There’s a new Ford Territory coming to South Africa in the second quarter of 2024, the carmaker has confirmed, but it’s nothing like the one we once knew.
That nameplate first found its way to our country in 2005 as a large Australian-built SUV based on the Falcon sedan’s rear-wheel drive platform.
The new Ford Territory is a midsize SUV that hails from China, and it was conceived out of a joint venture with JMC.
Rebadged as the Territory for export markets outside of China, it is known as the Ford Equator Sport in its home market, effectively a two-row version of the larger seven-seat Ford Equator.
Although a 1.5-litre EcoBoost engine is available in some markets, SA models will be powered by a 1.8-litre EcoBoost turbopetrol, which sends 140kW and 320Nm to the front wheels through a seven-speed automatic gearbox.
But what will it compete against?
At 4,615mm, it’s the same length as a Toyota Rav4, and slightly shorter than the Hyundai Tucson and Nissan X-Trail, although the Ford is wider than these models at 1,935mm.
That said, it remains to be seen exactly where Ford will position it in terms of pricing, although it’s likely to slot beneath the Everest, which starts at R848 300. In essence it could plug the gap left by the Spanish-built and ill-fated Kuga.
Ford SA says the Territory will be aimed at “young, smart and connected” customers, while offering a spacious cabin and advanced technologies.
The cabin is certainly big on screen real estate, pairing a 12.3-inch (31.2cm) digital instrument cluster with an identically sized touchscreen infotainment system. The latter can also be operated via a rotary controller on the centre console.
Having discontinued almost all of its passenger car models in the past few years, Ford South Africa is expanding its line-up once again, much to the relief of its dealer network.
That starts with the new Puma compact SUV, which is already in showrooms, and in addition to the new Territory, the carmaker will also be launching new versions of the Tourneo and Transit in 2024, as well as the all-new Mustang, while 2025 will see the introduction of the Mustang Mach-E SUV, as the first fully electric model to be offered locally.
Local specifications and pricing for the new Ford Territory will be announced closer to launch.