But even before we got to that shoot-out, we came under fire from all quarters after publishing our Everest impressions and road test. So, we decided to amass a panel of nine judges? and let them decide which BUV is the real king of the kill. This is what happened.
Text: Danie Botha
Photography: Jannie Herbst
“The writer of the article is obviously a Ford fan!” lambasted one reader, following our impressions of the Ford Everest in Lesotho.
“With your road test you have done an injustice to the Everest! You have effectively influenced potential customers to not even give the Ford a chance!” cried another, following the road test of the Everest.
And then there is the brand-calling, with reference to Leisure Wheels staff members.
So-and-so is clearly a Toyota man. So-and-so is clearly a Mitsubishi man. So-and-so is clearly a Land Rover man.
Clearly we will never be able to please everyone. Not that it is our job to please everyone, mind you.
So for the much-anticipated Everest-Fortuner-Pajero Sport shoot-out we decided we would, well, call in some reinforcements: a panel of judges that would decide the outcome of this shoot-out. And Tuffstuff 4×4 Insurance came on board as official event sponsor.
If we were wrong in saying that the Everest is “close, but not cigar?” in the BUV class (as we did in the road test), we would be man enough to gulp down that humble pie.
But this is not just any old panel either. From 4×4 experts to occasional 4×4 overlanders. From complete 4×4 novices to a motorsport legend. And three ladies too, to add the necessary feminine touch to the occasion and the score sheets.
We drew up a comprehensive scoring sheet that each judge had to complete. This included tar road driving (good and bad), dirt road driving (good and bad), as well as low-range 4×4 driving on a moderate off-road track.
The idea was to simulate the normal driving experiences of an owner of one of these vehicles. So no technical 100-0 km/h braking tests or specialised tests for overtaking acceleration? just typical driving, on various surfaces, at normal speeds.