Alfa Romeo
Land Rover
Ford Territory TX, TS and Ghia
Goes with the Territory
September 2004

FORD has come a long way in the last couple of years.

After the disaster that was the AU Falcon, it took a while to get back on its feet, but it did so in a big way with the new BA Falcon.

And while everything seemed to swinging Ford's way, they brought in the new Territory, the public relations gurus said would revolutionise Aussie motoring.

Well now there`s another Territory on the roads - the TS - slotting in between the entry level TX and the range-topping Ghia.

When we sat down to build Territory, one thought uppermost in the minds of everybody was to ensure the vehicle was true to the Ford philosophy of providing outstanding value for money, Ford Australia President Tom Gorman said.

People buying a Territory are getting the vehicle dynamics of a sedan, the versatility of a traditional SUV and the interior flexibility of a people mover.

"Significantly, Territory TS joins the Territory Ghia as the only Australian-built vehicles to include locally manufactured side curtain airbags.

"As well, the TS includes creature comforts such as dual zone climate control air-conditioning, premium Interior Command Centre with large colour screen, an uprated six-stack CD sound system and cruise control with steering wheel mounted function switches."

All Territory vehicles come with the powerful Barra 182 4.0-litre six-cylinder engine, sequential sports shift automatic transmission, advanced driving dynamics and user-friendly features such as electronically adjustable pedals.

Externally, Territory TS features five-spoke alloy rims and accent coloured bumpers.

Ghia builds on the high levels of comfort in the TX and TS versions of Territory, and adds leather seat trim, Reverse Sensing System, alloy rims, front fog lamps and body coloured bumpers, cladding, rockers, liftgate moulding and mirrors.

Much of the success of the BA (besides the fact that the AU had a face only a mother could love) is due to the engine, transmission and the critically acclaimed Control Blade IRS, all now features of the Territory.

For those of you who missed the launch of the Territory a couple of months back, one of its key advantages it that it comes in rear-wheel-drive as well as all-wheel-drive.

Another is that it combines the best characteristics of family sedans, traditional SUVs and people movers.

"Family sedan owners loved their car's performance and handling, but wished the car was more adaptable to their lifestyle," said Vehicle Director Russell Christophers.

"SUV owners loved the command driving position and the interior versatility, but wished their vehicle could handle more like a car than a truck particularly in city driving. Most freely admitted to never exploiting the off-road capability of those vehicle`s 4WD systems and said they weren`t happy with the upfront and ongoing costs.

"People movers offer great practicality to their owners, but almost to a person they commented on the lack of aspiration of driving such a vehicle, and hated being `the bus driver`."

Christophers said Ford created a triangle with a family sedan at the apex, a people mover in one corner and a traditional SUV in the other.

"In the middle lay an area for a hybrid vehicle that could offer the best of all those vehicles, a sweet spot waiting to be hit. Territory does more than hit that sweet spot. It smacks it out of the stadium," he said.

Territory has been created to be equally at home in urban or outdoor environments, with a flexible interior offering functionality and versatility for up to seven people, without sacrificing on style or aesthetics.



ENGINE: Barra 182 4.0-litre DOHC VCT in-line six-cylinder

POWER: 182kW @ 5000rpm

TORQUE: 380Nm @ 5000rpm

TRANSMISSION: Four-speed automatic with sequential sports shift

FUEL ECONOMY: 13.1 litres/100km average (RWD) 13.5l/100km (AWD)

CRITICAL SPECS: Approach angle 23 degrees; Departure 20; Ramp over 16; ground clearance 178mm

PROS: Great all-rounder; solid pricing; high spec level

CONS: Probably only that it`s not quite as bround-breaking as Ford's hype

BOTTOM LINE: TX $38,990 RWD and $42,990 for AWD; TS $44,790, AWD $48,790; Ghia RWD $49,290, $53,290 AWD