Ford Territory TDCi Titanium 7 Seat 2013 Review

Ford Territory TDCi Titanium 7 Seat 2013 Review

Ford-Territory-Titanium-fq

Ford has played it safe upgrading the Territory. It keeps the previous model’s excellent proportions, unlike, for example Mitsubishi which has made a bit of a wide-hipped frump out of the seven-seat Outlander. It’s a large car that’s based on the Falcon chassis but it feels completely different to a Falcon.

Ford-Territory-Titanium-rqThis TDCi Titanium model usually comes with 17-inch wheels with 235/60R17 tyres, but our test car sat on some futuristic-looking 18-inch alloys wrapped in 235/55R18 tyres. These, theoretically, should give plenty of grip, even for the two-tonnes of bulk that needs to change direction, but the suspension is set to super-comfort mode (great for cruising, but not for rapid directional changes), therefore

they protest quickly when asked to work hard. There’s a bit of body roll, as to be expected with this setup, but if you’re on a long motorway journey the Territory is excellent.

Ford-Territory-Titanium-seats-rFor second row passengers the legroom is ample and there’s a drop-down DVD player mounted in the roof. Third row passengers will need very small legs to be at all comfortable. The Territory seems to have the least room in the third row compared to the other seven-seat vehicles we tested. Converting the Territory from a seven-seater to a five- or two-seater isn’t that simple either. When the third row is enabled there is a convenient storage area under the boot floor. This, however, is where the rear seat squabs slide when you want to make a flat floor.

Ford-Territory-Titanium-bootTo drop the third row this takes far too many operations. Open the compartment in the boot, pull the two red handles until they click. Walk around to the side door and tip one of the split folding middle row seats forward then lean in and push the seat squab back. Walk around the other side and tip the other middle row seat forward (otherwise the headrests on the third row will not pass past the seat backs). Reach in and use the centrally mounted third-row release and tip those forward. Tip the middle row of seats back. To top this off, there’s no cargo blind, so you can’t hide anything. For me this is a big black mark against the Territory.

Ford-Territory-Titanium-inside-fThe seats themselves are leather and very comfortable. The driving position is excellent and the steering wheel features buttons to adjust the media system and cruise control. The media system supports Bluetooth and USB and the speakers are adequate, but not premium. The interface looks a little dated, though it does its job. The eight-inch screen in the centre of the dash shows the reversing camera image, sat nav and all functions for the audio system.

Ford-Territory-Titanium-r-2There are several large storage areas in the cabin – the central binnacle, glovebox, and an area behind the gearstick – and generally the cabin feels like it has a lot of room.

The Territory comes with a 5-star ANCAP crash rating. There are plenty of airbags (driver, passenger, side curtain front and rear and driver’s knee), plus Dynamic Stability Control, Rollover Mitigation, anti-lock brakes and EBD (electronic brakeforce distribution).

Under the bonnet is a 2.7-litre turbodiesel that drives all four wheels with 140kW and 440Nm through a standard 6-speed automatic. This means you can pull a braked trailer of up to 2700kg. The quoted fuel economy is 8.8l/100km on the combined cycle.

The boot is sizable when third row of seats is down – 1153l. The tailgate can be opened conventionally or just the glass portion which is convenient for loads that might move around a bit.

There’s stiff competition in this range from the Holden Colorado 7, Mazda CX-9, Mitsubishi Outlander VRX and Kia Sorento R Premium (click on any of the links to read reviews on Car and SUV). The Territory isn’t the most advanced, but it’s arguably the most comfortable for cruising. Plus, it has the DVD in the back to keep the kids entertained.

Price: Titanium range from $59,990 (RWD petrol); price for TDCi starts at $69,990 plus options

Pros

  • Very comfortable on long cruises
  • Lots of space in the second row
  • Great fuel economy for a car of this size
  • Six-speed automatic gearbox works well and gives credible towing ability

Cons

  • Lags when starting from rest
  • Third row of seats won’t fit adults, and dropping the third row of seats is a rigmarole
  • Some of the interior is looking a bit dated (interface, some switches)

Words and photos: Darren Cottingham

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