SUVs

New Ford Territory is an electrified midsize SUV for China

Let's hope some parts of it make their way to the US.

The Escape is old as sin and could stand to be improved with a good deal of the Territory's kit.

Ford

Ford has a new midsize SUV -- but it's not for the US. Hopefully that'll change, and if it does, you'll be glad you know what could be just around the corner.

In order to further extend its reach in the Chinese market, Ford has unveiled the new Territory SUV. It was developed with Ford's Chinese joint-venture partner, Jiangling Motors Corporation. After all, who knows the taste of Chinese buyers better than a Chinese automaker?

The outside bears a closer resemblance to the subcompact EcoSport than anything else, with its relatively anonymous face marked with LED lights. Considering the US-spec Escape came out in 2012 and has been refreshed three times since then, a similar countenance could very well arrive with the next generation of Escape.

But it's the interior that I hope Ford will bring to the US. The design is gorgeous in its simplicity, with just a dash of layering on the instrument panel. The screen is embedded in the dashboard instead of "floating" like a tablet on a stick. Some Mustang-inspired toggle controls live above the shifter, while the gauge cluster leans heavily on screens. It's almost upscale enough to be a Lincoln interior. This is what Ford could use in the States.

Another thing that Ford could stand to bring here is the Territory's powertrain lineup. The Territory will have a standard gasoline version, in addition to 48-volt mild hybrid and plug-in hybrid variants. The Territory also contains some pretty standard tech, like adaptive cruise control, automatic braking and an embedded modem.

The new Territory is but one small part of Ford's plans to completely revamp its business in China. By 2025, the automaker hopes to electrify almost all of its Chinese-market vehicles. On a wider scale, Ford hopes to launch 13 global electrified vehicles over the next five years.

If Ford doesn't bring this interior design to the US, it's making a mistake.

Ford