THE SON

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Test Drive -

THIS car isn’t shy. Far from it. The XR6 is big, it stands out and has the ac­cel­er­a­tion of an Olympic ath­lete. I’m sure some of my mates like this car much more than me.

It’s built to move. Touch the pedal and you are at 50km/ h within sec­onds. Be­fore you take a breath you hit 70km/h and when mo­men­tum is gained it’s hard to stop. You have to re­ally work at the brakes to get the car to slow down.

Ford has done well with the XR6. It has guts and han­dles well on the road.

The turn­ing cir­cle is in­cred­i­bly im­pres­sive for a car of this size. Do­ing a three-point turn in a nar­row street is sur­pris­ingly easy. In­side is spa­cious. And the biggest sur­prise is the boot. It’s huge. Big­ger than any sedan I have ever seen. So for­get the mini van. Now shop­ping at Costco has just be­come so much eas­ier.

I’m a bit put off by the cen­tre con­sole, though. It re­minds me too much of black, glitzy bath­room tiles, but it does be­come less shiney at night. When it’s dark the dash is lit up with red and blue lights, sim­i­lar to the VW Golf. It looks great but the com­pro­mise is that it’s hard to see what the but­tons are and it be­comes a game of hit and miss be­fore you can fi nally turn the heater off.

Strangely, the but­tons don’t light up on the steer­ing wheel.

The car does at­tract a lot of at­ten­tion. Af­fec­tion­ately termed “po­lice bait’’ by one of my fam­ily mem­bers, the flu­o­ro­elec­tric blue colour called indigo doesn’t ex­actly al­low you to blend in with the crowd.

Split air­con­di­tion­ing is a plus. It can be 30 de­grees on the driver’s side, while just a brisk 19 de­grees cools down my pas­sen­ger who screams that she is hav­ing hot flushes.

When it rains, the car holds it­self well. It’s got great sus­pen­sion, too. How­ever, it needs a back wind­screen wiper.

There is noth­ing hum­ble about this car. It sounds great in­side and out, and has a gutsy sound sys­tem.

It moves well and for quite a big car it’s easy to nav­i­gate, even in midget­sized city car parks. It has the space that a fam­ily car needs, but once in­side it’s not pedes­trian.

Your speed is shown in num­bers across the dash. I know this isn’t a new fea­ture, it’s one that is used in a lot of cars. But I have never driven a car with this and it makes keep­ing an eye on the speed so much eas­ier. This is def­i­nitely a bonus, be­cause it’s hard to keep a con­stant speed in the XR6. When you’re at 60km/ h, sec­onds later you can hit 80km/ h with­out even re­al­is­ing. Cruise con­trol is a clever ad­di­tion.

It does chug through petrol, mainly from the fact it has a six-cylin­der, 4.0litre en­gine. But it’s hard to hate the very fea­ture that makes this car great.

The more I drive this car, the more I like it. I gen­uinely look for­ward to sit­ting in the driver’s seat and tak­ing off each day. The XR6 made me the envy of all my mates. They loved this car. I did too. Take it for a test drive.

A quick note though to po­ten­tial buy­ers. There is no stor­age com­part­ment on the right-hand side un­der the steer­ing wheel. If you pull on it, the whole com­part­ment comes off in your hand, re­veal­ing hun­dreds of in­ter­nal wires — a fact I learnt just five min­utes af­ter get­ting in the car.

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