Value for money and fun to boot – a winning combo

Model Tested:

  • 2011 Ford Falcon XR6 Turbo; 4.0-litre, six-cylinder, turbocharged petrol; six-speed automatic; four-door sedan: $50,990

CarAdvice Rating: 4 out of 10

We who live in the land down under have it so good – automotively speaking, of course. If you’re talking bang-for-your-buck, then two Aussie icons are pretty hard to beat.

In the red corner sits the Holden Commodore SS. Using the bigger-is-better school of thought, there’s a whopping six-litres of bent-eight under the bonnet making around 260-270kW (depending on your transmission), with six-speeds, limited slip differential and rear-wheel drive. In the blue corner though, is the subject of this review: the Ford Falcon XR6 Turbo. It uses forced induction and a four-litre, straight-six engine to make similar power (270kW), plus it also has the benefit of six-speed transmissions, LSD and rear-wheel-drive.

These are big cars, too. That means plenty of space for passengers and luggage. In fact, there’s nothing in this price range that has the space that a Falcon has, though the Commodore runs it close. The front seats are huge and soft – they’re like big lounge chairs – but despite this they hold you in place with good side bolstering. The textured seat base looks nothing like leather, though, and the bolsters were already showing signs of fatigue and stretch, despite the car covering only a few thousand kilometres.

The rear seat has heaps of legroom and there’s truckloads of width meaning big, boofy blokes can fit three-across. The boot is also huge, but the dipped carpet which follows the shape of the spare wheel collects small bits of rubbish, and makes it a pain to vacuum dirt out of.

Quality-wise, the XR6 Turbo is pretty good. The dashtop is made from a soft-touch plastic, and everything seems to be screwed together tightly – there were no rattles or creaks – however the padded cover for the passenger’s side airbag does look a little stuck on. Some hard, dark plastics also scuff pretty easy, most notably the strips which run up the side of the centre console.

There’s a big band of silver that runs across the dash fascia which breaks it up from being a mass of dark grey plastic, and with the centre stack treated with the same material it fits right into Ford’s family of interiors.

At the top of the centre stack sits a big full colour screen (it would be nice to have a touch screen given its size, a la Holden iQ) which displays climate control, radio, outside temperature and other preferences, and also doubles as your reversing camera display. Interesting to note that when reversing, the radio goes mute so as to minimise distractions – a safety feature that gets a big tick.

 

 



The climate control and settings menus take a little while to get used to – having the climate control above the stereo controls is a little different – but things like Bluetooth pairing is very straightforward once you work out the scrolling using the dial. When making phone calls, the radio will still remain active, all the way up until the person you call picks up.

Not so great is the trip meter menu. Rather than accessing everything from the one set of buttons, there are two sets on each side of the instrument binnacle, and some functions require both sets to be used, meaning both hands are in operation; you’ll have to pull over and stop to sort it out.

The instruments can also be a little hard to read during the daytime with their numbers set into the blue band, as well as an illegible font, but at night it’s a lot easier to see. At night you also realise that the Falcon’s high beams are one of the best around, projecting straight and long into the night darkness, though the low beams are a little weak for city driving.

The driver has at their disposal drilled aluminium pedals, with a huge brake pedal and decent sized footrest. The driving position is a little high set, though, with the steering wheel feeling like it’s sitting in your lap. More height adjustment would be appreciated, or lowering the front seats. At least the steering is quite satisfying.

There’s a good weight to it – some may say a little too heavy, compared with the Commodore – and excellent feedback; you’ll always know what the front tyres are doing and it never lightens off or loses feel closer to the lock stops. Turn in is pretty good for a big car, but it’s still easy to park as well.

What is amazing is that despite the weight of this big beasty (1704kg) it actually handles. Over the standard Falcon, it receives a lower ride height, stiffer springs and different shock absorbers. It also has better brakes. All of that means you can be confident throwing it into a corner, or tackling an ever-changing country road.

We took the XR6 Turbo on a country run from Perth to Moora, covering around 350km of crests, dips, windy roads, broken tarmac, smooth bitumen and plenty of trucks to overtake. The Falcon faithfully obeyed steering inputs, holding its line across some of the worst roads we’ve seen in a while, feeling completely planted.

