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The Ford SUV experience

The recreational lifestyle in Central Luzon

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Clockwise from top: the Ford Explorer V6 EcoBoost, Everest 4x4, Escape EcoBoost, and EcoSport.

Clockwise from top: the Ford Explorer V6 EcoBoost, Everest 4×4, Escape EcoBoost, and EcoSport.

Text by Neil Pagulayan photos by Ford

When people buy SUVs, more often than not, they’re never quite utilized to their full potential. They’re capable of far more and Ford Philippines let us drive their four SUVs in their elements.

We started off with the EcoSport. This compact crossover SUV was perfect for our first activity: a road trip through the back roads of Pampanga and over the Megadike from Angeles City to San Fernando where our first stop was. At a roadside stall, we learned how to make festive Christmas Lanterns (parols).

Ford Explorers take on som tough terrain.

Ford Explorers take on som tough terrain.

After that, we headed to Nepo market back in Angeles city and this is where the EcoSport came into its own. It was easy to negotiate into tight parking spaces where we bought pasalubong, and coconuts, and loaded them in crates that were easily swallowed up by the EcoSport’s 333 liter cargo area. The EcoSport showed itself to be the perfect vehicle for daily use and weekend road trips, powered by a 1.5L four-cylinder gasoline engine that puts out 110Ps and 142Nm of torque with a six-speed Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT).

Errands are made easy with large cargo space, and easy parking with its compact dimensions and electric power-assisted steering.  Its 550mm wading depth is ideal for areas that encounter flash floods during the wet season and its 200mm high ground clearance is great for getting over bumps and ruts in the road.

After lunch, we headed to the Sacobia River bed in the Ford Everest Titanium.  In a trail frequented by off-roaders, the terrain showcased the 4×4 capabilities of the Everest on stony, sandy areas composed of volcanic ash and through some streams.  Some areas were hazardous with quick sand and dry patches that weren’t packed down as hard. With an instructor on hand to help us read the terrain, he showed us which modes on the Everest’s Terrain Management System (TMS) to employ when off the beaten path. When we got to our campsite, we had some snacks and then drove out the same way we came in to get back to the hotel.

Ford Escapes cater to the active lifestyle at Lakeshore in Pampanga.

Ford Escapes cater to the active lifestyle at Lakeshore in Pampanga.

The Ford Everest’s 200Ps and 470Nm’s of torque was more than sufficient to get us in and out of the lahar beds. The 225mm ground clearance was tall enough to clear the rocks and boulders.

On Day 2, we took the Explorer Sport V6 EcoBoost for a long drive on the highway to Green Canyon Resort.  From Clark, we made our way out to SCTEX where we got to stretch the legs of the Explorer’s turbocharged 3.5 V6 engine.  370Ps with 470Nm of torque made short work of overtaking on the highway.  Once there, its All-Wheel drive had no trouble with the dirt roads and dry, rocky riverbeds.  The ride was luxurious and, despite the rough terrain, it was still plush and comfortable.

Last but not least was the Ford Escape. We headed to Lakeshore in Mexico, Pampanga — roughly 42kms away from our hotel — where we took on the active lifestyle and saw how perfectly it pairs with the capabilities of the Ford Escape.  The Escape’s turbocharged 2.0 liter EcoBoost gasoline engine puts out an impressive 237Ps and 366Nm of torque, paired with all-wheel drive, makes it more than adequate for most drives. It seats five, so you and four of your closest friends can zip out to hit the mountain bike trails or a quick out of town cruise to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

At Lakeshore we tried some of the activities available like kayaking, a motorboat ride around the lagoon, mountain biking around the facility and even did something pre-iPad… fly some kites.

It was interesting to experience the associated recreational lifestyles with the different Ford SUV’s and getting a feel for what the intended customers could do with the vehicles. It turns out that the different personalities of Ford’s SUV’s are a perfect match for their intended markets and lifestyles.  It goes to show there’s a Ford for everyone!

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