AT A GLANCE
LARGE cars in Australia have been on the nose for a while while they have struggled to maintain market share and remain viable.
But Ford may have the answer with its Falcon EcoBoost. Which immediately begs the question: Why isn’t Ford shouting about it?
This car has come in under the radar somewhat, with little or no fuss, a stylish low-key approach, but with what it has to offer it deserves recognition.
In this day and age where more people are aware or becoming aware of their carbon footprint and impact on the environment, the EcoBoost delivers in spades.
A big family sedan proving that a relatively small engine is no deal breaker in a large car.
I own a Ford XR6, so getting into this vehicle posed no surprises as the dash is the same well appointed, functional, user friendly one that greets me every time I get inmyown car.
What is immediately apparent once the engine has started is how much quieter this vehicle is thanks to the additional noise insulation.
It is also much lighter to steer and handle; having said that, performance wise it was excellent — with plenty of get up and go — comfortable cruising around town and plenty of power to make that amber light or overtake a road train safely; it does it easy and fuss free.
On the open road it cruises quietly at a relaxed 1900rpm at 100km/h.
I daresay most people would be surprised to hear that it ‘‘only’’ has a four under the bonnet.
The drive can best be summed up as ‘‘sweet’’.
I’ve always had a bit of an aversion to reversing cameras and the like; for goodness sake, look and check the area behind your vehicle before reversing, it’s not that hard.
And rain sensing wipers — what is that all about — that’s what your bloody eyes are for, surely?
Anyhow I digress. What I did rate was the fact that when you engage R for re- verse, the radio/audio is silenced and a subtle warning comes on screen advising you to check your surrounds prior to setting the vehicle in motion — it also emits a gentle ‘‘bing’’ when objects are deemed too close — nice and understated but effective nonetheless.
Negatives? I’d honestly be hard pressed to find any real negatives, but if I had to name one or two they would simply be that the window is not fully automatic when being ‘‘wound’’ up and the indicator noise is a bit ‘‘tinnie’’ compared to the reassuring thunk, thunk, thunk mine makes.
Apart from those minor ‘deficiencies’ this is a truly great car. Three words to summarise : smooth, quiet, responsive FORD FALCON ECOBOOST ENGINE: four-cylinder 2.0 litre petrol engine POWER: 79kW/353Nm SAFETY: five-star ANCAP rating WEIGHT: 1648kg TRANSMISSION: six-gear, sorts automatic transmission, rearwheel drive ECONOMY: 8.1L/100km
I’ll leave further technical and practical details to the knowledgeable staff at Hidden Valley Ford in Berrimah, who’d be more than happy to give you the ‘‘lowdown’’ on the vehicle.
So call in there for a test drive soon and talk to the friendly sales team.
The vehicle I road tested is the XT version and is available for $36,990 driveaway.