LIMITED in number and off-road ready. That’s the walk up, or should that be drive up, introduction to the 2021 Everest BaseCamp, a special edition model based on the Trend variant of Ford’s super capable off road SUV.
The BaseCamp version of the Everest is available with two engine options, the 143kW/470Nm 3.2-litre V6 turbo diesel and a 2.0-litre bi-turbo, with the former equipped with a six-speed automatic, and a 10-speed auto driving the latter.
We think we scored the better option to test, in the form of the 3.2-litre variant, and while it has a slightly lower braked towing capacity at 3,000kg, it definitely has plenty of grunt to haul a decent amount of weight.
We hooked a 1400kg (GVM – 750kg Tare) caravan up to it, and headed to flood ravaged Port Macquarie, to do our bit to support the local community there. You’d never have known the portable motel was even there, it pulled it that easily.
Once we’d unhitched, and caught some sleep, it was time to go exploring, including heading out to a little place called Kindee. There isn’t much there, but it is home to one of Australia’s famous suspension bridges.
In this case a timber structure spanning the 70-metre crossing of the Hastings River near Long Flat, that was built in 1936. We were there because the local State Forests were closed due to the dangers of fallen trees and treacherous conditions.
It had been our plan to get down and dirty in the forest, but after some discussion with local experts and a decision to stay out of actual danger, a drive out into the countryside gave us a chance to see how the Ford handled different road conditions.
It did extremely well, no matter what we threw at it; dirt, water, mud, rugged country roads. The BaseCamp is an impressive bit of kit, with plenty of space for the whole family, whether you’re staying on the black stuff, or being at one with nature.
As we mentioned, it’s based on the Trend 4×4 variant of the Everest, which as standard comes with such goodies as a powered tailgate, independent front suspension and a solid rear axle with Watt’s linkage.
But it’s inside that you’ll find an abundance of cool stuff, geared towards getting away from it all, including three 12v power outlets, an actual 230v inverter power point, three USB ports, including one mounted on the windscreen, and dual zone climate control.
The 8.0-inch infotainment system supports Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, DAB+ digital radio, and runs Ford’s SYNC3 platform. It feels a little dated, as does the interior but it all works and is easy to use, and that’s the main thing.
There are dual 4.2-inch colour instrumentation screens, as well as a FordPass Connect modem, satellite navigation, 8-speaker sound, 30 storages areas, smart keyless entry and push button start.
Boot space in the 7-seater is 249-litres with all three rows in use, or 876-litres with the back row down (the scenario we tested it in). There was plenty of room for everything we took away. Throw all the seats down, and you have 1,796-litres of space.
Safety features include trailer sway control, off-road traction control, hill descent control and seven airbags. There’s also autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control with forward collision warning, and a rear view camera.
You’ll also find lane departure and lane keep assist, parking sensors and hill launch control, but no blind spot monitoring or tyre pressure monitoring. The last of these would be super handy if you do a lot of off-roading.
For the BaseCamp, Ford has loaded it with a host of extras, including a black nudge bar, LED light bar, a factory fitted snorkel, and black roof mounted carry bars. These are fitted with a pioneer platform, and a genuine Sunseeker awning.
There’s also custom decals on both front doors, a grey painted to grille, front and rear bumper skids, fender vents and special edition wheels. Ford also has an absolute shed-tonne of accessories you can add as well.
That is of course only if all of what comes with the BaseCamp offering is not enough, and that may well be the case for serious off-roaders. Be warned though, you could end up spending a small fortune if you’re not careful.
In its 3.2-litre form, the 2021 Ford Everest BaseCamp 4WD is priced at $64,990 drive away. It has a 5-star ANCAP safety rating, and comes with a 5-year unlimited kilometre warranty, and the Ford Service Benefits program.
In a nutshell that translates to 15,000km/12-month service intervals, with A and B logbook services for the first four years/60,000km set at a maximum of $299 per service. You also get Auto Club membership.
This includes roadside assistance and a service loan car, as well as sat-nav map updates as they become available. It’s available in nine colours, including True Red, Arctic White, Diffused Silver, Deep Crystal Blue, Alabaster White, Shadow Black and Aluminium.
Our 2021 Ford Everest BaseCamp 4×4 was provided by Ford Australia. To find out more information, contact your local Ford dealer.