Drive Ford Falcon G6E Review

15 Май 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи Drive Ford Falcon G6E Review отключены
Audi e-gas

Cameron McGavin

Make Ford Family Falcon Series FG Year 2009 Badge Description G6E Doors 4 Seats 5 Transmission Sports Automatic Engine Configuration Description In-line Gear Num 6 Cylinders 6 Build Country Origin Description AUSTRALIA ANCAPRating 5 Car Size Large Overall Green Star Rating 3 Fuel Type Description Petrol — Premium ULP Drive Description Rear Wheel Drive Warranty KM 100000

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Reduced running costs make this family-sized sedan worth considering.

In this age of hybrids and diesels it’s easy to forget liquefied petroleum gas, or LPG, is also a viable path to low running costs.

But this cheap fuel is about to get a big push, with everyone from VW, Skoda and Kia to performance brand HSV jumping on the bandwagon.

Of course, this is all old news to Ford, which has been turning buyers towards dedicated gas (or E-Gas) Falcons for years.

Now there’s an improved E-Gas range on sale, boasting a host of minor changes Ford hopes will widen its appeal.

What do you get?

The big news here is you can now get an E-Gas XR6, great news if you’re seeking a bit of sport in your gas Falcon.

Our test car came in more luxurious G6E form. Like all E-Gas models, it’s a good deal its $51,490 price is equivalent to the petrol model.

It gets a reasonable equipment list, too, including a leather-clad power driver’s seat, dual-zone climate control, premium six-CD sound system and 17-inch alloys.

All E-Gas models now get stability control, which means they get the same five-star NCAP rating as other FG Falcons. However, like the majority of Falcons, potentially life-saving curtain airbags still cost extra, although they’re thankfully standard on the G6E we’ve tested.

What’s inside?

Sprawling, …-friendly space and great comfort have been Falcon staples for decades and the FG is no different.

And while the Ford won’t scare an Audi, the cabin design is smart and the plentiful soft-touch plastics deliver a more up-market ambience than a Commodore.

The instruments, however, could be easier to read and the trip computer requires a stretch to operate, thanks to buttons located on the dash rather than on the steering wheel or column stalks.

In petrol models you get a big boot but the same can’t be said of E-Gas models. The spare wheel is located on the boot floor rather than below like petrol models, dropping capacity from 535 litres to 408 litres.

It doesn’t sound too bad in theory but the wheel is mounted horizontally, not vertically, which makes it all but impossible to load bulky items.

Under the bonnet

Unlike Holden’s rival Commodore LPG, which uses sequential gas injection to deliver similar power to petrol models, E-Gas Falcons lose a fair chunk of grunt in the transition.

Power drops from 195kW to 156kW, while torque peaks 20Nm lower at 371Nm. A four-speed auto is fitted, too, rather than the five and six-speeders fitted to petrol models.

With less power and fewer gears to spread it all around, the E-Gas isn’t quite as snappy as regular Falcons. It’s still a strong, smooth performer, though.

Of course, the real attraction with LPG is low running costs and in this respect the Ford delivers.

Due to LPG’s lower energy content, E-Gas models register a seemingly disappointing 14.9 litres per 100 kilometres official economy rating. With LPG selling for about 50 cents a litre at the time of writing, though, that translates to much smaller fuel bills than you might expect of a big, powerful sedan.

We averaged 15.3L/100km over our combined urban/highway test loop, which added up to less than $8 per 100 kilometres.

The Ford is a classy drive, with a supple ride that shrugs off the worst of Australian rural tarmac. It’s impressively quiet, though some tyre noise cuts through on coarse-chip surfaces. The handling is similarly hard to fault.

The steering is responsive, utterly transparent and, despite the luxury-oriented suspension tune, the G6E doesn’t roll around too much. It’s an agile, beautifully balanced and highly composed vehicle around corners.

The E-Gas G6E isn’t as punchy as the petrol, its auto isn’t as good and the compromised boot is a real pain. It’s a hint of taxi you could do without when paying 50 grand.

However, its safety is no longer inferior and it is a lot cheaper to run. If you must have a big luxury car without the big fuel costs and can rationalise its minor shortfalls, it’s worth considering.

How much? From $51,490 plus on-road and dealer costs


Engine: 4.0-litre 6-cylinder; 156kW/371Nm; 14.9L/100km; 240g CO2/km; RWD

What it has: Six airbags, stability control, anti-lock brakes, rear parking sensors, reversing camera, dual-zone climate control, cruise control, trip computer, auto headlights, powered driver’s seat, six-CD/MP3 audio with aux input, leather-shod multi-function steering wheel, 17-inch alloys

Audi e-gas

For Enticing price, cheap to run, respectable performance, classy road manners, safety now up to scratch.

Against Performance drop compared with petrol model, old-fashioned four-speed auto, compromised boot space.

The competitors

Ford Falcon G6E

From $49,490 plus on-road and dealer costs. Has stronger performance than its E-Gas sibling, a much nicer six-speed auto and a more usable boot space but is more expensive to run.

Holden Commodore Berlina LPG

From $45,890 plus on-road and dealer costs. More advanced LPG system delivers better economy. Huge back seat, handsome looks and great to drive. Gets Holden’s old V6, though, and an archaic four-speed auto.

Toyota Aurion Presara

From $49,990 plus on-road and dealer costs. Petrol-only engine offers gutsy performance and thrifty economy. Great value but handling could be better and the back seat is unremarkable.

Price and equipment

The big news here is you can now get an E-Gas XR6, great news if you’re seeking a bit of sport in your gas Falcon. Our test car came in more luxurious G6E form. Like all E-Gas models, it’s a good deal — its $51,490 price is equivalent to the petrol model.

It gets a reasonable equipment list, too, including a leather-clad power driver’s seat, dual-zone climate control, premium six-CD sound system and 17-inch alloys.

Under the bonnet

How it drives

Comfort and practicality

Safety

All E-Gas models now get stability control, which means they get the same five-star NCAP rating as other FG Falcons. However, like the majority of Falcons, potentially life-saving curtain airbags still cost extra, although they’re — thankfully — standard on the G6E we’ve tested.

Audi e-gas
Audi e-gas
Audi e-gas
Audi e-gas
Audi e-gas

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