While some cars would skip about, feeling nervous and twitchy, the XR6 Turbo’s suspension took it all in its stride, remaining supple, but enabling plenty of grip. On a country trip, though, the road noise can be quite wearing, with a constant roar over blue-metal. The XR6 Turbo’s ride is firm, but it never jolts or jars, even at speed. Around town it’s also absorbent enough to remain comfortable; an excellent balance.

It’s predictable, too. If you want to switch the ESC off and play drift hero, you can. But even in the wet, the ESC allows for a little play and then brings you sweetly back into line. It’s a whole heap of fun.

The turbocharged six comes into its own while on the move. If you plant your foot from a standstill, not much happens while the turbo is spooling. This is a safe way to set it up, as it’s not going to launch sideways from every set of traffic lights. But once’s it’s past the lag, there’s plenty of fuel and air being shoved in and the whooshing sound gets louder, and acceleration gets much more urgent.With 270kW and 533Nm on tap, the XR6 Turbo has got plenty enough grunt for the average punter.

The sprint from 0-100km/h takes around 5.6 seconds – not slow in anyone’s books. When overtaking, simply sink your right foot, and the XR6 Turbo goes into attack mode. The ZF gearbox drops down smoothly, the turbo whistles and the car rockets down the road, making passing road trains a snap.

However, quickly backing off partway through acceleration will induce a jolt from the driveline, like the gearbox has locked into gear and the boost hasn’t been let off smoothly. You soon learn to drive fluently you can’t just hop off the accelerator, you have to ease it off. Once you’ve achieved this, the whole driveline feels smooth and refined. In normal driving, the ZF adapts to your driving style and quietly slips between gears with a minimum of fuss. It’s still no match for the ZFs in BMWs and Jaguars in terms of response, but it matches well with the engine under the bonnet and shows off the straight-six’s greatest attribute – its lack of harshness.

It’s economical, too. We ended up with 12.0L/100km which is not far off Ford’s ADR figure of 11.7L/100km. Having a decent dollop of high speed country driving helped with this, but it still shows that the 4.0-litre six can be remarkably efficient. As with any turbo car, hot days will affect its performance, something we noticed in the 40 degree heat of the day as compared with mid 20s at night.

It’s also satisfying to know that the FG Falcon receives the highest safety rating from ANCAP – five stars.

All in all, the Falcon XR6 Turbo is great value for money. While the engine doesn’t bellow like Holden’s Commodore SS, there’s a certain placidness that will impress your passengers as it trundles down the road sounding like a regular Falcon. But stick the boot in and the car changes personality, bringing with it testosterone-satisfying grunt and handling to match.

When the XR6 Turbo was launched, it was praised as being one of the best bang-for-your-buck cars around. It’s good to see things haven’t changed.

Ratings:

CarAdvice Overall Rating: 4 out of 5
How does it Drive: 4 out of 5
How does it Look: 4 out of 5
How does it Go: 4.5 out of 5

*Pricing is a guide as recommended to us by the manufacturer and does not include dealer delivery, on-road or statutory charges.




  • Shak

    If the seats in this car are going after a few Kilometers, then i dont hold much hope for my uncles new G6ET he bought two weeks ago.

    • Techie

      This looks like a very old example, that colour hasnt been available for nearly a year and half.

      • Shak

        Its only done a couple thousand k’s, so either its been thrashed in that time, or the leather(or vinyl) isnt up to standard.

        • nickdl

          Well that odometer reading is just one of the two trip computers. It’s a Victorian “XFG” number plate which is what Ford used for their press cars on launch nearly three years ago so, yes, it is pretty old.

      • Gibbo

        pretty sure the colour of the csr pictured in this review is ‘viper’- a colour still avaliable on the FG XR range- it is also one of the more recent colour options- wasn’t avaliable at the launch of the FG

      • Richard

        Techie
        hate to burst your bubble, but i ordered and had my FG XR6 Turbo built in Feb 2011 in this colour. It is not out of production yet but will be soon.

    • mark

      YOUR BETTER OFF SAVING YOUR MONEY AND BUYING A R34 GTR IF YOU WANT REAL PERFORMANCE AND HANDLING . SAME PRICE BUT 10 YEARS OLDER BUT WAY MORE TECHNOLOGY !!!

      • Turbodewd

        Oh yeah, and enjoy the enormous insurance on the GTR…rofl!  Rice, rice baby!

