Make / Model Search

Car reviews - Ford - Territory - 5-dr wagon range

Our Opinion

We like
Superb six-speed auto on AWD models, great overall packaging, dynamics and driveability, chunky good looks
Room for improvement
No six-speed on RWD models, fuel economy still not great, where’s the diesel?

14 Oct 2005

Cut-price X5?

Not quite, but the new six-speed automatic Ford Territory comes damn close to being virtually as good for most folk who’ll also appreciate it costing half the price.

And one Ford engineer is happy to claim it as the best SUV in the Ford world – and that includes luxury 4WDs like Volvo’s XC90 and the Range Rover.

Big claims, and ones no doubt made with the base TX AWD’s $43,990 asking price firmly in mind.

Yet the six-speed Territory deserves better than this slightly condescending qualifier. Forget about tall poppies we should be thankful to have such an accessible world-class SUV period.

As you’d have guessed, six-speeds broadens the Territory’s driving horizons considerably.

Now there are more gears to make the most of a 190kW 4.0-litre twin-cam six-cylinder engine that breathes better than the outgoing 182kW version for greater low-down torque and easier high-end tractability.

Slightly better fuel consumption is another bonus.

And the six-speed gearbox further rounds out a remarkably adept Australian family car.

Now it has the gearbox flexibility to handle sharp cornering duties with just that bit more finesse. You may recall that one of the Territory’s greatest assets is its responsive and perfectly weighted steering system.

That old cliché of this car shrinking around you rings very true when you’re hurtling this 1.8-tonne wagon with such ease and alacrity.

On the open road the taller top gear also means the engine makes a relaxing as well as rewarding grand tourer. Don’t forget that there is also a very sophisticated independent suspension set-up lurking underneath.

So it’s an even bigger shame then that the fuel consumption hasn’t fallen further.

It just makes you wish Ford could offer a suitable turbo-diesel version right now. Imagine how complete an SUV the SY would be.

Nevertheless, by comparison, BMW’s next-generation X5, due sometime in 2006, had better justify its heady price difference.

Diesels and performance V8 X5 models aside, today’s six-speed Territory runs it very close indeed.

Meanwhile the revised 4.0-litre in-line six-cylinder engine – now dubbed Barra 190 on account of its 190kW of power – feels smoother and more responsive than before.

Even in the four-speed automatic two-wheel drive Territory – which is basically the same package that’s wowed the public and the press for nigh-on one-and-a-half years – the overall drive is still a refreshing and extremely competent one.

Ford says it isn’t yet ready to market the six-speed auto with rear-wheel drive in the Territory, as the engineering changes are quite extensive indeed.

With that combination the big Ford SUV will shine even brighter.

But even as it stands, you won’t find a better-value SUV than the SY Territory. And with the six-speed box, you’ll have to travel very far and wide to find a better-driving one.

Click to share

Click below to follow us on
Facebook  Twitter  Instagram

GoAuto can help you buy a new Territory

Customer Terms and Conditions – New Car Lead enquires


This is an agreement between GoAutoMedia Pty Limited ACN 094 732 457 of PO Box 18, Beach Road, Sandringham, VIC, 3191 (“we/us”), the owner and operator of the GoAuto.com.au website (“the website”) and the person wanting GoAuto.com.au to provide them with a lead for the purchase of a new car (“you”).

By completing a New Car Lead Enquiry, you agree to the terms and conditions and disclaimers and acknowledge the policies set out below.

Terms and Conditions

  • In order for us to effect a lead you must you must complete a New Car Lead Enquiry (“Enquiry”).
  • We will call you as soon as possible after you complete the Enquiry and certainly no later than the next business day. When we call, we will discuss with you your new car requirements.
  • You consent to our passing on the Enquiry and your requirements to an appropriate authorised motor car dealer as a lead.
  • We will contact you again in approximately eight days following your initial enquiry to check on the progress of the Enquiry.
  • While we will provide the dealer with the Enquiry and details of your new car requirements, we take no responsibility for what happens after passing on that material as a lead.
  • You acknowledge that we are a new car information service providing new car editorial information, pictures and prices to our customers as a guide only. Any new car prices published on the website are the manufacturers’ recommended retail prices and do not include delivery charges and on-road costs. Any authorized motor car dealer to which we pass on your Enquiry as a lead will provide you with full details of the price at which the vehicle will be sold to you.
  • You acknowledge that we do not sell motor vehicles. Any sale of a new car to you by a dealer after we have passed on your Enquiry to that dealer as a lead, is a sale by that dealer not by us.

Privacy Policy– New Car Lead Enquires

  • We take privacy very seriously. We understand that you will only complete an Enquiry if you can trust us to protect your personal information and use it appropriately. Our policy is to ensure that the personal information collected when you make an Enquiry is only used for the purposes of connecting you with an authorised motor car dealer.
  • We do not on-sell information collected from you or any other customer.
  • From time to time, we may email you with information or promotions that may be relevant for car buyers. You will continue to receive communications from us unless you tell us that you do not want to receive any advertising or promotional information in the future by unsubscribing from these communications.
* Denotes required field
** Australian inquiries only

Motor industry news

GoAutoNews is Australia’s number one automotive industry journal covering the latest news, future and new model releases, market trends, industry personnel movements, and international events.

Catch up on all of the latest industry news with this week's edition of GoAutoNews
Click here