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August 26, 2020

Here's Why Ford Didn't Want Us to Compare the Territory Trend to the Titanium+

Racist. Sexist. Biased. I’ve received all sorts of hate with my review of the Territory Titanium+. It didn’t sit too well with Ford that they actually pulled out their support. Shit happens, I guess. But will that change the way things are done here? No. I’ll be honest, and sometimes brutal if need be.

With that out of the way, let me get to the subject at hand: the entry-level Territory Trend. Now, you’re thinking: crap, is Ford ready for another beat down yet again? Well, here’s the shocker. Compared to the Titanium+ I drove, this here is the better variant and no matter what the carmaker or its sales agents say, is the one you should opt for.

With the Territory Trend having the very same running gear as the top-trim Territory Titanium+, the differences aren’t night and day. However, the simpler execution of this entry-level model suits the overall character of the Territory.

Let me explain in the best way I can: an analogy. And no, this won’t be sexiest. Promise.

Say you have two candidates for a job. Before the interview, you look at his resume. For those who’ve been through numerous job interviews, there are one of two candidates. The first oversells himself. He’s the one who’ll put every single accomplishment in his life as a highlight, worthy of being underlined and put in font size 18. He’s the one who’ll say his biggest weakness is that he’s a perfectionist. On the other hand, there’s one who’s simply factual. He graduated college with solid scores, and never got a single reprimand from his previous bosses. Nothing really stands out, and for that he’s rather quiet and unassuming.

When the first guy gets to work, you notice he’s not really as adept as he says he is. That “High Microsoft Excel proficiency?” Limited to formatting rows and columns to look nice. Meanwhile, the second guy doesn’t indicate his skills Microsoft Excel. Both of you know he can’t perform financial sensitivity analysis, but you didn’t hire him to do so.

Now, it doesn’t take a genius to figure which Territory is which, right?

See, the biggest fail of the Territory Titanium+ is that it oversold itself. It oversold the bells and whistles, the tech, the Ford Global DNA. It was, pardon the brutality, a pig with a lipstick on it.

This is why the Territory Trend’s so surprising. Wipe the lipstick off, or in this case, all the fancy doodads, and you’d be expecting a pig, right? No. Instead, what you get is much more. Ford told me not to feature the Trend version so close to the Titanium+, and I’m beginning to see why. It’s become an honest-to-goodness compact SUV that’s comfortable in its own skin.

For starters, the Trend has far less chrome than in the Titanium+. With that, it’s managed to look younger and sportier even. Why wear fancy, fake bling when all you want is an SUV for beginning families? Even the wheels, at 17 inches, are smaller, but they do a lot to change the overall stance. Yes, the off-putting “Territory” badge is still there and so are the faux tailpipes, but they’re far less of a problem here than in the heavily made up Titanium+.

The story continues inside, where the Territory Trend’s simpler cabin fits its personality better. Yes, that quadrant-based infotainment system and all its quirks is still there, but the gauges and seats are infinitely better here. With no changeable modes to distract, the traditional analog gauges are straightforward. The small, colored infotainment screen here looks decidedly low-rent, but they’re far easier-on-the-eye the pulsating displays of the Titanium+’s Sport mode. Ditto the front seats. With no need for seat venting and cooling, the seat cushions are actually plusher and better on the back during long stints in traffic.

In the area of dynamics, the Territory Trend still doesn’t feel like any other modern Ford vehicle out there, but it does offer a marked improvement over its Titanium+ sibling. The large panoramic sunroof means that overall body rigidity could be better, but the softly-sprung suspension is better matched to the 17-inch tires. Drive it hard, and it’ll have the same propensity to wallow through uneven roads, but it’s far less crashy. Its behavior is also far more predictable.

My original story on the Territory would have been a side-by-side comparison of the Trend and the Titanium+ variants. Ford didn’t like the idea, and now I see why. The entry-level Territory is actually better between the two variants. With a P 120,000 difference between the two and the sheer amount of additional equipment you get with the top-trim variant, most would say I’m crazy if I were to give my nod to the Trend variant. But I will. And this isn’t the first time it has happened. It’s a matter of fact that some cars do better if they’re just honest with itself. The added equipment on the Titanium+ sure looks nice, but in the end, I’m swayed by the Trend’s slightly better drive. The differences between these two are marginal, but it’s noticeable enough for the Trend to escape my utter hatred.