      • Russ

        Mark have you ever priced up a GTR, landed in Australia? They are nearly DOUBLE the price of this car. Be realistic with your comparisons. There is a huge difference in your banks balance when you subtract $70,000 vs over $100,000. Not to mention insurance.

  • Paul

    Shak – i have an ’08 XR6T and the seats are in perfect condition after almost 3 yrs & 56k kms….. no problems on that front, and the quoted 0-100 of 5.6 is way off, its much quicker……..

    • John

      Maybe the average car journalist has a big BMI, hence than excess seat wear on the press car?

      • Jeremy

        hahaha – amen!

  • Dennis

    Good Aussie Product,

    But the MKII needs to come out, Any dates yet?

  • Paul

    Karl – Aren’t they stopping production of the Aussie produced XR6T engine ? whats next – the imported US duratec twin turbo?

  • G6ETurbo

    I have a 2009 G6ET bought in July/09
    It’s done 30K last Wednesday

    the driver seat is showing quite a wear with a few tears at the front.

    The front disks requiring replacement (still under warranty but a bit early for a premium car)

    Rear suspension showing wear and needed replacement (at 30K)

    and all four tires (which were rotated at 15K) have low thread.

    Speakers are rattling and GPS often claims that I’m swimming in the Yara River.

    and many more.

    I did have a Territory Turbo Ghia prior with a few problems but not as much.

    is Ford cutting costs on QA?

    • Grammar Nazi

      You’re probably too fat and “tyred”. This is the cause of your problems

      • G6ETurbo

        I can see that you didn’t mature above 3rd grade comments.

        let me get down to your level-
        - English is my third language(how many do you have)
        - In American English Tyres = Tires
        - I’m sure your feeling like a big man now, aren’t you? can’t get satisfaction elsewhere?
        - I probably weigh less then half of your big head

        And now for the adults;

        The comments are for everyone to take in and pressure companies such as Ford, Holden and Toyota (not necessarily in that order)to improve their product (why a car like G6ET doesn’t have: heated seats, Electric passenger seat, Rain sensing wipers, Voice control, which are available on the lower priced medium sized Mondeo) so we could all continue to enjoy this unique Australian build cars for longer.

        At the rate that their are going they won’t be here for long. (Falcon dropped down in sales to 13!!! in Jan)

        How many of you can afford a European equivalent?

        • Grammar Nazi

          Stop making excusses for your inattention at school..

          We speak the Queen’s english in Australia

          There is no excuse for poor grammar…

          or poor taste!!!

          • http://Facebook Jerome Jackson

            +1 for Grammar Nazi. Hilarious.

          • Eric

            Bet the Queen doesn’t speak Australians version of the Queens English.

          • Tim Johnston

            Excusses?

            Lucky you’re not the Spelling Nazi!

          • Nick01

            Excuse me but you didn’t spell “excuses” correctly. You spelt “excusses”. Must be from your inattention at school.
            We don’t speak the Queen’s English in Australia either. We call 4WDs SUVs, so that’s American English for you.
            There’s no excuse for poor spelling… or poor manner!!!

          • Turbodewd

            Sorry, American English utterly trumps the Queen’s English which is too French.

            Check beats cheque!

            Center beats centre!

            Roll on reform of the English language!

        • Clueless

          We do not need heated seats in Aussie. It is the biggest waste of money ever for cars in this market.
          I drive Fiesta with voice control, far quicker and easier to press CD and the track number, rather than use voice control…
          But when used with Sync it is brilliant as the range of features it has.

          • Devil’s Advocate

            I am sure there are some Tasmainian’s and people who live in the high country etc who think differently about heated seats… :-)

          • Will my wife like the green

            It’s not cold enough in Tassie for heated seats, a lot of people drive AWD Subarus etc because of the wet roads. (A New Territory would be nice).

    • Autoboy

      That’s a shame, but it does confirm suspicions as the interior looks really cheap. That silver strip is from the Mitsu 380 era.

      The engine seems really good though, performance wise. Wheels has clocked these at around 5.1 – 5.3. That’s serious stonk for the price. And for the price I would take this over the so-called fast supercharged FPV GT any day.

      These XR6 turbos are also pretty cheap now, at around 40K for a 2010 model which is a concern, though, if you want good resale in a few years. The trend of significantly declining sales for falcons would also be a concern.

