I would have to say that the Ford Territory is my favourite family vehicle when tripping around on holiday. It has heaps of room and power and is easy to manouever on the road and in tight spaces. I have a family of 6 plus 2 small dogs. I currently drive the 2005 TX RWD 7 Seater. I bought this car 2nd hand with 114,000 km on the clock and have loved it's versatility from the very first drive.
My only concern with owning such a large car was the fuel consumption, and when fully loaded with 6 people and an 80kg cargo box on the roof, it was impossible to keep the "average fuel consumption" below 14.5 litres per 100 km. I have driven the same road from home to my parents (655 km) more times in the past 12 years than I care to remember, and I know where each fuel station is and how much time it takes to get there. I researched the Territory before I bought and was happy with the specified fuel consumption set down by the company (11.5 litres per 100 km). I was really disappointed when the reality set in and I started pumping heaps of fuel into the car, especially when it was costing me more than $130 + to fill the tank. Something had to give.
My appreciation of fuel consumption has been tested over many years with the cars I have owned. I keep a mental note of the efficiency of each car so I can make an informed choice when buying a new vehicle. The cars I have owned since 1988 are:
1978 Holden HZ Kingswood sedan - 3.3 auto - 12 litres / 100 km
1983 VH Commodore sedan - 3.3 auto - 10.5 litres / 100 km
1988 Subaru 4x4 Sports wagon - 1.8 manual - 9.4 litres / 100 km
1992 Subaru Liberty GX sedan - 2.2 manual - 10.9 litres / 100 km
1994 Holden Nova - 1.6 manual - 8.6 litres / 100 km
2003 Subaru Forester X AWD Wagon - 2.5 manual - 10.2 litres / 100 km
1994 Ford Fairmont sedan - 4.0 auto - 9.0 litres / 100 km
2005 Ford Territory TX RWD 7 Seat wagon - 4.0 auto - (was 14.5, now 10.8 litres / 100 km)
Yes that's right, I now get, on average, less than 11 litres / 100 km. This didn't happen over night, it was based on more accurate research and spending an additional $50 on some components to help my car perform better. The methods I used are quite simple:
I began running the engine on a higher octane fuel.
In Australia , regular unleaded is 92 Ron, Premium Unleaded ranges from 95 - 98 Ron. I began filling the car with 98 Ron where possible and noticed an increase in performance, mainly with engine torque, and found it best around the 1500 - 3000 rpm. The car stayed in the higher gears longer when going up hill as there was more torque on hand. Fuel efficiency improved by around 1.5 litres / 100 km. This increase in efficiency offset the increased cost of the fuel.
I purchased and installed a velocity generator for the intake manifold.
Yes I was skeptical at first but the cost was minimal ($14) and I was prepared to install it myself. This item can be purchased on ebay (from America) and is made from aircraft aluminium. The idea is simple. It helps to spin the air before it reaches the intake manifold and in theory the air should be sucked into each cylinder more easily, and allowing more air to get in. I installed this device and ran it for about 3 months and noticed a difference in two areas. The engine idle was immediately smoother and the fuel consumption at idle dropped from 1.5 to 1.3 (computers instant reading). Also the fuel consumption dropped to an average of 12.6 litres / 100 km.
I retro fitted an additional air scoop just behind the grille to push more cold air into the air filter. The device came with all fitting instructions and was installed in 10 minutes. This item had the most impact. Coupled with the higher octane fuel and the velocity generator, I was able to get the consumption down to 10.8 litres / 100 km. Remember, this is with 6 passengers, two small dogs and a 80 kg cargo box on the roof.
Our family lives on the Far South Coast of NSW in Australia, and most of the time I am driving up and down hills, through light traffic and cruising to work on the highway at 100 kph. This reading is the average consumption of the fuel based on a full tank which is about 75 litres. I always reset the trip computer when I intend on doing a long trip. I admit that some days (especially if I am a little heavy with the accelerator) the consumption is around the 13 litres / 100 km, this generally is when the car is constantly stopping and starting, or when my wife is driving!!!!
Just to give you another perspective. When cruising at 110 kph on a smooth stretch of freeway beween Canberra and Sydney, with cruise control on, fully loaded and running 98 RON, my Territory averages 9.3 litres / 100 km over a 275 km stretch beween Canberra and Sydney. I reckon I have gained about 30% more distance out of the same tank of fuel. I am keen to test the car on a long journey without a load, just to see what difference it makes. I intend on doing this soon.
I'm not finished yet.
Steps 4, 5 and 6 are still to come.
I have just purchased another gadget, the idea I think is from "Peter Brock" (V8 motor car racer in Australia, who died doing what he loved most). It is a fuel atomiser which works on magnets. It is attached to the outside of the fuel line and is supposed to help separate the fuel molecules / atoms into a more uniform arrangement to help combustion. It is said to improve the engines performance, torque and fuel efficiency. I will also replace the cardboard air filter with a more expensive high flow filter, and when I do my next service, I will ask the service department to update my computer software with the most up-to-date version.
Well, if you have read this far you will now have an idea about how to improve your Territory's efficiency and power. I can't guarantee how it will affect you, but one thing's for sure. I am really happy with my fuel economy and will buy another territory and install all this stuff again.
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About the author
Just a bloke who wants to get the most out of life. I enjoy finding solutions to problems and have many more ideas to come. I have listed this article at