Ford Everest is First Produced

The Ford Everest (model code U268) is a midsize SUV sold in Asia, Central America, and the Bahamas.

The Everest is based on the local (Mazda-based) Ford Ranger pickup truck platform. In India it is called Ford Endeavour.
The truck has three-rows of seating, rear or four wheel drive, and 2.5 L Diesel or 2.6 L petrol engines. It rides on a 2860 mm (112.6 in) wheelbase. The Everest was introduced in late March 2003 and is built at the AutoAlliance Thailand plant, and as CKD kits in other countries (India, Malaysia, Vietnam).
In November 2006, Ford announced a redesigned Everest based on the new Ford Ranger (J97U), including Duratorq diesel engines and two different drivetrains: 4x2 for 2.5 litre 143 hp (107 kW) models, 4x4 for 3.0 litre 156 hp (116 kW) models. In addition, the redesign featured the new 5-speed automatic transmission with BorgWarner transfer case, and the new Active-Shift-on-the-Fly (4x4 only) for the first time.
This vehicle has had its origins from the Ford Ranger which is built for the south-east Asian markets at the Ford-Mazda JV plant at the Thai port city of Rayong. Its underpinnings remain very much that of a pick-up truck while its engine is a Mazda derived unit used for its low cost of manufacture coupled with the requirements of these markets in terms of emission norms, fuel efficiency and most of all - affordability. A Hiroshima based design team worked to develop the Endeavour aka Everest and give it the qualities desired by the developing markets.
Ironically, another SUV based on the Mazda Proceed was produced in the 1980s, and 1990s as the Proceed Marvie. It was a 4-door SUV, but in similar fashion to the original Toyota Hilux Surf/4Runner of the cargo area having a removable top.
In the United States, Ford had planned to name an extended length version of the Ford Expedition the Everest in 2006 as a replacement for the Ford Excursion, but Ford changed their minds at the last minute and decided to rename it The Expedition EL[1].
In mid 2009, after only 2 years, the Everest received a facelift in South East Asia. This facelift is inline with the Ranger's recent update. This facelifted 2009 edition of the Ford Everest continues to be available with either a 2.5 liter turbodiesel with 143 PS, or a 3.0 liter turbodiesel with 156 PS.

wheeled-mountain of a sports utility vehicle (SUV) get a high and commanding view over other puny sedans and hatchbacks.

However, our high perch on the Everest does come with “unexpected” perks.

Overhanging utility pipes and air ducting in a basement car park take on a different perspective.

Everything is up close, from rusty nuts to torn insulation material and intimidating overhead signs.

The Ford Everest 4X2 is designed to be a big urban seven-seater.
Driving the 1.9 metre tall Everest in the basement car park which has a 2-metre clearance does come with some nervous moments at first.
You duck your head as you approach some “very low-looking” overhead pipes and resume your posture only to hear the scraping of the flexible antenna, which tells you how close you are to scratching the roof. Phew!

But in a nutshell, the Everest is designed to be a big urban seven-seater and shares the stepladder frame platform with the tough and proven Ford Ranger pick-up truck.

Our test unit – a 4X2 with automatic transmission – is a variant intended to give the SUV appearance, safety and strong body shell sans the four-wheel-drive capabilities.

As a substantial number of SUV owners rarely or almost never use their vehicles' 4X4 capabilities, why not offer a cheaper 4X2 variant with lower fuel consumption?

Featuring the usual 4X4 rough and gruff frontal look, the Everest's flared wheel arches add a touch of sporty appeal.

Its 2.5-litre intercooled turbo diesel engine is responsive and has more than enough horses to power this juggernaut with full load on-board along the highway.

The Everest's cooling system uses the mechanical fan with viscous coupling that is directly linked to the engine speed.

This means that when the engine is revving high, you hear a fan roar reminiscent of the old Volvo 244.

It is a roar that can also be used to emphasise your presence to other road users.

The Everest comes with a dual air-conditioner system.
Although the Everest's suspension was able to soak up most road bumps, the rear leaf spring set-up common for this vehicle type does make for bouncy rides.
The simple fact is that this type of suspension is designed to carry loads and when not fully laden, rear passengers have to live with a degree of pitching.

One thing we can't complain about the Everest is its wide and cavernous interior space.

Even the second row passengers get legroom that rival those found in expensive large executive sedans.

The second row seats can be reclined and easily folded forward with a one-touch lever to provide access to the third row.

The third row seats can also be tumble-folded for more cargo area. This row of seats is very low and is only suitable for children.

True to SUV tradition, storage pockets and cup holders are amply found all round the vehicle.

Its dual air-conditioner system with air vents for the second and third row passengers are bound to keep everyone comfortable especially on hot sunny days. The metal side steps also help passengers climb into this tall vehicle easily.

Another thing we liked was the tail door of the Everest that swings open sideways like a normal door.

The Everest's taillight clusters are located high at the D-pillars and provide greater visibility to other road users. The high position also protects the lights from possible damage in minor collisions.

Among the Everest's safety features are dual front airbags, anti-lock braking system with electronic brake force distribution, safety belts for all seven passengers, childproof door locks, fuel tank guard, anti-intrusion beams in all doors, and burn-resistant interior materials.

The on-the-road price with insurance for the Everest 4X2 is RM143,790.20.