The Ford Territory quickly became one of the most popular nameplates in the country. Almost two years after it was released, it catapulted towards the top of the compact crossover SUV sales charts, battling with the likes of the Honda CR-V, Geely Azkarra, just to name a few. Now though, we’re able to explore more of what this compact SUV has to offer through a relaxing drive to the east side of Manila.
The first venue to go in the Ford Territory Drive itinerary is the famous Thunderbird Resort, a mixed-use hotel and casino resort located in Angono, Rizal. For middle – to upper-income bracket Filipino motorists, a first time-purchase of an SUV is finding a vehicle that is balanced on power and fuel efficiency.
With the Ford Territory, the goal is to have the best of both worlds. Powered by Ford’s 1.5-liter EcoBoost engine, mated to a CVT, the five-seater Ford Territory is designed for providing the perfect balance of power and good fuel consumption. True to our expectations, as we ramped up into the Alabang interchange via MCX toll entry, the traffic is quite horrendous which gave us around 20 minutes to pass on. The Territory is expected to consume around 10 km/liter in the city and based on our quick computations for 20-minute moving traffic in Alabang viaduct to Bicutan exit, we logged around 9 km/liter. On the 10-kilometer portion of C6 after re-fueling to full-tank and resetting the gauges, we managed to get around 12 to 13 km/liter though we believed that we can achieve the 14 km/l if we happened to drive it in NLEX with better speed than in Rizal roads.
The route we chose led us to drive in the busy national road of Angono, Rizal which is actually my first to experience traversing the narrowest roads complete with bicycles, tricycles, and motorcycles riders’ interference. Good thing, the Ford Territory is equipped with safety features that will ease your worries away. A high-definition 360-degree camera helped us safely maneuver at low speeds, while autonomous emergency braking scans the road ahead and alerts drivers about potential collisions. If the driver doesn’t react, the system will brake on its own.
The Ford Territory is also equipped with Active Park Assist with segment-first perpendicular parking which looks after the steering while you do the shifting and braking, but the smart technologies don’t stop there. From rain-sensing windscreen wipers, auto headlamps, adaptive cruise control, parking sensors, and a lane-keeping system–many of which are part of an advanced suite of safety technologies called Ford Co-Pilot360, the Territory will safely get you from point A to point B all the time. There’s also blind spot monitoring and lane departure warning.
Stuck in the middle of the traffic-prone Bicutan to C6 road has allowed me to tinker with the Territory’s huge 10-inch fully digital instrument cluster that allows the configuration of driving information, which is unique to the Titanium variant. A similarly-sized central touchscreen makes navigating the in-vehicle infotainment system and climate controls a cinch with a smartphone-like pinch, giving occupants the ability to sync to Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. It can be done so without fear of losing battery load as it provides wireless charging of the phone.
The Ford Territory has space, style, and functionality. With premium soft-touch materials and piano-style keys for quick access to functions like climate control, the Ford Territory presents a sense of style and luxury inside. That feeling of interior spaciousness is enhanced by a panoramic moonroof that floods the cabin with natural light or even fresh air at the touch of a button. We observed that the back seats are comparable to midsize SUVs and crossovers, Even if they are all adults, there’s a lot of headroom and legroom. In the back cargo area, we can say as based on specs, it can accommodate more than 400 liters of space expanding to around 1000 liters when backseats are folded flat.
The external look of the Territory can be considered a standout on the road because its bold exterior design is augmented with LED headlamps, LED daytime running lamps, LED tail lamps, auto on/off headlamps with follow me home feature, front and rear fog lamps, rear spoiler, and roof rails. The proportions are also balanced for a compact crossover SUV. This particular Titanium variant is also riding on 18-inch wheels, which do look good.
Driving on the flat well paved-surfaces of Angono town, the ride is impressive. Road and wind noise is well suppressed but when driven through hills, you can readily hear the low continuous humming sound of the engine when you put pressure on the gas pedal.
Reaching the Barangay Maysawa where the Viewscape Nature’s Park is situated, the Territory is outright subjected to a stretch of off-roading before reaching the entrance of the park. Over humps, bumps, and potholes, the Territory performed satisfactorily, which is good enough for a small SUV which doesn’t have any off-road features. Its unibody chassis and the fully independent suspension at both the front and rear really help in providing a stable ride.
This episode gave me an impression that even with ground clearance limitations and lacking in multiple wheel-drive configurations, the Territory can hold on its own. The mere fact that it was able to handle well the ride uphill in the famous Tanay twisties and some stretch of muddy and uneven roads in the hill venue itself is enough to say that the Territory can also perform well on unpaved road surfaces if the situation calls for it.
As discussed by Patrick Manigbas, the Marketing Director of Ford Philippines, he says that the Ford Territory “can be a good match for first-time car buyers, particularly the young professionals and small active families, as it is brimming with features and capabilities that make the most out of every driving moment, may it be for work or leisure”. The price of the Territory is not far from its Chinese rivals such as the GAC GS4 or Geely Azkarra, whilst packing a lot of features for its price. This makes the Territory a valuable addition to the Ford lineup, as it provides Filipino motorists an affordable yet technologically-advanced ride.