at a glance
PRICE New$ 38,500 to $41,500 Used$ 6000-$23,000 for the Twin Spark, $6500-$25,000 for the Selespeed, $11,000-$27,000 for the GTA, $14,000-$25,500 for the JTD
ENGINE 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol, 110kW/181Nm; 3.2-litreV6petrol, 184kW/300Nm; 2.0-litre turbo diesel, 110kW/305Nm
TRANSMISSION Five-speed manual, five-speed Selespeed, six-speed manual, six-speed Selespeed
BODY Three-door or five-door hatch VARIANTS Twin Spark, Selespeed, GTA, JTD SAFETY Three-star ANCAP
ECONOMY 7.2L/100km (Twin Spark), 7.8L/100km (Selespeed), 12.1L/100km (GTA), 5.9L/100km (JTD)
Thoroughly engaging car to drive — but best left to the believers
PROS Sporty looks, smooth engine, diesel economy, sharp handling, and fun to drive
CONS Three-star safety, questionable reliability, resale, hard ride
OTHERS TO CONSIDER
MINICOOPERS2003-09 Cute retro-look hatch that doesn’t scream old-fashioned, but has the handling and agility that made the old car so great. Lacks space and comfort. $11,500-$39,000.3.5 stars
VWGOLFGTI2001-09 Long the benchmark for hot hatches, the GTI combines a spirited drive with a high standard of refinement, comfort, fit and finish. Hard to beat in the class. $8500-$33,000.4stars
MAZDA3SP232004-09 Understated and underrated, the hot Mazda3 is deceptive. Ideal for thosewholike its quiet persona but appreciate its sizzle. $15,000-$25,500.
COMINGUP Do youownor have you owned an FG Falcon XR6? Share your experience with other Carsguide readers by sending your comments via e-mail to graham.smith@carsguide.
com.au or write to Carsguide, PO Box 4245, Sydney, NSW, 2010.