The toyota prado is the peerless sales leader in this market and has daylight in second place. But if you look at the next vehicle down the sales charts its the isuzu mux this year, isuzu has given us a second generation mux. An all new vehicle third place in this market is held by the fort everest, which is starting to show its age a bit, but still very popular with buyers. So weve brought out the top of the line: ford everest, titanium top of the line; mux second generation lst here to see how they go: Music Applause, Music Applause, oh the emux is powered by the single engine; choice, which is the venerable three liter turbo diesel engine. Theres, a long serving engine for us, its got a great reputation for its reliability and its efficiency, its quite an economical engine too people love it because its a three liter, its bigger than a lot of the newer engines. They like the capacity, especially when youre thinking about towing and things like that and isuzus, got a great reputation for, as i said, its durability, its been building diesel truck engines for generations and out on the highway. It gets along okay, but when it comes to overtaking and putting your foot down, you want to have that bit more extra space than you need to leave when youre in the 500 meter ford, the muxs cabin, as you would expect, of a car only launched this Year does feel a lot more modern than that of the everest.
The steering column is adjustable for reach and height and, as you see its nice and back where i want it, my elbows are bent its perfectly positioned, something i cant quite achieve in the forward. The screen looks like its almost twice the size of that in the ford, although its not quite the case, but it is a much bigger screen for the av. The leather seats in the mux are heated, which is certainly appreciated when youre down here in melbourne. During the winter time, its quite a comfortable cabin, but its not quite as comfortable as that of the everest, the everest feels bigger a bit more refined, more suv like, as opposed to light truck like weve, got our set piece hill climb here, which is a fairly Steep hill low range is needed for it and its got some big ruts and holes in the hill which really tests the vehicles. Tractive ability also checks for clearance, its going to scrape on various spots its a real good test of the electronic traction control system. So, to get ready to go up, this hill first well select low range which, on the unix, is via a dial ill point. It straight up the hill and see how it goes. All cars now have electronic traction control systems on them. Just some are calibrated better than others. We find some four wheel drives will go straight up this hill quite easily others struggle. So here we come at the first little obstacle and the isuzu is struggling a bit getting there its a bit slow to react now.
What isuzu have given us in the new mux is a rough terrain button which supposedly sharpens up the features for the electronic traction, control and transmission and throttle position so lets uh. Give that button a press there we go. That does seem to be reacting quicker. Its picking up the slipping wheel sooner and getting us up the hill. We were not using the rear differential lock here, but yep that rough terrain button is more than a gimmick, its actually working kudos there to isoozu its um, its something theyve got. Instead of having the multi terrain modes, which a lot of cars have now simply a rough terrain mode, my question is: why isnt it always that sharp, once you go into low range, youre, obviously going off road, so it should be working as best as possible. Heading back down the hill now low range first gear, its quite easy to control, just foot hovering over the brake. Pitching the rear wheels up quite high. You can feel it happening there. We did find that the everest made it up that hill pretty much the same way a little bit easier. If anything and both cars did it easier with their rear differential lock in place. As i was saying on the hill climb, both these cars being top spec are fitted with 20 inch wheels, which look nice around town, but theyre less than ideal for off road work. Thankfully, the brakes are the same size on the top spec vehicles, as well as the lower spec ones.
So if you were wanting to fit some more off road suitable tyres, you could get some wheels off a lower spec vehicle, which would be 17 or 18 inch and offer some more tyre choices. You can hear that engine rattle coming through to the cabin and something that does let the ozone down. For my opinion, the car is quite a refined place, but that engine noise creeping through is something they might want to look at in the future. Six speed automatic transmission, seamless works perfectly makes you wonder why you never want any more gears than six in a transmission perfect for us, the four wheel drive system, the isuzu is carried over from the d max ute, on which its based so its a part time. Four wheel drive system with high and low range another feature that really shows the age difference between these two cars. The mux has an electric handbrake which is becoming the norm in modern cars, where the everest still has the traditional handbrake lever were just driving along here. In high range, four wheel drive, which in the case of the mux, is a locked four wheel drive, which is quite handy in these conditions. The road for the most part is dry dirt, but theres. Some real muddy, boggy sections which, if youre in two wheel, drive itll catch you out, and you can quite easily get stuck here. Little spots like this, where you need to be on four wheel, drive and give it a bit of welly to get you through the mud when it comes down to choosing between the everest titanium and the mux lst, really going to come back to what you want From a car sure theres a 10 grand difference in price between the two, the isus that were in here, that is 63 990, whereas the everest titanium is 73 190, so theres a fair amount of difference.
