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In an ever-cluttered world with so much variation on a theme, it’s sometimes hard to stand out when you subscribe to a particular niche. Double-cab bakkies are found in nearly every square inch of the country, buzzing up and down, all serving seemingly similar purposes. Standing out is not easy and as a result, many owners turn to modifications and accessories, creating their own variation on a theme. Ford has noticed this, and even though they have their Ranger Wildtrak offering, they spotted a market for a slightly more exclusive product. Enter the Ranger Fx4.

Based on the segment-leading 3.2 TDCi Double Cab XLT 4x4 model, the Fx4 is available with either a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic gearbox. It has a few additional factory-fitted options and styling enhancements that guarantee to set it apart on the road.

Ford took a look at popular aftermarket accessories and modifications and then based the Fx4 design on these, offering the peace of mind that comes with manufacturer-backed accessories, knowing that your warranty will not be affected by these changes. Naturally, these additions affect the price and you will pay an additional R15 000 over the standard list price for the Fx4, meaning that the manual version will cost you R593 900 and the automatic R608 900. It is all backed by Ford Protect, including a 4yr / 120 000km warranty, 5yr / 100 000km service plan, 3yr / unlimited km roadside assistance and 5yr / unlimited km corrosion warranty. Ford even includes complimentary 4x4 training with the purchase of an Fx4.

The Fx4 benefits from the latest Sync 3 system; complete with Android Auto, Apple Car Play and navigation. It’s a user-friendly system and despite the fact that the climate control is tied into the system, is improved massively over the outgoing Sync 2 infotainment.

The Fx4 is available in four colour variations; Frozen White, Sea Grey, Panther Black and the one we tested, Moondust Silver. The Fx4 treatment sees the addition of matte black decals on the bonnet, tailgate and Fx4-branded stripes along the flanks.

The grille and upper bumper section has received a Panther Black metallic coating while the fog lamp surrounds are finished in a matte black. The door handles and wing mirrors are also draped in the metallic black finish, as are the roof rails. The ensemble is complemented by a matte black, tubular sports-bar at the rear. The load bin receives a hard-wearing bedliner and the rear bumper gets the same black treatment.

The wheels are a modest 17-inches in diameter and shod with 265/65R17 dual purpose tyres and while they are of the original design, they have been given a lick of Panther Black paint to tie them in with the rest of the look.

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For the 1st year Ford has had only the 3.2l Everest taking on the other major manufacturers of premium SUV’s. Seeing a gap in their range, they decided to put the ever-popular 2.2l diesel engine into the Everest and expand their range further.

Three new specification levels and eight separate derivatives are now available with the smaller engine size, and Ford has not held back on technology, shoehorning as much as they could into the new models as could be allowed, and pricing them accordingly.

Everest XLS

As the entry into the Everest range, the XLS offers more than you would expect from the base model. Available as a 4x2 manual or automatic or a 4x4 manual in the 2.2, the XLS offers the same trim levels that you will find in the XLS double cab. A cloth interior with Fords SYNC1 system, manual aircon and a new noise cancelling system make for a tidy entry into the model range.

Everest XLT

The mid-range offering in the XLT will see the interior trimmed out accordingly with leather seats, auto climate control, and SYNC 3 as standard. The XLT presents a good balance between affordability and luxury. Available as a 4x2 in manual or automatic, the XLT derivative has been set to take the fight to the other manufacturers.

Everest Limited

At the opposite end of the spectrum, the Limited has been set to take on the likes of Chevrolet's Trailblazer and Toyota’s Prado. Kitted out with a long list of technology and luxury items, the Limited is the must-have.
It is still only supplied as a 3.2l with the well known 4x4.

The interiors of the Everest are equipped to suit their trim levels with comfort levels, well exceeding those found in the competitors. The addition of the noise cancelling system makes for an eerily quiet drive and at times you might find yourself turning down the volume of the entertainment system as it begins to seem too loud. The system works by cancelling out frequencies between 100 and 1000 Hertz.

Ford maintains that they have the only true seven-seater in the Everest, as the final row folds flat into the floor to maximize packing space.

Ford has now also introduced their SYNC 3 system and is fitted as standard in the XLT and Limited models while the XLS has SYNC 1 as standard.
The SYNC 3 system features an undated interface with new graphics but still remains extremely easy to use, while offering excellent playback through a 10-speaker audio system.

