The Territory is arguably the best vehicle ever designed by Ford Australia. It is based on the Falcon and shares some of its mechanical components, particularly in the powertrain, but many parts are unique to the big wagon.

An SUV with the option of two- or four-wheel drive, it was launched in May, 2004, with a major makeover in May, 2011, and a facelift in December, 2014, including the addition of a comprehensive infotainment system.

Most Ford Territories have a straight-six 4.0-litre petrol engine, with a turbocharged version of this six being offered from July, 2006. The engines are on the thirsty side, but have improved over the years due to engine technology advances.

 

The six-speed petrol autos are noticeably more economical than the four-speeders.

The long-overdue option of a turbo-diesel engine (2.7-litre V6) was introduced in 2011.

Territories are holding their value well.

What to look for:

• Make sure the automatic transmission doesn’t hold on to gears or change gears too often when it really should be holding the one ratio.

• Possible leaks at front brake hoses were the subject of a voluntary recall in March, 2009. Check with a Ford dealer or the company’s head office to see if the work has been done.

• Look at the condition of the body in case the Territory has been in off-road territory. Signs of damage are generally at the bumper corners, underneath of the door sills and on the underbody. Also look for tiny scratches in the body side where it has been squeezed through undergrowth.

By Ewan Kennedy, Marque Automotive News