We have tried the new Ford Territory and like it so much, we'd actually consider buying one if we were in the market for a new vehicle.
It is available in a range of models and spec' - TX, TS, Titanium, in rear and all wheel drive models and straight six cylinder petrol and V6 turbodiesel engines - all with six speed automatic transmission. Petrol is rear drive only.
We have driven the petrol and diesel rear-drive models and the diesel all-wheel drive. All are impressive on most fronts particularlty the diesel which challenges European medium large SUVs like the BMW X5 that cost twice as much.
Engine and Transmission
Explore the 2011 Ford Territory range
But which one would we go for? That would be the mid-spec TS rear wheel drive diesel at $50,240 because it offers the fuel economy of a diesel with strong performance and plenty of kit to keep you comfy and happy.
The diesel is good for 140kW/440Nm - not a huge output compared with more modern turbodiesels but sufficient to give the Territory plenty of ooomph around town, on the highway and when towing.
We don't need all wheel drive which adds a few thousand to the purchase price and also increases fuel consumption. The rear drive diesel Territory can crack into the 7s/100km on a freeway run - quite remarkable given its size and weight.
But better still is the way it feels. Ford has done an excellent job of calibrating Territory's dynamics to the same level as highly regarded Euro imports. It has a good compromise between ride and handling and is an engaging drive for all but the most demanding driver.
That means well weighted and responsive steering, strong brakes, firm suspension and good grip. The auto transmission seems perfectly suited to the 2.7-litre turbodiesel.
Inside also impresses apart from the overuse of hard plastic surfaces, masked by different textures on the dash. Territory is comfortable and well equipped offering 30 storage options in the cabin and in the test vehicle's case, useable third row seats though there's minimal boot space with these seats in place. We found the two hand tailgate operation annoying.
But Territory's interior is a good place to be - great audio, efficient aircon', power adjust driver's seat, reverse sensors, Bluetooth and plenty more. It even looks good on the outside and inside too.