2011 Ford Territory SZ Titanium TDCi AWD Review

Overall Rating

  • Interior

  • On The Road

  • Ancap

  • Value For Money

  • See Full Specs

What’s Hot

Silky-smooth turbo-diesel, excellent driving dynamics and refinement.

What’s Not

Some hard interior plastics, stingy front-seat power adjustment.

X Factor

That all-wheel-drive versatility and family-friendly seating for seven.

  • Country of Origin
    AUSTRALIA
  • Price
    $63,240 (plus on-road costs)
  • Engine
    6 Cylinders
  • Output
    140 kW / 440 Nm
  • Transmission
    Sports Automatic
  • ANCAP Rating
    5
  • Airbags
    Driver & Passenger (Dual), Knee Driver, Head for 2nd Row Seats, Head for 1st Row Seats (Front)
  • L/100 km
    9
  • C02
    236 g/km
  • Luggage Capacity
    N/A
  • Towing (braked)
    2700 kg
  • Towing (unbraked)
    750 kg
Ian Crawford | Dec 28, 2011 | 22 Comments

2011 FORD TERRITORY REVIEW

Vehicle Style: Five-door seven-seat SUV
Price (Titanium TDCi): $63,240

Fuel-consumption (claimed): 9.0 l/100km
Fuel consumption (on test): 9.3 l/100km

Back in 2004, Ford Australia launched a landmark vehicle. That was the Territory; though it wasn’t without flaws, it was a very well-engineered car and it quickly found favour with Australian families.

Its only major shortcoming was that it lacked a diesel.

That was then. Now, with the launch this year of the updated 'SZ' model, there’s a sensational turbo-diesel under the bonnet.

Designed and built by Ford UK, the 2.7 litre common-rail V6 turbo-diesel has been proven by the likes of Jaguar, Land Rover and Peugeot. The Territory, remarkably, is the first Ford product anywhere in the world with this engine under the bonnet.

I’ve tested others in the range, but really warmed to the top-shelf Titanium AWD TDCi.

INTERIOR

Quality: Much of the new Territory’s interior architecture is borrowed from the FG Falcon. The Titanium models (and TS) however have a large and very smart central touch-screen and infotainment system with Bluetooth phone connectivity.

While quality leather abounds, for a top-spec model costing beyond $63,000, the Titanium has more than its share of hard plastics and certainly more than the top-spec Falcon.

Comfort: The front bucket seats are very comfortable, generously shaped and have reasonable bolstering (which, on the Titanium, is necessary because the leather trim can be a tad slippery during enthusiastic cornering).

The second-row seats are raised slightly, theatre style, giving passengers there a better view of proceedings, and leg-room is fine for most.

Equipment: The Titanium comes standard with touch-screen sat-nav with TMC6 traffic-message channel.

It’s intuitive, easily navigated and also positioned high up on the dash and in the same line of sight as the tacho and speedo (meaning you don’t have to take your eyes too far off the road to read it).

The Titanium also comes with a seven-speaker premium audio system with 150-Watt amplifier and subwoofer (and supports both iPod and Bluetooth), a USB port and 3.5mm audio jack and an Alpine rear-DVD entertainment system.

There is also a reversing camera, foglights, air-con, 18-inch alloys, and a unique chrome-detailed upper-and-lower grille.

Storage: No shortage of options here. The SZ Titanium offers more than 30 storage cubby holes including a new more-spacious centre console.

The seven-seater’s third-row seats are simple to erect or stow and the split tailgate that allows the glass to be opened separately is ideal for stashing smaller items.

Braked towing capacity is 2700kg and a downward tow-ball weight of 270kg means that hitching a horse in tow, or caravan if you’re so inclined, presents no dramas.

ON THE ROAD

Driveability: The 2.7litre common-rail V6 turbo-diesel transforms the Territory. With 140kW of power at 4000rpm and 440Nm of peak torque under the bonnet, few SUVs drive as effortlessly and with this level of refinement at the wheel.

