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If there’s one thing that 2020 has taught us after thoroughly roughing us up for more than 11 months, it is to adapt and persevere. Okay those are two things. And a third, is to be prepared- for whenever things come in bundles, good or bad. And for better or worse, these things have changed us and the way we live. Perhaps permanently. Working from home has created virtual partitions in my house. Each one of us at home is cloistered in our own “digital domain” for hours on end each day either for work or school. And, as much as it saddens me to admit it, it has made home a tad bit less homey despite all of us being under one roof all day. But, we’ve adjusted and recalibrated for it, and now it can be conveniently called our prevailing norm just like most everyone’s. 

Light at the end of the highway

And as things seemed to have gradually normalized in an abnormal kinda way, a lot of us have learned to be conscious and not careless, aware and not afraid, bold but not foolish, and have begun to venture off away from home not just out of practical necessity, but out of being empowered to fulfill the need to. And uncannily enough, I believe the auto industry has picked up on this trend, and has done some essential adapting as well to cater to what the market has evolved into. Some brands more than the others, and in that light, I feel Ford has always been one of the more receptive ones when it comes to engineering features that are not only effective, but also very timely.

Freedom in treading carefully

So if one follows the rules, one can drive off and travel in relative safety. Sure. But the clincher there is being able to enjoy it well, while one is at it. The Ford Territory is one such ride that fits the bill. Ford could have called it its Crossover for the pandemic, and those who’ve driven it would get it. At a time when one needs comfort, and not in the literal sense, a vehicle that can make you feel secure, at ease, at peace, and well- at home, is a gem in these times we’re in. 

Like it or not, we’ve all advanced at least a couple of notches in terms of being more proficient with (and well, dependent on) technology. One thing that the Ford Territory has an abundance of. Its cockpit is your interface, and what you “speak”, it seamlessly translates into action via its fluid dynamics- so there has to be a seamless connection between it and its driver. Details, small but exceptional, make it so. 

To me it starts with the comfortable seating that nestles me in with reassuring support for both my (hefty) weight and the forces of gravity that I stir up with my style of driving. Then the steering- sure, leather clad and replete with fingertip controls that make it an interface in itself. In spite of it being drive by wire, it provides well connected feedback that gifts me with a level of precision and handling feel that’s always a pleasure to be in total control of. The 1.5-liter EcoBoost engine is at my beck and call, without delay. Not neck-breaking powerful, but more than ample and responsive with its well-managed 143ps and 225 Nm or Torque. Shifting via its automatic CVT is transparent, unobtrusive, seamless. Couple that with a ride quality that’s smoother than usual for its category, it makes a quick grocery run almost as pleasurable as a road trip to a nearby resort.

But the Territory’s 10-inch touch screen that serves as the real interface between me and its infotainment system is the all-important puzzle piece that makes this driver-vessel synergy tight and complete. It’s far from utilitarian, or fancy just for the sake of. It’s functionally fun, and it has features that puts it above the others’ by a couple of tiers. I adore the easy pairing between my iOS device and its Apple Carplay, wirelessly. It’s got Android Auto, but you can’t curate your most special playlists like you can with Apple Music. Then there’s its adjustable viewing modes, that cater to your convenience. Make that quadrant bigger to easily dial in your climate control settings, then minimize it when done. Oh to be spoiled. The visuals are also quite sharp and vivid even during daytime, all the better to gaze at the high definition 360-degree view that it displays, as an indispensable guide whether you’re an expert driver or not…

I could go on, but not without giving special mention to a major plus, at least for me. I exaggerate not when I say it can shame some snooty branded audio systems from some premium luxury automobile brand in terms of sound quality, but it does. Not all Fords are this way, but this… I’m no stuck up hi-fi geek, but I do think I qualify as an audio professional with many years spent producing and mixing music… the Territory’s audio system sounds exceptionally good, and to me it’s a big deal. Yes you may sneer and laugh, but remember it’s your valuable companion especially during the horrid holiday traffic. 

I now get why it’s named that way

So. Months of quarantine, working from home, and understanding the value of finding a safe space for yourself- in every respect is during these times, is nearly invaluable. Ditching the hard sell, the Ford Territory is one of the few vehicles that can make me feel like it’s an extension of my home. It comforts. It brings elation. And it moves (no I don’t live in a motorhome). And it does make one feel like it indeed is his or her veritable territory. 

The Ford Territory is available at a starting retail price of P1,179,000. As an exclusive offer, customers availing of the Ford Territory Trend will get a free 5-year scheduled service plan (SSP)

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