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  • Exceptional ride; easy to manoeuvre; flexible diesel engine; immense space and storage
  • Cheap interior feel; noisy diesel engine; underwhelming audio system; expensive

OUR RATING
7 / 10



Ford Territory Review
Ford Territory Review
Ford Territory Review

The Ford Territory is now back towards the pointy end of local SUV sales, with its fortunes having been rescued by a belated diesel offering that arrived seven years after the car’s 2004 debut.

It’s a variant that has brought a much-needed alternative to the doughty but thirsty locally made 4.0-litre in-line six-cylinder petrol, reducing running costs for families watching their pennies.

Diesel versions of the Ford Territory start at $43,240 for a rear-wheel-drive version or $48,240 if you want all-wheel drive.

Here we tested the Titanium TDCi RWD that sits just below the uppermost spot in the Ford Territory range, and asks $58,060.

The 2.7-litre V6 turbo diesel engine – borrowed from Jaguar Land Rover – generates 140kW of power at 4000rpm and 440Nm of torque at a supremely usable 1900rpm. While a little laggy initially, it has more than enough grunt to shift its not insignificant weight around plus provide legitimate towing capabilities (2300kg braked).

The advantages of having diesel propulsion in something the size of the 2109kg Ford Territory, instead of a humble petrol engine, are twofold: loads of pulling power low down in the rev range, and fuel economy.

On the books the Ford Territory TDCi RWD averages 8.2 litres per 100km – compared with more than 10.5L/100km for the equivalently specced petrol model. Over our time with the car we averaged 9.1L/100km – a respectable figure in real world terms.

Ford Territory Review
Ford Territory Review
Ford Territory Review
Ford Territory Review

The downsides of having a diesel in the engine bay are that they can sound rather truck-like from the outside. And worse still, that sound can penetrate into the cabin.

Though noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH) levels in the Ford Territory are good – with road noise being present but only ever minimal – it’s the diesel engine that permeates most. While a large number of modern cars have become rather proficient at exploiting the benefits of diesels and at masking their sound – Audi and Mercedes-Benz for example – the Territory doesn’t fall into this category.

A big tick for the Ford, however, is its classic torque converter-style six-speed automatic transmission.

The gearbox’s smooth changes and low-speed fluidity are a refreshing change from the indecisive and at times jerky shifts of the in-trend dual clutch-style transmissions.

While some gearchanges in the Territory can be a little slow, and a solid thump when selecting reverse isn’t uncommon, overall the gearbox works well with the engine in making getting around a breeze.

The Ford Territory’s steering makes manoeuvring the SUV easy, with the Territory actually tracking quite well on its 18-inch five-spoke alloy wheels.

Ford Territory Review
Ford Territory Review
Ford Territory Review
Ford Territory Review

Though its soft suspension does mean a fair amount of body roll, it rides exceptionally well, handling bumps without bother and taking road imperfections in its stride, never upsetting driver or passenger.

Interior quality is a mixed bag, with hard plastics and the occasional piece of creaking trim combining for a feeling of cost cutting, though space inside the Ford Territory is plentiful.

Occupants in the Titanium model are afforded leather upholstery, a Premium Interior Command Centre with 8-inch touchscreen and satellite navigation, and an Alpine rear DVD entertainment system with 10.2-inch screen, two wireless headphones and a remote control.

Drivers are kept happy with a six-way power adjustable seat with memory function, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel with cruise control, audio and phone controls.

The car’s Bluetooth phone connectivity is reasonably quick and easy to set up but it does require you to physically turn on the audio system individually before allowing audio streaming from the just-connected phone.

It also doesn’t auto play or continue on from where you were when you return to the car after exiting it, meaning you have to select ‘Media’ to play music from your phone every single time you get back in.

The centre touchscreen menus look bland and dated compared to other cars in this highly competitive segment, and navigating the unit can be a little fiddly as the system is sometimes slow to react.

Ford Territory Review
Ford Territory Review
Ford Territory Review
Ford Territory Review

Another big oversight is the loss of the clock whenever the Sat Nav is in use. While the screen displays an estimated arrival time, the current time disappears altogether.

