Home­grown lux­ury

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NEW

The G Se­ries was a new range of sports lux­ury mod­els Ford in­tro­duced with the FG Fal­con in 2008. In ef­fect it re­placed the old lux­ury Fu­tura/Fair­mont/ Fair­mont Ghia but with greater em­pha­sis on sporti­ness.

The range com­prised the G6, G6E and G6E Turbo, all sedans.

The G6 built on the XT, which an­chored the FG range. Ad­di­tional stan­dard fea­tures in­cluded dis­tinc­tive front and rear styling, front fog lamps, 17inch al­loy wheels, sports sus­pen­sion and re­vers­ing sen­sors

Adding yet more fea­tures, the G6E had a unique grille, re­peater in­di­ca­tors in the side mir­rors, unique 17-inch­ers and, in the cabin, Blue­tooth, pre­mium au­dio with six-CD in­dash player, dual-zone auto air­con, leather seats, power driver’s seat with mem­ory, re­vers­ing cam­era and cur­tain airbags.

In the G6E Turbo, lux­ury com­bined with per­for­mance. The turbo six-cylin­der was the thun­der­ing heart of the G6E Turbo and it rolled on 18-inch al­loys. It added bootlid spoiler, iPod in­te­gra­tion and bright head­lamp bezels.

The FG range’s base en­gine was a 4.0-litre six-cylin­der with 195kW/391Nm — it had all the get up and go you could wish for and its rel­a­tive thirst was not such a sur­prise for a big en­gine in a big car.

For those seek­ing bet­ter fuel ef­fi­ciency, the ded­i­cated LPG version wasn’t as pow­er­ful (still with 156kW/371Nm) but was no slug when the lights went green.

The G6E Turbo with 270kW/533Nm was for any­one who wanted to win at the lights.

The base trans­mis­sion in the G6 was a five-speed auto; if you went for the LPG en­gine op­tion you got a four-speed, but if you opted for the G6E or the turbo you got a six-speed auto.

There was much to like about the G6 range when you hit the road. The en­gine was re­spon­sive, the ride smooth and quiet and the han­dling bal­anced and re­as­sured.

NOW

The ques­tion of build qual­ity usu­ally comes up when talk switches to the lo­cal brands.

There’s a the­ory that goes some­thing like this: don’t buy the first model in a new car, wait un­til the up­date be­cause they will have ironed out the bugs by then.

It’s not a bad idea. The BF II, which pre­ceded the FG was a pretty good thing, there wasn’t a lot wrong with it. The FG was the first of the new model.

The en­gines are pretty much bul­let­proof; noth­ing really goes wrong with them. The only thing to be cau­tious about is the G6E Turbo, which could have suf­fered a hard life at the hands of a hoon.

A G6E Turbo is less likely to have been thrashed than an XR6 Turbo, but take a good look around the car for signs of a hard life any­way.

Trans­mis­sions can be a cause for con­cern with the FG. The five-speed can give trou­ble, so give it a good test drive and look for hes­i­ta­tion when shift­ing, clunk­ing into gear etc.

The six-speed isn’t im­mune from prob­lems ei­ther; it is prone to clunk­ing into gear heav­ily. There is a trans­mis­sion cal­i­bra­tion fix for it but it tends to rob the en­gine of a lit­tle power in or­der to soften the harsh­ness.

Fal­cons have had prob­lems with the trans­mis­sion oil cooler fail­ing, al­low­ing coolant into the trans­mis­sion, ul­ti­mately caus­ing it to fail. A way around it is to fit an ex­ter­nal cooler and by­pass the fac­tory item.

When test driv­ing an FG lis­ten for clunk­ing in the rear end, which could in­di­cate split diff bushes, a known prob­lem.

Some own­ers also com­plain about the per­for­mance of the FG air­con, which isn’t as ef­fec­tive as that in the BF.

LPG cars were re­called for a cracked brake booster check valve, which could af­fect the power as­sis­tance of the brakes.

Over­all the FG is a well-built re­fined car that’s some­times let down by frus­trat­ing is­sues like those out­lined above. It’s per­haps best to avoid early cars; later ones tend to be bet­ter.

OWN­ERS SAY

Our 2008 G6E has done 115,000km. The three­year ex­tended war­ranty paid for it­self when the CD player and the boot struts had to be re­placed, and the rear IRS diff bushes split, all af­ter the ini­tial Ford war­ranty ex­pired. Heavy on fuel in the city, the en­gine is quiet, re­spon­sive if re­quired, and gets about 7.0L/100km in the coun­try. We have used Ford’s capped price ser­vic­ing and the com­pli­men­tary road­side as­sis­tance has been a bonus. The space-saver spare was re­placed with a full-sized match­ing wheel.

I bought my G6E Turbo new in 2011 and two years later it was writ­ten off in a crash. I was ab­so­lutely thrilled with the way that it drove and per­formed. The to­tal pack­age of dy­nam­ics was per­fect and that 4.0-litre turbo was just won­der­ful. On a run up the Hume to Sydney the gear­box rarely shifted out of sixth gear and on most hills the en­gine just started “hum­ming” a lit­tle bit louder.

I have a 2013 G6E bought with 65,000km. So far all is go­ing well. This is my fourth Fal­con, all have been re­li­able and over­all costs have been fine. As far as I know it has the big­gest tow­ing ca­pac­ity of the sedans, which is the at­trac­tive fea­ture for tow­ing my boat. I be­lieve Fal­cons are grossly un­der­rated.

I am very happy with my 2010 Fal­con G6E, which has cov­ered 70,000km. It is com­fort­able and eas­ily tows my 5-me­tre boat. Re­cently, I have had to re­place the rear dif­fer­en­tial bush­ings ($800) and an air-con­di­tion­ing unit ($1400). Apart from those ex­pen­di­tures the car has been very re­li­able and is still on orig­i­nal tyres and brakes.

My G6E Turbo is still like new, which is a tes­ta­ment to Ford’s build qual­ity. Noth­ing has gone wrong with it, there’s not a squeak or rat­tle in it. I’m rapt.

Af­ter own­ing Ja­panese im­ports for 10 years I de­cided to buy a G6E Turbo in 2009. The per­for­mance is great and there have been no prob­lems worth not­ing.

I love my 2008 G6E Turbo, it has amaz­ing power, is com­fort­able, has a huge boot and it looks great. But it hasn’t been with­out its prob­lems, in­clud­ing nu­mer­ous elec­tronic is­sues, the air­con leaked un­der the dash, the out­side temp sen­sor failed a num­ber of times and there was a heavy clunk in the driv­e­line when shift­ing into first. I wouldn’t buy an­other one.

SMITHY SAYS

Re­fined, smooth large sedan has plenty go­ing for it.

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