My partner in crime and I weren’t 15 kilometres into a road trip to Kui Buri National Park in Prachuap Khiri Khan Province, when we were forced to put the Ford Everest we were test driving into action. As the designated driver, I was behind the wheel when a huge construction truck to my left decided to swerve into our lane without warning. Luckily, the antilock brakes kicked in and I was able to avoid a collision. With a starting price of 1,549,000 THB, the Titanium Plus diesel (2.2L 3.2L) sport utility vehicle (SUV) with advanceDriving Assist Technology, Panoramic Roof that can seat up to seven, has great acceleration as well as a state of the art braking system.
There is a Power folding rear seat, trunk lid and wheels 20 inch alloy wheels. Our first stop on this journey was at a roadside stand selling dragon fruit – three kilos for 100 THB. We pulled off the smoothly paved road onto a dirt side road. Designed to tackle tough terrain and unexpected obstacles, the transition was smooth and comfortable.
Back on the road, we ventured further south. The SUV offers a smooth, easy ride. And, unlike rigid suspension systems, the Everest’s “watt’s linkage suspension” delivers improved stability and handling with maximum comfort. As we reached the turnoff to Kui Buri National Park, we realised we had less than a quarter tank of diesel, so we went to the nearest gas station to fill up. It took five of us to figure out how to open the fuel cap (you just have to unlock the doors), but we had a good chuckle. Located in the Tenasserim Hills, the national park is known to be the best elephant and gaur (wild ox) sighting place in Thailand. Established in 1999, the forest consists of dry and moist evergreen forests, with various species of wildlife and many different bird species.
At the Yang Chum reservoir, we decided to take the Everest off-road and then continued to the Huai Luek Wildlife Watching Area. It was here at a ranger station where we had to stop driving our car and use an open-air safari vehicle to enter the wildlife area. Safari tours are 850 THB per group. Back in the Everest, we headed back to Hua Hin. The seven airbags in the Everest provide a network of protection with front seat driver and passenger airbags and seat-mounted side airbags. Side-curtain airbags protect everyone in the front and back. Thankfully we didn’t have to test these out.
While I was busy focusing on the drive, my companion had a great time playing with the SYNC™ 2 voice activation system. He was able to make calls just by saying a name, have it read out incoming texts, and play music from the phone. There is also an 8-inch touchscreen, two USB ports, SD card slot and RCA port, making it easy to view and use all different types devices. Test driving the new Ford Everest was a blast. For me it is the perfect marriage between a city car, and an off-road beast. To see the Everest in person, visit Ford JorCharoan Prachubkirikhan (Hua Hin) at 6/143 Petchkasem Rd, Hua Hin (near Boonthavom) or call 032-547367-8.