Used Ford Territory review: 2004-2012
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Ford Territory is unique in being an Australian-designed and built SUV. Every other vehicle in this market segment is an imported design that may or may not have been adapted to suit Australia driving conditions.
Launched way back in May 2004, with a major makeover in May 2011, the Ford Territory showcases the immense talent of Australian automotive engineering.
While it’s getting on in years, it looks to have some life left in it yet. Older models are holding their values well, particularly with smart buyers who are more interested in Aussie practicality than in Euro prestige.
The Territory SUV is based on the Ford Falcon and shares some of its mechanical components, particularly in the powertrain, but quite a few other parts are unique to the wagon.
Seating in Ford Territory is for five or seven people according to the number of rows of seats installed. The third row of seats isn’t too bad for adults, with good head and reasonable legroom.
However, a more realistic passenger load is four adults and three children. Luggage space with all seven seats in place isn’t expansive, but the Territory is hardly on its own in this regard.
Fascinatingly, the Territory SUV isn’t nearly as large as it appears, being significantly shorter than a Falcon station wagon. Indeed, it surprises many who learn that it’s not even as long as a Falcon sedan. Thus the Territory is easier to drive and park than many expect. Good handling and ride comfort are major features of the Territory, it’s well-suited to Australian roads and also meets the tough needs of keen Aussie drivers. The big Ford has precise handling for a big wagon and rides better than many European 4WDs that cost far more.
Ford Territory uses major components from Falcon’s six-cylinder drivetrain, including a turbocharged variant of the engine from July 2006. There's no V8 option as Ford feels the big sixes have been developed to the stage where they virtually replace the eight. Territory with a petrol engine isn't the most economical of vehicles, though things have improved over the years due to advances in engine technology. The six-speed autos are noticeably better than the four-speeds.
Automatic transmissions are used on all models. The auto had four forward speeds on all models until October 2005, when a six-speed was introduced on the upmarket models. The automatic six is the only transmission installed in the turbo-petrol and turbo-diesel Territory.
The big news in the face lifted territory was the long-overdue option of a turbo-diesel engine. The diesel is a 2.7-litre V6 diesel and runs a single turbocharger. It uses the latest thinking in variable-vane turbines, as well as high-pressure injection to produce maximum power of 140 kilowatts. Torque of 440 Newton metres is produced between 1900 and 2500 revs.
Interestingly, Jaguar and Land Rover use diesels from the same engine family as the Territory unit.
Territory is sold with two-wheel-drive or all-wheel drive (AWD). The sales split has generally been in the region of 60/40 in favour of the 2WD model, proving that most buyers of 4WDs are in reality looking for a practical wagon, not an off-road vehicle.
Electronic aids improve traction off-road in the Ford Territory 4WD variants so they can handle virtually anything the adventurous family demands. In particular, there are hill-start and hill-descent assistance features and these take much of the scariness out of extreme slopes.
Though there's good under-bonnet and under-vehicle access, this is a modern vehicle that’s complex in its mechanical components. So unless you are an expert it’s best to leave all but the simplest of repairs and maintenance to the professionals. Spare parts for the Territory are generally favourably priced and we haven’t heard of any recurring complaints about availability.
Virtually every town of any significance has a Ford dealership, and many private garages will have a mechanic or two who was trained in a Ford workshop. Insurance is usually towards the bottom end of the scale, but some companies may take exception to turbocharged engines so ask around before settling for one insurer or the other.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
The big Ford wagon is built to a reasonably high standard in Ford's Australian factory at Geelong. We do see the occasional problems so be sure to get a professional inspection.
Check the engine starts up easily and idles smoothly and quietly.
Make sure the automatic transmission works quietly and doesn’t hold onto gears, or change gears too often when it really should be holding the one ratio.
Ensure that the brakes work properly with the ABS system pulling the Territory up in a straight line.
Possible leaks at front brake hoses were the subject of a voluntary recall in March 2009. Check with a Ford dealer or the company's head office to see if the work has been done.
Take the wagon for a run on rough roads to see if there are any rattles or squeaks as cabin parts move. Even the rear-drive models are sometimes used to explore bush tracks and the like.
Look at the condition of the body, especially on an AWD in case one has been taken into off-road territory. Signs of the latter damage are generally at the bumper corners, the underneath of the door sills and on the underbody. Also look for tiny scratches in the body side where it has been squeezed through bushes and the like.
Visually check the condition of the interior as kids can do a lot of damage when they get bored.
CAR BUYING TIP
People movers suffer more severe interior use and abuse than just about anything this side of sanitary collection vehicles. Check the condition of all areas inside a Territory carefully.
|Year||Price From||Price To|
Range and Specs
|Ghia (4x4)||4.0L, ULP, 4 SP AUTO||$3,100 – 5,390||2004 Ford Territory 2004 Ghia (4x4) Pricing and Specs|
|Ghia (RWD)||4.0L, ULP, 4 SP AUTO||$2,600 – 4,400||2004 Ford Territory 2004 Ghia (RWD) Pricing and Specs|
|TS (4X4)||4.0L, ULP, 4 SP AUTO||$2,800 – 4,840||2004 Ford Territory 2004 TS (4X4) Pricing and Specs|
|TS (rwd)||4.0L, ULP, 4 SP AUTO||$2,600 – 4,510||2004 Ford Territory 2004 TS (rwd) Pricing and Specs|
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