A brand known for churning out sales hits is Ford, it seems that time after time the automaker is able to keep itself relevant by launching vehicles that appeal to the Filipinos. One such model is the Territory, despite being sold in the Philippines for just a few years it enjoys a healthy following and is one of the more popular models in the country.
In fact, the all-new 2023 Ford Territory has already sold 1,500 units since its introduction a few months ago, which is no small feat. I was personally curious to find out what all the fuss is about, and lucky for me Ford had something in mind.
Daytrip with the Ford Territory
The brand decided to invite me along with a few of my media colleagues to what they call a ‘pocket media drive’ from the heart of BGC to the coffee-growing province of the country, Cavite. We first met up for a much-needed breakfast and coffee boost at Hai Chix in BGC, despite being known for its sumptuous steaks the restaurant also hides a coffee lover’s secret.
Inside the restaurant is a cafe called Coopers Coffee, and I kid you not when I say that they serve some of the best caffeine delights in the city (I personally recommend the Brown Butter Latte).
After we filled ourselves up it was time to meet the cars taking us on the journey south, at first glance you can tell that the Territory has taken on a new design philosophy. Gone are the reserved curves and lines of the previous generation, and in comes a sportier and sleeker look. Overall, I think the all-new version looks so much better than before and will probably age better as well. Despite being the entry-level Titanium variant one would be hard-pressed to tell that it wasn’t the top of the line, Ford did a good job of making it look just as good and as complete as the Titanium X.
For this part of the journey, I elected to be a passenger to see if the Territory had improved in terms of comfort. This is because I believed that the previous iteration leaned more toward comfort rather than sportiness, and I’m happy to report that it continues to excel in that aspect. With the bigger proportions it was apparent how much better this Territory reacted to the inconsistent road conditions, on the highway it was smooth sailing and the NVH levels are much improved as well. While on the bumpy unpaved provincial roads, it provided a more than decent ride all throughout.
In terms of being a place to sit in the all-new Ford Territory is better than ever, I like how the brand put effort into creating a unique interior that has an abundance of soft-touch materials, but what I liked most was the dark blue interior color which is a welcome break away from the usual monotony of black and chrome. I appreciate the fact that even if the Ford Territory is a ‘China-built’ model, they found a way to offer both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
After a relaxing drive south, we arrived at our destination, a quaint farmhouse called the Coffee Farmhouse. It was here that we got the lowdown on one of the most sought-after but often overlooked commodities; Coffee. We were met by the gracious (and chatty) owner of the farmhouse who explained to us the history and struggles of Coffee farming in the Philippines.
A once vibrant local industry has now been reduced to nothing more than a hobby, our host explained how local conditions and lack of political support have severely affected the industry as a whole.
I must say though that the Coffee Farmhouse provides a very welcome and relaxing ‘hidden’ atmosphere for those who are just looking for a quick getaway. The whole property oozes old-world charm with the classic ‘provincial farmhouse’ architecture found in the tiny buildings that litter the property, all the way to the homey vibes given by the food we had for lunch and the general attitude of those who work there. The place also offers a plethora of family activities for those with younglings or friends.
The highlight of the trip would have to be the ‘Coffee Talk’ which consisted of the history of Coffee, our host thoughtfully explained the different kinds of coffee and all the processes and tools that come with it. In the end though, what I took away from the whole talk was that coffee is all down to personal preference, there is no 100% correct making it. It all comes down to how you as an individual consumes the product.
At days end
As the skies darkened and the rumble of thunder rolled around the countryside, it was time to head home. It was my turn to take driving duties and I was keen to find out what kind of ‘drive’ the Territory has to offer. As mentioned earlier, the Ford Territory likes to position itself as a comfortable crossover, and that fact was again made obvious when I took the wheel.
Immediately I felt that the car does not like being rushed, while I’m sure you can hustle the Territory along it would rather take its sweet time to gradually build up speed as opposed to sudden bursts of acceleration. The laid-back nature helped make the whole drive back relaxing and fuss-free even if we were slap-bang in the middle of rush hour traffic. Take note though that because of this overtakes on provincial roads and highways must be planned and timed properly to avoid any ‘tricky’ situations.
Upon reaching the end of our trip, It had dawned on me as to why the Ford Territory is selling in droves. Ford has done wonders with improving the overall feel and quality of the vehicle while also making it more accessible and palatable to buyers. I wasn’t wowed by the Territory, instead, I was impressed and pleased at how hassle-free it is as a vehicle to use. Not to mention that it’s now bigger, more powerful, and better equipped than before.
So just like the coffee preference, if what you want is laid-back, relaxed, and, practical motoring the all-new Ford Territory is the one for you.