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Through the twists and turns onboard all-new Territory


The increased power output of 158 horsepower and 248 Nm of torque felt genuinely responsive, especially when paired with the new seven-speed wet dual-clutch transmission.

FORD'S new SUV-sized crossover reveals every trick it has under its sleeve during Ford's All-New Territory Media Drive. | Photographs Ian Magbanua for the Daily Tribune

With the continued rise of the crossover segment in the Philippine automotive market, Ford Philippines seems poised to solidify its stake.

The All-New Ford Territory Titanium and Titanium X variants have rolled out as the latest contenders, and I recently had the chance to put them through their paces.

The journey commenced at Capitol Commons in Pasig City, where a fleet of the 2023 Ford Territory Titanium and Titanium X variants awaited. The cars boasted a sleek yet assertive exterior featuring a large hexagonal grille, revamped daytime running lights, and eye-catching headlamps, clearly highlighting Ford’s focus on aesthetics and road presence.

Setting out, our caravan of media-tested vehicles meandered through Boso-Boso, Antipolo, then sped along the scenic Marilaque stretch. Our path led us to the quaint town of Pagsanjan, Laguna, where we stopped for a hearty lunch at Tita Del’s — a welcome respite before the afternoon leg of the drive.

Moving south, we traversed the roads of Bay, Laguna, through the Makban Geothermal Plant, towards Tanauan, Batangas, where we skirted the serene Taal Lake, and finally ascended via Sungay Road to reach our final destination for the day, Anya Resort in Tagaytay.

This route was an ideal blend of different driving conditions, allowing the Territory’s newly refined 1.5-liter EcoBoost engine to shine.

The increased power output of 158 horsepower and 248 Nm of torque felt genuinely responsive, especially when paired with the new seven-speed wet dual-clutch transmission.

This is also where the Mountain drive mode really shone through, putting torque lower in the rev range to almost instantly give you climbing grunt through up-and-down twisties.

While the infotainment menu-based drive modes were a curious design choice, the vehicle’s overall performance and dynamics spoke volumes.

Upon arrival at the very lush, and very elegant Anya Resort, we were presented with two driving challenges. The first involved navigating a snug “drive-thru” course, where the Territory’s 360-degree cameras were invaluable.

MANEUVERING tight spots is made so much easier with the 360-degree camera, available on both variants.

This feature is standard across both variants and enhances driver awareness significantly. The second was a demonstration of Ford’s new-generation Autopark system.

Admittedly, relinquishing control to a machine felt counterintuitive, but the system operated smoothly, parking the vehicle effortlessly (and with forward and reverse corrections at that); an impressive hint of what the future may yet hold for automotive technology.

Inside, the new Territory variants welcomed drivers with an elegantly practical ambiance. Soft-touch materials, light brown wood trims, and black-chrome accents define the cabin.

The 12-inch infotainment touchscreen is compatible with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, effectively turning the larger screen into an extension of your smartphone. Despite some minor ergonomic issues, like the awkward placement of extra USB ports, the interior felt well-thought-out.

Our expedition concluded the next day with a lavish lunch buffet at Angelfields Nature Sanctuary. From there, we made our way back to Capitol Commons.

With a price of P1,355,000 for the Titanium and P1,599,000 for the Titanium X variant, the 2023 Ford Territory may be on the pricier end of the compact crossover segment, but the car’s balance of style, comfort, safety, and performance justifies the investment.

After two days on the road, it’s clear that the All-New Ford Territory is equipped to handle a variety of landscapes and driving conditions, making it a versatile choice for those who desire both urban commuting and weekend escapes.

Whether in the congested streets of Metro Manila or the winding roads of Tagaytay, this Ford crossover stands as a competent, tech-forward contender in a crowded marketplace.

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