Off road capable, with a hint of luxury, and some driver aids like lane keep assist and radar cruise control, that actually work really well, the 2023 Ford Everest Platinum is a pretty decent bit of kit.
Finished in Shadow Black, and fitted with the optional towing pack, our test vehicle came with 18-inch alloy wheels shod with Goodyear Wrangler Territory AT/S tyres. It’s powered by Ford’s brand new 184kW/600Nm V6 turbo diesel.
That’s paired to a 10-speed auto transmission that is smooth and accurate, and will help this good looking SUV to 100km/h in 9.1 seconds in 2WD H and 9.4 seconds in 4WD auto mode. You might be able to improve the sprint times by utilising the manual function.
Ford claim a combined 8.5-litres/100km. We recorded 11.3-litres/100km. Those numbers are not dissimilar to the result we managed in the Sport version. Inside, engine noise in the cabin is minimal for a diesel and overall, it’s a quiet unit.
In fact, cabin noise is luxuriously quiet, one of the benefits of a body on chassis build. Inside, you’ll find a 12.4-inch digital instrument cluster that’s intuitive and easy to configure, as well as a 12.0-inch infotainment setup.
The latter is responsive but somewhat confusing in parts, although does present a great off-road screen for 4WD modes, and the graphics are fantastic if that is your thing. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto feature.
You’ll also find sat nav, DAB+ radio, keyless entry/start, connectivity to the FordPass app with remote start, rain-sensing wipers, dual-zone climate and lots of storage options, cup holders and charging points for devices.
The Everest has great cabin temperature control, tactile shortcut keys and the rear climate settings can be isolated. Heated folding mirrors with puddle lamps feature, and the Platinum’s Bang & Olufsen sound system is simply sensational.
LED Matrix headlights and a comfy, adjustable, easy-use leather-wrap steering wheel are other neat touches. The Platinum also gets very swish ambient lighting, giving it that first class feel in the cabin at night.
Other Platinum goodies include a huge panoramic sunroof, which this reviewer enjoyed having open. The insulation cover does a good job of fully protecting passengers from the heat and brightness of the sun as well.
Enhancing the luxury experience are leather seats, with Platinum badging. These are heated and ventilated (front and middle row), with the driver seat offering 10-way adjustability and memory. Middle row passengers have full control of seat heating/cooling.
Similar to the Sport we’ve tested previously, seat side support could be better, but they’re otherwise comfy, if not a little firm. Outside, there’s Platinum 3D chrome badging and a chrome highlighted grille, and silver roof rails.
21-inch wheels are standard although as we mention above, ours came with the optional 18-inch wheels and off-road tyres. It’s a bit of a bummer as the Platinum would actually lend itself nicely to big wheels and road rubber.
On the road, handling is decent enough for a body-on-chassis off-roader, but it is tall, heavy and long. On off road tyres, you can’t expect it to be that responsive through the twisties, and it isn’t. There’s plenty of bouncing around.
Towing a big caravan would settle the rear, of course, and as with any 4×4, suspension is a compromise between off-road capability, towing and road comfort. The Everest is very firmly sprung, with a lack of rear rebound control our biggest call out for improvement.
Speed humps or road undulations will have the rear of the Platinum bounce up and down three or four times before settling. This caused us to get the odd sense of sea sickness on the longer trips. Again, this is a vehicle designed for towing 3,500kg.
On the safety front, the 2023 Ford Everest Platinum scores a 5-star ANCAP safety rating thanks to its ABS, stability control, intersection assist, lane keeping, evasive steer assist, reverse brake assist and blind spot monitoring.
Drive modes include Normal, ECO, Tow/Haul, Slippery, Mud/Ruts and Sand. We were impressed with the braking package, and although it does need a heavy pedal, it gets the job done.
Lane keeping and the active radar cruise are brilliant. It’s not often this reviewer leaves the former turned on, but Ford has done a great job in getting it right. You can choose to drive in 2WD H, 4WD Auto, 4WD L, 4WD H, depending on your needs.
There is a rear diff lock, which is automatically engaged in Sand and Mud/Ruts modes. We spent most of our test in 4WD Auto or 2WD Auto, and tested the car on a rutted, corrugated, and eroded dirt road, with some off-track low range work and a water crossing.
The 360-degree cameras helped, and the 18-inch rubber hooked up well, as expected. Some sections were rutted out, and the decent ground clearance and ramp over was useful, as were the pre-sets of the off-road modes, that were smarter than this reviewer.
Off road, the Everest Platinum, with tyres as tested, is a very capable vehicle. On road, despite the high level of luxury in this premium version, it still seems to have a harsh ride and is a little sub-par in terms of comfort.
On the 21-inch tyres, with plusher, more controlled suspension, and a little more seat support, Ford’s flagship SUV could be the ultimate seven-seat luxury mile-muncher. If you want one, you’ll need to be spending around $89,293 drive away.
It comes with a 5-year unlimited kilometre warranty, and 4-years (or 60,000km) capped price servicing. You can find out more about the 2023 Everest Platinum on the Ford Australia website. If you’re keen on one and need finance, talk to CreditOne.
Our test vehicle was provided by Ford Australia. To find out more about the 2023 Ford Everest Platinum, talk to your local Ford dealer. Images: JPMedia.