Monday, August 24, 2020

Review: 2021 Ford Territory Titanium+


If you want to know exactly what the Ford Territory is, she’s the girl you picked up at the bar for a one-night stand, only to wake up the following morning (after the deed is done, of course) and realize: holy crap, she’s not as pretty as you thought she was.

Okay, while I have no personal experience on this whole one-night stand thing (pinky promise), my hypothetical view comes from watching Seth Rogen movies. In this case, think of Ms. Territory as this scene-stealing hot “gurl” who appears one night at your bar/disco/night club/mixer (whatever kids call them these days). Not only is she dressed to impress with her 18-inch wheels, LED headlights, and panoramic sunroof, but you hear people whispering: she’s the daughter of Ford. You quickly see the resemblance to his brother, Explorer. You check her out, smack your lips, and say to yourself, “wit-wew, not bad. Not bad at all.”



Then, you do a bit of Googling, Facebooking, or LinkedIn-ing (?), and you see she’s just half a Ford. She may be wearing that Ford badge, but she spawned with the help of some Chinese joint-venture. Regardless, Ford’s managed to hide Ms. Territory’s less than global origin by raising and tutoring her in Australia. True enough, look through the usual places like the door jams and engine bay, and her Chinese origins have all been erased. There’s not a single bit of Mandarin nonsense stamped anywhere; heck, you can’t even switch the infotainment language to Chinese. Instead, it’s all Ford, Ford, English, Ford.

Finally, you get the courage, and buy her a drink. You talk to her; she talks back. She whispers sweet things of tech—the language of gadget-loving millennials. She’s loaded with the stuff from cooled/heated seats, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a fully digital instrument cluster, a large screen for infotainment, and heck, she can even park herself when you’re lazy enough not to be able to. She sounds strong, independent, confident, and pleasing on the eye—your kind of girl.



You take her out, and we fast forward to the morning after. Oh my goodness, only then you realize what a hot mess she is.

Her petite Explorer is still somewhat appealing, but there are some little design details that seem odd. One is that those muffler cutouts are completely fake. In the greater scheme of things, it’s a minor infraction, but it’s criminal when Ford points them out as a legit design cue. Second, and more unsettling on a personal level is the way the word, “Territory” is spelt out back. Surely, Ford was going for the same badge treatment seen on their Everest, Explorer, and the like—but the execution here isn’t as great. Maybe it would have been better if they integrated it into the chrome garnish.

An even bigger problem though is what you find, or rather what you don’t find inside. Ford continuously touts the Territory as having their Ford Global DNA, but you just have trouble seeing it anywhere inside. She may have that “Ford” badge on the steering wheel, but that Aussie upbringing all but disappears. Her Aussie twang is gone and instead, she says, 我是中国人. The problem here isn’t space, there’s plenty—heck, it’s even bigger than some compact SUVs, nor is it the build quality, as everything is screwed in quite well. The issue here is how all that tech comes together into one needlessly complicated cabin.



There are minor infractions for the convoluted gauges (except the Classic mode), but the Territory’s biggest issue is how all of its major car functions are solely governed by the large infotainment screen. It’s great in principle with a Tesla or Volvo vibe going on, but in practice, it’s a pain in the ass. The generous dimensions, measuring 10 inches in size, make it seem easy to use at first, but navigating through the quadrant-based menu can be a chore. Some functions that require a single tap can sometimes take two or more with this interface. It’s even more tedious when you use Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. For example, when the climate control automatically switches to Fresh from Recirculate (and it does this once every trip), it’ll require you to exit Waze, exit CarPlay, tap the Climate menu, and tap Recirculate—that’s four steps in a move that should have required just one. And imagine doing all this while on the move. Yes, there’s a control knob with short cuts just behind the shifter, but the placement doesn’t make things intuitive.

When it comes to the all-important aspect: the drive, Ms. Territory ends up being as Aussie as Xi Jinping. She’s fast in a straight line, but she doesn’t have the same level of polish and refinement you’ve come to expect from Fords.