Despite its feature-packed entertainment additions, the Ford Territory Titanium’s audio system sound quality is average at best. Even after we toyed with the settings to try and extract the best sound out of the speakers, they could only ever generate a tinny, cheap sound – particularly disappointing given the Titanium’s premium spec level and associated price tag.

Rear passengers are able to enjoy acres of space, with ample head and legroom allowing anyone from small kids all the way to six-footers to inhabit the second row of seating.

The last seating row, however, is strictly the domain of the little ones, with next to no legroom but still copious amounts of headroom and comfy seats (that are able to be hidden away ensuring a totally flat extended boot space with the backrests down).

The flexible seating and space options are easy enough to manage in the Territory with straightforward mechanisms for moving seating positions around and dropping row after row of seats – easier, more modern mechanisms do exist though in both the Hyundai Santa Fe and Holden Captiva 7.

Boot space is very limited when seating a full load of seven but access is possible via two means from the rear of the car: the glass hatch, which is quick but usage comes with a high load height, and the full tailgate which is vault-like in both the sheer aperture it presents but also the weight of the thing – a hefty unit going up and coming down.

Ford Territory Review
Ford Territory Review
Ford Territory Review
Ford Territory Review

It’s cup holders aplenty in the Ford Territory with two in the centre console, one in each door (front and rear) alongside door pockets, two in the centre arm rest for rear passengers and one on each side for the last seating row. If you’re planning on carrying a drink in a car, this is the car for you.

There’s also extra storage space for the front two seats located near the seat position controls as well as map pockets in the back of the driver and passenger seats. In fact, Ford says the Territory has 30 storage spaces available including the cavernous centre console between driver and passenger.

There are some oddities to the popular Ford SUV, though: drivers get an auto down function for the electric windows but there’s no auto up, and the default setting for the indicator flash on locking and unlocking only sees them flash when the lock button is depressed – the setting can be changed however.

If you need a big solid car to carry plenty of cargo, human or otherwise, and will likely require the use of a tow-bar, then the Ford Territory provides a good, if slightly expensive, platform.

It’s also a better SUV to drive than either the Captiva 7 or Toyota Kluger. But with the Australian-built SUV having only had relatively minor updates since its 2004 launch, a 2014 update will be an opportunity to bring some key areas of the Territory up to speed with emerging rivals.

Ford Territory Review
Ford Territory Review

Especially ones such as the new Hyundai Santa Fe that are currently offering more features and stronger value.


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FORD TERRITORY BREAKDOWN

Ford Territory Review
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  • super_hans

    “the Territory doesn’t flash its indicators when the unlock button is depressed on the key hub, only flashing upon locking”. This is the default setting on the XR6 which can be switched to flash on unlock from settings menu in the media centre, I’d say Territory is the same

    • Schah7

      What’s this the 2.7 v6 diesel “borrowed from Jaguar Land Rover” yes that’s correct BUT
      Ford owned Jag & Land Rover 
      Ford/PSA designed that 2.7 v6 diesel engine for use in guess what… 
      Jag/Land-Range Rover & various Ford & PSA vehicles.
      So nice to know it was under the bonnet of a Jag/Land Rover but Ford didn’t borrow it from anywhere cause FORD designed it.!  CarAdvice.

  • Shak

    Wow, this article brings home how old the Territory really is. Not that  its a bad car, but it’ll be 10 years old by the time the desperately needed 2014 refresh rolls around. Ford better do something spectacular with the new Tezza/Falcon if they want to have even the slightest chance of continuing to manufacture here (although it doesn’t look as if they actually WANT to stay here).

  • nickdl

    Like the Falcon, you never pay full RRP for a Territory. A quick look on Carsales shows a new Titanium RWD TDCi selling for $53k driveway. Definitely not expensive, then, compared to a Kluger Grande and around the same price as a top-of-the range Santa Fe. 

    There are definitely niggles, but the Territory is still the best SUV on the market.

    • Ford4eva

       you are kidding mate.  the santa fe – despite being a hyundai – would blow this brick looking bucket out of the water, and its only a 4cyl.  unfortunately ford is selling mutton dressed as lamb with this ‘new’ territory.  Im a fan of the ranger and the focus, but this is old, outdated, ugly and poorly priced.

