Seeing the Next-Gen Ford Territory is like looking at someone you’ve known for years.
You’ve seen their upgrades, you’ve heard their stories and milestones, and you know the journey of who they used to be and who they are now.
My first foray at the Territory was when we drove it off in the midst of the pandemic back in 2021.
It seemed like a feature-packed vehicle apt for the techies and those who prefer to modernize the way they drive. The roads back then were perfect for a test drive, since there were little to no vehicles in sight.
The next year, I brought it with me as I celebrated my birthday at a beach resort in Calatagan, Batangas. I’ve seen its capabilities during a road trip and how it made the drivers and passengers comfortable during a long drive.
This year, I had an opportunity to drive the Next-Generation Ford Territory Titanium. And boy, the experience is much, much different.
It’s like coming across someone who just leveled up, and you just want to get territorial so no one else would have them.
All eyes on you, my magician
At a glance, the Next-Generation Territory commands attention. Up front, it exudes a tougher stance with its honeycomb grille, signature daytime running lamps, and full LED headlights lowered towards the ground.
Its 10mm longer wheelbase and ground clearance made the vehicle stand out on the road. And its 18-inch Alloy Wheels? It just added to a tough guy vibe.
Think: Someone with broad shoulders whom you can cry and rely on.
All eyes were on me as I drove past everyone around the city. The unit I have is coated in Ruby Red, giving off a sleek yet seductive aura that makes you want to cradle your fingers and touch its frame.
Its rear design is equally stunning, creating a tough imagery that you don’t want to mess with. It looked bulky on its rear, like yours truly, but it had a solid, spacious vibe for a 5-seater SUV.
The 3D LED Taillights added to that tough look, especially when you see the Territory at night.
Somehow, the Next-Gen Territory Titanium in Ruby Red exhibited how I liked my partner. I want it to be attention-grabbing, but you can only stare at it because I’m the one commanding it. It’s already my territory.
I’ll be your commander
We’ve already talked about how the Ford Territory is a techie’s paradise. In the Next-Gen Territory, it turned the vehicle quite into a moving, rideable gadget.
Upon entering, I was greeted by its long, fully digital dashboard. It has a 12-inch central touchscreen complemented with a 7-inch digital instrument cluster.
You can check the settings, devices connected, music source, and Ford’s SYNC technology that lets you connect with Android Auto or Apple CarPlay.
It also has access to controls of all vehicle functions from air temperature to vehicle settings such as lights, locks, door & windows, and more.
The Adaptive Cruise Control is on the left side of the steering wheel, and the star button opens up the different driving modes.
The right side of the steering wheel makes it easy to connect your devices and adjust music playback and the volume while driving.
On the driver’s left side, you can find the lock and unlock buttons, along with the keys to the car’s windows and the adjustment buttons for the side mirrors.
Meanwhile, the center console houses plenty of controls and compartments for various needs.
Beneath the physical controls for the A/C system, you can find the wireless charging pad. It’s been particularly useful when I forgot my lightning cable for my iPhone.
During my long drive to the South, I just kept my iPhone wirelessly charging to ensure I had enough battery throughout the day and night.
Underneath, you can find a USB-A and USB-C port. Of course, I wasn’t able to use it since I forgot my cable. Luckily, I have a USB-C to USB-A cable which powered my OPPO Find N3 Flip and subsequently connected to Android Auto.
The Next-Generation Territory comes with a rotary dial shifter, instead of the traditional gear shifter. It contributed to a more sophisticated interior, but I felt stupid adjusting to the shifter. I get anxious whenever I’m too slow to shift between modes and the motorcycles are honking.
The change in shifter comes with the new 7-speed automatic transmission with a wet-dual clutch system mated for the Next-Generation Territory.
On the other end of the center console are the volume controls, other buttons for music and connectivity, and the electric parking brake that you can flick on a switch.
Beside the rotary shifter and electric parking brake is a cup holder that can be closed when empty.
There’s also a big compartment in the center console where you can slide a tray to see the whole compartment covered up by the armrest. The tray has been helpful at times when you don’t know where to put all the cards and anything you give and receive through the windows while driving.
