There are two kinds of people in this world – those that do, and those that don’t. While any number of specifics can be added our focus remains automotive and, more specifically, offroad – so there are those who do use their luxury level vehicles to go out and get some real mud on them and those who don’t, happy to kerb crawl in upmarket shopping centres.

No judgement here. Your choice is your choice.

Ford Everest Wiltrak offroad in water

Look no further - this is where you will find your ideal Ford Everest

This is where the Ford Everest Wildtrak variant comes in. Slotting in below the plush Everest Platinum, but really losing nothing in terms of comfort and specification, it lends itself to being tested on rarely used roads while exploring the true beauty of the South African countryside.

The Wildtrak version shares the same 184 kW 3,0-litre V6 turbo-diesel engine and permanent four-wheel drive system as fitted to the Platinum and is a fresh new option that is sportier and tougher than the core models, capturing the dynamic style that made the Wildtrak series a favourite in the Ranger bakkie line.

It is paired with Ford’s 10-speed automatic transmission and an electronic E-Shifter – and, depending on specific needs (such as towing), the number of gears used can be manually adjusted to suit the situation.

Ford Everest Wildtrak front view

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It is easily spotted by its bold front grille with horizontal bars and a tough mesh, all in the signature ‘Bolder Grey’. This colour also features on the unique front bumper, contrasting with the ‘Super Alloy’ silver finish of the front bash plate – pointing to the underbody protection that comes standard on the high-spec four-wheel drive models.

The Everest Wildtrak comes standard with two-tone 20-inch alloy wheels and 255/55 R20 tyres, but you can opt for 18-inch rims and 255/65 R18 all-terrain tyres if you’re planning on going off-road regularly.

Do not be fooled by its suburban looks. The Everest Wildtrak has a highly efficient all-wheel drive system and will happily go donga-diving, doing so with both flair and alacrity (and, perhaps surprising some bakkie traditionalists).

In 3,0-litre V6 form, the Everest has a permanent four-wheel drive system with an electronically controlled two-speed transfer case. The default mode is 4A (Automatic), which can be used on and off-road as it adjusts the drive between the front and rear axles for better traction. You can also select 4H for high-range four-wheel drive, or 4L for low-range control on tough terrains. There’s also a 2H mode for rear-wheel drive only.

The Everest Wildtrak is priced at R1 180 200 and this puts it in the same sandpit pricewise as the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited 3.6 Rubicon (R1 138 900), Audi Q5 Sportback 45TFSI quattro S line (R1 184 300) and Lexus NX 350h SE (R1 197 300).

Ford Everest Wildtrak driver cockpit

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Apart from the Jeep, it is the only one in the price group that truly crosses the divide between luxury urban transport and down and dirty fun in the great outdoors.

Inside, the cabin has a modern, upmarket feel with a coast-to-coast dashboard and soft-touch materials. The Wildtrak variant adds sporty flair with yellow stitching on the dashboard, door trims, steering wheel, gear lever, and premium leather seats, which feature the Wildtrak logo on the power-adjustable front seats. A dark roof lining and dual panel powered moonroof add to the upscale vibe.

Comfort and convenience see a 12-inch touchscreen running the latest SYNC 4A infotainment system with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, an eight-speaker sound system, USB-A and USB-C ports, a wireless charging pad, and a built-in 400W/240v inverter.

The Wildtrak also has a dedicated off-road SYNC screen and a rotary Drive Modes control with six settings: Normal, Eco, Tow/Haul, Slippery, Mud and Ruts and Sand.

It comes with a host of driver assistance tech as standard, including Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop and Go and Lane Centring, Blind Spot Monitoring with Trailer Coverage, Cross Traffic Alert, Evasive Steer Assist, Lane Keeping System with Road Edge Detection, Pre-Collision Assist, Reverse Brake Assist and a Tyre Pressure Monitoring System.

Optional features for the Everest Wildtrak include Ford’s Active Park Assist 2.0 with full autonomous parallel and perpendicular parking, and a 360-degree camera system instead of the standard rear-view camera.

Ford Everest Wildtrak rear seating row

Related Content: Road Review: Ford Territory

Whatever your do or don’t for the Everest Wildtrak, it is an extremely easy vehicle to live with, providing supportive comfort both front and rear so long-haul journeys can be managed without the tiredness that comes from discomfort.

With 600 Nm of torque on tap from 1 750 r/min it has a braked towing capacity of 3,5 ton so more than enough to haul the ski boat or, equally drive with unflappable confidence through most offroad obstacles. It has a good solid feel on the road with excellent all-round vision, aided by the reverse camera when needed.

Our test cycle returned an overall fuel consumption of 8,7 l/100 km so the fuel range is a shade over the 800 km mark – this, providing you are not overcome by temptation and give it plenty of ‘wellie’ to make the V6 really sing out loud.

Do or don’t is immaterial – what counts is the Everest Wildtrak stands in a niche spot that embraces both worlds rather nicely.

Colin Windell


Check out the video review here