Mated to the six-speed sequential-sports ZF automatic, it is a match made in heaven.
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While it hesitates slightly on take-off, from 1800rpm it is smooth, quiet, strong and swift. It kicks down readily, or can be manually rowed using the sequential shift, and, up-hill and down-dale, is completely unfussed by a full load.

Refinement: You expect the top-shelf Titanium to be quiet. But the surprise with the new turbo-diesel engine is that if you tramp heavily on the accelerator and make it really work, it’s quieter than the petrol six.

The driving dynamics and levels of refinement of the Territory – right across the range – are very impressive.

Road, wind and powertrain noise has been markedly improved thanks to more than 800,000km of testing in Australia, the USA, New Zealand, Alaska and Sweden.

In development, Ford benchmarked the Territory against the likes of the much-more-expensive BMW X5 and Audi Q7. And it shows.

Suspension: The SZ scored stiffer front and rear suspension, enhanced roll-suppression and a clever drift/pull-compensation system on the electronic stability program that compensates for conditions such as road camber and side winds.

It works very well. The Titanium in fact rides more like a premium saloon than SUV.

Each in the range also benefits from an electric power-steering system that is sealed and lubricated for life (and, by reducing load, cuts fuel consumption by 2.5 percent).

As well as being a delight out on the open road or punting enthusiastically through tight corners, the new steering set-up makes city parking a breeze.

Brakes: With a good pedal feel and big discs all round, the Territory Titanium is rock-solid when braking; and, as we found, while the pedal hardened a little, fade free on a long swift downhill run.

SAFETY

ANCAP rating: 5 Stars

Safety-features: There are five airbags including a driver’s knee airbag. There is also standard dynamic stability control, traction control and ABS.

A roll-over-mitigation system has also been added to the standard-fit Bosch “gen-nine” dynamic-stability-control system. It constantly monitors the vehicle’s road behaviour; if a potential roll-over is detected, additional understeer comes into play to settle things down.

WARRANTY AND SERVICING

Warranty: Three years or 100,000km (plus, roadside assist, see below)

Service costs: With MyFord Capped Price Servicing, service charges are $290 inc. GST including roadside assistance (there are some exclusions). This is available for up to six years or 105,000 kilometres, whichever comes first.

HOW IT COMPARES | VALUE FOR MONEY

BMW X5 xDrive30d ($92,100) - Three-litre (straight) six and eight-speed auto, more dynamic at the wheel and exquisite interior - but it’s far, far pricier and the Ford is a match for on-road refinement. (see X5 reviews)

VW Touareg 150TDI ($62,990) - An excellent interior, superior on-road manners, and a strong 150kW V6 diesel in the nose, but options and servicing charges are costly. It’s otherwise a line-ball choice. (see Touareg reviews)

Mazda CX-9 Luxury ($59,233) - No diesel, but it’s a seven-seat 3.7 litre V6 that is a match for the premium Territory for on-road comfort. However, outpointed by the Titanium for features, and beaten hands-down for fuel efficiency. 
(see CX-9 reviews)

Note: all prices are Manufacturer’s List Price and do not include dealer delivery or on-road costs.

TMR VERDICT | OVERALL

Ford has done it in spades with the Territory. It took a long time to get a diesel, but it has been worth the wait.

In terms of its refinement and super-impressive noise/vibration/harshness levels, the Titanium AWD TDCi is up there with the best diesel SUVs in the world – even those from Germany that are twice the price … and more.

Ford’s SZ Territory is one very good car and one we’d highly recommend. At $63,240, most will find it’s a little pricey in Titanium trim, but there’s a lot of car behind those dollars.

Filed under: Featured, review, wagon, ford territory, territory, diesel, awd, suv, automatic, turbo, ford, family, medium, Advice, special-featured, 4cyl, 6a, 5seat

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  • JJ says,
    3 years ago
    4 likes
    Why isn't the Jeep Grand Cherokee Diesel there in the 'how it compares' section. I thought that would have been one of its most direct competitiors?
  • gerry says,
    3 years ago
    3 likes
    "Its only major shortcoming was that it lacked a diesel"?

