Hang up the weapon
For the last one they could have made more of an effort. The styling is nondescript, it’s far too quiet and the interior feels Spartan. People are paying up to $90K for examples online. The value is in its significance and the go-fast gear, starting with a 345kW supercharged V8. It comes as an auto or manual, takes premium unleaded and requires servicing every 12 months/ 15,000km, with service pricey at $1570 for three years.
Falcon has always been a comfortable runabout, with plenty room and a big boot. It doesn’t have the claustrophobic feel of a Commodore either. But apart from the mechanical package, there’s little to get excited about. The suede leather sports seats are nothing special. The eight-inch touchscreen is about the only nod to current design but even then it responds spasmodically — we were jabbing it in frustration.
Comes with the maximum five stars and has done for about eight years, with 34.61/37 crash score from tests in 2008. You get six airbags, driver assist features, reversing camera and auto emergency call in the event an accident. More recent advances such as autonomous emergency braking are lacking.
The XR6 and XR8 Sprint are absolute weapons. The turbo six is quicker but there’s more to love about the V8’s sound and smoothness. The sports suspension can be almost twitchy at times and is tiring over long periods on country roads. Acceleration is super strong and accompanied by a Mad Max soundtrack. The expensive Pirelli P Zero tyres struggle to find grip as you unleash the beast. Brembo brakes pull the car up straight and true, with plenty of feel once warm. The delightfully direct and communicative steering is a Ford hallmark.
Holden Commodore SS-V Redline, from $54,490 Another Aussie icon with naturally aspirated 6.2-litre V8 (304kW/570Nm). Cabin feels ritzier and comes with plenty of eye candy. Gets more safety gear too including forward collision alert, not to mention better audio. Available with a manual or auto. Uses 12.6L12.9L/100km. Servicing is nine months/ 15,000km for a total of $956 for three years. Chrysler 300 SRT, from $65,000 Americana at its finest. Looks the goods with huge 20-inch wheels and 6.4-litre hemi V8 (350kW/637Nm) — it’s a worthy contender. Uses 13.0L/100km. Eight-speed auto only. Comes with even better Harman Kardon audio. Servicing is at intervals of six months/12,000km and is super dear at $3127 for three years.
Thanks for the memories but it’s time to go.