors and a reversing camera.
The Everest Platinum upgrades that to a 360-degree surround vision set-up. It also has active park assist and an individual tyre pressure monitoring system.
How much does the Ford Everest cost to maintain?
Servicing a 2023 Ford Everest is a very affordable $329 per visit right now, for the first four years or 60,000km. The fifth year costs $350.
Servicing your Ford at a Ford service centre brings with it national roadside assist cover for the next 12 months, up to and including the vehicle’s seventh year.
Ford’s standard warranty is five years and unlimited kilometres.
Comprehensive insurance comes in at $1879 a year based on a comparative quote for a 35-year-old male driver living in Chatswood, NSW. That’s about $350 dearer than the quote we got for the less expensive Everest Sport. Insurance estimates may vary based on your location, driving history, and personal circumstances.
|At a glance||2023 Ford Everest Platinum|
|Warranty||Five years, unlimited km|
|Service intervals||12 months or 15,000km|
|Servicing costs||$987 (3 years)
$1666 (5 years)
Is the Ford Everest fuel-efficient?
The official combined fuel consumption claim for the Ford Everest V6 diesel model is 8.5L/100km.
Our real-world figure was just over 10L/100km for a week of urban and highway driving, which is more than I would have expected, but the Everest is a big car and it isn’t particularly aerodynamic.
Fuel Consumption - brought to you by bp
|Fuel Usage||Fuel Stats|
|Fuel cons. (claimed)||8.5L/100km|
|Fuel cons. (on test)||10.2L/100km|
|Fuel tank size||80L|
What is the Ford Everest like to drive?
This one’s a mixed bag. In general, the Ford Everest is an easy car to drive, and is quiet and enjoyable if the road is smooth. But the Ford Everest Platinum has a firmer ride than its less expensive brothers, which in my opinion is unnecessary and unwarranted.
The Platinum is noticeably more reactive to lumps and bumps in the road, and that translates into jostling and jouncing inside the cabin, which is far from enjoyable.
Whether the Platinum was deliberately tuned that way by Ford to impart a sense of sportiness, or whether it’s a byproduct of the larger 21-inch Goodyear Wrangler all-terrain tyres (275/45s), it makes the Everest Platinum a less composed and less relaxing car to drive. Ford does offer the option of 18-inch wheels and all-terrain tyres for those more likely to head off-road.
The Everest Platinum is a 2492kg five-door wagon powered by a muscular and relaxed 3.0-litre turbo diesel engine, so it’s never going to be anybody’s definition of sporty. So why Ford has endowed this vehicle with a sporty ride is beyond me. It’s jarring, both physically and holistically.
Look beyond the overly reactive ride and there’s a lot to like about the Everest Platinum. The engine is a gem, so generous with its torque and never short of breath. It’s easy to imagine this successor to the Ford Territory’s then-impressive 2.7-litre unit towing close to the gazetted 3.5-tonne maximum, and doing it with relative ease.
I’m not a fan of 10-speed transmissions – they’re at least two gears more than anyone needs, and I reckon Ford developed it simply to win barroom bragging rights – and this one can at times be caught in the wrong ratio, or take too long to shuffle to the right gear for the occasion. In general, though, it’s a smooth cog-swapper that moves you quickly to the highest ratio for fuel economy reasons.
The buttons on the gear selector allow you to either shift manually or reduce the operating range. Press the minus three times and you now have a seven-speed transmission. Press it two more times and it’s a five-speed. With overdriven gears from eighth and above, this can be handy when towing in hilly terrain.
Alternatively, press the M for manual mode and you can use the plus and minus controls to shuffle through gears manually.
In everyday driving, the Everest is a willing and able companion. The active cruise control with full stop/go capability is a godsend in peak-hour traffic, and the high driving position provides good visibility.
Aurally, the cabin is a quiet oasis with barely any intrusion from tyre rumble or engine noise.
Ford’s turning circle claim of 11.8m is believable, giving the Everest manoeuvrability in tight spaces that belies its overall size.
In fact, despite what I said above about the high dashboard making the car feel claustrophobic and cumbersome, the Everest is enjoyable to pilot in pretty much any condition on any terrain. I just wish the ride would calm down.
|Key details||2023 Ford Everest Platinum|
|Engine||3.0-litre V6 turbo diesel|
|Power||184kW @ 3250rpm|
|Torque||600Nm @ 1750–2250rpm|
|Drive type||Four-wheel drive|
|Transmission||Ten-speed torque converter automatic|
|Power to weight ratio||74kW/t|
|Spare tyre type||Full-size|
|Tow rating||3500kg braked
Should I buy a Ford Everest?
The Ford Everest Platinum is not the value sweet spot of the range. That’s probably the $8K cheaper Sport. But, if you want the best that Ford has to offer, then the Everest Platinum still makes a good argument as money well spent.
The Everest Platinum is a decent vehicle to drive, albeit with a couple of operational weaknesses that could be cured by a more compliant suspension tune. If you can live with that, however, and you want something with interior space and flexibility, strong performance and decent fuel efficiency, then the Everest Platinum ticks all those boxes. That's why the Everest is a smart choice for active Aussie families.