Underneath, it became a storage space for every mess I had while driving: parking tickets, drive-thru receipts, gas receipts, and other papers meant to be in the trashcan.
Also, above the rearview mirror are controls for lights and storage for your sunglasses. It has been helpful in safekeeping since I used to misplace my glasses when in a hurry or end up breaking them.
Comfort in driving
The Next-Generation Territory takes pride in an efficient performance while providing comfort, both for the driver and passengers. It uses an EcoBoost 1.5L engine with a 7-speed automatic transmission that technically handles more torque.
It comes with four selectable drive modes: Eco, Normal, Sport, and Mountain. Of course, I didn’t get to use Sport since I’m afraid of speeding up, and I didn’t opt for a Mountain mode since my uphill drives are always on paved roads and not rocky trails.
I’m happy switching between Eco and Normal mode when driving in Manila traffic or cruising along the freeway.
The steering wheel has been light and easy to maneuver, and the same sentiments were shared by my friends whom I asked for help when I was filming and taking photographs of the interior.
It felt lightweight and effortless to drive, but you know that it can surely pack a punch. After all, it’s built to take on different road conditions — even if it’s not a 4×4.
Parking made easier
I think this won’t change anytime soon, but I’m deeply in love with Ford’s Advanced Driver-Assist Technologies. Comparing it to the vehicles I drove this year, nothing still beats the safety features equipped with Ford’s vehicles.
It’s still evident in the Next-Gen Territory. When parking, I always get anxious about fitting in between vehicles. Perpendicular and angle parking are made easier using Active Park Assist and through the help of the 360-degree camera.
Though I take pride in my ability to parallel park, the built-in technology still made it easier to alight without hitting a curb.
Made for long drives
Long and night drives are also a breeze. When I was picking up and dropping off my beau in the South, I had to drive around Eton City in Laguna. Navigating expressways and almost pitch-black roads seems like a challenge, but nothing that can’t be conquered by the Next-Gen Territory.
Every time a vehicle is detected by the sensor, the Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) with Rear Cross Traffic Alert sounds an alarm to notify me about an incoming vehicle.
It definitely helped whenever I’m speeding up and changing lanes on the freeway. That, or when I’m overtaking a bunch of slow-moving cars.
For memorable adventures
The Next-Gen Territory is built for making core memories. It’s an ideal daily driver suited for everyday adventures. Comfort and safety are its top features, both on short, city drives and long drives out of town.
It’s perfect for navigating the city, cruising from one adventure to another, or seeing new places to visit and experience with people close to your heart.
I was able to bring it for my regular training sessions, hop between cafes and restaurants, visit some friends and families, and even drive 80km for a date night.
Somehow, the Next-Gen Territory really looked like an ideal partner. Not just as a vehicle, but as a mirror of the person that should be in our lives.
Someone who’s willing to go through adventures with us, brave hellish traffic, and make plenty of moments to cherish.
Life is one big adventure, and the Next-Gen Ford Territory Titanium can help you own every moment.
What I learned riding the Hatasu HERO
As a 1st-time e-bike user
Two and three-wheeled electric bikes have become a staple in the greater Metro Manila areas. Even beyond that too where cities and municipalities are not as busy as in the country’s capital. But where streets are developed enough with popular establishments like convenience stores, coffee shops, fast-food restaurants, laundry services, and more.
I have lived in a family compound cul-de-sac surrounded by subdivisions for as long as I have been existing. And I must say the e-bike is definitely a game-changer for residents living in rural to suburban areas.
Without a doubt, the e-bike is useful to ferry your children to your local elementary or private school. Going to buy lunch? Just hop onto one and save yourself time and energy. For others who work just nearby, it has become the alternative mode of transportation to get to the workplace or to get out of the looban and to the nearest loading/unloading station for jeeps and buses.
Just to give a better picture, our house is a few hundred meters away from the barangay’s main road. Even farther from the city’s major highways. I’m spared from the noise of cars, trucks, and buses. But have to deal with dogs, cats, and even chickens and ducks daily.
