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Ford Territory 2009 Review

13 May 2009
 by 
, CarsGuide

And Ford admits the minor update is intended to maintain interest in the vehicle until the next model.

Ford director of product development, Russell Christophers admits the changes are few and that there are no mechanical modifications.

"This is a fairly minor change that just freshens the product," he said. "We will do something more dramatic when we do the new Territory model."

The Territory SX was launched in 2004, then updated as the SY and now comes the SY Mk II with more airbags, more standard features, minor interior and exterior styling changes and between $500 and $1000 more on the price tag.

Drivetrains

The base model Turbo has also been dropped from the range because Ford found most turbo buyers wanted the luxury of the Turbo Ghia which has been retained.

This leaves the Territory with the 190kW/383Nm 4.0-litre six-cylinder and the 245kW/480Nm turbo 4.0-litre six-cylinder engines, mated to the choice of either a four-speed automatic transmission or the six-speed ZF sequential transmission.

Appearance and equipment

Outside, the SY Mk II Territory gets a remodelled bonnet, grille, lower grille, fog lamp bezels, headlights, bumper, body coloured mirror and door handles, tail lamps and new wheel designs.

The Ghia also gets indicators incorporated in the mirrors and larger, 18-inch alloy wheels.

There are four new exterior colours: Velvet (brown), Harmony (silver), Mystic (green) and in September Ford will add Serenity (gold). Inside, there are new darker trim options in some models.

Territory TX now comes standard with side curtain airbags, cruise control, 17-inch alloy wheels and a body colour package for the bumpers, door handles and mirrors.

Territory TS also gets the body colour package plus a reverse parking camera, front fog lamps, leather-wrapped steering wheel, handbrake and gearshift, and a third row seat as standard.

Ghia gains a third-row seat as standard, an Alpine rear DVD system, side steps, rear privacy glass and 18-inch alloy wheels, while the Ghia Turbo adds a new 18-inch alloy wheel design.

Wagner said the SY Mk II offered better value for money.

Pricing

The TX costs $1000 more and all other models an extra $500. Ford claimed the extra standard equipment was valued at between $3600 and $6600, depending on the model.

Ford SY Territory prices

Model - Old price - New price - (extra standard features)

TX (RWD) $38,490 $39,490 $3600

TX (AWD) $43,490 $44,490 $3600

TS (RWD) $43,990 $44,490 $4800

TS (AWD) $48,990 $49,490 $4800

Ghia (RWD) $51,990 $52,490 $6600

Ghia (AWD) $56,990 $57,490 $6600

Ghia Turbo $65,920 $66,420 $5600

Fuel economy

Christophers says the fuel economy on rear-wheel drive Territory models has been improved by 4.9 per cent or 0.6 litres per 100km. The Ghia and all seven-seater models had a 1.6 per cent or 0.2L/100km economy improvement.

Christophers says this was achieved by new global calibrations to the engine, transmission, catalytic converter and other elements of the drive train. He ruled out LPG or diesel engines until the next model Territory.

Driving

With no mechanical changes in the updated Ford Territory, there’s not a lot new to report.

The Territory remains a quiet, refined and civilised way to eat up the vast distances of Australia in comfort.

It comes with a choice of six and four-speed automatic transmissions and obviously the six is the pick. However, the four feels like a sturdy box with a good selection of gears and little hunting around until you are really pushing it or driving through hilly country or a series of complex corners.

Both boxes are well matched to the lusty and torquey engines, which pull even seven passengers and some luggage with ease and without a lot of audible grunting and groaning.

Brakes bring it all to a halt without too much drama, although we have known the rear end to feel loose when the vehicle is loaded and you are really stomping on the pedal.

Overall handling is very car like for a two-tonne vehicle. The third row of seats creates a slight tail-heavy handling feel, but the Territory still feels right at home blasting down the highway, twisting through the hills or rollicking down some country gravel track.

The all-wheel-drive models are obviously more adaptable to rougher and more slippery conditions. And over several unsurfaced country tracks the cabin remained dust free.

Inside, the feel is utilitarian and slightly austere. The new fabrics and trim don't change that effect. However, it's a functional environment with a host of handy little storage spaces for drink bottles and other items.

Pricing & Specs

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