Ford has wagon will
It’s an old favourite still going strong, writes NEIL McDONALD
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.