Despite being fitted with a boosted 1.5-liter engine, she’s down on power compared to the competition. Regardless, she manages to maximize it very well. Her Achilles heel though is her transmission. Ford rarely dabbles in gearless CVTs, and it shows right here. On the move, it’s quite alright, but in stop-and-go traffic, there are noticeable delays in its responses. Furthermore, it loves to shift ratios unexpectedly (typically at the slightest hint of an up- or downhill). Again, that’s great in principle for engine braking and all, but it’s hard to get used to. Once or twice, you’d think the transmission’s gone bonkers. Fuel economy too could be better: at 7.40 km/L, she’s quite thirsty.

Sadly, Ms. Territory’s not quite good around the bends too She thinks having a softly-sprung ride is comfy. Instead, it makes her tip and roll through corners, reducing her sense of sportiness and agility. Combine that with a body rigidity equal to a wet noodle, and you end up with a crossover that wallows all over the place. And even if you’re not an enthusiast-level driver, there’s pronounced brake dive which could make some feel unwell.



I’m pretty harsh on the Ford Territory, and for very good reason: it’s supposed to have that Global DNA. It’s supposed to give Ford vehicles a recognizable personality, a trait that makes it instantly recognizable as a Ford. Sadly, this doesn’t. And this trouble me a lot: most people will be sold on this crossover based on what they’ve seen on the brochures—the razzle-dazzle of the tech, and of course, the astonishingly affordable price. During this time of penny-pinching, value’s a strong language, and one that’s going make or break a vehicle. In all fairness, the Territory ticks those boxes. A caveat though is that she doesn’t feel like a Ford. She has the badge and the upbringing even, but in the end, her non-Ford lineage is far too dominant not be ignored.



2021 Ford Territory Titanium+
Ownership 2021 Ford Territory Titanium+
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 7.40 km/L @ 19 km/h
Dimensions and Weights
Length (mm) 4,580
Width (mm) 1,936
Height (mm) 1,674
Wheelbase (mm) 2,716
Curb Weight (kg) 1,465
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 235/50 R 18 H (f & r)
Wheels Alloy
Safety Features
Airbags 6
Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS) Yes, with EBD
Traction / Stability Control Yes
Parking Sensors Yes, Front & Rear, 360-degree 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 Blindspot Monitoring System
Lane Departure Warning
Lane Keep Assist
Exterior Features
Headlights LED
Fog Lamps Yes, Front & Rear
Auto Lights Yes
Rain-sensing Wipers Yes
Interior Features
Steering Wheel Adjust Tilt/Telescopic
Steering Wheel Material Leather
Seating Adjustment (driver) Electric, 8-way
Seating Adjustment (front passenger) Manual, 4-way
Seating Surface Leather, Ventilated & Heated (Front)
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, with Fold
Proximity Key Yes
Climate Control Yes, w/ Rear Vents
Audio System Stereo
USB
Bluetooth
Apple CarPlay
Android Auto
# of Speakers 8
Steering Controls Yes

29 comments:

  1. I dont know, but it looks very chinese to me. Interior and Exterior wise.

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  2. On papers, the engine looks more powerful than the CX-30?

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  3. "This here is a properly engineered SUV; designed and engineered primarily for the Chinese market, sure, but it’s still a Ford through and through."

    No amount of words and tech features that would the fact the this is a garbage product. Not to mention their after sales service still sucks big time. Hopefully buyers are smarter this time and just stick with Japanese/Koreans and even Geely Coolray

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    Replies
    1. Ngee! Geely. Chinese din. Out of the frying pan and into the fire ang dating nyan.

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    2. My point is, if you really want an affordable alternative (read: Chinese) might as well go for Geely Coolray, although chinese, its platform (BMA) to which it is based on is much newer and truly co developed between Volvo (here, Geely is taking advantage of Volvo tech, not the other way around for Ford on its Territory). Though you can't say the same for Azkarra which was based on an old platform.

