For a model that is preparing to meet its maker, the Territory still has plenty of vigour, CHRIS RILEY says.
WE turn the spotlight on the car world’s newest and brightest stars as we ask the questions to which you want the answers. But there’s only one question that really needs answering — would you buy one?
What is it?
The latest and possibly last Ford Territory wagon, due to join the Falcon in heaven when Ford pulls the plug on local production next year.
This is the top spec all-wheel drive Titanium priced from $56,740, or you can save a few pennies and get a rear wheel drive version for $51,740.
What are the competitors?
Holden Captiva 7 or the more utilitarian Holden Colorado 7, both of which are cheaper.
Then there’s the Hyundai Santa Fe, Kia Sorento, Mazda CX-9, Nissan Pathfinder — or perhaps you fancy a Dodge? All seat seven and come with the option of diesel.
What’s under the bonnet?
A 2.7-litre turbo diesel, the same engine that was going to save the day when it went into Falcon — but it was not to be. It delivers 140kW of power and 440Nm of torque, the latter from 1900 revs. It’s hooked up to ZF’s excellent six-speed auto.
Is it economical?
The all-wheel-drive model is rated at 9.0 litres/100km, the rear-wheel drive at 8.2, making the latter look more attractive. We were getting 8.9 after about 500km with a couple of hundred to go.
How does it go?
Very smooth for a diesel, but it’s pretty old tech. Still you’d have difficulty picking it from the petrol six, which says a lot. The smooth changing six-speed is one of our favourites.
The two-wheel-drive can tow a 2300kg trailer, the allwheel-drive 2700kg.
Is it safe?
Yes. The latest model gets a full five stars for crash safety, with seven airbags including a driver’s knee bag to protect the lower legs in an accident. Comes with a reverse camera and front and rear parking
sensors as standard.
Is it green?
Gets only 2.5 out of 5 stars from the Government’s Green Vehicle Guide, even less than the stalwart petrol model
(benchmark Prius gets 5).
Is it comfortable?
Comfort and a car-like driving experience are where the Territory excels.
Our test vehicle was finished in a tobacco coloured leather, but lacks heated seats and a power tailgate.
What’s it like to drive?
The diesel is a keeper, with strong acceleration and car-like dynamics, but the Territory’s interior is starting to feel a little dated — apart from the inclusion of Ford’s new eightinch four-zone touch screen with the Sync2 infotainment system.
“Very smooth for a diesel, but it’s pretty old tech. Still you’d have difficulty picking it from the petrol six, which says a lot. The smooth changing six-speed is one of our favourites.”