    • Zaccy16

      Agreed, the territory is aging but that shows how good it is to be still much better to drive than the roley poley kluger and cheap and nasty korean craptiva!

      • Captain Nemo®™

        You’re an odd one Zaccy here you are on the one hand defending the Territory.
         
        And further down the page you have clicked on like for Golfie’s comment having a shot at the Territory’s lack of steering wheel switch illumination. 

        • Zaccy16

          That was a interesting comment so i clicked like, i owned a first gen terrtory in 2005 and except for the cx9 is the best 7 seater suv you can buy, CX9 needs diesel than it would sell more than this

        • Golfmother

          Go to specsavers able seaman nemo not my comment .

          • Captain Nemo®™

            Robin is right Bungle
            I was talking about Golfschwein’s comment you know the only VeeDud fan-boy that knows how to spell. 

          • Golfmother

            Turkeys in oz bombs full of dung .

      • Leesyd

        You again with your NUTJOB attitude to the Captiva. How do you compare a territory (which I do like) with a captiva (which I do like) – It would be the same as comparing a falcon with a mazda 6 – fact is the mazda is closer to falcon size than the captiva to territory.

  • Demonz

    The car just looks cheap… especially the interior. That ‘leather’ looks like vinyl… yuck.

    • Sgt.Sweetchuck

      Like “Officeworks” leather

  • Crummydore

    Sat in a friends new Titanium and was impressed with the space and versatility of the interior, but I was really let down by the quality of materials on the dash. Its mainly hard plastic.

    Compared with the materials used in a base model Focus, its not all that flash.

    Having said that the CX9 is similar in its use of hard dash plastics, yet it seems to carry an air of quality the Territory can’t match.

    Hope the next gen sorts it out.

    • Golfmother

      No next gen from OZ will be US sourced , it now looks so dated , jeep grand cherokee is a better buy .

      • Crummydore

        Sorry, meant refresh….

      • Robin_Graves

        Jeeps are about as reliable as your veedud – not very.

        • James Cortez

          say what? Jeep as improved and is now very reliable – it’s made in USA after all. Commodore and Falcon are the ones with problems.

          • Golfmother

            Dead right james , the diesel cherokee wipes the floor , terrican’s old disco motor is way behind the comp , and the cherokee is very reliable .

          • Sumpguard

            Careful Bunghole with the territory bagging. Your new fond love affair with Don Quay (Donkey) will end before you two get to fourth base ;)

               Though Donkey drives a mazda not a ford so the addection is a tad odd. 

        • PradoMan

           While Jeeps have had a terrible reputation in the past, since the FIAT takeover during GFC1 they have come in leaps and bounds.  So much so that my prado will likely be traded on the diesel GC when the 8 speed comes out in 2013.

          • Robin_Graves

            That remains to be seen.  I’ve never really associated Fiat with reliability either – I thought Fiat stood for (Fix It Again Tony)

          • Golfschwein

            Fnar fnar fnar. Fix it again Tony. NEHTOB! (Never ever heard that one before)

          • Karl Sass

            I agree, Jeep have made huge strides in recent years, but it’s too early to tell if the same can be said for reliability.

          • Mr Irony

            Fiat & reliability. Two words that are not often heard together. Is that meant to be a recommendation?

  • Eagle Rock

    The Ford Territory is a strong vehicle as to what some SUV’S  that are around.  
    Heavy it is, having diesel makes for that better fuel consumption for a big vehicle..

  • AJ

    This is such a dated design, why anyone would buy one now is beyond me. The Jeep Grand Cherokee is a better buy. Drove both the other day, and yes, the Ford is spacious and smooth, but it just looks cheap. The interior looks very cheap, looks as though it was mde from recycled plastic. Settled for a Grand Chreokee diesel instead and couldn’t be happier with my purchase.

    • Golfmother

      Good choice AJ you made the right decision , resale will be good compared to the discontinued terrican in 2 years .

      • Robin_Graves

        You are a funny guy.

        • 3D4

          You are not

        • Schah7

          His Golfmummy probably thinks so.!