All three derivatives are fitted with a reverse camera with playback on the screens connected to the SYNC systems, while the Limited model gets front parking sensors fitted as standard.

Engine and Drivetrain

The locally-produced 2.2 Duratorq TDCi motor is shared with the Ford Ranger, and is now fitted to six-speed manual or six-speed Selectshift automatic.
The four-wheel drive system is Ford’s Terrain Management system that is controlled from inside the cabin by means of a rotary dial. Sand, Rock, Mud and Snow are all covered by the system that sends power to all four wheels continuously, and has high and low range to really tackle the toughest of terrains.

The 2.2 will deliver 118kW and 385Nm and you can expect realistic fuel consumption figures of 8.9l/100km on the combined cycle as we travelled across off-road terrain and freeway driving.

We found the 2.2l motor with the manual option to have excellent low down torque and it handled the off-road terrain very well. Switching over to the automatic version for the freeway driving left us a little cold, as the engine just did not seem to have enough for overtaking at freeway speed.


The Everest has always been a rugged good-looking vehicle, and now being manufactured locally with a smaller engine, it is poised to take the fight for the consumers' cash to their opposition. For those who are expecting performance that you may have received from the likes of the Ranger with the same engine, you may be disappointed, as the Everest might just be a little overweight.

Although Everest might be a bit swollen, it hasn’t lost its shine, and with buyers counting their cents, having a good-looking vehicle packed with tech that has the right price tag, may just see Ford upsetting the podium of sales figures by the new year.

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The little Fiesta is a good looking piece of kit. It's got flowing lines and sharp, angular lights that really give it character. The trapezoidal grille sits higher and while the badge is smaller, it's not mounted on the leading edge of the bonnet, leaving the grille wide and open. It's not a look loved by all, but it certainly isn't bad.

While the Copper Pulse colour that we had our model in isn't necessarily the best out there, you can have it in a striking white, black, red or blue. There are a few silver tones too.

As it is the entry-level spec model, it's fitted with steel wheels and ABS plastic wheel covers. The wheels themselves are 15-inches in diameter with 195 section tyres. This gives the little hatch excellent road manners and a surprising amount of grip.


The interior is well designed but sadly, one can feel the savings over the higher trim level models. While most of the interior is plastic, the overall fit and finish isn't too bad. If you really want that feeling of leather in your hands you're going to have to go for a higher-spec model.

Ford is yet to streamline and update the center fascia and interface for the Sync system, so it's still cluttered and fiddly. Finding buttons is a little tricky and requires diverting your eyes from the road. As soon as they update the console to the more modern layout, this will improve.

Driver and passenger airbags will help keep occupants safe and aide in the peace of mind. ISOFIX mountings at the rear will look after the little ones in their car seats while central locking and immobiliser ensure that thieves are thwarted.


This is by far the most impressive part of the diminutive Fiesta. The 3-cylinder, 1.0-litre turbocharged EcoBoost motor is a gem and I can't stop singing its praises. While I love the grunt and pace offered by a large displacement V8 or the rush of a meaty hot hatch, the 1-litre EcoBoost engine is genuinely surprising. It's quick, nippy and light on fuel. It will return 4.9-litres/100km on the combined cycle and emit only 114g CO2.

It produces 74kW and 170Nm torque which is more than ample in a small chassis like this. It may not be in line for world records in terms of acceleration, but it will get up to the 100km/h mark in 10.8 seconds. A 1.0-litre EcoBoost Trend model, with 92kW at its disposal and a manual gearbox, will get there in 9.4 – so it's not too far off the pace.

ABS and EBD is standard fare here but you'll need a higher spec model to get ESP (Electronic Stability Program).

The issue is the gearbox though. While other applications of the Powershift gearbox have left me impressed, the use of it here in the 1.0 EcoBoost Ambiente is a terrible mismatch. I cannot blame the gearbox alone and neither can the engine be blamed, it's the amalgamation of the two that doesn't work together.

In instances, the gearbox will randomly gear down. This can happen at inopportune times, like when you are midway through a corner. Sometimes it's completely unresponsive. This makes overtaking a bit of a guessing game.

But it's not all the time, only on the odd occasion. The fact that it happens though is worrying. I believe that it's merely a case of the wrong software programming here. A few tweaks, implemented at service time could possibly fix this. I hope it does, it's a great car otherwise.

Published in News & Reviews

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