Ford Territory is First Produced
The Ford Territory is a crossover SUV built by Ford Australia and based on the EA169 platform of the Ford BA Falcon.
It was released in April 2004. Its code name inside Ford was E265. It won the 2004 Wheels Car of the Year award, the reviewers praising car-like handling and practicality as reasons for its win. Ford had reportedly spent A$500 million on developing the range over four years. It is built on the same production line as the Australian-made Falcon. While many suspected that it would replace the Falcon wagon, the two actually co-exist together because the Territory is bought mainly by private buyers, the Falcon wagon by fleets.
Australian and New Zealand models are slightly different visually: all models sold in New Zealand have body-colour bumpers and alloy wheels, including the base model. Front light detail resembles that of jewellery in a black box. In New Zealand, the only rear wheel drive model is the base version and all other models have all wheel drive; while in Australia, all models are available with either rear wheel drive or all wheel drive.
The Ford Territory was the first Australian-Built vehicle to be fitted with an electronic stability control system.
South African sales for the Territory began in 2005. Exports to Thailand began in 2006, with the Thai model being offered only in AWD Ghia trim.
The Territory is sold with two engine choices, the 4.0L inline-six engine as the standard engine, and a turbo charged six-cylinder version in the Turbo model. The base engine is available in RWD and AWD. The RWD model has a four-speed automatic gearbox, and the AWD has the ZF's six-speed auto. The turbo model only comes in AWD. In 2010 Ford will update the current 4.0L inline-six to meet strict Euro 4 emission standards. In 2011 Ford will introduce a new model with the 2.7L diesel V6 that is shared with Land Rover, Peugeot and Citroen. It will initially use the ZF's six-speed auto but eventually adopt the Powershift transmission to reduce fuel consumption. The engine will emit up to 25 percent less CO2 compared to the current 4.0L inline-six.
The original model was the SX and was produced between 2004–2005. The engine was the 4.0 litre DOHC I6 Barra engine from the Falcon, developing 182 kW (244 hp).
Appearance-wise, the Territory resembles the Ford Taurus X sold in North America. Both cars have similar styling cues -- it was this that sold the Territory to Ford executives at the head office in Dearborn, Michigan. Simon Butterworth, who was behind the Ford Falcon facelift of 2003, styled the Territory but had worked with his American counterpart, J Mays, in working in the global Ford "DNA". Marcus Hotblack worked on the Territory's interior, with a Swiss army knife as a metaphor. Consequently, the car has touches such as flexible cupholders and a handbag holder to the side of the seat for female drivers, recognizing that many SUV buyers are women.
Both rear- and all-wheel drive configurations were offered in three trim levels. All-wheel drive models have an optional Hill Descent Control system, using the anti-lock braking system to control the car's motion downhill, inherited from Land Rover.
Options of five seats (in two rows) or seven seats (in three rows) are available. The rows of seats are arranged in a "theatre style", with the back row highest. They fold down smoothly into the floor. A DVD player is available as an option on all models.
TS: added side curtain airbags (optional on TX), which were a first for an Australian made car.
We were all left a bit stunned at this year’s Melbourne International Motor Show when Ford unveiled their updated iteration of the Territory.
We were expecting to see the FG Falcon’s interior transplanted into the Territory, bringing it into line with the latest offerings from Ford. Instead, we were left with a car that was virtually identical to the one it was replacing. The interior remained practically untouched, as did the exterior.
I had to question whether it was really worth road testing the Territory, considering it had been on the market since early 2004.
None the less I jumped in to see what it was all about and whether or not the update was worth the fuss.
From the outside, it’s hard to spot the changes. The main ones revolve around the front end and side. The front has received revised headlights, along with a revised bumper and grille treatment.
The side profile has also undertaken a slight revision with a plastic embellishment in place of the side indicator, which has now been moved to the wing mirrors, providing greater visibility and adding style points.
The Territory’s styling was never ugly to begin with. The changes to the design have simply further refined it, making the already decent looking Territory better.
The only issue is that the design is getting very long in the tooth; some people may have already thrown in the towel with the concept, especially considering how much the segment has grown since the Territory’s inception.
Ghia is Ford’s up-spec version of the Territory and the Ghia gets privacy glass, decent looking 18-inch alloy wheels and chrome highlights around the front.
While the interior of Ford’s Territory is a spitting image of the day it was launched, Ford has gone all out with features, packing the Ghia to the hilt.
Rear seat passengers (kids more often than not) are treated to a flip-down Alpine entertainment system. The system plays DVDs and CDs to keep those up back entertained on long drives. When the screen is deployed rear visibility is virtually gone. The screen sits directly in between the rear vision mirror and the rear window, and at 10.2-inches it demands quite a lot of real estate.
One of the things I grew to hate over my week with the car was the lack of back lighting to the steering wheel controls. It’s hard to tell which buttons you are pushing when there isn’t much light available.
