The refreshed Ford Everest seven-seater SUV range has hit the South African market, complete with the option of two new engines.

The local line-up has been trimmed from eight to six derivatives (manual gearboxes are no longer offered), with the 2,2-litre turbodiesel engine (118 kW/385 N.m) now available only in the sole entry-level variant. The 3,2-litre five-cylinder TDCi mill (147 kW/470 N.m), too, remains in the range, but also powers just a single mid-spec derivative.

However, as it did with the updated Ranger line-up, the Blue Oval brand has added the option of its new single- and bi-turbo diesel units. These fresh engines are each mated to a new ten-speed automatic transmission, while the older units stick with six-speed self-shifters.

The 2,0-litre bi-turbo diesel engine produces 157 kW and 500 N.m (yes, this is the same unit used by the upcoming Ranger Raptor), and is offered in XLT 4x2 and 4x4 guise, as well as in top-spec Limited form. The single-turbo oil-burner, meanwhile, is available exclusively in XLT 4x2 configuration, sending 132 kW and 420 N.m to the rear axle.

Styling changes include an updated grille, a tweaked lower bumper and a new 20-inch alloy wheel design (the latter for the flagship Limited model). In addition, "Diffused Silver", a new exterior body colour, has been added to the line-up.

Inside, Ford claims to have rolled out “richer materials and design details that emphasise luxury and style”. A new ebony colour scheme is employed along with what the brand describes as a “greater selection of soft-touch materials”. The Limited model furthermore gains perforated leather, contrast stitching and “shadow chrome” finishes.

Under the skin, the Dearborn-based firm says the updated Everest benefits from “numerous suspension improvements” that ultimately result in “an even more comfortable and pliant ride”. A towing capacity of 3 000 kg applies to the single-turbo 2,0-, 2,2- and 3,2-litre models, while the bi-turbo variants are rated to tow a maximum of 3 100 kg with a braked trailer.

New features, meanwhile, include a keyless entry and start function for XLT and Limited models, while all derivatives gain a “Category 1” Thatcham-specification alarm system. Sync 3 (with navigation) is fitted as standard on the XLT and Limited models, linked to an eight-inch touchscreen (the XLS base model uses the Sync 1 system and a 4,2-inch colour screen as standard, although it can be optionally upgraded to Sync 3).

A four-year/120 000 km warranty and six-year/90 000 km service plan (with intervals of 15 000 km) are included.

Pricing:

Ford Everest 2,2 TDCi XLS 6AT 4x2: R499 900
Ford Everest 2,0 SiT XLT 10AT 4x2: R584 900
Ford Everest 2,0 BiT XLT 10AT 4x2: R607 600
Ford Everest 3,2 TDCi XLT 6AT 4x4: R626 900
Ford Everest 2,0 BiT XLT 10AT 4x4: R669 500
Ford Everest 2,0 BiT Limited 10AT 4x4: R741 100