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Ford Territory diesel tow review

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    The Ford Territory can tow up to 2700kg in all-wheel drive form and 2300kg in rear-wheel drive Photo Gallery

John Parry road and tow tests and reviews the Ford Territory diesel.

When it comes to towing, Ford's turbodiesel Territory is a natural. Armed with plenty of pulling power, an intuitive six-speed automatic transmission, a broad and stable footprint and class-leading chassis dynamics, the Territory can tow up to 2700kg in all-wheel drive form and 2300kg in rear-wheel drive.

A good test of a tow vehicle is its ability to handle a load without working too hard or drinking too much. Hooked up to a 6m boat on a tandem trailer weighing about 1800kg, the all-wheel drive TX on test did it easily, pulling with power to spare.

The transmission was mostly smooth, decisive and eager to kick down, yet made good use of its taller ratios on the open road. Over flat to undulating terrain it held sixth gear at 100-110km/h and on long climbs kicked down and held fifth gear.

Rarely did it drop into fourth gear and when it did there was plenty in reserve to hold and even recover momentum. Apart from an initial pause while the turbo spooled up, standing starts were brisk, mid-range response was ample and cruising required little more than part throttle to hold the desired speed.

In sixth gear the engine was spinning at a comfortable 1750rpm, or about 100rpm more than the rear-wheel drive version, due to a lower diff ratio. This lower final drive gave the all-wheel drive an edge for reversing up steep slopes and driveways, also accomplished on light throttle.

Fuel use when towing averaged a respectable 14.8l/100km compared with 8.2l/100km unladen. Stability when towing was impressive. With a wide track, a long wheelbase and well-sorted suspension, the Territory felt solid and composed, was free of twitching and pitching over bumps and undulations and unfazed by cross winds and buffeting.


Prices for the all-wheel drive diesel start at $48,240 for the TX version, or $4990 more than the rear-wheel drive version. Add $7000 to both for TS trim and a further $8000 for the Titanium. The test car came with a heavy duty tow package priced at $2253 fitted and included wiring, adjustable ball mount and a load-levelling kit. Maximum towball weight is 270kg (230kg in the rear-wheel drive).


As for ride and handling, nothing in its price range comes close to Territory. The confident and engaging chassis and the accurate and intuitive electronic power steering are simply the best this side of $100,000.

And the engine is whisper quiet, without doubt the smoothest and most serene in its class. Apart from a subdued rumble on idle, there is so little engine, wind and road noise that there is barely a need to adjust the audio volume as speed increases.

Driving position is also about as good as it gets, which contributes to relaxed long stretches behind the wheel. The interior is as warm, inviting and functional as ever, bolstered by a plethora of storage and the simple one-step flat-folding rear seats. Over 1000km of urban and country running, the test car performed with aplomb, apart from a rattle in the tow tongue.


Price: from $48,240
Engine: 6 Cylinder, 2.7-litre turbodiesel, 140kW/440Nm
Transmission: Sports Automatic, Four Wheel Drive
Thirst: 8.8 / 100Km
Towing: 14.8l/100km
Warranty: 3years/100,000km


Comments on this story

Displaying 3 of 19 comments

  • Hi I wonder if you can assist,we have a oct 2013 territory 2wd titanium desiel ..we have been told it has a 2300 kg tow capacity, it has a 1600 fitted, a tow bar dealer has told us , the 2 we can be fitted with a hayman-reese 2700kg Bar with electric brakes and level kit….as we want to get a kakoda caravan with a 2350-2550… Can you please advise me if this is correct…thank you
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    Mark of Melbourne Posted on 04 April 2014 8:49pm
  • parry   please get hold of a 2013 ford territory and road test it on coarse bitumen roads 80/90 decibels cabin noise rough gravel 90/100 decibels on the ts awd we brought and we have 4 hours of this on a trip to town and back home on the initial test drive we were only allowed to drive around the city outskirts,work place standards -above 80 decibels damages your hearing and is bad for your health and over 80 decibels you must wear ear protection so please do an article regarding these noise issues ford needs to do a recall to rectify thes health damaging issues   reg   ian

    ian hardman of musselroe bay 7264 tasmania Posted on 25 December 2013 6:55pm
  • The Territory has a major problem with turbo lag. Not a great choice for towing but good for touring on the open road.

    Scott Bayley of Canberra Posted on 22 December 2013 1:01pm
  • Hi Steve maybe this will help.  Just completed a10.600 km trip thru N T < W A< S A,.  Our territory awd petrol   6 speed towed our Jayco 19’  pop top a t m 2.23 tons with comfort ease, and competenece—- a breeze, day after day. Wife and I love it ( Only a recent ford owner after years of G M inclu unhappy adventra exp).  We’d thinkTerritory is with out peer—- av about 14—-15 L/100. Used 150 ml oil. now on 76000 kms.

    grant jewell of adelaide s a Posted on 20 September 2013 1:12pm
  • I have owned an AWD petrol territory for 7 years I was unimpressed with the fuel consumption and unable to fit gas until the warranty period had ended (3 Years) Once converted to injected gas, it is unbelievably economic about 400 ks for 63 litres with no noticeable loss of power (except when towing) As a result I have no intentions of selling it (although I know I probably should) for the foreseeable future as filling it with gas for $35.00 a week for a vehicle over 2 tones is remarkable.