      • Don Quay

        Wasn’t the Terrican a Hyundai version of the old Pajero?

  • MisterZed

    Oh my … how old is that hand brake?!  Looks like something out of the 1980s.

    • nickdl

      I suppose you’d prefer the foot-operated one like in the Kluger and Murano…

      • MisterZed

        Foot operated is better is it clears up space in the middle, even better would be electronic. Another option is a dash-mounted park brake.

        • AB

          Foot operated is worse as it is proven more likely to inflict injuries to your legs in a frontal crash, not to mention that it takes up space in the footwell….

        • grumpy

          how can you do a hillstart with a floor mounted parkbrake.Oh thats rightmost people cant drive these days because they all have autos

    • Adelaide_john

      Lets see

      driving
      dynamics, fuel efficiency, interior space, dimensions, engine choice, transmission
      choice, safety aspects and we comment on a hand brake !

  • Golfschwein

    Has Ford discovered steering wheel switch illumination yet?

    • Robin_Graves

      Has VeeDud discovered how to make something last longer than 50000km yet? 

      • Golfschwein

        Well, yes, seeing you’re asking. Has Ford discovered steering wheel switch illumination yet?

        • Don Quay

          Yes, just not on Territorys or Falcons.

          • Golfschwein

            Thanks Don. And the cost of bringing their cars into line with what the rest of the world’s makers have offered for a decade would be a mere…oh, guess…11.8 cents per unit? Robin sums it up beautifully below when he says it’s not worth it. The manufacturer is reliant on a diminishing band of clients who agree it’s not worth it. It’s a fantastic way of ensuring a thousand world-wide sales a month, where the maker and the buyer get what they deserve from one another. 

          • Joker

            My 08 Mondeo had illuminated switch gear. Great feature! 

        • Robin_Graves

          They’ve made a decision to leave it off Territories and Falcons – not worth the extra changes needed to the clockspring etc.  Much less of a compromise than VeeDud’s hand grenade mechanicals and gremlin riddled electrics.

          • Golfschwein

            Well, so you keep saying, Robin. Trouble is, no one’s listening to your bitter and broken record. VW pump out as many of their hand grenade mechanicals in morning tea time as Ford Australia make knock-kneed, rusty tailgated Territories in a whole month. I’m asking myself who has the better business model and I reckon I’m coming up with the right answer.

          • Golfmother

            ROFL .

          • Mr Irony

            Dodgy brothers. Good model, huh.

  • Jerrycan

    There are more to cars than just criticising the interior plastics.
    The Territory is a five star safety car and the Jeep is not. Explain thatdecision to your family in the event of a serious crash.
    The Santa fe is front wheel biased and the electronic nannies are badly sorted. Pull out from a T junction into a small gap in the trafffic and so you give it a bit of welly. You get massive torque steer, inside spinning wheel, then the nannies cut in and get confused on whether to cut power because of the spinning wheel or put some drive to the rear wheels. So you sit there with traffic bearing down on you, wrestling with the wheel and waiting for them to end their argument.
    Despite the turbo-lag the Territory is much better resolved and handles so much better. Yes the 2.7 litre is fairly old but it is more than adequate and very reliable judging by my mates Discovery 3.

    • 3D4

      Finally some comment that is not offensive towards other brands as are those from less inteligent peolpe here.. But..

      Since when NCAP or ANCAP stars are relevant. How can you be sure, your car is actually safe in real world enviroment (and crashes).?? Sad truth is that car manufacturers simply build cars to only excell in tests like NCAP. 

      And yes, I would better sit in Grand Cherokee with my family knowing, that I actually sit in a car that was developed and build from this century materials and building standarts rather than Territory. (outdated diesel, outdated petrol, interior from  15 years ago etc..

      it’s just a fact

      Nothing against Ford. They build some fantastic cars, sadly none of them is being build here in australia….   

      • Tom

        The Territory and Falcon are both made in Australia. 

        • Darryl

          We know that. His point is the ones they make here are not fantastic, whereas some of the ones they make elsewhere are (arguably)

      • Gtr-xu1

        3d4 outdated petrol engine,you can’t be serious.Talk about stupid comments,you have just taken the lead.I would like for you tell me the better petrol engines around?

