Ford has wagon will

It’s an old favourite still go­ing strong, writes NEIL McDON­ALD

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Front Page -

THE Ford Fal­con BF Mk III wagon can trace its roots to the 1998 AU model but Ford’s favourite fleet load lug­ger is not dead yet.

An­nounc­ing the ad­di­tion of the newer Mon­deo Zetec wagon to the line-up last week, Ford Aus­tralia pres­i­dent and chief ex­ec­u­tive Marin Burela said there was plenty of life left in the old stager.

‘‘It is alive and well,’’ Burela said. ‘‘It re­mains a good seller and it is still pop­u­lar with fleets.

‘‘I think we’ve hit a nice sweet spot with the Fal­con wagon and it just keeps sell­ing.’’

The Mon­deo Zetec wagon was un­veiled at last week’s Mel­bourne Mo­tor Show. It will sit side by side with the big­ger Fal­con wa- gon, a peren­nial fleet favourite, and Burela be­lieves it ‘‘will bring a com­pletely dif­fer­ent cus­tomer to the ve­hi­cle’’.

It will be aimed at a younger fam­ily, ver­sa­tile, life­style-type of ve­hi­cle buyer, he says.

Ford first showed off the Eurosourced wagon at Mel­bourne last year to get cus­tomer feed­back.

The car goes on sale in June, up against the Mazda6, Subaru Lib­erty and even the Skoda Oc­tavia wag­ons in the mid-size seg­ment.

Of key im­por­tance to fleets is the Mon­deo’s load-lug­ging abil­ity.

It has 542 litres of lug­gage room with the rear passenger seats upright, grow­ing to 1733 litres with the rear seats folded away.

By com­par­i­son, the Fal­con wagon has 1260 litres with the rear seats upright and a huge 2584 litres when they are folded.

The Mon­deo will be pow­ered by a 118kW/208Nm, 2.3-litre Du­ratec four-cylin­der en­gine driv­ing the front wheels via a sixspeed se­quen­tial au­to­matic.

The wagon will have the same equip­ment as the Zetec hatch.

This in­cludes 17-inch al­loy wheels, cruise con­trol, dual-zone cli­mate con­trol, a pre­mium Sony au­dio sys­tem, au­to­matic head­lights and rain-sens­ing wipers.

The car’s safety pack­age mir­rors that of its hatch, in­clud­ing what Ford calls its ‘‘in­tel­li­gent pro­tec­tion sys­tem’’ com­ple­mented by anti-skid brakes, brake as­sist, elec­tronic sta­bil­ity con­trol, au­to­matic haz­ard warn­ing lights and seven airbags, in­clud­ing a driver’s knee airbag.

Prices will be re­leased closer to the car’s launch date.

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