About the Ford FALCON

    A S purchased this Ford Falcon used for $35,000 (including all on-road costs) in 2017. A S would buy this car again because: “An affordable and fun daily driver. A 270kW RWD 6MT two-seat sports car with a massive boot. What’s not to love.”

    How reliable has your car been? Tell us about any issues.

    My orange beast has been very reliable. Regular servicing is all the drivetrain has needed. I did change the front shocks as the driver’s side had a very slight leak.

    Engine/transmission/differential haven’t missed a beat. Had to replace the factory battery that had lasted 6-7 years. The interior driver’s side door handle broke, which I replaced myself for about $30 (have to admit it is a stupid design).

    What do you think of the ownership experience with your car?

    My ownership experience has been really good for the 4 years (and 50,000km) I have owned and daily driven the car. Yearly servicing is all I need for the distance I drive. No big hassles (besides what’s mentioned in the reliability section) which for me isn’t too bad.

    Are you happy with the price and features of your car?

    When I bought it the price was probably at the high end. Though considering price, specification, availability and condition I was happy.

    It has almost all I want in a car. Would have been nice to have the factory reversing camera, though it was easy/cheap to get one installed to hook up to the infotainment. The navigation isn’t the best and sadly can’t be upgraded but I rarely need it and my sense of direction is good.

    Cruise control is almost a must for me these days and love that I have it. The AC and heater are very good and with a small cabin it heats up and cools down quite quickly with plenty of air flow from the vents. The Bluetooth connection works perfectly every time with the audio quality being decent enough for a non-audiophile like me.

    What do you think of the performance and economy of your car?

    Performance for the cost is a 10. Economy I would put as a 7. So splitting the difference with an 8.5.

    There is more than enough power to get into trouble if you’re not carful, especially in the wet, exacerbated by the solid leaf-sprung rear axle. Any sideways action is easy controlled using throttle and steering. Power is progressive and not very turbo-like. The I6T is very smooth and lovely to use.

    The traction control seems very basic and isn’t very nice when it kicks in. The brakes aren’t bad but they aren’t spectacular. Feel is good enough, as is how quickly they pull you up though if I was planning on tracking the car I would upgrade the brakes.

    The economy is never going to be good for a car like this. I am averaging about 12L/100km for my commute, which is about 20min of 80km/h roads. On a road trip I did get less than 9L/100km on open country roads.

    Newer and more advanced cars at the time would get better fuel economy for the power though would cost much much more new and/or used.

    What do you think of the technology in your car?

    As mentioned in the price and features section it has enough tech to keep me happy, wanting just a bit more. CarPlay and Android Auto would be nice but for me not necessary.

    The ability to upgrade the navigation data would be nice and will start to grate more as the roads change more and more over the years. The digital speedo is useful in the age of speed cameras everywhere. A head-up display would be welcomed. On that note I am trialling an OBD-II HUD. Installed a reversing camera into the Infotainment screen.

    What do you think of the ride comfort and handling of your car?

    Ride and comfort are towards the terrible end though acceptable for what this car is. The handling is really good. Steering is direct and quite communicative. I have driven a couple cars with electric power steering and I must admit I prefer a hydraulic system.

    The ride is penalised a bit from riding on 245/35R19 tyres. Been tempted to source some 18-inch rims to get a bit more sidewall. The rear axle does tramp around on uneven roads.

    I have done a few 500+ km trips through country NSW and while there are more comfortable cars the comfort for good enough for me.

    Do you have any additional comments about your car?

    Since there is no section for practicality I will put this here. The Falcon and Commodore utes have to be the most practical 2-seat sports cars. Significantly more ‘boot’ space than anything else. I have put an ARB canopy on mine as the hard tonneau cover restricted the bed a bit.

    The cabin has plenty of storage. A large area behind the seats. Decent-sized glovebox and centre console and slots below the stereo that will fit a modern big phone. The bottle holders in the door pockets could be bigger.

    I find the XR6T Falcon and SS Commodore Utes a bit under appreciated as performance cars. Decent power, RWD, manual and affordable. Parts are cheap and plentiful. Can be serviced anywhere. Far more practical than any other 2 seat car (short of a van).

    There also isn’t about general quality above. The interior of these Falcons leaves a bit to be desired. It isn’t a deal breaker for me and seems hard wearing enough to last. Besides the broken drivers interior door handle there are no other squeaks and rattles (yet).

    One last thing is these are longer than you expect. 5130mm before a tow bar. A Mitsubishi Pajero Sport is shorter.

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