DRIVEN: New Ford Territory is modern, roomy and comfy on the open road

Published May 9, 2024


By: Colin Windell

Ford has unveiled the new Territory, marking its debut into the midsize five-seater SUV category with a vehicle that will challenge many of the norms, particularly with regard to interior space layout being one of the biggest in the segment.

"The Territory is an exciting addition to our South African line-up, with a modern design and advanced technologies that will appeal to young, smart and connected customers," says Doreen Mashinini, General Manager for Marketing at Ford South Africa.

"With a commanding presence on the road, exceptional space and practicality inside and an extensive range of high-tech features, we expect the Territory to be a popular addition to the fast-growing small SUV segment in South Africa."

The Territory is also a completely new experience for local fans of the Blue Oval as it is made in, and imported from, China by Jiangling Motor Corporation (JMC), a company with which Ford has a joint venture to assist it with development and production of its own internal models as well as to share platform development for other models.

“The Territory is a Ford built by a Chinese company,” says Neale Hill, President of Ford Motor Company Africa. “It was designed at our studios in Australia and is built in every respect to the exacting standards demanded by Ford worldwide.”

Under the design philosophy termed 'Progressive Energy in Strength', the new Territory features a contemporary look that integrates agility, responsiveness, and authority.

The sharp crease line aims to convey a sense of movement. Picture: Ford SA.

The vehicle’s side profile is defined by a sculpted body and a sharp crease below the belt line which, along with the dynamic rear section that, as Ian Jones, Vehicle Programme Director for Ford Imports and Exports, says “conveys a sense of movement”.

Large alloy wheels, varying in size from 18-inches on the Ambiente and Trend models to 19-inches on the Titanium model, accentuate this styling.

While the front grille bears more than a passing resemblance to some other current Chinese product, innovative LED technology lights up both the front and rear of the Territory, with distinctive daytime running lights that extend across the front end.

Inside the Territory, the cabin offers a spacious environment and horizontal design elements widen the visual space, while premium materials and detailing such as soft wraps and decorative stitching give it an upscale feel.

The top-end Titanium model features a panoramic moonroof and LED ambient lighting and, depending on the model, the dashboard hosts a large touchscreen infotainment system that controls numerous vehicle functions and supports wireless connectivity for smartphones.

Enhanced audio systems and multiple USB ports across the range ensure entertainment and connectivity for all passengers.

Horizontal design elements widen the visual space in the cabin. Picture: Ford SA.

All models of the Territory are equipped with comprehensive driver assistance systems including stability and traction control, emergency braking support,and a tyre pressure monitoring system. The Titanium model further includes advanced safety technologies such as Blind Spot Information, Lane Keeping Assistance, and Adaptive Cruise Control.

Under the hood, the Territory is equipped with a turbo-charged 1.8-litre EcoBoost petrol engine, delivering 138kW of power and 318Nm of torque.

The EcoBoost engine, which has Auto Start-Stop across the range, is linked to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission (DCT) and drive is delivered to the front wheels with four drive modes available, comprising Normal, Eco, Sport, or Mountain to suit driving conditions.

A launch drive comprising a mix of urban, highway and mountain passes in the Eastern Cape dispelled any thoughts the size of the Territory would compromise the drive and it was more than up to the task of getting up and going with sufficient in reserve for overtaking.

On both the Titnium and Trend variants driven on the event, fuel consumption for the route hovered around the 9,5 l/100 km mark. Both models driven were brand, spanking new and, hopefully, with a few more kilometres under the belt that figure could come down a few notches.

On the road the Territory provides a nicely comfortable ride and always feels solidly planted on the road surface, responding quickly and accurately to both throttle and steering inputs.

“The Territory is a modern, spacious and very well equipped five-seater SUV, regardless of which trim level customers opt for,” says Mashinini.

Load space in the vehicle is impressive with up to 1,432 litres available with the rear seats folded flat and more than 300 litres with those in place.

Ford also offers a warranty package with the new Territory, which includes comprehensive vehicle protection and roadside assistance programs, with options for extended coverage.

Ford Territory South Africa pricing April 2024