The Weekend Post - Motoring - - Front Page -

IThe glis­ten­ing colour would an­nounce to ev­ery­one you had some­thing “spe­cial”.

Our test car was in white – white goods white, but that didn’t de­tract from it as a great car to drive, at a value price.

The reg­u­lar G6E Turbo tops out Ford’s range in Aus­tralia sell­ing for a snip un­der $60,000 but the 50th An­niver­sary is an ab­so­lute bar­gain at $54,950.

You get a whole lot of ex­tra value for less money. How does Ford do it?

Dif­fer­en­ti­at­ing the 50th G6E Turbo is a range of good­ies like so called “stealth” paint outs dot­ted around the body, 50th logo leather seats, ex­te­rior badges, mats, trim en­hance­ments and 19in 10-spoke al­loys.

That’s on top of all the other good­ies you’d ex­pect in top dog Fal­con. There’s things like multi-func­tion steer­ing wheel, Blue­tooth phone, full iPod con­nec­tiv­ity, pre­mium au­dio, re­vers­ing cam­era and auto head­lights. But sat­nav is op­tional.

It’s a well equipped beast that leaves lit­tle to be de­sired in terms of crea­ture com­forts. The re­cent up­grade to FG Fal­con brought with it pow­er­train up­grades for bet­ter fuel econ­omy and other de­tail changes.

The G6E Turbo runs a 4.0-litre, 270kW/533Nm turbo six-cylin­der en­gine with im­pres­sive per­for­mance aided by a slick shift­ing six-speed au­to­matic trans­mis­sion. Fuel econ­omy for the high per­for­mance G6E Turbo av­er­ages 11.7-litres/100km – not bad in a 1700kg four door sedan ca­pa­ble of putting away a 0-100kmh sprint in the five sec­ond bracket.

Han­dling is softer than the XR6 Turbo but more live­able on a day to day ba­sis. The G6E turbo has per­for­mance brakes and sus­pen­sion to go with the high out­put en­gine.

It gets out of the blocks like a shot and fairly rips to the speed limit in a flash. Gear changes are ac­com­pa­nied by a pleas­ing ex­haust pop as the en­gine shuts down for changes. But there aren’t any pad­dles to play with – only the se­quen­tial shifter on the se­lec­tor stick.

Weight tells a bit in tight cor­ners and sport mode in the trans­mis­sion ac­ti­vates the sta­bil­ity con­trol too soon for some rea­son. It’s char­ac­terised by brake ap­pli­ca­tion just when you don’t want or need it.

Other dy­nam­ics as­pects of the G6E Turbo are im­pres­sive in­clud­ing the well weighted and re­spon­sive steer­ing and the grippy tyres.

Prac­ti­cal­i­ties are looked af­ter with split fold­ing rear seats lead­ing into a large boot, five comfy seats, plenty of in­te­rior room and nu­mer­ous stor­age com­part­ments dot­ted around the cabin.

It’s a good looker too in­side and out, em­pha­sised by the large wheels and lower ride height. The sound is pretty bad though, like a vac­uum cleaner. With the FG model comes Euro 4 emis­sions com­pli­ance and all Fal­cons score a five star crash rat­ing.

Hav­ing driven and en­joyed this im­pres­sive lo­cal sedan, we won­der how the up­com­ing four cylin­der Fal­con is go­ing to shape up, es­pe­cially con­sid­er­ing what is cur­rently on of­fer.

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