    Really? What about the rust, failed ball joints, appalling fuel consumption and generally poor reliability?
    • cussler says,
      3 years ago
      1 like
      Generalising gerry? My Territory has no rust, starts every time and 6 years on is still a great drive.
      • Sydlocal says,
        3 years ago
        3 likes
        I noticed you didn't mention fuel consumtion and the ball joints, was that on purpose... wink
        • Axl says,
          2 years ago
          Fuel consumption won't be a drama with diesel D.H.
  • Roger says,
    3 years ago
    3 likes
    The issue I have here is that 63k is around the same price as a Mercedes C250CDI. I know its not a AWD SUV but is far superior in quality, technology and appointments including a superior engine and 7 speed gearbox, and the wagon won't be far off the Territory cargo capacity. Ford vehicles also do not go the distance. I know, I have had numerous new falcons over the years and they tend to have bits break after about 100k. The issue seems to be 'made in Australia', better than Spain or South Africa, but nowhere near Germany or Japan. Before anybody criticises me for not being patriotic, I have spent my fair share of money on Australian product and been let down dismally.
    • Teabag says,
      3 years ago
      4 likes
      Not really comparing apples with apples there, Roger.

      Besides, the Territory actually has a seven seat option and roomy back seats. The c class has a tiny back seat, and parents aren't going to be thrilled about stooping over every time they put their baby seats in the back of a c class.

      I agree that the C class is a nice car, but its nowhere near as good a family car as the Territory.
  • JJ says,
    3 years ago
    2 likes
    I actuallly think the first gen territory was great, my only drawbacks would be yes the fuel consumption and the fact that the steering wheel controls didnt light up at night so it was hard to see what your were pressing. other than that its great, powerful and handles well so this class car
    • MattW says,
      3 years ago
      Do you actually look down at the steering buttons every time you want to press them during the day? I guess you also look down for the indicators, windscreen wipers & power windows too?
      • JJ says,
        3 years ago
        2 likes
        Hi MattW,

        No I don't look down everytime, but if you have driven one you would know what i mean, it just looks a bit out of place that most controls light up and these don't, also the transmission P R N D + - don't light up either.

        BTW whats with the snide remarks like yours that seemed to get posted on every comment section of this site?
    • Monkey Fluff says,
      3 years ago
      I agree. In fact I think it has been underated for a long time. You need to spend a lot more to get similar power, ride and handling. The Territory is a bit of a bargain in that regard.
  • Kingsley says,
    3 years ago
    Looking at the territory for our next family car but the price of the awd titanium is out of our reach... Anyone know how the rwd models stack up as seeing them listed for 40k is really a more reasonable option.
    • Tim O'Brien says,
      3 years ago
      8 likes
      Yo Kingsley, been driving the rear-wheel-drive diesel TDCi Territory for the past two weeks. It's as good, in every way that matters, as the AWD models.

      In my view, unless you're belting to the snow every other week, AWD is two driving wheels too many... adds drag to the driveline, adds weight, adds to fuel consumption and stunts performance (marginally).

      RWD with modern traction control, ABS, stability control etc., provides a similar level of security and safety in slippery conditions as AWD with the same dynamic control features.

      Why carry around 150+kilos of additional metal casing, gearing and drive shafts that is hardly ever used and is barely needed?

      Take them both for a drive. My guess is you won't then choose to waste money on an additional diff and drive shafts.

