Ford Philippines introduced a completely new vehicle model into the country this year: the Ford Territory SUV. As a vehicle made in partnership with China’s Jiangling Motors Corporation Limited (JMC), the new offering is based on the latter’s Yusheng S330 car model and is mainly meant as a replacement to the defunct Ford Escape.

As a Chinese-made five-seater crossover, the Ford Territory is primarily designed to compete with other compact SUVs within more or less the PHP1 million range, which is considered relatively ‘affordable’ nowadays, especially when taking into account that many mid-priced options now cross the PHP2 million mark.

territory
territory

The Ford Territory counts the Geely Coolray, MG RX5, Chery Tiggo 7, and Toyota Corolla Cross among its direct competitors. We break down the new Ford crossover’s pros and cons for your car shopping decision.

Pros

1. Plenty of tech

Ford could have certainly skimped on the Ford Territory by keeping the tech package minimal, but they made sure to sprinkle it with a lot of creature comforts nonetheless. Check out these host of advanced features: Smart Keyless Entry with Push Button Start, wireless charging, active park assist, and an auto-dimming rear view mirror. These are further complemented by conveniences such as speed sensing door locks, sunglasses holder, high-mount USB port, seven cup and bottle holders, and a 12-volt power outlet.

2. Good-looking exterior

Though the Ford Territory isn’t going to turn heads, nobody’s going to scoff at it either. For aesthetics alone, you are getting a very American-looking SUV. The overall dimensions are big and bulky, and the lines in the front and sides exude its American roots. The rear façade is especially noteworthy, showing that the fusion of East meets West can lead to a smartly styled product.

territory
territory

3. Simple yet stylish interior

For its interior, the all-new Ford Territory offers a refined riding experience, thanks to classy touches such as perforated leather seat material, leather steering wheel with mounted controls, and leather-covered center console with dual-lid opening. The simulated wood look on the dashboard and door panels provide that touch of elegance on the Titanium+ grade, complementing the black synthetic leather and piano-key gloss on the center console. Though the overall design is a little bit busy, the style is contemporary and smart.

4. A truly multi-functional infotainment

Infotainment is handled by a 10-inch touchscreen with multi-view function and Apple Carplay-functionality. The display can also be used to adjust the air conditioner and access the 360-degree camera view, among a host of other functions. The versatility of the Territory’s touchscreen certainly gives the impression that this is not your run-of-the-mill Chinese SUV.

5. Advanced safety

The Ford Territory Titanium+ grade has six airbags spread around the vehicle cabin. Basic safety includes the usual ABS-EBD hill climb assist and traction control, among others. This vehicle is also perfect for young families who have kids riding booster seats, as it has ISOFIX tether. But that’s not all—Ford has also installed blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control with forwarding collision warning and autonomous emergency braking into the Territory. These driver assistance systems give it a leg up over many of its rivals.

Cons

1. Infotainment system is a bit Chinese-y

territory
territory

Ever bought a fake Apple iPod before? Somehow, the Territory’s infotainment system’s interface display gives off that ‘made-in-China’ stereotype. Although it’s not downright cheap-looking, it’s certainly no SYNC 3.

2. Sound system lacks thump

Aside from that infotainment display, it also quite noticeable that the audio system is not meant for high-fidelity music enjoyment. There’s some overpowering frequencies, but as long as you keep it at low volumes, they won’t be grating to the ear.

Yay or nay?

The Ford Territory is far from the perfect SUV, but for the price of PHP1.299 million for the Titanium+ and PHP1.179 million for the Trend, there’s very few out there in the market that’s better, so who can really complain? And with the Blue Oval name behind it, there’s plenty of good selling points to enjoy in this newly-arrived crossover.

Photos from Ford, Ruben Manahan

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