Ford Australia has left no stone unturned in equipping the new Ford Territory to take on the raft of new models proliferating the mid-size SUV market.
Featuring standout new looks courtesy of Ford’s 1-Ford global design philosophy and headlining a new turbocharged V6 diesel engine, the new Ford Territory – code-named SZ - is sharply priced from $39,990.
Ford dealers have clearly had their work cutout with no diesel engine in the previous Ford Territory lineup – the new model has spectacularly changed that picture and we expect the new range will deliver substantial sales growth.
Across the three-variant range, new Ford Territory is better-equipped, safer, more fuel-efficient, nicer to drive and delivers a towing capacity up to 2,700kgs.
Ford Territory Overview
Ford has revised the lineup for the new Ford Territory – entry level is now called TX, mid-spec is TS and the range-topper is badged ‘Titanium’. All are available with six-cylinder diesel or petrol engines, in rear-wheel-drive (RWD) or all-wheel-drive (AWD), however the all-paw models are exclusively diesel and the petrol models are exclusively RWD.
Drive is via two six-speed automatic transmissions – a ZF for the petrol and a ZF-derivative for the diesel.
Technology is impressive with all models boasting Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), now with Roll-Over Mitigation (ROM), Emergency Brake Assist (EBA) and a drivers’ knee airbag to supplement driver and front passenger airbags and side curtain airbags.
Ford Territory TS gains 18-inch alloy wheels, an eight-inch colour touch screen, reversing camera and improved audio with integrated iPod and Bluetooth functionality.
For the Ford Territory Titanium you can add leather seats and upgraded interior trim, some extra chrome outside, LED front lights, satellite navigation with Traffic Management Channel (TMC) and an Alpine rear DVD entertainment system.
The full range is:
TX RWD Petrol $39,990
TX RWD Diesel $43,240
TX AWD Diesel $48,240
TS RWD Petrol $46,990
TS RWD Diesel $50,240
TS AWD Diesel $55,240
Titanium RWD Petrol $54,990
Titanium RWD Diesel $58,240
Titanium AWD Diesel $63,240
Ford Territory Engine
You need look no further than under the bonnet of the new Ford Territory to grasp the significance of Ford’s global product sourcing. The Duratorq 2.7-litre TDCi V6 turbo-diesel engine also sees duty in the Land Rover Discovery.
It runs an iron block with alloy cylinder heads featuring double overhead camshafts. Ford uses the latest common rail high-pressure direct injection with Piezo injectors and a single variable geometry turbocharger – that all means handy performance, optimum fuel efficiency and a clean exhaust.
Maximum power is 140kW and peak torque of 440Nm is available from as low as 1900rpm. Combined cycle fuel consumption is rated at 8.2l/100kms and Ford says the 75-litre fuel tank will give the new Ford Territory diesel a range between refills in excess of 1,000kms.
Ford’s venerable I6 straight-six petrol engine has also been upgraded to FG Falcon specifications – ‘fast-burn’ cylinder head design, light-weight dual-resonance intake manifold, new fuel rail system and electronic throttle body.
That has delivered improved drivability and slight gains in power and torque – now 195kW at 6,000rpm and 391Nm at 3250rpm. Fuel consumption and exhaust emissions are down – 10.6l/100kms and 249g/km.
Ford Territory The Interior
Ford has wisely left the key Ford Territory functionality/convenience features untouched in the new range – available seven seats and 30 storage compartments are just some of the attributes which have endeared the Ford Territory to more than 107,000 Australian buyers since it first appeared in 2004.
And of course the new Ford Territory delivers the hallmark Territory interior space front and rear.
But there is a dynamic new look to the interior that goes much further than the new materials and colours (although they too are significant improvements).
Even the base model TX scores climate control air-conditioning, electric adjustment for the drivers’ seat and a five-inch LCD screen (Interior Command Centre, ICC) to control the single CD audio system with iPod and Bluetooth functionality.
TS gains the improved ICC with an eight-inch colour touch screen and upgraded seven-speaker audio system.
Titanium goes even further with nice leather, a reversing camera, Alpine rear seat DVD system and satellite navigation with a Traffic Message Channel (TMC).
Ford Territory Exterior & Styling
On the outside, new Ford Territory is clearly distinguished from the previous generation with lots of features similar to the all-new Ranger pickup (also designed by Ford Australia). This brings the Territory in-line with other Ford SUVs – a global ‘family’ look which is both modern and purposeful.
Most obvious is the new front end with a ‘Ranger-like’ grille and new bumpers and headlights.
Front fenders score new-look vents, and there is a revised rear end (the hallmark split-fold tailgate remains) with new bumpers, exhausts, and taillights.
There are also new alloy wheels – 17-inch for TX, 18-inch for TS and very stylish new-design, high-gloss 18-inch for Titanium.
It’s a very cohesive look, nicely balanced and proportioned, while retaining the overall muscly look, which is a major reason for the popularity of Ford Territory.
Ford Territory On The Road
Ford Australia had already shown us Ford Territory’s new looks and detailed the engine lineup, but it was the improved drive experience which caught everyone by surprise. Car Showroom put all three-model grades through their paces on a variety of roads from Canberra to Batemans Bay on the NSW South Coast and all were mightily impressive.
While the styling changes are significant, the chassis improvements are no less substantial – new front-end suspension geometry, revised springs, dampers and anti-roll bars, new suspension bushes and the introduction of Electric Power Assisted Steering (EPAS) no name a few.
The result is segment-best driving dynamics – new Ford Territory delivers sharper turn-in, better chassis balance and significantly improved refinement on both smooth and bumpy roads. Even when pushed hard, the front-end compliance and response is first rate.
Ford’s 2.7-litre V6 turbo-diesel has long been a favourite with the Car Showroom team and its application in the new Ford Territory is very well done. We liked the smooth delivery of its 140kW/440Nm via the six-speed automatic and responsiveness – especially when using the transmission’s ‘Sport’ mode – was impressive.
Similarly the improved six-cylinder petrol engine retained its smooth performance, which has been a Ford Territory hallmark.
And combined with the excellent mechanical performance of the new Ford Territory’s chassis, the efforts to reduce NVH/improve refinement have paid off - the Aussie-built SUV now ranks amongst the best in that department.
Ford Territory Challenges
By any measure Ford Australia’s designers and engineers have delivered a brilliant new Ford Territory. But in simple terms, it’s an upgrade/facelift (albeit a major one) and Ford Territory faces tough challenges from some excellent new arrivals in our ultra-competitive mid-size SUV segment.
Ford Territory Verdict
Without a doubt this is the best ever Ford Territory. We expected the styling to be first-rate and we knew the V6 turbo-diesel would be brilliant.
What we didn’t expect was the substantially improved ride/handling, which has transformed the Ford Territory into a segment leader.
Combine that with the comprehensively boosted features, sharp pricing (and the established Ford Territory convenience/practicality)…well this is an Aussie-built car to be proud of.
Ford Territory The Competition
But new Ford Territory has to be good because the mid-size SUV segment has seen a massive shift in recent years.
On one hand you have the established stars like Toyota’s Kluger, Mazda CX-9, Nissan Pathfinder and the Holden Captiva and on the other some standout new models like the Kia Sorento and Jeep Grand Cherokee.