Joel Helmes road tests and reviews the Ford Territory Titanium.
The large seven-seat SUV market is going to be the poorer when the enormously successful Ford Territory ceases production in the not too distant future.
One of the greatest success stories for Ford Australia in the past quarter century the Ford Territory has become the vehicle of choice for many Australian families.
The recipe for success is so simple. Take a whole heap of components and engineering from the Ford Falcon and just make it bigger. A third-row of seats in the back is the crowning glory in a vehicle that’s always been comfortable and easy to drive.
The Ford Territory has been a success because it has been a thoroughly unique offering – it’s not a ‘softened-up’ off-roader and doesn’t claim to have any great ability away from the bitumen and for most families that’s completely acceptable.
It will handle towing a boat or a caravan and some light-duty dirt and sand won’t be an issue, especially if you pay the extra and opt for an all-wheel drive Territory.
So, versatile and not at all agricultural, the Ford Territory is a vehicle that Ford should be enormously proud of.
In 2015 though the Ford Territory is starting to show its age and potential buyers need to understand that nothing else is going to be changed or introduced before the Territory is put out to pasture for good (and replaced by the more expensive Ford Ranger-based, Ford Everest).
Priced from $37,490, the 2015 Ford Territory range includes five-seat models with optional ($2,500) third-row seating. Upper-spec models, including the Titanium, get seven-seats as standard, but if you only want five seats Ford won’t charge you any more for the lower seating capacity.
For resale value I would suggest grabbing the seven seats whether you need them or not.
Under the bonnet of the Territory there are two different engines to choose – 195kW/391Nm 4.0 litre six-cylinder or 140kW/440Nm 2.8 litre turbo diesel.
The petrol engine uses a claimed combined 10.2L/100km and around town you can expect the big Ford SUV to soak up about 14.2L/100km. The diesel, not surprisingly, is much more efficient. Claimed combined here is 9.0L/100km and around town you will use about 11.9L/100km.
The Titanium grade of the Ford Territory is available with both engines, prices start at $48,490 - rear-wheel drive petrol, $51,740 – rear-wheel drive diesel and then with the flagship AWD/diesel you are looking at a starting point of $56,740.
My test car was the AWD/diesel Territory and I must say, despite a few little gripes, this is one well-priced and nicely fitted-out vehicle.
Standard features in the Territory Titanium include a roof-mounted DVD player, digital radio, sat-nav, reverse camera, 18” alloy wheels and front and rear parking sensors.
Another no cost optional extra on offer is tan leather upholstery, while premium paint (everything but ‘Winter White’) will cost you an additional $500, you can have a tow pack added to your Territory for $550.
Legroom front and back and cabin storage areas are generously-sized and when the third-row seats are folded down into the floor there’s heaps of cargo space. Other good elements include comfortable seats, nice seating position and a generally nicely-laid out interior.
As with the Falcon XR8 that I reviewed last week the central control panel is dated and overly complicated. A Ford Territory purchase will also see you take ownership of an old-fashioned folding key and don’t expect key in pocket central locking or push-button ignition.
The diesel engine provides willing acceleration from a standing-stop and overtaking, hill-climbing and towing is not an issue thanks to the beefy 440Nm available.
There is though a little harshness in the drive-train, it’s not evident all the time but you just get the occasional mild ‘thud’ from somewhere underneath!
Safety is covered in the Ford Territory by a five-star ANCAP rating.
Summing it up; the Ford Territory in 2015 is not at all what you would call cutting-edge. It is however a well thought-out model that deserves plenty of respect and acclaim.
If you can grab one before they go extinct, and I strongly recommend the diesel version, then I’m sure you will have many years of happy, good value, family motoring.
NUTS and BOLTS – 2015 Ford Territory Titanium Diesel
Engine: 2.8 litre turbo-diesel producing 140kW and 440Nm or 4.0 litre petrol producing 195kW and 391Nm
Transmission: Six-speed automatic (only)
Safety: Five stars
Price: From $48,490