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    3. that BMA platform is actually going to be used in the upcoming volvo x20

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  4. The sexual metaphors used in this car review are far too many.

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    Replies
    1. agreed, the way its written hindi bagay sa car review.

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  5. WTF this review puro negative, may galit ka SIR?

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  6. "Combine that with a body rigidity equal to a WET NOODLE, and you end up with a crossover that wallows all over the place"

    Hahaha. Nice one. Kidding aside, thats why Carguide.ph is the most objective in the industry - only site that consistently comments on platform/chassis/rigidity - which is the most important part of the car and where the big chunk of R&D is spent on not only for driving dynamics but also for SAFETY in the event of crash.

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  7. He shared a lot of great insights. Be a wise spender!

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  8. Im planning to buy a Geely CoolRay but the arrival of Ford Territory made me change of heart. It's the perfect New Crossover in town. And better than the new comer Toyota Corolla Cross.

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  9. Thank you for the brutaly honest review. Yeah the aircon controls integrated in the infotainment screen is silly. What if the screen fails wala ka na aircon?

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    Replies
    1. Ganun din sa MG 5 at di ko gusto iyan. Dapat hiwalay ang aircon controls sa infotainment system.

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  10. Such a sexist review.
    This review is the only negative one as opposed to the many other reviewers and journos.. test the car yourself to find out. Take this one with a grain of sand

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    Replies
    1. Oh yes he should test drive the unit first.

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    2. uhhh I think you should read it again, there is a fuel consumption amount as well. So I guess he did test drive it

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  11. This review is distasteful and immature. No proof. BIAS. Mas maniniwala ako sa mga car reviews with videos. Some were asking is the car reliable? Now I am asking "is this review reliable"?

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    Replies
    1. Consistent ang review sa test drive experience ko ng FT

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  12. your first mistake was comparing a person to a machine. your second mistake was to objectify and sexualize a woman in ab automobile review. 2020 na uly, grow up pls. yang style mo na yan, pag nagka anak ka, magandang babae ibibigay sayo, pambayad utang lol.

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  13. He said he maybe too harsh to the Territory, but i think he is just being harsh to CHINA.

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  14. The only honest review ive seen so far :)

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  15. Waah, Ford must be having a major major turn on reading this review.
    But I do agree when it comes to Ford, they don't seem to get it right many times. They brought in the Escape oops, too expensive, too gas guzzling too boring design. Leave it. The little Ecosport, it sizzled initially then they seem to forget about it, worst, transmission problems begins to surface. Then there was the Lynx, the Focus. All orphaned. Ford has only two segments that's still breathing normally their pick ups and SUV. The safe bet is, unless you're buying a pick up or an SUV, shun them.

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  16. Uly, how do you get the curb weight figures of the cars you review? do you weigh them yourself or do you simply list the manufacturer's claimed curb weight? i noticed for example you listed the 2019 ford ranger wildtrak bi turbo 4x4's curb weight as 1,880 kilos when on another review i saw on youtube in australia it weighs daw 2,200 plus kilos, the same model. then again on your 2019 xlt ranger 4x2 a/t review you listed it weighs 2,080 kilos. I'm assuming some of them are typos, of course. I think weight is one of the most underrated specs people should think about. thanks for always including them on each of your reviews!

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    Replies
    1. We just use whatever the car manufacturer gave us.

      In the case of Ford's new Ranger line-up, they don't give the curb weights officially. In this case, we used the Gross Vehicle Weight and subtract the payload capacity.

      For the XLT Ranger in 2019, if memory serves, they did provide the curb weight then.

      It's not the best solution I know, but better than keeping the line blank.

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  17. What's with all the hate in the comments? Are everyone really acting like overly sensitive girls in 2020? Grow a pair guys. Have some sense of humor.

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  18. I also think that this review is too negative. I honestly think that Ford is trying to give us more value to our money and I appreciate it regardless if it has Chinese DNA. While some automakers stripped their cars to gain more profit, Ford brings all the tech and driver/passenger comfort at a lower price which I see as a good thing for us buyers.

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