    I believe if you tow irregularly and are on the tarmac for the vast majority of time, and enjoy the elevated seating position, which is also a delight to get in and out from, a Territory is a serious consideration, parts are readily available all over Australia, not that I’ve needed any apart from routine servicing. I recently purchased a new boat weighing 1800kgs I was concerned I would not be able to pull it off a steep remote ramp in the river Murray, I was amazed at how easily it did the job and at very low revs

    Fan of Territory of South Australia Posted on 21 May 2013 3:17pm
  • Like some sound advice please. I am just about to enter the SUV market after 40 years of driving Holden large sedans currently driving VE 6lt Calais. I have narrowed my choices down to the Ford Territory AWD or the Holden Colorado 7 AWD. I will be towing a a caravan 19ft in length, dual axle with ensuite exact weight not known at this stage.  I have read many reviews on both these vehicles but am still at a stalemate in regards to which would be the better vehicle.  My ife and i will be travelling upto 3 - 6 mths at a time.  Not off road but through some of Australia,s outback roads.  Many thanks to anyone who could offer some advice, thank you.

    Steve Wright of Warnervale, NSW Posted on 07 May 2013 12:28pm
  • Gooses

    Bill of Posted on 03 April 2013 8:21pm
  • I tow with a 5 year old RWD Territory and find it very capable. A little thirsty but cheaper to own.

    Bob of Mango Hill Posted on 02 February 2013 8:41am
  • I’m very interested in the Territory TS AWD diesel, 2012 model. However, I have some concerns regarding the vehicle’s published specifications. The kerb weight of the 5 seater is 2109kg (2144kg for the 7 seater), claimed tow capacity is 2700kg, a driver would be around 85kg and a 20kg tow bar would be needed. On the road, this would give a GCM of 4914kg (4949kg for the 7 seater). However, the rated GCM that I can find is 4850kg. Even without passengers and gear,on the road the rig would be at least 64kg overweight, making it illegal and dangerous. According to my calculations, this vehicle should not have a 2700kg tow rating as claimed. I might be missing something. As this was not mentioned in the article (also speed restrictions were not mentioned either), would someone please clarify these figures for me.

    Wayne of Sunshine Coast, Qld Posted on 20 January 2013 1:36am
  • Crazy.  These things look the goods on paper, and are nice while new, but age rapidly and become unreliable.  Things constantly break, and resale value makes you either laugh or cry depending on whether you are the owner.

    scrippy of Ford Posted on 11 January 2013 2:13pm
  • Looked at the Territory felt flimsy and cheap and too small a towing ability.For towing I brought the Jeep Grand Cherokee with the 3.0lt turbo diesel, 550nm of torque and a 3500 kg tow ability with same or better fuel figures and alot more options as standard. Tow a 2.4t van with extreme ease with fuel figures of 12 to 14 lts per 100klms. And a very comfortable town car to drive around when not towing.

    Happy Jeeper of Cairns,Qld Posted on 29 September 2012 1:35pm
  • I never own a Territory again!
    Bits fall off, dated interior
    See what you get for one after a few years, mine cost $62k, got 22k 3 years later - low ks and unmarked (except for the poor trim, such as the rear glass trim being glued on by the dealer!)

    Shipo of Sydney Posted on 20 September 2012 9:44am
  • Sheri I would love to see the economy of a Tiguan towing 1800kg it would not be close to a Territory. If you want a vehicle for towing you would not look at a Tiguan.If you want a car just to drive the Tiguan certainly makes sense. Remember take into account the total cost of ownership which includes servicing this will negate the difference in fuel usage.

    CC Posted on 06 September 2012 10:53pm
  • Has. Anyone towed a caravan with a rwd territory diesel and what was your thoughts about

    Del mills of South Australia Posted on 12 July 2012 11:25pm
  • Bought a TX RWD Diesel Territory in DEcember 2011. Has done 14000Km and is averaging 8.6L/100Km. Totally satisfied and really enjoy driving it. Plenty of room for two bikes in the back and two kayaks on the roof. Extremely comfortable and very quiet, with ample power for all situations.

    Chris Clark of Old Beach, Tasmania Posted on 30 June 2012 12:13am
  • Towed my 22’ - 2 tonne + caravan with my daughter’s Titanium AWD and it was awesome.  On our 5 hour drive, if it did change down a gear, I didn’t hear it.  I’ve got a TS AWD on order now.

    Tom Davies of Frankston Posted on 09 June 2012 9:26pm
  • Hey every one I am trying to work out for fuel econmy and re sale value between the VW tiguan and territory diesel

    sherri campbell of perth WA Posted on 11 May 2012 4:15pm
  • Hi, what I’d like to know is how the Territory would go towing a 2.6t caravan.  Any comments on this?

    Gwynn of Perth Posted on 05 May 2012 11:54am
  • Great Aussie Made vehicle by the sounds of it! This wagon must be a Top 5 sales contender surely? Much more economical than the older Petrol 4 speed auto option. At least the Updated petrol model has a 6 speed Auto too like the Diesel version.

    GB of the Northside Posted on 28 March 2012 8:44am
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