Discovering new territory with Mr. Gizmo
Break time: Just me and Mr. Gizmo
Discovering new territory with Mr. Gizmo
Kathy Moran (The Philippine Star) - September 12, 2020 - 12:00am

He is my three-year-old male, longhaired exotic cat. Named after Gizmo in the movie Gremlins, he looks all grumpy in a cute way, but in the years that we have lived together he has not once showed his teeth.

He is gentle, likes to follow me around the house, and his favorite pastime is to drum his paws on my stomach when I am lying in bed.

So, taking Mr. Gizmo for a test drive, when I can, is something I regularly used to do — during the “old normal” times.

It would begin with me introducing him to the vehicle the day before the drive — in this case, the recently launched all-new Ford Territory.

"The Ford Territory will boost our growing SUV lineup as a new product born out of Ford’s longstanding heritage and expertise in the utility segment,” says PK Umashankar, president and managing director of Ford Philippines, in a statement.

A beauty: The allnew Ford Territory.

I read out loud to Mr. Gizmo as he wanders in the backspace of the Territory. "We are confident that the Ford Territory will offer a new driving experience to Filipino customers as a modern, spacious and technologically advanced SUV that delivers great value.”

I was excited; couldn't say the same about Mr. Gizmo, who took some time familiarizing himself with the backspace of the SUV.

It is just like me to talk to my pet companions — and Mr. Gizmo got an earful of the tech specs of the new Territory.

"This five-seater small SUV is equipped with a 1.5L EcoBoost engine," I told him.  "It is mated to a CVT transmission that powers the Ford Territory to deliver refinement and fuel efficiency."

I continued to check out the Ford Co-Pilot360, a suite of driver-assist technology, including Active Park Assist with parallel parking and the segment-first perpendicular parking.

Is this for me: Mr. Gizmo feels the SUV out — and likes it.

Seeing that Mr. Gizmo was now lounging in the back compartment, I knew it was time and he was ready for a drive.

Cats Rule

Since Mr. Gizmo was going with me for this test drive, I had made sure to take the Territory on a longer spin the night before.

After work last Tuesday and on my way home, I drove on the SLEX Skyway and exited at MCX in Susana Heights, headed for Alabang, and then on to the Alabang-Zapote road and home.

The drive in the Territory was smooth because the SUV is loaded with the Ford DNA, not just in design but also in its engineering and capability.

The ride was fun and so relaxing because the Ford Territory has been tested in its ride, handling and NVH (noise, vibration and harshness) to ensure it meets Ford’s stringent engineering and quality standards. These tests also gave the Ford Territory a finely tuned Ford suspension with exceptional ride comfort and refinement — for the bumpy roads I met along the way.

The Ford Territory’s engine is closely designed with Ford engineers in Europe to further develop the EcoBoost concept, giving it great power and fuel efficiency.

Hop on, Mr. Gizmo

Driving with a cat is much different from bringing a dog. Cats seem to prefer the safety of their carrier, and Mr. Gizmo is no exception.

Any reason is good enough for a road trip, but should you take your kitty along for the ride? Here's what I learned.

For a lot of us, it’s hard enough getting our cats into the car for a trip to the vet, let alone a road trip. But as someone who has driven many roads with Mr. Gizmo in the backseat of my car, I’m here to tell you that you can do it.

1. Before you leave, make sure that your cat is in good health.

2. Make sure you have a comfortable cat carrier. Each cat should have a carrier big enough for them to sit up comfortably in and stretch out, if needed.  Mr. Gizmo feels safe in his carrier.

3. Stay calm while driving. Cats are little emotional sponges, so if you’re stressed out, they will be, too.

4. Plan your route before you go. Make sure that if you need to get out of the car, your kitty continues to feel safe.

5. Keep it cool inside your car. Run your air conditioning a little bit colder than you might like it. Mr. Gizmo likes all the cooling he can get.

All these little tips make for a happy kitty, no matter how grumpy he may look.

DRIVE ON

There are many things to love about the Ford Territory, but I fell in love with its quiet engine — a pleasure to drive when there is already so much noise in my head.

Inside, the Ford Territory offers a refined experience with leather seat material, Smart Keyless Entry with Push Button Start, leather steering wheel with mounted controls, power door lock with central locking, speed sensing door locks, rearview mirror with auto-dimming and high-mount USB port and lots of back space for Mr. Gizmo to roam when I did decide to stop.

It is equipped with a selection of smart features like an in-vehicle infotainment display with a 10-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, four USB ports and multiple speakers.

Ford’s newest SUV also offers a variety of safety features, like the Ford Co-Pilot360, a suite of driver-assist technologies available in the Titanium+ variant that include Active Park Assist with parallel parking and the segment-first perpendicular parking, 360 Degree Around View Monitor, Adaptive Cruise Control with Forward Collision Warning, Autonomous Emergency Braking, Blind Spot Information System and Lane Departure Warning — useful when backing into space or when a silly driver decides to over take in a delicate spot.

I loved how safe I felt driving the Ford Territory. But more than that, I just had a great time with Mr. Gizmo in the back, as he sometimes purred as I talked to him about life.

The drive is always fun when I have someone I love to share it with and a comfy SUV to cocoon us from the world — even if just for a while.

Perfect.

To know more, visit www.ford.com.ph/suvs/territory or a Ford dealership nearest you — and bring your loved ones along

FORD
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