Tricycles are the main mode of transportation for commuters to get to the city “center” and for those who have to go to Manila daily. Sari-sari stores are the go-to for most purchases that are needed quickly, while talipapas provide the locals with fresh produce.
It’s normal for residents for such an environment to just walk daily for errands here and there. Those who have day jobs opt for motorcycles, which come in very cheap monthly payment rates.
An everyday hero
Hatasu was generous enough to grant us temporary usage of the Hatasu HERO. It’s the brand’s latest three-wheeler which is marketed as an “everyday hero.” It can accomplish basically everything I mentioned above. It retails for just PhP 64,990 and is readily available via Lazada.
The demo unit I received came in a gray body with the HERO’s signature black mask-looking windshield and roof. It came complete with a charger cord, a helmet, and a trapal in case of driving under inclement weather.
At first glance, it’s already a standout compared to most e-bikes I see in my barangay. It has that certain stylishness and elegance. The Hatasu HERO has a bigger front wheel with suspension to complement braking. There is a spacious compartment under the back seat. It can fit medium to big bags or a few boxes of groceries. There is also a cage on the rear for extra storage.
Running errands and more
Given my setup where I work mostly from home and only have to commute to Metro Manila about two to three times weekly for other endeavors, the e-bike provided me a helping hand when it came to going out to do chores. Obviously, I cannot drive it along major highways, but it made practical tasks easier.
I was able to go to my preferred laundry shop that was about one-and-a-half kilometers away and purchase some food along the way back home. As there is also a nearby cemetery that is just three kilometers from our compound, I invited my cousin to just use the e-bike with me to visit her late mother, who passed away a few months ago.
Before the day I was scheduled to have the model returned, I was also able to test it for a longer run when I had to take my girlfriend home from our compound to her subdivision in Imus. The journey took above nine kilometers for one way. We even had a stopover at a nearby McDonald’s branch. After wrapping up the trip, the e-bike lost just one bar from its battery indicator (four bars at full).
It was in these uses where the existence of e-bike serves its purpose. I didn’t have to charge the Hatasu HERO a lot throughout the week-long use for short trips. I was also impressed by its power as it was able to maneuver past rough roads with relative ease. The three-speed switcher on the right handle also gave me flexibility against humps and when driving on the main road that required more speed. On paper, the Hatasu HERO has a listed speed of 20 to 25 kph, but I was able to take it to as fast as 35 kph.
Throughout this short experience, I’ve picked up a few takeaways.
E-bikers need an equivalent driving school course
What made it a breeze for me throughout the trip was the fact that I own a driver’s license and underwent driving school training. I just had to apply the basics of driving to get accustomed to the e-bike in less than a day.
On the road, I stayed on the rightmost part of the traffic as I know e-bikes do not run as fast as motorcycles or four-wheelers. I always use the turn signal lights, switch from different speeds depending on the situation, and use the horn when I must.
On the downside, not everyone underwent the same training as I did. It’s obvious that most e-bike users own e-bikes because it’s what they can afford at the moment given how tough the economy is. However, the lack in basic driving knowledge manifests on the streets, where it can get chaotic at times. I’m sure people have had the experience of watching examples on social media. Minors can even drive e-bikes because there are no rules enforced against it yet.
This is an issue that government offices have to address moving forward to standardize the usage of e-bikes. In Imus, Cavite, fortunately, the LGU requires e-bikes to be registered for just a small fee and a few documentary requirements. Drivers shall also be given a small plate number. This registration is renewed every year.
Aside from streamlining that process, it is imperative that e-bike owners undergo some sort of equivalent driving school seminar at the very least, so they can familiarize themselves with the intricacies of driving and the do’s and don’ts on the road. That way, we can share our roads better, and get to my second point, which is:
We’re far away from a society where various vehicles can co-exist, but getting there
As mentioned, we are still ways to go from seeing streets where bicycle, e-bike, motorcycle, and private vehicle owners can co-exist smoothly.