Ford’s stereos have never been anything to write home about and the Territory is certainly no different. The poor speakers begin distorting early on in the piece, while the radio often struggles with reception, even in built-up areas.
Our test vehicle was fitted with seven-seats, which were nothing short of a nightmare to operate, and no matter what we tried, we couldn’t get the extra row of seats to fold flat into the floor.
They would either sit upright or half flat resulting in very little luggage space due to the seat being constantly tilted.
I assume the final lever in the piece was jammed, which was stopping the system from folding.
Average stereo and dodgy third row of seats aside, the Territory interior is a nice place to be. Passengers can see out the windows with ease and there’s enough head and leg room to keep most punters with kids happy.
Driving the Territory is like riding a bike. Once you’ve done it, you’ll never forget what it’s like. The reason the Territory was a runaway success in Australia was due to its sedan like handling and brilliant feel behind the wheel.
It feels and sounds like a Falcon but has the versatility of an SUV.
Powering the Ghia rear-wheel-drive is Ford’s 4.0-litre, in-line, six-cylinder engine. Producing 190kW and 383Nm, it’s more than capable of hauling the Territory’s mass in relative ease.
The suspension set-up is absolutely superb. It has the surety and confidence of a much larger car and soaks up bumps in the road with very little fuss. Corners are also a breeze; with the suspension taking care of all the hard work and resulting in little body roll.
The only let down in this very versatile package is the gearbox. Here’s one to confuse you; while the Ghia all-wheel-drive model gets the superb ZF Sachs six-speed gearbox, the RWD version only gets the ancient four-speed automatic.
Although it works well in the Territory, it still brings back memories of AU Falcon days, which is not something we either want nor should anyone have to endure again.
As a result of the four-speed gearbox, fuel economy goes out the window, which is another thing this 2.0-tonne SUV isn’t too good at, officially returning 12.0-litres per 100 kilometres, but ending up becoming more like 13.2L/100km during the test.
While Ford’s Territory is becoming a little bit boring to look at, it’s still remarkably good to drive and feels like a modern car despite its age. It’s testament to what Ford engineers have done with the vehicle and what they will be able to achieve in years to come with alternate engines such as diesel and LPG.
Priced from $39,490 for the TX RWD, the Ghia RWD being test driven retails for $52,490. It’s an affordable package that offers great value for money in terms of power, size and space.
Although it’s almost six years old (that’s 60 in human years) it still moves and fights like a two year old (that’d be 20 in human years).
While the diesel is still a couple of years off, the revised Territory is still a very sound purchase option, despite its age.
Who enjoys a bit of Trans-Tasman rivalry? Ford proudly sponsers the mighty All Black team in New Zealand and is also proudly advertising it's associations with the Wallaby rugby union team. What better way to transport five beefy front row forwards to rugby practice than in a spacious and grunty Ford Territory. For two years in a row the Ford Territory has been named Australia's Best Recreational Four Wheel Drive, and for a good reason. It is a vehicle with sophisticated styling in an adaptable package which is well balanced, powerful and responsive.
The Ford Territory delivers unmatched performance, space and driving confidence. The updated version has incorporated many features that give the driver an outstanding driving experience. The Ford Territory comes in many models that vary according to ther equipment levels. Nearly all model have one very common factor, and that is they are all powered by the same silky smooth six cylinder in-line, chain-driven DOHC 190kW @ 5250rpm and 383Nm @ 2500rpm engine. All have 5 seats with 7 as an option. The Ghia is of course the top of the range model that boasts the highest levels of automotive luxury available to the car industry. Such things as premium leather seats, a premium audio system with a colour screen that boastsa 150W output and a six CD changer, a six-way driver seat with memory option, power adjustable pedals, dual zone climate control and an electrochromatic rear vision mirror being just some of the more extravagant items on offer. However, even the base model has all the standard luxury items one would expect in a big quality SUV. Things like powered windows, an impressive sound system and air conditioning are all standard on the less expensive Ford Territory models.
Now, who reckons that a seven second sprint from 0-100 km/h ain't too bad? Yep it's not too bad , and when you think that the over 2-ton Ford Territory Turbo SUV model does this with such ease and refinement you can see why Ford is on to something good. The six cylinder motor has been uprated, and boasts turbine power. What this achieves is an increase in grunt to a massive 245 kW and a 480 Nm of twist that comes in earlier at 2000 rpm compared to the naturally aspirated Ford Territory versions.
Ford has invested $500 million in the designing and production of this series and it is safe to say that the money is well spent. The Ford Territory is a well refined vehicle that suits the Australian environment and it's roads. It provides the same kind of ease in driving whether its around the cities or suburbs while still offering a worthiness that most customers will be pleased with. Very safe, spacious and comfortable, the Ford Territory is a winner!