Ford’s locally designed and built Territory further muddied the waters between traditional six-cylinder family wagon, SUV and people mover when it was released in 2004.
And therein lies many of the virtues that have made it so appealing to owners and a success for Ford.
What you get
The locally made Territory was a clean-sheet design for Ford allowing inclusion of many clever practical features and considerable DNA from the BA Falcon, including the 4.0-litre Barra six-cylinder engine and sequential sports shift four-speed auto.
The SX series was offered in three spec levels – the base TX, TS and cream-of-the-crop Ghia, with all available in either rear-wheel or all-wheel-drive configuration. TX standard features included ABS, dual airbags, traction control, power driver’s seat and adjustable pedal box (a boon for drivers of different stature).
The upgraded SY series arrived in late 2005 bringing engine outputs raised by 8kW and 3Nm and availability of the excellent ZF six-speed auto. Ford added two sporty turbo AWD models featuring the impressive XR6 Turbo engine in 2006.
There were options-a-plenty including curtain airbags and third row foldaway seating to expand capacity from five to seven.
How it drives
There’s plenty of torque and strong performance from its Falcon engine, though going over two tonnes at weigh-in means get up and go doesn’t quite match cousin Falcon. Mass also penalises fuel consumption, mostly apparent around town, with AWD versions generally thirstier. The later ZF auto improves economy.
Ride comfort and handling are good and a cut above most SUV’s, people movers and even many family wagons. There’s plenty of interior space for bodies and their belongings, whilst excellent ergonomics, seat comfort and visibility make it easy to drive.
The AWD’s constant all-wheel-drive system makes Territory capable of tackling slippery tracks and lightweight adventures, but it’s no ‘go-anywhere’ off-roader. The optional hill-descent-control system boosts its credentials.
Build quality appears a little hit or miss, but no major problems stand out. Window operation on earlier cars could cease due to mechanism problems, but should mostly be sorted now. It’s worth checking for broken exhaust heat-shields, worn suspension ball joints, underbody damage from off-roading and a proper service history.
Under the pump
Territory (non-turbo) will use between 10.5 litres and 18.0 litres of fuel every 100km, depending on model and driving conditions.
What will it cost?
For an indication of what you would pay for this vehicle please go to RACQ's online car price guide or contact our Motoring Advice Service on 07 3666 9148 or 1800 623 456 outside the Brisbane area.