THE FORD TERRITORY crossover wagon has been a perennial hit ever since it entered showrooms in 2004, and it still holds significant appeal for families and outdoorsy-types six years on.
The facelifted Territory SY II was launched in early 2009 with a refreshed external appearance, upgraded suspension hardware and improved interior materials.
Power is still provided by Ford’s durable four-litre inline six in either naturally-aspirated or turbocharged form, and the availability of a two-wheel drive drivetrain (as well as an AWD one) offers a budget-friendly option for buyers who intend to never stray from the tarmac.
The launch of the SY II in February last year also heralded a slight cosmetic upgrade for the Territory.
Much of the basic sheetmetal remains unchanged, but the bonnet is a new stamping. The front bumper, headlights and taillights are also new.
The front quarter panels of the Ghia and Ghia Turbo receive a plastic “fender feature”, and the foglight housings of the Territory TS and Ghia are revised. The Ghia models get sidesteps as standard, and all models enjoy body-coloured bumpers, mirror casings and door handles.
A chrome beltline moulding adds a touch of class to the range, and the top-spec Ghia and Ghia Turbo get side mirror indicators and privacy glass as standard.
Wheel designs have been updated for 2009, and the Territory TX and TS roll on 17-inch alloys while the Ghia flaunts 18-inch items.
The cabin is fundamentally unchanged, however new upholstery materials and trim finishers freshen up the interior’s look.
The interior of the TX is available in black with cloth upholstery only, while the TS can be optioned with either black or beige colour scheme. The Ghia can be had in the same colours, but instead of cloth it receives Nudo leather on its seats.
Meanwhile, the Ghia Turbo can only be had with a black interior with perforated black Nudo leather upholstery.
The driver’s seat on the TX and TS is 4-way power adjustable, while the Ghia models are equipped with 6-way power seats and power-adjustable pedals.
The base TX comes in five-seat form as standard, but all other models ship with seven seats. A seven-seat layout can be optioned for the TX for extra cost, however, while deleting the third-row seats is a no-cost option for the rest of the range.
The Territory features a plethora of interior storage options as standard. Aside from the requisite cupholders, glovebox and door bins, there’s a dashtop tray, a trinket bin at the base of the centre stack, a removable rubbish bin at the rear of the centre console, expandable bottle holders on each door, a handbag slot next to the driver’s seat and a lockable drawer beneath the driver’s seat.
Five-seat models score a large underfloor compartment too, while seven-seat Territorys receive a slightly smaller compartment. In all, there’s in excess of 30 storage spaces available within the Territtory’s cabin.
Although cargo space is reduced when the third-row seats are unfolded, luggage room is plentiful when the rear seats are absent. 1153 litres of room is available in the 5-seater, and folding the 60/40 split second row seats unlocks even more space.
Although it’s approaching six years old now, the Territory is still reasonably well equipped.
From the base TX and up, all models come with air conditioning, power windows, power mirrors, auto-on headlamps and cruise control. The TS adds dual-zone climate control, reverse parking sensors, a reversing camera, trip computer, foglights and an optional satellite navigation system.
The range-topping Ghia and Ghia Turbo are equipped with the same features as the TS, plus an auto-dimming rear view mirror and a 10.2-inch roof-mounted DVD player for the rear seats.
Audio equipment consists of a 100-watt single CD AM/FM tuner in the TX, while the TS and Ghia receive a 150-watt premium sound system with an in-dash six-CD stacker and a subwoofer.
All Territory models are fitted with a comprehensive suite of active and passive safety equipment as standard. ABS, EBD, brake assist, traction control and stability control are fitted to all variants, both RWD and AWD.
Passive safety is taken care of by six airbags – dual front and side airbags for the first row occupants, and curtain airbags for the first and second row. All seats (including the third-row) are fitted with three-point seatbelts, and child seat anchorages are in abundance.
The Ford Territory shares much of its powertrain technology with its close relative, the Falcon – no small surprise, considering the Territory is built atop a modified version of the BA Falcon’s platform.
The Territory range is powered by Ford Australia’s venerable 4.0 litre inline six, which in TS, TX and Ghia trim produces 190kW at 5250rpm and 383Nm at 2500rpm. The big straight six is also available in turbocharged form in the Ghia Turbo, where it punches out a stout 245kW and 480Nm.
Two gearboxes and two drivetrain layouts are available across the range. Buyers opting for the cheaper rear-wheel-drive Territory TX, TS or Ghia are given a four-speed tiptronic auto, while the all-wheel-drive TX, TS, Ghia and Ghia Turbo get a six-speed automatic sourced from ZF.
No manual transmission is offered.
Although it may be loosely based on the Falcon’s platform, the Territory rides on its own unique double-wishbone front suspension.
The front suspension hardware was revised with the SY II update in order to eliminate balljoint failures, with the new suspension designed for greater longevity.
The rear suspension, however, is essentially the same Control Blade IRS that was used by the BA Falcon, albeit with different damper valving and spring rates.
With every Territory variant weighing in excess of two tonnes, Ford has fitted all models with disc brakes on all four wheels.
Ventilated rotors are used on both the front and rear axles, with the fronts squeezed by two-piston sliding calipers and the rears gripped by single-piston sliding calipers. To accommodate its increased straight-line performance, the Ghia Turbo enjoys larger diameter front rotors.
The Territory range starts at $39,490 for the TX RWD and tops out at $66,420 for the flagship Ghia Turbo. For full pricing for the 2009 Ford Territory line-up, see below.
Ford Territory TX RWD: $39,490
Ford Territory TX AWD: $44,490
Ford Territory TS RWD: $44,490
Ford Territory TS AWD: $49,490
Ford Territory Ghia RWD: $52,490
Ford Territory Ghia AWD: $57,490
Ford Territory Ghia Turbo AWD: $66,420