    • Crummydore

      But that’s all I am criticising about the car!

      Hopefully Ford watch this site and take these criticisms and comments as positive feedback rather than having a go – the rest of the car is great, just needs a lift inside.

  • PIZZA

    FORD would be lucky to sell 50 of this in Thailand….

    • Guest

      It sent the other 50 over there for spares!

    • Claude defraud

      Wouldn’t sell any in Mali or mozambique..

    • Karl Sass

      That’s because the Thai government puts 30k of tax on it.

      • Dave S

        Free trade – by name only it seems

  • Turbodewd

    Ahh CarAdvice – troll central!

    Full of subjective and irrelevant comments.  My wife’s Mazda3 dash is hard plastic…sooo…you dont sit on it.  My Falcon dash is soft and pleasant to touch.  The Territory runs the same dash so I dont know what people are talking about here.  Clearly ill-informed fanboys of other brands…

    • Golfmother

      Falcoon dash is all hard plastic , should have gone to spec savers , still its what the taxi industry wants .

      • Guest

        Here’s a question for you mate, would you rather an interior that looked cheap and tacky but was perfectly functional and comfortable or a stylish, expensive but uncomfortable interior?

        • Golfmother

          James and who wants a falcoon sit ON seating postion , while peering under the roof , rather sit IN with a stylish high quality interior .

          • Robin_Graves

            You’ve never been in an FG bunghole so you wouldn’t know. I’d pay to see you riding in a boot of one to Snowtown.

          • Golfmother

            Snowtown boys had nice falcoons to do the business .

          • Golfmother

            Yes FG taxi .

      • Mikkos

        It’s soft plastic if you have even bothered to sit in one rather then just look at it and automatically assume that your econo box Golf is better with that horrendous Scottish kilt seats and that boring 4cyl motor… You’re a dip S***!

    • DanielD

      Falcon dash is lightly padded, while Territory dash never was – right from its launch in 2004.

  • Stevo

    Jeep reliable? are you a comedian golfmother

    • Jeeper

      I’ve had Jeeps for 25 years now, been driving a Wrangler since it was first released here. My previous TJ did close to 130,000 km, no issues with it. My current ’07 JK diesel has done 125,355km so far, no issues whatsoever. So yeah, in my experience, Jeep is pretty reliable. Don’t know where you are getting your info from.

  • DJS

    Still waitint to see if my long responce is uploaded here!

  • HandBrake

    Surely some of you people aren’t expecting a mercedes in your driveway when you buy a ford territory?

  • F1orce

    The new Territory with the 4.0L straight 6 is very good from my experience. Makes for a strong vehicle.

    And it’s also apparently reliable which is good. Can’t say the same about Veedud’s anaemic, struggling 4-bangers. Suffering from a short lifespan.

    • Cliveed_15

      Interested in buying one but finding out through forums here that you can not order a nudge bar is a deal breaker for me checked the Ford website none is listed. Anyone know if an aftermarket one by ARB or similar is available or can be fitted.

      • nickdl

        Yes aftermarket ones can be bought – I’ve seen plenty of new model Territorys with a nudge bar, pretty sure from ARB.

    • Golfmother

      You rubbing up to robin graves , ford lover .

  • Jo

     FORD SHOULD MATCH THE G6E ECOBOOST ENGINE ONTO THE 2014 TERRITORY.

  • Nate

    The car looks just cheap, this car has never been modern.
    Sat inside my friend’s one last night and seriously the engine noise and the cheap plastic are very irritating.

  • marc

    actually… the fords handbrake from the 80s came out of the dash

  • joe blow

    I don’t give a f????

  • Jack

    Hey Car Advice – in your initial reviews of the SZ Territory you mentioned the quietness and low NVH levels of the diesel, going so far as to say (Alborz):

    ” Better yet, thanks to an extensive improvement in NVH (noise, vibration
    and harshness) you can hardly hear the thing. In fact, when idling, a
    clutch mechanism housed inside the transfer case will decouple any
    driving forces being pushed onto the front drive shafts. This means
    little noise when stopped at a set of lights.”

