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

Launch Story

Ford logo5 Apr 2011

By BYRON MATHIOUDAKIS

FORD has finally revealed the full extent of its vital SZ Territory facelift, including all-important pricing for the expanded nine-variant 2011 range comprising upgraded petrol and new TDCi diesel models.

Officially on sale from May 8, the new-look Territory’s base price is up by just $100 to $39,990 for the entry-level 4.0-litre inline six-cylinder (I6) petrol-powered rear-wheel drive (RWD) TX five-seater wagon.

The cheapest diesel variant will set buyers back a further $3250 at $43,240 - or $48,240 for the all-wheel drive (AWD) version.

Ford Australia expects diesel versions to account for half of all Territory sales – more than the 47 per cent they comprise within the medium SUV segment overall.

Every TX now comes standard with a six-speed automatic transmission (instead of the previous rear-drive model’s four-speed unit), along with the latest Bosch 9.0 Dynamic Stability Control (ESC) system that now features a roll-over mitigation function.

Also standard across the range are seven airbags (following the addition of a new driver’s knee airbag), automatic climate-control, power driver’s seat adjustment, power windows/mirrors and door locks and 17-inch alloy wheels, while a fresh 5.8-inch monochromatic LCD screen that supports CD, MP3, USB, iPod and Bluetooth connectivity with audio streaming is standard at base level.

Moving up to the mid-range TS costs another $7000 - or $46,990 with a petrol engine - but that also includes three rows of seats that turn the Territory into a seven-seat SUV. Ticking the TDCi box ups the TS ante to $50,240, with the TS AWD diesel priced at $55,240.

TS owners enjoy the convenience of a reversing camera, front foglights and a larger (eight-inch) centre monitor with touch-screen technology and remote steering wheel controls), along with 18-inch alloys, a specific front bumper treatment and a silver grille.

The Ghia-replacing Titanium flagship costs an extra $8000 at $54,990 in RWD petrol guise, which takes the TDCi and TDCi AWD versions to $58,240 and $63,240 respectively.

Titanium models bring another specific 18-inch wheel/bumper/grille combination with heavy chrome accenting, LED ‘front position lamps’, an Alpine-branded rear DVD entertainment system, leather upholstery, and an integrated satellite-navigation system with traffic message alert. Touch-screen operation of the new infotainment system supersedes the need for the TS’s remote control function.

Ford won’t say how much it cost to develop the SZ Territory, which so far does not comprise a replacement for the 245kW/480Nm Territory Turbo, but the comprehensive upgrade program was part of a $230 million investment “in sustainability” that also includes the development of upgraded homegrown 4.0-litre ‘EcoLPi’ LPG and new imported 2.0-litre four-cylinder Ecoboost turbo petrol versions of the Falcon due on sale in July and January respectively.

As we’ve reported, the 2011 Territory’s 2.7-litre common-rail direct-injection 60-degree DOHC turbo-diesel V6 delivers 140kW of power at 4000rpm and 440Nm of torque between 1900 and 2500rpm.

Matched with a variation of the Falcon’s ZF 6R80 six-speed auto, RWD TDCi Territory models return fuel consumption of 8.2 litres per 100km on the combined cycle (8.8-9.0L/100km for AWD models) and 217 grams per kilometre of carbon dioxide emissions, increasing to 236g/km for AWD versions.

Modifications were made to the TDCi’s fuel and induction systems to suit Australian conditions, while the front differential in AWD models was moved from the previous SY Territory AWD petrol’s chassis mounting to the engine sump, cutting NVH noise/vibration/harshness levels. A fuel-saving clutch mechanism that disengages drive when idling with the brakes operated was also fitted.

Formerly the sole engine option available to Territory customers, Ford’s Geelong-built inline six also came in for efficiency and performance improvements.

The long-lived 4.0-litre petrol unit benefits from many of the updates the FG Falcon brought three years ago. Now reserved solely for RWD applications, its power and torque outputs are rated at 195kW (up 5kW) and 391Nm (up 8Nm) respectively, while the average fuel consumption figure slides by 1.0L/100km to 10.6L/100km. Matching that is a 27g/km drop in CO2 emissions, to 249g/km.

Among the I6 improvements is a new fast-burn cylinder head design, a lightweight dual-resonance intake manifold and an electronic throttle body and fuel rail systems. The standard automatic gearbox in this case is ZF’s 6HP26 six-speeder.

Meanwhile, the Territory’s new electronic power steering system (EPS) usurps the old hydraulic set-up for slight gains in fuel economy and presumably manufacturing cost, yet Ford claims the Territory’s agility, manoeuvrability and roll control characteristics have all improved. Allied with the new EPS is a lighter and stronger new subframe, which collectively offers a 14kg weight saving.

Other NVH-reduction measures include a comprehensive engine sound-deadening package, a laminated acoustic windscreen, improved engine and transmission mounts, an optimised front bulkhead and a new isolated cross-member behind the transmission in AWD models. Ford also promises reductions in wind noise.

On the dynamic front, there have been modifications to front-end suspension geometry, a new suspension tune including different spring, damper and anti-roll bar rates, altered driveline and suspension bushes, a self-adjusting parking brake and revised brake friction materials.

Towing capacity in TDCi models is rated at 2700kg – 400kg more than in the I6 Territory, with a towball weight of 270kg and 230kg respectively.

Ford has sold more than 107,000 (SX and SY) Territory vehicles in Australia since April 2004, with 23,454 units sold in 2005 – the model’s best sales year to date.

"With the original-model Territory, we did a great job in two vital areas of vehicle development: understanding our customers' needs and benchmarking,” said Ford Australia president and CEO Bob Graziano.

"We adopted this approach again with the development of this new model."

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