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Chart her Territory

Chart her Territory

Tessa R. Salazar

These young, empowered women find an ideal crossover partner in Ford

Many times underestimated, women will still go about being resilient multitaskers and often-unheralded achievers.

In a male-dominated motoring industry, pop culture has often shown the men as the ones literally and figuratively behind the wheel. But times are changing. US-based media organization showed in a 2015 article that women play a key role in 85 percent of auto purchases. This was echoed in a Forbes study in 2019 revealing that women buy 62 percent of all new cars sold in the United States and influence more than 85 percent of all car purchases.

In the Philippines, a JD Power study found that in 2016, 45 percent of car purchases were made by women, up from just 31 percent in 2013. Indeed, women driving their own cars have come to symbolize freedom and empowerment all over the world, and this year’s celebration of International Women’s Month in March would most likely include images of women driving their own cars, bought with their own hard-earned money.

A good number of women have been buying compact SUVs or crossovers, most likely because of the vehicle design’s inherent versatility and adaptability to rapidly changing road and transport conditions—a good reflection of women’s ability to adapt to life’s changing circumstances. A compact SUV or crossover can also exude both elegance and toughness—qualities that women also possess, and express when needed.

In the plethora of compact SUVs and crossovers raining down on the local market, the Ford Territory compact crossover SUV stands out as one which seems to attract a lot of attention from women buyers. I recently got in touch with four such owners of the Territory, and found out why they chose this over a wide range of other brands.

Comfort matters

Rica Monique A. Medina and hubby Nathaniel own a Ford Territory 2022 Titanium in Diffused Silver. Six months and 5,500 km later, Rica assesses her ownership experience of the Territory so far as being “all worth it” and “amazing for its price”.

“Driving and riding my Territory shows that comfortability matters. It’s smooth and very lady driver friendly,” Rica quips.

Rica Medina

A training specialist in her 30s with over 10 years of driving experience, Rica also takes note of the Territory’s bonuses: “Safety features, such as autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control (ACC), forward collision warning, lane, park and even blind spot assist warnings—the ACC, in particular, is a big help especially when gas prices are crazy! (It’s almost like) the car already drives for you.”

Rica, who considered buying a Honda Civic before deciding to go for the Territory, says that her crossover turned out to be an ideal fit for the family. “The roomy legroom was just right, as my hubby and I are a bit big. Even our parents, when they ride with us, enjoy the legroom and the comfort at the backseat,” she shares.

Though the Territory is the couple’s only car, they don’t need to use the vehicle every day since they still maintain a work-from-home setup. It’s during the weekends that they get to go on road trips, to nearby Rizal province or in Tagaytay City, “to relax and catch some fresh, cool air.”

To better manage fuel consumption, Rica says she usually fills up at a gas station that offers cheaper fuel. “We just have to deal with these price hikes every bit we can. But as long as we’re comfortable and relaxed in our Territory, everything’s still okay,” Rica asserts.

‘Serial Ford owner’

Mariel Medina, 45, a marketing head of BTI Payments Philippines Inc, drove home her brand-new Territory Titanium just this February. The odometer in that car has barely gone over 600 km.

But don’t let that paltry distance fool you. Mariel has had a much longer drive experience with the Ford brand. In 2007, she was driving an Explorer. In 2012, she owned an Escape, and in 2017, she bought an Everest. In fact, one may call Mariel a “serial Ford owner”, hunting for her next Ford vehicle every five years.

As for the Territory, it was “love at first look”. “I chose the Territory mainly because I like the way it looks—like a baby Explorer—and the value for money. It has so many features compared to other cars in the same price range. I didn’t really consider checking out other cars. And I never had any issues with the Ford brand,” Mariel stressed.

Mariel Medina

Being a solid iPhone user as well, Mariel says she enjoys using her SUV’s Apple CarPlay. “I like the screen and the way it’s seamlessly integrated into the dashboard. The 360-degree camera makes the car so much easier to park,” she observes.

She does have a suggestion or two for the next Territory models: “It might be useful to offer physical controls for the air-conditioning. I have a hard time quickly adjusting AC settings because the controls are in the infotainment system. Also, the center console needs a tray. It has a lot of space but it’s too deep. A tray inside could hold coins and other small items.”

Her way to manage the high gas prices: “I plan my trips and schedule all my errands to avoid driving during rush hours.”

Ford vs Ford

Nurse Joy Ann Magallanes, 33, almost went for a Ranger. But a “complete 360” made her go for the Territory instead.

“Lifestyle-wise, my 2022 Territory Titanium offers convincing features that are unusual for crossovers. And the 360-degree camera won me over hands down. As a first-time car owner it has helped me a lot and has boosted my confidence in driving, be it on provincial roads or city driving,”

Joy Ann Magallanes

Joy Ann states. Joy Ann says she uses her Territory regularly. She recalls one road trip that had her behind the wheel for two days straight, and assessed that the Territory was, indeed, comfortable to drive even in long hauls.

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Admitting that the recent fuel price hikes were, indeed, a challenge for her, Joy Ann says she has had to put more thought into her trips. “I’m still going on the same errands as before, so the least I could do to save on fuel is 1) Plan my trip, 2) Drive conservatively at all times, and 3) Avoid long idling,” she enumerates.

A house with a Territory

Tricia Trinidad, 24, considers 2021 her lucky year, for that was when she was able to own a house and a 2021 Territory Titanium.

Luck may not have been entirely responsible for that, though. She credits her sound academic background with her Business Administration degree at FEU Manila in 2018, and the grind of actual hard work as part of the workforce management at TPG Australia based in the Philippines. On the side, she also invested in stocks and in the businesses of her friends.

She was also inspired by her industrious parents, who invested in a 100-sqm lot in Tagaytay for her. When she was earning on her own, she assumed the payments for the property.

Tricia Trinidad

Aware that the money she would be parting with wasn’t easy to come by, Tricia shared that she considered many options before going for the Territory. “I looked at the Geely and MG brands. I saw that the Territory is packed with features and functions that are great for a woman like me to just easily drive and chill. It’s comfortable for me and my parents to have a long drive,” she says.

What completes the chill ambience of her Territory are the panoramic sunroof and the 360-degree camera—her favorite features.

Though her regular trips to Tagaytay have been on hold since fuel prices radically spiraled up in the past weeks, Tricia says gas prices won’t necessarily stop her from enjoying her very first car.

In good taste

I myself was given the opportunity to try the Territory last weekend. I was given the keys to a crystal pearl white 1.5L Ecoboost Titanium variant, plus a meal reservation for a vegan brunch at the Farmer’s Table in Nurture Wellness Village in Tagaytay City.

In that short, 100-km drive to and from the restaurant, I was able to confirm the Territory owners’ observations. The noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH) were, indeed, at a minimum. The ride comfort was truly noticeable. And yes, the cabin and drive features were abundant for its price range. I would add that the responsiveness of the 1.5L Ecoboost engine mated to the CVT provided satisfying acceleration (on paper, the max power is 143ps and max torque is 225Nm). My fuel consumption yielded 9 km on city and 13 km on the expressways, consistent with the owners’ readouts.

For women now marking their own territories in their chosen fields of expertise, may every month be your month. It’s time to show that the best man for the job may truly be a woman.