    Now you say (David):

    “The downsides of having a diesel in the engine bay are that they can
    sound rather truck-like from the outside. And worse still, that sound
    can penetrate into the cabin.
    Though noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH) levels in the Ford
    Territory are good – with road noise being present but only ever minimal
    – it’s the diesel engine that permeates most.”

    What’s the truth? I’m pretty sure they are being made the same way 2 years later. My own impression of the AWD diesel was closer to your initial one – they are very quiet indeed.

  • KnobGnut

    VW. Faults, what faults?
    Oh yeah…nationwide (read worldwide) recalls. Still don’t actually know what the fault is though. Coroners findings against the company. Denial, denial, denial. Irreprible brand damage done and the boss in Deutschland admitting he’d rather drive a Merc.
    I’ll go with the crappy handbrake. This is not after all, a segment where a “classic” is likely to turn up – and who keeps them for more than a couple ‘a few years anyway?
    SInce when has pumping out a a gizallion rubbish products a good business model? Save the resources and buy something decent from Germany like a 92 500SL.

  • XR6Turbo17

    The Engine is Made by Ford in England not Jag/Land Rover.

  • Robert

    Just bought a Jeep Grand Cherokee 4 x 2. Great fuel economy (10.6litres/100 Kms) around the suburbs. Over 4,000kms traveled so far. Better looking and more extras than the Territory also.

    • JOHN

      Nice choice, Territory drivers think they are driving a Mercedes. The car is an assembly of Mercedes, VW, Honda, nothing is original here, the interior looks cheap, the leather is yucky. I’d rather spend more money to buy the VW instead of this wannabe.

  • GD

    No curtain airbags in the 3rd row, so cross it off your list.

Ford Territory Specs

TITANIUM (RWD) : 2.7L DIESEL TURBO F/INJ - 6 SP AUTOMATIC - 4D WAGON
Car Details
Make
FORD
Model
TERRITORY
Variant
TITANIUM (RWD)
Series
SZ
Year
2012
Body Type
4D WAGON
Seats
7
Engine Specifications
Engine Type
DIESEL TURBO F/INJ
Engine Size
2.7L
Cylinders
DIESEL TURBO V6
Max. Torque
440Nm @  1900rpm
Max. Power
140kW @  4000rpm
Pwr:Wgt Ratio
67.5W/kg
Bore & Stroke
81x88mm
Compression Ratio
17.3
Valve Gear
DUAL OVERHEAD CAM
Drivetrain Specifications
Transmission
6 SP AUTOMATIC
Drive Type
REAR WHEEL DRIVE
Final Drive Ratio
3.23
Fuel Specifications
Fuel Type
DIESEL
Fuel Tank Capacity
75
Fuel Consumption (Combined)
8.2L / 100km
Weight & Measurement
Kerb Weight
2074
Gross Vehicle Weight
Not Provided
Height
1716mm
Length
4883mm
Width
1898mm
Ground Clearance
175mm
Towing Capacity
Brake:2300  Unbrake:750
Steering & Suspension
Steering Type
RACK & PINION - POWER ASSISTED
Turning Circle
11.4
Front Rim Size
7.5x18
Rear Rim Size
7.5x18
Front Tyres
235/55 R18
Rear Tyres
235/55 R18
Wheel Base
2843
Front Track
1626
Rear Track
1597
Front Brakes
DISC - VENTILATED
Rear Brakes
DISC - VENTILATED
Standard Features
Comfort
Auto Climate Control with Dual Temp Zones, Power front seat Driver/memory, Rear seat enhancement pack
Control & Handling
18 Inch Alloy Wheels, Electronic Brake Force Distribution
Driver
Cruise Control, Leather Steering Wheel, Parking Distance Control, Power Steering
Entertainment
Radio Compact Disc Player
Exterior
Power Mirrors
Interior
Leather Upholstery, Power Windows
Safety
Dual Airbag Package, Anti-lock Braking, Head Airbags, Protective Glazing
Security
Central Locking Remote Control, Engine Immobiliser
Other
Service Interval
12 months /  15,000 kms
Warranty
36 months /  100,000 kms
VIN Plate Location
8-J-23
Country of Origin
AUSTRALIA