While Ford Rangers, Fiestas and Focuses often find their way from Thailand to Australia, the Territory turned the situation on its head and Australian-built Territories were exported in the other direction. 100 cars were despatched after a display model at the Bangkok Motor Show invited a surge of orders earlier this year. Ford’s manufacturing facilities in Australia are the subject of perpetual media speculation, so the news will be very welcome.
Bob Graziano, who heads Ford Australia, said his company expected the Territory to do well in Thailand because the features and roominess of the seven-seater appealed to Thais. The car has 1,153 litres of storage capacity. The Territory is ideal for people over six feet tall, although one would have thought there were less of those in Thailand.
An all-wheel-drive diesel Territory is somewhat pricey, costing $55,240, with the rear-wheel-drive diesel coming in slightly less at closer to $50,000 – however you could get a great deal on a second-hand model for around $33,000. Most Ford Territory reviews have spoken of a car that is “hugely popular” and the car has been very well received by the automotive industry. The Territory is the first Australian-built SUV with a diesel engine and more than 107,000 have been sold in the country, making it one of the most successful models ever built by Ford Australia and the toast of SUV reviews across the country.
The engine is a robust 2.7 litre Duratorq V6, whilst fuel consumption is surprisingly good for a vehicle of this size: 10.1 litres per 100 km. This resolves the long-standing complaint that the Territory guzzled too much petrol.
The exterior is suitably rugged looking, blending well with its conventional interior leading to an uncluttered layout overall, whilst elegant metal garnishes contribute to the cars’ understated feel.
Controls look and feel good – the easily-navigated touchscreen display and instrument binnacle are both at comfortable eye height. Ipod, Bluetooth and USB connections allow connectivity with virtually any device.
When the Territory was developed, Ford’s engineers benchmarked the car against the BMW X5, as is clearly apparent. Tyre roar and wind noise have been virtually eliminated, and the quietness of the cabin trumps the Territory’s closest competitors.
The Territory is ideal for Australian roads with wheels that track the contours of the tarmac – changes in surface from gravel to dirt can are barely noticeable, and overall the Territory feels much more expensive than it is.
Discs are vented and there is a twin-piston calliper at the front and a single piston to the rear. Braking is strong and without fade. Seats are shapely and comfortable, and the adjustable steering wheel is easily reached. TS and Titanium models have sat nav, whilst a reversing camera comes as standard. The Territory can tow more than 2,700kg, with one reviewer joking about it towing the QE2. The Territory’s features include front and side-curtain airbags, a driver’s knee airbag, emergency brake assist, traction control and rollover mitigation.
Ford has seemingly achieved their aim of beating their competition. The Toyota Kluger KX-R has ordinary on-road dynamics and no diesel model available. The Holden Captiva 7 CX is no match for the Territory on the road as its engine does not compare with the Territory’s Duratorq diesel and lacks the Territory’s robust feel and sense of security. The Territory is quieter than the BMW X5 3.00DT.