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Ford Territory 2007 Review

After a couple of days, little niggles appear to remind the driver they're in a tank after all.

Even after close to a week's dissection, however, Ford's Territory Turbo lived up to its "car-like" tag in all aspects (except, perhaps, for fuel consumption).

No matter what trickery they've used to make it steer, handle and ride so competently — and it does all that very well indeed — there's no getting past the fact that it takes a bit of juice to punt the Territory along, especially when you begin using the turbo to good effect for some enthusiastic driving.

We rarely managed to achieve better than 15 litres per 100km. But that's not excessive when you consider the size of the vehicle and the fact that under the bonnet is a muscular four-litre unit borrowed from the Falcon XR6 Turbo.

Tweaked to accommodate the heftier Territory, the engine develops 245kW at 5250rpm and 480Nm at a low 2000rpm.

This means it manages to manipulate all that weight well enough to back up Ford's claims that this vehicle feels more like a car than a truck.

The only time the Territory's size matters is when you head into a hard corner; otherwise, it pretty well shoots wherever you point it. The all-wheel-drive system, biased 38:62 to the rear, gives athletic response and great confidence in tricky conditions.

Steep slopes? Intimidating road trains? No problem. Just leave them behind with a press of the urge pedal and a tap of the gearshift in sequential mode.

We've salivated about the Territory's six-speed ZF transmission before, so we'll try to be a bit more restrained here.

But there's no denying that the thing is really damn good. Silky, refined and so responsive. What more could you ask?

Well, maybe a bit more sound deadening, because the harder you drive the Territory, the noisier the engine gets.

It didn't ever reach the annoying stage, and we didn't notice it so much at first, but after a whole day in the vehicle it became a bit wearing. Mind you, we could have turned on the stereo and easily drowned it out.

The Territory comes in two trim levels, both of which have 18-inch wheels, a tell-tale bonnet scoop and chromed twin exhaust tips.

The equipment list includes Ford's Intelligent Safety System, dynamic stability control, traction control, grade control, driver and front passenger airbags, and ABS with electronic brake force distribution, The standard $53,990 Turbo comes with metallic and suede-look cloth upholstery, but has a leather-wrapped steering wheel, four-way power adjustment on the driver's seat, a 100-watt CD audio system, blue-lit instruments, cruise control and power windows, mirrors and pedals.

It also has more than 30 storage nooks, two of which (in the door pockets) can carry oversized water bottles — a wonderful thing during a long day miles from any shops. Or even creeks.

The $65,490 Ghia version has silver-stitched black leather trim plus two more adjustments, black-and-silver dash trim, a six-stacker audio system, dual-zone climate control, a reversing camera, side curtain airbags and a third row of seats.

There's just about everything you could want, except maybe a diesel version, and there are hints this may surface in the not-too-distant future. It would be a great fit in the line-up.

And if one of the few niggles of the Territory Turbo is its high fuel consumption, that's a problem a Territory diesel could easily fix.

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Range and Specs

Ghia (4x4) 4.0L, ULP, 6 SP AUTO $5,990 – 9,400 2007 Ford Territory 2007 Ghia (4x4) Pricing and Specs
Ghia (RWD) 4.0L, ULP, 4 SP AUTO $2,800 – 4,840 2007 Ford Territory 2007 Ghia (RWD) Pricing and Specs
Ghia Turbo (4x4) 4.0L, ULP, 6 SP AUTO $7,950 – 11,450 2007 Ford Territory 2007 Ghia Turbo (4x4) Pricing and Specs
SR (4X4) 4.0L, ULP, 6 SP AUTO $3,400 – 5,500 2007 Ford Territory 2007 SR (4X4) Pricing and Specs
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