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