2021 Ford Territory Trend
Ownership 2021 Ford Territory Trend
Year Introduced 2020
Vehicle Classification Compact Crossover
Warranty 3 years / 100,000 kilometers
The Basic
Body Type 5-door SUV
Seating 5
Engine / Drive F/F
Under the Hood
Displacement (liters) 1.5
Aspiration Turbocharged
Fuel Delivery EFI
Layout / # of Cylinders I4
BHP @ rpm 143 @ 4,500-5,200
Nm @ rpm 225 @ 1,500-4,000
Fuel / Min. Octane Gasoline / 91~
Transmission CVT
Cruise Control Yes, Adaptive
Fuel Economy @ Ave. Speed 11.76 km/L @ 26 km/h
Dimensions and Weights
Length (mm) 4,580
Width (mm) 1,936
Height (mm) 1,674
Wheelbase (mm) 2,716
Curb Weight (kg) 1,435
Suspension and Tires
Front Suspension Independent, MacPherson Strut
Rear Suspension Independent, Multi-Link
Front Brakes Vented Disc
Rear Brakes Disc
Tires Goodyear Assurance Fuel Max AW 235/55 R 17 H (f & r)
Wheels Alloy
Safety Features
Airbags 6
Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS) Yes, with EBD
Traction / Stability Control Yes
Parking Sensors Yes, Rear with Camera
Front Seatbelts 3-pt ELR with pre-tensioner x 2
Rear Seatbelts 3-pt ELR x 3
ISOFIX Child Seat Anchor Yes
Other Safety Features Hill Start Assist
Exterior Features
Headlights LED
Fog Lamps Yes, Front & Rear
Auto Lights Yes
Rain-sensing Wipers No
Interior Features
Steering Wheel Adjust Tilt
Steering Wheel Material Leather
Seating Adjustment (driver) Manual, 6-way
Seating Adjustment (front passenger) Manual, 4-way
Seating Surface Leather
Folding Rear Seat Yes, 60/40
On-Board Computer Yes
Convenience Features
Power Steering Yes
Power Door Locks Yes
Power Windows Yes
Power Mirrors Yes
Proximity Key Yes
Climate Control Yes, w/ Rear Vents
Audio System Stereo
Apple CarPlay
Android Auto
# of Speakers 6
Steering Controls Yes


  1. thanks for these articles, your honesty is refreshing

  2. uly's reviews are usually on point. just leave the misogyny back home

  3. While I appreciated the brutal honesty of the Territory Titanium review, it couldn't be denied that it was really sexist. Please do better next time.

  4. No one actually needs all the bells and whistles of the Titanium+ variant. Anyone who has lived with a compact crossover day in and day out can fully understand that

  5. I don't think people have a problem with "honesty and brutality" as you put it. They have a problem with misogyny. But it seems, based on your non-apology, that you don't. Of course you have the right not to care about that, but one assumes you'd care about the quality of your own writing craftsmanship. And the analogy of equating cars with women is just very old fashioned writing, like an embarrassing tito joke.

  6. Agree. It's all about the misogynistic tone of the Territory Titanium review. As a half-assed "apology", the author now uses "he" and extols the virtues of being "unassuming and simple" when the first review uses "she" when describing a "flashy" vehicle. It might have worked in the 80s and 90s but certainly not now. The author needs to grow up, stop objectifying people (yes even men) and write a real car review.

  7. The TOTL is a better value than the base model due to the better tech for not so much money it offers. Sorry but this review sounds like an old skool kool defense.

    And yes the TOTL reviews was sexist and racist as hell. Like it was written by someone who just got dumped on by a chinese girl lol.

  8. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  9. Ships.. Cars... Weapons... Are considered (she) stop being so sensitive... Must be millennials.

  10. The stated allegedly two main 'advantages' of the base variant are actually very natural.
    A wheel of the same width and diameter but with a SMALLER rim (the 'wheels' are not smaller than falsely stated in the article) simply has a higher compressible air volume and a roof with a huge window is a little less stiff as it would be without.
    However - the fun factor of the panoramic sun/moon roof and pleassur felt by simply looking at the 18" rims is for many not only worth the extra cash but also mutch more important than any minimal loss of rigidity and/or suspension comfort.
    The real good thing of the review is that this author seems to promote his view rather than writing another all too common and not so usefull persil letter.
    As seductive as the Territory is there are two things bothering. One is the high curb weight for a vehicle Re-brought to a market in 2020 AND how do ECOBOOSTs actual cope over the long-term with fuel available outside NCR.
    Other than that the TERRITORY is an incredible nice contribution to the Thai and Philippine markets. Especially to people who prefer 'gliding' over provincial roads. No one available can do this better for this money in this class.

    1. Thailand doesn't offer the China-version Territory. They did offer the AU-market Territory though. It was then replaced by the Everest.

  11. After all these discussions of the Trend and Titanium variant of Ford Territory, Ford Philippines seems notice that they are losing profit on the low based Territory which is the best seller. unfortunately now they ballooned the Trend price to 1.270M. only 40k deficit to the Titanium.


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