Friday, September 16, 2016

Bucket Seat: Ford Everest vs Toyota Fortuner

The Ford Everest and the Toyota Fortuner are currently the two most popular SUV's currently on the market without a shadow of a doubt. Both in direct competition with each other offer people in the segment a good variety of options to make their decision on which one to get. Which one is better though? I know it's tricky question seeing that it depends on individual preference but having driven both in the space of two weeks I did find some high points and low points to both and in this post I'll be highlighting them and giving my verdict on which I felt was the better of the two. 

In this department I can't fault either of them, both sets of designers did an amazing job for the respective vehicles. Ford has taken roots from it's American side in and beefed up the latest Everest. It's a great design, bold and masculine. Harnessing the age old Ford Slogan "Built Ford Tough". Like I mentioned in my review of the SUV. It's a complete design with no loose ends. The lines flow perfectly and tie up lovely in the back. 

Toyota on the other hand went from a fairly Conservative design in the original Fortuner and added a bottle of Saki to it. It's a radical makeover and one which I feel was needed. We were seeing too many boring designs coming out of Japan and with a popular SUV like the Fortuner, it needed something different, something edgy and that's exactly what we got. Lots of design queues from the Lexus line of the company but I'm not complaining, as mentioned in the review, it won't be everyones cup of tea but sales will be the ultimate test and so far it seems to be passing. 

While both SUV's had different power plants, they were similar enough to compare. The Everest came with Ford's 3.2 litre, 5 cylinder, TDCi engine whilst the Fortuner had a slightly smaller 2.8 GD Hi engine. Both diesel engines, with the Ford's egding it in capacity and so most of the figures as well with it having 13 more torques and 20 more kW but while the figures say one thing, it might not generally mean that the one with the higher figures is the winner. While the Everest did have more torque, I found it to be very sluggish on take off or on lower gears, with lots of tubro lag and I think the general weight of the SUV slowing it down a bit. The Fortuner however had no such issues, even with it being in Eco mode which has lower revs, it still managed to take off faster which is evident in the 0-100km times. The Ford managing this in 11.6 seconds while the Toyota chops off almost a second off that time in 10.8 seconds. 

Both SUV's came with a 6 speed automatic gearbox with manual shift options, however again with this I felt the Ford's gearbox to be a bit lethargic and slow to think while the Toyota's gear box was a bit to quick. For example while going down a hill and not pressing the accelerator, the Toyota for some reason would down change and have a high rev all the way until you pressed the peddle again. I found this really odd and annoying at times. The Ford's gear box took a bit of time to think whether it needs to change gear or not, again forcing the revs high. The one thing I did like is that the Fortuner came with paddle shifts. Now I know what you're thinking, paddle shifts on an "SUV?!" But trust me it works like a beaut! 

I'm bigger than your average guy so I appreciate spacious cars and both of these SUV's are extremely spacious. They are both 7 seaters and can seat seven adults comfortably. While there is plenty of space, are the seats comfortable tough? With the Ford, yes they were comfortable and it did come with leather seats but I found the quality of the leather to be a bit cheap, it gave that very slippery feel to it and just looked dull. Maybe it was the grey colour but I was not impressed. 

The Fortuner though, I couldn't stop raving about the leather in this car. From the seats to the leather that was used to cover the dash board, it felt amazing to touch and even better to sit on. The Toyota did come with a few creature comforts that were non existent in the Everest, like electronic front seats while the Everest was manual but the ride quality in the Everest seemed to have shaved the Toyota's as what let it down was the engine noise in the cabin. 

This one surprised me, having owned Toyota's for most of my life I know they were not ones to embrace technology like the rest of the manufacturers but I think they had more to offer in the Fortuner than what the Everest had. To start off with, keyless entry for the Toyota with a push button start, the Everest? Normal key, very boring. As mentioned before, the Toyota front seats are electronic, the Everest? Manual. Both Instrument clusters had a display to it but I think the Everest's layout was better and while it did seem complicated to work at first, it was pretty easy with the steering wheel controls to figure out what you wanted displayed and where, the overall layout looked better with the large cylindrical rev counter with the two digital displays either side of it. 

The touch screen in the Ford was better and slightly bigger compared to the Toyota, also it had more to offer. The Toyota also lacked PDC's, which I found extremely odd for such a big vehicle. Both SUV's offered blue-tooth phone and audio streaming with effortless syncing and usage. The sound system on the Everest was clearly better than the Fortuner. Not sure if you get to upgrade the sound package in the options list on the Toyota's but it would be great if they did. Both SUV's lacked Satellite Navigation, which for a 4x4 should be standard and a waste of those big touch screens. On the head lights, Toyota came with Hi Beam LED's whilst the Everest had your normal headlamps if yesteryear. 

Both vehicles offer more or less the same volume of storage with the Toyota edging it by have it's spare wheel under the car as apposed to the Everest having the spare wheel in the boot. However, Toyota's fold up back seats do take up more space and does hamper the capacity a bit. As mentioned in the respective reviews, if all 7 seats are in use, it does reduce luggage capacity tremendously. 

Although you would find 90% of these SUV's on the road for most of their lifespan, make no mistake, when you take either of them off road, they both can handle their own. The Everest easy terrain selection is a wonderful addition which is simple enough for any novice to understand and operate. Choose your type of terrain and the car does the rest of the work for you. Now as easy as the Everest was, that's not to say the Fortuner's was rocket science to figure out. Everything is pretty self explanatory and like the Everest, the car does everything for you. Many have asked if these technology advancements in these cars kill the joy of off roading, I honestly don't think it does, if anything it helps you a lot. 

I'm not the type of guy to say a certain car is better than the next because it all comes down to the preference of the buyer. Both vehicles are great but as mentioned they each have their flaws. So instead of saying one is better than the other, which there is isn't a clear winner, I'd say which I would rather buy based on my time with each. For that my choice would have to be the Toyota Fortuner, I really really really love the Ford Everest but for multiple reasons I chose the Fortuner over it. For one, the 2.8 GD-6 is the range topping Diesel model but there is a higher topping petrol version in the V6 but still the amount of things that come packed into this car is incredible. I've never seen a Toyota so well equipped, the Everest on the other hand was the bottom of the range XLT model and while the top of the range Limited did come with all the bells and whistles, the XLT is still R22,000 more than the Toyota! Resale on the Fortuner is a winner as it is a market favourite and Toyota's reputation in the used car market surpasses any other manufacturer. Fuel consumption, even though the figures in the book favour the Ford, I found the Toyota gave me the better consumption of the week I had it, so for those reasons I would have the Fortuner, also I think they did a great job on the styling, it's really an eye catcher and looks even better at night. 


Toyota Fortuner 2.8 GD-6
Ford Everest XLT
2.8 litre GD Hi
3.2 litre Duratorq TDCi
6 Speed Automatic gear box with paddle shift
6 Speed Powershift Automatic gearbox
450Nm of torque
470Nm of torque
8.5ltr/ 100km
8.2ltr/ 100km
0-100kph in 10.8 seconds
0-100kph in 11.6 seconds

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