Ford is continuing to introduce its Territory SUV to more global markets, and this year it’ll launch the vehicle in its first right-hand drive market.

    The Territory, also known in its home market of China as the Equator Sport, is arriving in South Africa, where it’ll slot in between the Puma and Everest as a rival for vehicles like the Toyota RAV4.

    Ford Australia has an even more sparse SUV lineup, having recently confirmed it’s discontinuing the petrol-powered Puma after swinging the axe on the mid-sized Escape.

    However, it has yet to announce any plans to follow South Africa in introducing the Chinese-built SUV. The Blue Oval has never offered Chinese-built vehicles in Australia.

    “We have no news to share about any plans to introduce the Ford Territory to Australia,” said a spokesperson for Ford Australia.

    Unlike the Australian Territory, which ended production in 2016 offering a choice of rear- or all-wheel drive and inline-six petrol or turbo-diesel V6 engines, the Chinese Territory is front-wheel drive and uses a smaller engine.

    Under the bonnet is a turbocharged 1.8-litre four-cylinder petrol engine producing 138kW of power and 318Nm of torque – instead of a turbo 1.5-litre used in China – mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.

    The Territory is already offered in a various left-hand drive markets, including Mexico, Brazil and Philippines.

    It’s a shorter, two-row version of the three-row Equator, another product of Ford’s joint venture with Chinese carmaker JMC.

    The Territory measures 4630mm long, 1935mm wide and 1706mm tall, on a 2726mm wheelbase. That makes it 16mm longer, 52mm wider and 49mm taller than the defunct Escape on a 16mm longer wheelbase.

    For reference, the larger Equator measures 4905mm long, 1930mm wide and 1755mm tall on a 2865mm wheelbase – very similar, dimensionally, to the old Aussie Territory.

    A full suite of active safety and driver assist technology is available, depending on the variant, which includes autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, lane-keep assist and rear cross-traffic alert.

    Other available equipment includes a panoramic sunroof, a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, a 12.3-inch infotainment touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a power tailgate.

    This isn’t the first time the Territory nameplate has been reused by Ford.

    It was first dusted off in 2018 on a rebadged Yusheng S330, slotting between the EcoSport and Escape in Ford’s Chinese lineup. This model is still offered in China as the Territory S, and has been offered in various Asian markets.

    Ford has two joint-venture partners in China: JMC and Changan.

    Through the Changan Ford joint venture, the Blue Oval has introduced new generations of the familiar Edge and Mondeo, but hasn’t reintroduced these nameplates in the markets where they originated from.

    Other forbidden fruit for Ford fans in markets like Europe, North America and Australia include the Evos, a higher-riding fastback sibling to the resurrected Mondeo, as well as the more upscale Lincoln Z sedan.

    Ford Australia has no mid-sized SUV going forward, following its axing last year of the Escape, unless you count the significantly more expensive, electric-only Mustang Mach-E.

    It won’t import the facelifted Escape/Kuga, while the related, boxier Bronco Sport is only produced in left-hand drive.

    William Stopford

    William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel, briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

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