Returning to the mid-sized crossover market won’t be an easy task, but Ford reckons that the new Territory will be up to the challenge.

As promised during its centennial of South African manufacturing at the end of 2023, Ford is about to re-enter the mid-sized SUV market with the new Territory. The company has now released more information about this upcoming model, which is set to arrive in the second quarter of 2024.

This is the old Ford Territory turbo (ST in South Africa). The new one is a completely different animal.

Old name, very different SUV

The previous outing of the Territory nameplate came in the form of an Australian-sourced large SUV with a potent inline-6-cylinder engine, and even spawned a turbocharged ST version. The days of the performance-enhanced ST models are over, though, and the Aussie Falcon from which the old Territory was derived was discontinued years ago.

Built in China, the new Ford Territory is smaller than its old namesake, and only comes with a 4-cylinder engine and FWD.

This time around, the Territory nameplate is applied to a mid-sized crossover SUV sourced from Ford’s Chinese venture. It is a soft-roader intended to compete with the Hyundai Tucson, Kia Sportage, Mazda CX-5, and Volkswagen Tiguan. These are formidable opponents, so Ford SA probably doesn’t expect an easy ride back into this segment after the Kuga's departure in 2021.

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The new Ford Territory wears a very assertive face, but doesn't look much like other current Ford products...


Three trim levels will be available from launch, all powered by a 1.8-litre turbocharged petrol engine with 138 kW and 318 Nm on tap. Power goes to the front wheels only, via a 7-speed wet-clutch DCT with no manual option. The focus (sorry!) is on family-friendly versatility, an upmarket appearance and modern technology, rather than outright performance or all-road capability.

With its attractive but simple design, most owners should feel at home in the new Ford Territory's interior.

As expected, the Territory’s practicality will be a strong suit, with a dual-level centre console and no fewer than 20 individual stowage spaces inside the cabin to compliment the 448-litres of luggage space with all seats in use. Folding the 60/40 split rear seats will liberate up to 1 422-litres of cargo volume.

Safety equipment is quite comprehensive across the board, with the expected 6 airbags, stability control, ABS, and rear parking sensors featured on all variants. A rear-view camera and automatic headlights and wipers only appear on the mid-level trim, however, while buyers will have to look at the top-end variant to get more driver assistants such as front parking sensors, blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist, rear cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise control with traffic jam assist, and automatic emergency braking.

The launch line-up

The Territory follows Ford’s current trim level designations, with the base model carrying the Ambiente moniker. Entry-level buyers will receive all-LED lighting, manual air conditioning, keyless entry with pushbutton start, cruise control, rear parking sensors, and a 12.3-inch infotainment screen with smartphone mirroring fronting a 6-speaker audio system with Bluetooth, 3 USB ports, and steering wheel controls as standard equipment.

The top-line Ford Territory Titanium trim features these attractive, comfy-looking and electrically-adjustable leather seats.

Mid-level Trend specification adds a power-operated tailgate, vinyl seat upholstery instead of fabric, dual-zone climate control, wireless charging, and a self-dimming rear-view mirror. The range-topping Titanium upgrades the upholstery to full leather, and adds electric front seat adjustment (10-way for the driver, 4-way for the passenger), an opening panoramic sunroof, multi-colour ambient lighting, a digital instrument cluster, and an audio system upgrade to 8 speakers. Its exterior appearance also reflects its premium positioning, with 19-inch alloy wheels (instead of 18-inchers) and chromed door handles setting its appearance apart from the rest of the range.

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There's 440 litres of luggage space available if the all the seats in a new Ford Territory are in use.

Territory pricing is still unclear

Prices will only be confirmed at the time of the Territory’s local launch, but Ford reckons that the Ambiente will costs around R 610 000 in today’s money. That positions the base Territory only slightly higher than the entry-level (but Euro-sourced and thus quite expensive) Puma compact crossover, and neatly fills the gap between the small Puma and huge Everest in Ford’s line-up.

However, the Ford Territory will face the same threat as other legacy automakers’ mid-level SUVs - the threat posed by the Chinese-branded SUV brigade. These alternatives may not have the same brand recognition as the Ford product, but they are equally Chinese-made and even better-equipped at this price level. We can’t wait to meet the reborn Territory, find out how it compares to these opponents in the real world, and see how many sales it can grab in a very crowded market segment.

Martin Pretorius


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