Turbo is Ford’s response to owners looking for a sharper tool.
And it certainly delivers, with spirited performance courtesy of the almost lag-free turbo in-line six it shares with the XR6 Turbo Falcon models. It’s impressive for the whopping torque available at low revs and the linearity of its power delivery.
The smooth shifting ZF six-speed auto is the only transmission and it’s a true gem, mating superbly with the engine. The all-wheel-drive system (there’s no two-wheel-drive version) makes fuss-free work of getting all the ‘oomph’ to the road.
To complement this performance, Ford has engineered the Territory Turbo to handle, steer and grip well.
It corners with authority and balance, especially for a vehicle weighing more than 2100 kg. The up-rated brakes are strong and progressive and there’s standard stability control, with calibration optimised for Turbo versions, to offer a steadying hand.
Like its naturally aspirated siblings, the turbo models have plenty of interior space.
In standard guise, there are seats for five, though Ford offer a seven-pew option. Front seats are similar to Falcon XR6, and that means excellent support and comfort.
Ergonomics, like cousin Falcon, are first rate. Thoughtfully, Ford has provided plenty of oddments stowage compartments and other handy practical features.
Buyers prepared to shell out the extra $11 500 to move up to the Turbo Ghia, will get a mechanically equivalent vehicle with extra creature comforts and safety items, including side curtain airbags (an option on Territory Turbo) and a reversing camera.
To be fair, Ford’s boffins have extracted respectable fuel consumption numbers, given the Territory’s weight and performance. But in these days of high fuel prices, quenching its thirst could still prove onerous.
Overall, the Turbo Territory gives the hurry-up to many European SUV competitors with price tags nearer the $100K mark.