What an absolutely phenomenal car. I bought this beauty as a used fleet car with 140K on the clock, but that didn't faze me a bit. It was well broken in but cared for and respected, so I jumped at the chance to own this one-owner Terri’.
I'd traded in my FG Limited Edition G6 Falcon for it, but not before doing some research first. I knew I wanted a new car with more space. I also wanted another Aussie-built car that was also good on fuel, as I drive 50km round trip for work each day. I thought about a Commy wagon, but I didn't want a V6 for their issues with timing chains and poor customer service, so I looked to a V8 wagon, but then considered it may be a bit thirstier than I wanted.
So my next logical move was to look at a Terri’. From what I'd heard, everyone loves their Terri’, though I took to forums and reviews on them to gain a better understanding about their pros and cons. I also took to first-hand reviews, as a mate at work has a Terri’. He claimed for the purposes I needed it for, I shouldn't think twice.
Armed with this research, I went looking. I test-drove a white SZ TS RWD diesel. One owner, it had leather seats, but didn't look that overly cared for – telltale signs of kids wear etc. Nevertheless, it had 110K on it, which was about the kays on my FG. I hopped in and it felt nice to sit in. I got out on the open road, however, and there was a feeling of uncertainty. The RWD felt dodgy. To this day, I still can't pinpoint exactly what I didn't like about it. It almost felt clumsy and unexciting to drive. I turned it down and was almost put off Terris altogether, but I was due to test-drive an AWD the next day, so I was hoping for a miracle.
So there I was at the dealer the next day, and it was an SZII TX (base model) AWD. So I looked it over, and it was clean, one-owner and country kays. I was excited by the tech on the base model: digital radio, front and rear park sensors, reverse camera and Bluetooth connectivity. I wasn't fussed by a cloth interior, as the leather one in the FG had done its dash with me (too many burnt legs on hot summer days). The interior space and storage features also had me sold.
It ticked a lot of boxes already, so I asked for the keys and we hit the road. From the moment we hit the service road, I instantly felt a connection to the car, then we hit the freeway. It was smooth, and the AWD felt so much more planted than the RWD. Acceleration was different to my FG with the Terri’ being diesel, but I didn't mind. It was still effortless and comfortable to drive. We got back to the dealer and I signed the papers then and there.
Fast-forward to over a month of owning and its size and versatility have already paid off. Chucking tools and a few decent trips to Bunnings for bags of potting mix and plants. Daily driving is a breeze to and from work on the freeway with its many varying surfaces and speed limits. I'm yet to take her camping, where I'm sure she'll well and truly come into her own then and on gravel surfaces with the AWD ability.
I don't mind if some of my mates call it a mum's car. I've taken it and run with it and now it's my 'dad's car'. One day I'll have the kids to fill it, but in the meantime it's my versatile all-rounder that I look forward to putting a whole lot more kays on driving all over this wide brown land – with a smile on my dial always knowing I bought a gem of a car.
It's a shame Ford Australia got canned along with the others, because I would like to have seen a whole new generation of this and many other Australian-made cars. But they will live on through the owners who love, respect and look after these Australian-made cars that we have left, like I will with this truly amazing vehicle.