With its over­due diesel en­gine, Ford hopes Ter­ri­tory can now of­fer buy­ers com­pet­i­tive fuel econ­omy, writes Glenn But­ler

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Gotcha! -

Ford’s Ter­ri­tory was sup­posed to get a diesel en­gine years ago. Now it’s here. We drive the all-im­por­tant new model from Mel­bourne to Can­berra to see if the fam­ily favourite can be friendly at the bowser too.

WITH fuel prices on the rise, is Ford’s new tur­bod­iesel Ter­ri­tory the an­swer for ac­tive Aus­tralian fam­i­lies?

Car­bon taxes and nat­u­ral dis­as­ters are in the news. Both will push petrol prices to record highs, an­a­lysts pre­dict, putting even more strain on over­stretched fam­ily bud­gets.

So the ar­rival of Ford’s new Du­ra­torq tur­bod­iesel is well­timed, even if it is years over­due. Ford claims the Ter­ri­tory TDCi uses 25 per cent less fuel than the petrol model, and will get driv­ers 900km from Mel­bourne to Syd­ney on one tank.

If so, it will save Aus­tralian fam­i­lies about $540 if they’re trav­el­ling 15,000km a year.

Prices are up and down for the Ter­ri­tory range, start­ing at $39,990 for the TXRWDwith 4.0-litre petrol en­gine. The TS costs $46,990 and the Ti­ta­nium, which re­places the Ghia, is priced from $54,990.

The diesel en­gine adds $3250, all-wheel drive an­other $5000 and is only avail­able with the Du­ra­torq en­gine.

Third-row seat­ing is an op­tion on all mod­els. This raises the ques­tion: does the diesel make fi­nan­cial sense?

Keen to find out, Cars­guide grabbed a Ter­ri­tory TSAWD and took a road trip.

Spot­ting the 2011 SZ Ter­ri­tory in the park­ing lot at Ford isn’t hard. The new styling takes inspiration from Ford’s Ki­netic global de­sign lan­guage. Slim­mer head­lights and a hor­i­zon­tal grille sit on a re-pro­filed nose that adds 27mm to Ter­ri­tory’s over­all length. New al­loys, re­vised side-skirt and C-pil­lar give the side-pro­file a lift. At the rear, new tail-lights are sim­i­lar to the next Fo­cus— and the lift­gate gar­nish has been re­moved. It is strik­ing and fresh, al­though the front and rear themes aren’t quite as co­he­sive as be­fore.

The new dash­board and cen­tre con­sole from the FG Fal­con cre­ate a more ma­ture am­bi­ence. The up­date in­cludes Ford’s first touch­screen, which in­te­grates the stereo, air­con and Blue­tooth con­trols.

The Ter­ri­tory has been a suc­cess story with 100,000 bought since 2004. And the el­e­ments that made the orig­i­nal Ter­ri­tory such a hit with fam­i­lies— seat­ing for up to seven, plenty of lug­gage space, dou­ble-ac­tion tail­gate — are all still here

Safety also steps up; a knee airbag joins front, side and cur­tain airbags for a to­tal of seven. Elec­tronic sta­bil­ity con­trol now in­cludes an an­tirollover pro­gram.

The Ter­ri­tory’s new EPAS elec­tric-steer­ing sys­tem, which im­proves fuel econ­omy by 2.5 per­cent, re­quires less ef­fort at park­ing speeds, but can get caught short dur­ing three-point turns.

It’s clear that Ford worked hard to make the Ter­ri­tory TDCi quiet. The Du­ra­torq en­gine is barely au­di­ble at 110km/h. That diesel clat­ter is ap­par­ent when over­tak­ing, but in a sub­dued way.

The Ter­ri­tory TDCi’s 2.7-litre tur­bod­iesel V6 may have 12 per­cent more torque (440Nm) than the 4.0-litre six-cylin­der petrol en­gine (391Nm), avail­able from just 1900rpm, how­ever it’s not as quick or re­spon­sive.

The prod­uct of a Ford/ Peu­geot joint-de­vel­op­ment back in 2004, it has been used to power Jaguars, Peu­geots and Citroens in twin-turbo form. The Ford Ter­ri­tory’s sin­gle-turbo ver­sion pro­duces the same 140kW and 440Nm that it did in the 2004 Lan­dRover Dis­cov­ery.

The en­gine is slow to re­act from stand­still and doesn’t get go­ing un­til 1800rpm. It is also doughy when called on to ac­cel­er­ate once mov­ing. The six-speed gear­box, stan­dard on all mod­els, is smooth— but re­luc­tant to change down.

The trans­mis­sion’s per­for­mance mode of­fers sharper re­sponses more in tune with driver de­mands, but is likely to re­duce econ­omy, so avoid it where pos­si­ble.

Tow­ing ca­pac­ity onRWD mod­els is un­changed: 1600kg for un­braked trail­ers, or 2300kg with the heavy-duty tow pack. TheAWD­mod­els can tow up to 2700kg.

Past Al­bury/Wodonga and a check of the trip com­puter re­veals fuel con­sump­tion is worse than ex­pected. Our 9.5L/100km av­er­age is far from Ford’s 7.2L/100km ADR82/02 high­way claim.

As an ex­per­i­ment, we slow down un­til the in­stant fuel read­ing stays un­der seven, which hap­pens around 75-80km/h. At this speed it would add 2.5 hours to our 7-hour trip. I’ve got a flight to make, so that’s out of the ques­tion. Cruise con­trol stays on the speed limit.

Ter­ri­tory’s cruis­ing com­fort is con­firmed. No aches and pains from seven hours in the sad­dle.

The fuel econ­omy story is less pos­i­tive. Our 9.4L/100km av­er­age for the 700km trip is well short of Ford’s 7.2L/100km claim for AWD­mod­els, and even failed to match the 8.8L/100km com­bined cy­cle claim. There’s just two kilo­me­tres in the tank ac­cord­ing to the trip com­puter, so we wouldn’t have made Syd­ney on just the one.

Ver­dict? Terr ver­sa­tile and pr and more re­fine quiet­ness is toplow-RPM turbo un­re­spon­sive na

Fuel econom long-dis­tance dr dis­ap­point­ing. A en­gine to the Te is the right thing Ter­ri­tory TDCi give up too muc top-shelf driv­ing for too lit­tle fue

ri­tory is as ractical as ever, ed. Du­ra­torq’s p-notch, but o-lag and an na­ture isn’t. my on this easy drive was Adding a diesel erri­tory range ng to do, but i asks own­ers to ch of Ford’s ng ex­pe­ri­ence el sav­ing.

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