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Five safety stars for Territory

High five: Ford's Territory joins its sibling, the Falcon, in the five-star safety ratings.

Australia’s only locally built SUV scores a maximum five-star ANCAP safety rating

28 Jan 2010

FORD Australia’s Territory crossover has been awarded a five-star crash safety rating from the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP), as forecast in December.

Bringing it in line with Ford’s new FG Falcon sedan range, Australia’s only locally produced SUV was awarded ANCAP’s top safety rating after an audible passenger seatbelt warning function, dubbed Beltminder in Ford-speak, was fitted as standard equipment.

Rated by ANCAP as a high four-star safety performer since its 2004 release, the Territory’s five-star result also matches that of Toyota’s Kluger – Australia’s top-selling medium SUV in 2009.

However, Territory now betters the four-star ratings achieved by Toyota’s popular previous-generation Prado (the latest Prado, released in December, is yet to be tested) and Holden’s Captiva, which outsold the Territory for the first time in 2009 - 11,504 sales to 10,884.

The five-star safety rank applies from January 2010 production to the entire SYII Territory model range – including rear-drive and all-wheel drive models – which was fitted with standard curtain airbags earlier this year.

This is in contract with Ford’s Falcon line-up, petrol-powered sedan versions of which received the maximum ANCAP ranking in August 2008, before LPG sedans joined them in April 2009.

While the Falcon wagon and ute continue to be four-star ANCAP vehicles, because they are not fitted with standard electronic stability control, Holden’s 2010 Commodore ute became the first Australian-made utility to attract a five-star ANCAP rating.

Holden’s entire VE Commodore and Statesman sedan range also matched the Falcon sedan’s five-star result in mid-2009, as did Toyota’s Aurion in September 2009, while the only other remaining Australian-built vehicle – Toyota’s Camry – remains a four-star car.

The all-wheel-drive Territory tested by ANCAP achieved a score of 32.57 points from a possible maximum of 37, while the Kluger – tested by ANCAP in 2008 – returned a score of 33.31 points.

Ford Australia president Marin Burela said the Territory had maintained a reputation as one of the safest vehicles on Australian roads since it was introduced in 2004.

“It was the first locally manufactured vehicle to be fitted with an electronic stability control system, as well as side curtain airbags and a reverse camera, while it also boasts an exceptionally strong passenger safety cell,” he said.

“This latest safety test result is further validation of the strength of Ford's continual process of design and engineering improvement, which has also delivered Territory compliance with Euro 4 emissions regulations in recent months.”

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