      Tim


      • Jezza says,
        3 years ago
        1 like
        The RWD is a very very good car. Unless you are using the Territory for some off-roading, you would be find to get the RWD.
        • HEMI-for-me says,
          3 years ago
          2 likes
          actually AWD is for good road holding in slipper, wet conditions and on gravel. The Territory is not an off-road vehicle. At the moment Ford Aus doesn't have an off-road capable SUV that can take on Prado, Pajero, Jeep GC, etc. It's a real shame from a company that used to make Broncos and 4x4Explorers. Ford management should hang theit heads in shame!! no wonder ford Aus is in decline.
          • shaq johnson says,
            2 years ago
            14 likes
            I purchased the Territory TDCI Titinum RWD in June 2011 (9 motnhs ago) and I can say that it is a well-rounded car in all aspects; fuel economy, comfort, storage, features,and most importantly safety - This car saved my wife's and two kids' lives on Sat 03/03/12 when a 'P' plater failed to give way and slammed into the back of the Territory causing it to swerve and hit a tree (head on). The car was written off and all airbags were deployed (including curtain airbags) and my wife, 3 yr old daughter and 5 yr old son walked away without a single scratch on them. I will be buying this car again without any hesitation. I couldn't recommend it enough.
        • Bob d says,
          2 years ago
          2 likes
          Where the wad comes into it's own is if you are towing a caravan of around 2300 kg. New awd diesel is rated at 2700
  • Matt says,
    2 years ago
    4 likes
    Got me one of these cars and was a little apprehensive about the motor power after driving v8s and petrol turbos but I can honestly say this is the
    • Russell says,
      2 years ago
      Hi Matt,

      intersted in your comments re past driving v8s, and now looking to the diesel Territory. I know it cannot match the v8 for raw power etc., but if you have the new Territory, what is your take on how it performs ? I do tow a jetski from time to time, and looking to an AWD for the added benefit of pulling the ski from the water on some ramps that are less than suitable for a low slung RWD v8. Be interested in your comments ?

      Cheers
  • James27 says,
    2 years ago
    3 likes
    I have been driving the diesel Titanium RWD model for the last 10months, my job takes me to city and country regions including dirt roads & mine sites all over NSW, and after driving the previous petrol Territory for the last four years which was a great vehicle, this new Diesel model is fantastic, fuel economy is excellent, noise & vibration on country & hard dirt roads has improved remarkably. I drive my vehicles like most businessman on the go, (hard most times) and recall a trip from Sydney to Canberra with the family + luggage and on a full tank my trip computer was reading 510kms to empty and we had already travelled 540kms - to be fair I filled up at 935kms with 50kms to empty. As for RWD road manners on dirt roads & in the wet for that matter, you really need to pushing this 2 ton vehicle really hard to break traction. Hope this feedback assist all those loyal Territory drivers!
  • iAN DANN says,
    2 years ago
    3 likes
    i HAVE BEEN A FORD TERRITORY OWNER NOW FOR SEVEN YEARS,MODEL TX AWD NOT AS A DAILY DRIVER,FOR SHOPPING TRIPS,TOWING THE BOAT OUT OF TOWN TRAVILLE.iT IS ONLY LATELY THAT WE HAVE LOOKED TO UP GRADE,HAVING TESTED THE NEW MERC ML250,A VERY NICE TRUCK INDEED.BEFORE ANY PURCHASE FELT WE SHOULD TRY THE NEW DIESEL TERRITORY,I SIMPLEY COULDNT BELEVIE THE OVERALL INPROVEMENTS, @ AROUND 30K LESS THAN THE MERC THE FORD WAS REALY GOOD VALUE.WE ARE NOW THE OWNERS OF A NEW TERRITORY TITTANIUM, ALL SET FOR ANOTHER SEVEN YEARS.
  • Marcus stevens says,
    2 years ago
    Have had my Rwd diesel Titanium for a year now, after having a Ghia Awd for 4.5 years.
    This thing has had the interior stripped out twice due to leaks, at 25k kilometers and I am now waiting for a tow truck to pick it up! the whole electrical system has closed down.I should have bought a
    Toureg, really disappointed in this vehicle, especially as my old one was excellent.
    Ford gave me a voucher for $500.00 to appease me, the dealer had the car for a month and initially they were reluctant to lend me a car during the time mine was off the road.
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