URBAN CHOICE: The new Ford Everest Trend RWD is $5000 cheaper than its AWD namesake, making it the more cost-effective option for city dwellers not needing 4x4 abilities
URBAN CHOICE: The new Ford Everest Trend RWD is $5000 cheaper than its AWD namesake, making it the more cost-effective option for city dwellers not needing 4x4 abilities

Ford Everest Trend RWD launched, $5000 cheaper than the 4x4

FORD'S Everest: a quality SUV, space for seven, desirable looks… but there's a but.   

Since its Australian arrival in 2015, the thorn in the Everest's side has been its price.

With a before-on-road-costs entry fee of $54,990 for the Everest Ambiente four-wheel drive, which is best described as skinny on included specification, shoppers have to look to the 4x4 Trend version at $60,990 or loaded 4x4 Titanium trim (for a chunky $76,705) to get the features demanded by many in the segment.  

2016 Ford Everest Trend RWD
2016 Ford Everest Trend RWD

Ford's answer this month? Introduce a rear-wheel drive Everest Trend for $55,990 ($5000 less than the Trend four-wheel drive) to try to snare some more sales.   

With the only off-road excursions of many Everests likely to be up the kerb at the school gates, a two-wheel drive option will be perfect for urban-use buyers, not least because in Trend guise you score decent standard spec.   

There's an eight-inch touchscreen with tablet-esque "pinch and swipe", Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration and Australian accent-specific calibration voice recognition as part of Ford's excellent SYNC 3 communication and entertainment system.  

2016 Ford Everest Trend RWD
2016 Ford Everest Trend RWD

Ford has sold 3260 Everests year-to-date according to latest sales figures. The brand has sold twice as many of its Territory models (priced from $38,490 to $57,740) in the same period, while Everest has been outsold by rival ute-based, large seven-seat SUVs like Toyota's Fortuner (from $47,990), Mitsubishi's Pajero Sport (from $48,500) and Isuzu Ute MU-X (from $40,500). Toyota's Prado - which Ford sees as a key Everest rival - has sold upwards of 10,000 more units in 2016. It starts from $54,050 before on-roads.  

The new two-wheel drive Everest uses the same 3.2-litre, five-cylinder, turbo-diesel engine and six-speed auto transmission as the rest of the range, but losing the weight of the four- wheel drive hardware (a saving of nearly 100kg) means fuel economy is down 0.1L/100km to 8.4L/100km.

2016 Ford Everest Trend RWD
2016 Ford Everest Trend RWD

Further good news is the SUV's 3000kg towing capability remains, as does its 225mm ground clearance, 800mm wading depth and its four-wheel drive tyres.  

The new rear-wheel drive Everest is on sale now.  

The Great Escape..?

2017 Ford Escape
2017 Ford Escape

Ford has also launched its 2017 Escape mid-sized SUV, including a front-wheel drive 1.5-litre Trend variant.  

When compared with the outgoing Ford Kuga, the Escape starts at a sharper $28,490 (before on-roads) for the entry-level Ambiente model, while there's a choice of 1.5-litre and 2.0-litre EcoBoost engines.  

As with the new Everest, Ford's impressive SYNC 3 communications and entertainment system comes as standard.  



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