When you’ve been on the road traveling around Australia for a year like us it’s the little things, and smart technology, that make life easier!
Five of those months have been in our Ford Territory as we drove from Brisbane to Tropical North Queensland, around the Top End and then down the coast of Western Australia to our current location in Perth.
That’s 18,000 kilometre’s on the clock and just as many family memories.
That journey wouldn’t have been as comfortable, enjoyable and productive without our Territory. I haven’t calculated the amount of hours we have spent together on the road, but we’ve been close friends for a good chunk of time on highways, dusty outback roads and coastal drives.
Below are 11 ways our Territory has made the journey that much more ENJOYABLE.
1. Dual-zone automatic climate control
Caz and I have different comfort zones when it comes to temperature. She feels the cold a lot more than I do, evidenced by the fact I’m always shaking my head at the places she’ll wear her ugg boots out in public when for me it’s not that cold!
In our previous cars we would constantly bicker at what temperature to set the climate control at. The great thing about our Territory is the dual-zone climate control, meaning I can set the temperature that blows on the drivers side, and she has a temperature setting for the passenger seat – it’s the little things that keep a relationship HAPPY.
2. Reverse camera / parking sensors
Who couldn’t use a little help reverse parking or pulling our of driveways?!
One of my favourite safety features is the reverse camera. Having small children and spending a lot of time in caravan parks and tight spaces it’s reassuring to have a solid visual around the rear and sides of the vehicle.
Sensors alert me when I’m getting too close to objects and when engaged in “reverse gear” the entertainment console is shut down allowing for increased focus on the task at hand.
And hitching up our camper trailer is a breeze – I can reverse and position the tow ball under the trailer hitch myself without Caz having to direct me, which I’ve had to do several times when she’s absent.
3. Automatic and manual transmission
Our Territory has a 6-speed automatic transmission + Sequential Sports Shift (SSS) which allows me to change seamlessly from driving in auto to manual.
I can switch to a lower or higher gear with a simple flick of the shifter up or down.
Whilst 98% of the time I drive in automatic, the fact that we are towing a 1,500kg camper trailer and having the ability to use a lower gear to assist with braking suddenly, or when going down steep inclines in mountainous areas really helps to take the pressure of my campers breaks.
4. Distance to empty
A great feature is the smart TRIP COMPUTER – especially the distance to empty feature which tells me the range (kilometres of driving) I have left with the fuel I have in my tank.
I’m a bit of a stress head when it comes to worrying about running out of fuel in outback areas, and in previous vehicles it was just guess work, and bickering with Caz, but now I simply read the road sign displaying distance to next petrol station, then check my gauge for the distance I can drive on my current tank of gas.
We almost ran out of fuel on one of our long drives to Fitzroy Crossing in Western Australia, but I was reassured that I had just enough in the tank, we rolled into town with 4km’s of fuel left.
The Trip computer also includes :
- average fuel consumption
- average speed
- outside air temperature
- and trip reset.
5. Automatic headlights
A simple but handy safety feature is the automatic headlights setting.
Instead of worrying about remembering to turn on my headlights, by leaving it to “auto” a sensor automatically turns on my headlights and the lights to my camper trailer when the lighting outside becomes too dark.
6. Cruise control
Driving around Australia means we often find ourselves on long stretches of open road and it’s nice being able to “set the speed limit” easily with controls on my steering wheel so that I don’t unconsciously go over the speed limit and risk getting fined.
Being able to take the strain off my foot in a set position on long drives is nice.
Turning off cruise control is as simple as applying the brake. The break with a flick of the “resume switch” on my steering wheel I can can get back up to the previous selected speed. The controls are easy to use: Set’, ‘Cancel’, ‘Resume’ and ‘On/Off’.
Not only has cruise control made long drives more comfortable it can help save money on fuel by sticking to a consistent speed – accelerating and braking too often will use considerably more fuel than maintaining a set speed.
7. Six-way power-adjustable driver’s seat (with 3 position memory)
I’ve had a painful back injury in the past and I like to be comfortable and supported when sitting for long stretches of time.
So the adjustable driver’s seat lumbar support and 6-way power adjustable driver’s seat with 3-position memory keeps my posture strong and lower back happy.
8. Entertainment system
The Territory interior is smart and sophisticated. Smarter than my old Ford Laser that’s for sure!
We previously wrote about 4 ways our Territory entertains us on the road by keeping the kids happy in the back, and us entertained and connected to running our online business in the front – life doesn’t have to stop on long drives!
Having all these tech components at our finger tips is AWESOME:
- iPod/USB integration (we love listening to podcasts for education)
- Bluetooth mobile phone integration
- DVD entertainment system with 10.2″ screen, 2 wireless headphones and remote control = WINNING
- Single slot CD
- 3 x auxiliary power sockets
All user-friendly and accessed with ease.
Our nav system has got us out of trouble, and saved us from many arguments, so many times it would be hard to live without.
Not only do we use it for directions from start to finish, but for finding the nearest petrol station when the tank is a little low, finding shopping centres when the kids are screaming of hunger in the back, and for traffic alerts on our desired route.
The 8” touch screen it’s intuitive and easy to navigate and the kids like following along to the voice commands.
10. Back window glass opener
Ok, not ground breaking technology here but like I said, it’s the little things that make life easier.
Our boot (trunk) is where we keep a lot of our day-to-day stuff and having quick access to it is a good thing. Being able to just open the glass part of the hatch instead of the whole boot makes life easier.
11. Remote keyless entry
When you have kids your hands are typically full with stuff, so being able to open the door with a push of a button is super handy.
Three main benefits to keyless entry include:
- Safety. You can never be too safe these days. It can be risky in unfamiliar surroundings to take the time to find your keys and manually unlock your car. This could give a criminal ample time to approach you while you are distracted, with your back to them, trying to unlock your car.
- Convenience. When your hands are full of groceries, boxes, or anything else heavy then you can unlock the doors without having to fiddle with a key and lock. Heavy rain is also a great reminder of why keyless entry is a nice feature.
- Being able to find your car in a large parking lot or garage by just clicking a button.