There could buy a lot of accessories. If you are that way, inclined Music ford offers the everest with a choice of two diesel engines. Youve got the old five cylinder 3.2 litre engine, which is nice and lopey fairly lazy in the way it goes, or this newer, two liter biturbo four cylinder, which has class leading 500 newton meters of torque its a little bit busier in the way it works. But yeah its got that extra grunt there when you need it, which is its best quality, its also a more refined engine, which is something you really appreciate in the everest wagon, as opposed to the ranger ute. That refinement is makes it quieter in the cabin and a nicer place to drive along the 2 litre engine is backed by a 10 speed automatic transmission with a on demand. Four wheel drive system. So what that means is its always in four wheel drive, but it only cuts in and out as its needed, and then you can put into low range when you go into off road conditions. The everest is starting to get a bit old now and it does show its age in its interior features. Its dash screen smaller than whats become the norm these days and certainly smaller than what youve got in the isuzu. The steering column is adjustable for height, but not adjustable for reach, so in my case, having fairly long legs, im sort of reaching out a bit further than id like to id like to have the steering a little bit back closer to me, things that are common In cars now new cars havent standard, just werent available in all the models back when the everest was conceived with the uh new model only a year or two away, you can expect to see all those things come online.
Then the extra talk of this bi servo engine over the isuzus single turbo engine isnt really much of a much of an issue around here on these low speed, 4 wheel drive tracks. What you do notice is on the highway and overtaking, and certainly when you go out to tow now, the everest has a 3 100 kilogram towing capacity theres, probably as much as you want to be towing in this sort of vehicle, but the mux has 3 500 Kilo towing, which is pretty impressive, the cabin of the everest, feels a lot more suv like its bigger, more spacious, just more comfortable to get into than the isuzus cabin now, as usual, usually does feel more modern and it does have more features, but it just doesnt Deliver as much in terms of refinement, both these cars are excellent. Highway, tourers, certainly vehicles. You could eat up the outback miles in without any trouble at all very efficient engines as well. We havent recorded our fuel figures yet, but they both should be in the you know, lows to mid nines over this sort of urban touring Music. Here we are at our hill, climbing the everest titanium. The everest has an on demand: four wheel drive system, so it is a bit easier. You dont have to go via the lock button, so in low range terrain mode is just set on normal and into drive off. We go now both these cars being top spec theyre running 20 inch wheels on low profile tyres, which not really ideal for this, because a tyre with a bigger sidewall will give you more traction, having a bit more room to move bit more sway in the side Wall but well see how this goes like the iso, its struggling a bit, the first hurdle, those holes.
There are quite big, but its getting on with it. Youre really feeling it grab when it gets that wheel off the ground, Music and thats, getting us on up the hill. So like isuzus rough road button that just sharpens up the the traction control system makes it more aggressive to suit different terrain. But like the isuzu system, i think you want it as aggressive as possible as soon as you go into low range. So why wouldnt it do that to start with back down the hill. Well, select first gear low range again to give you that control parking, sensors driving your nuts thats. Another thing that should just switch off when you go to low range everest is funny its little skid pans a couple of times there yeah really fairly composed. Once again, it did do it easier using the rear, differential, lock. The traffic control system in the forward, i think, is a little bit sharper to start with Music driving the new mux against the ford everest. You can really see why these two cars are so popular. Each of them does this job particularly well, and that job is a family transport vehicle, a vehicle you can take around the country, towing a caravan going off road. All those adventures you want to get out and do with your family choosing, which is the best one, depends on what you want: its almost horses for courses, the isuzu being in your car.
It feels newer its got more features. Weve got a bigger screen inside better tech, better safety features, so in that regard its really a winner, the everest, on the other hand, its got that torque your engine. You really feel that power difference perfect for towing and out there on the highway. Its also more spacious and more refined in the cabin – and there are things that i really appreciate – probably over those tech features. So for my money it would be the everest. The everest is a pick for me. I really enjoy driving it someone else.