I felt this the most during the trip where I had to drop my girlfriend home. Motorcycles kept overtaking right. E-bike users do not use their turn signals and tail-gate larger vehicles which can totally be dangerous. Some stay in the “fast lane” which stalls traffic behind.
Again, this stems from the lack of education about driving, which can be addressed by stakeholders altogether. I am all for leveraging technology and utilizing it to make our lives easier. However, we cannot be selfish about it either because we all live in one collective society. It’s always about give-and-take.
I’m willing to keep one
Of course, that may change if in another world, I live in, say, a condominium in the bustling metro areas or somewhere else. However, given the status quo, even a two-wheeler e-bike does its job and makes our daily lives more efficient. I can understand why middle-class families or individuals have opted for such an alternative vehicle.
For one, it’s eco-friendly since it uses electricity, and very cheap to maintain compared to owning a car. It charges for about eight hours from one bar to full, which does not cost much compared to fuel. Fuel prices also depend on the global economy as well. You can also just wipe the entire vehicle clean with a damp cloth, instead of having to go to the carwash regularly.
The compact form of the Hatasu HERO makes it a space-saver as well. Especially in subdivisions or compounds with narrow streets and for families who do not have the luxury of owning large lots.
Lastly, it’s very affordable. At aPhP 20,000 to PhP 70,000 price range, it’s more realistic to finance a model or just pay in straight cash. And just like cars used for courier or ride-hailing services, you can use e-bikes to support your small business or side hustle like deliveries or having a local school service for kids.
Riding the Hatasu HERO for one week certainly opened my eyes to what else needs to be done to make the world a better place. If that sounds tricky to do, it’s because it is. Perhaps, we can start somewhere — like our society, and a be a “hero” everyone else looks up to.
Honda launches CONNECT app: Safety and security at one’s fingertips
Enhancing the ownership experience
Honda Cars Philippines has officially launched Honda CONNECT. It’s an app that automates customer service and offers Honda car owners a full package of safety, security, and convenience.
The app is available as a free three-year subscription for owners of the all-new Honda CR-V. Owners will get a telematics-based (TCU) version of Honda CONNECT that connects the phone of the owner with their car.
Some features include Automatic Collision Detection, Security Alarm, Remote Diagnostic Support, Speed Alert, Geofencing, Vehicle Dashboard Information, and Remote Vehicle Control.
The new service also supports Find My Car to make it easier for drivers to locate their parked vehicle.
For owners of other Honda models, the app is also available as a non-TCU platform, allowing owners to make emergency calls for 24/7 roadside assistance and browse location search for places of interest such as gas stations, ATMs, convenience stores, and more.
Everyday hero: HATASU HERO ebike now official
Multi-ride, easy go
HATASU ebike has launched the HATASU HERO, the company’s latest three-wheeler model and sixth product offering overall.
The latest addition to the company’s growing lineup of e-bikes is a multi-use, easy-go e-bike that can cater to daily riding needs such as household use, service, business, and more.
Designed to help users save their respective days, the HATASU HERO has a 250-kilogram capacity to support up to three adults or have someone fetch a bunch of kids from nearby schools.
It has top speeds of up to 20 to 25 kph and can cover 60 to 70 kilometers in one full charge.
The HATASU HERO comes in virtually an all-black design, sporting a splash guard in front, along with eagle-eye headlights that resemble a superhero mask.
The three-wheeler comes with a patented leather roof and back cover similar to a superhero cape, so users won’t have to worry about purchasing attachable roofs as add-ons
The e-bike also has an under seat and back compartment for riders to be able to load more goods such as groceries.
Inside is a high-powered 650W differential motor and an upgraded controller for better acceleration.
Accompanying the setup outside are dual and reverse horns and a motorcycle suspension fork, as well as a stainless front fender and large front wheel.
The HATASU HERO is priced at PhP 64,990 and is available in HATASU ebike dealers and online via Lazada.
Customers who purchase from November 15 will also receive a limited gift box worth PhP 1,790 and five raffle entries to HATASU’s Holiwheels Raffle Promo.
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