      There is always the argument that this will be the last of its kind, but I suspect the twin turbo ecoboost 3.5 might fill the spot.

    • hortma

      Sorry to read that G6ETurbo is copping some flack here. If English is your third language, I assume you wouldn’t fit into the typical marketing profiles of either the blue or red corners, so kudos for choosing to buy an Aussie product (no, two Aussie products) over the tempting alternatives from Toyota, Mazda, Honda, Subaru, VW etc…

      I’d like to think that any Aussie made car can stack up to the average Japanese or mid-spec Euro car, but fear that your experience is more common than it needs to be. Somewhat counter to the reason for reviewing an XR6 Turbo, I wish that Australian car makers focussed much, much more on the lived experience of owning a locally made car (incl dealer support) than it’s ability to chew bitumen in getting to 100km/h.

      And Tim Johnson… pure pwnage on Grammar Nazi. GN, enough from you now, your moment has passed.

    • xr6- monster

      I don’t know how you drive mate but mine is in perfect condition after 36K 30 of them than by me in 2 years. I still got half of my brakes left and I don’t drive slow discs are tip top. Tyre life in high perfomance cars is less than your ordinary falcons so if you want your tyres to last more than you go and buy falcon xt plus you have to remember that front of the FG has negative camber and it wears quicker inside out try to fliped them on the rims afer 5K but without rotating them as for your rear suspension well it tells me you haven’t got a clue on how to look after yor car therefore your car should be striped from you since you don’t deserve to own such a car..

      • G6ETurbo

        I don’t understand why large number of Ford/Holden fans will dismiss any criticism/bad reviews on the locally build products, because:

        a. The driver obviously is too Fat.
        b. The driver doesn’t know how to drive those unique cars.
        c. Poor maintenance from the drivers side.
        d. The writer is from the opposing camp and wants to/getting paid to bag the cars.

        ‘xr6- monster’ if i go by your logic after the last weekend if i say that my house got flooded but the neighboring suburb didn’t its because i don’t know how to close the door and windows properly and not because my house is located in a flood area.

        As i mentioned before i could notice a drop in QA over the from my previous Territory to the G6ET (my company also owns a few BF XT and BF mark II XT which didn’t have any similar problems)

        Neither Ford or the dealers take any feedbacks (In some cases i had to fight with the dealer to take the car in for a inspection/service) from the owners.

        I was really proud to own an Aussie car , but I’m not sure that I’ll continue past this one.

    • Jimbo

      All vehicles with that fake leather tend to look like crap after a short while. I have owned plenty of Ford xr6 vehicles and agree with your issues on brakes and suspension components, but are you surprised with 2 ton of car with stiff suspension and such small brakes. Drive it within the law and you will get around 70 to 80k out of a set of rotors, they handle like a dream. You could spend a little extra on a good brake package about 5k. these vehicles are great value for money.Ford Falcon and Holden Commodore,support these great motorcars,Aussie built and great fun to drive.

  • Ross

    Interesting… both Drive and Motor have vBox tested the XR6 Turbo to be a 0-100km/h in 5.1s.

    How did CarAdvice come to a figure of 5.6? Did CarAdvice actually test the 0-100 time? and if so, what equipment was used? 5.6s is a full half second slower than every other publication?

    • xr6- monster

      It seems that this review was designed to boost holden sales and FG can go quicker than that much quicker. Wheels recorded 5.1 with full thank of fuell and 2 passenger in the car. Now if they come and test mine it will go 4.9 for sure I can bet my head on it. I ran mine against holdens pride gts twice and trust me did they got embarassed. And no mine is standard no mods whatsoever 270rwkw… I don’t understand why publish rubish like this, FG was tested over and over and even in damp conditions it recorded faster time than this…

  • Martin

    Just going to put it out there. The styling and interior won’t win everybody over, such as myself. But that doesn’t mean it’s a bad car by any means.

  • Paul

    Its true what they say in the report however with the 0-100 time – on a nice winters evening, with cold air it feels much quicker, the high 30\’s early 40\’s at the moment do not help.

  • Ima Hogg

    Don’t get me wrong the Xr6 turbo and normal Xr6 are a great package but for did wrong getting rid of that awesome V8. So I can’t wait for 2012 when they reckon they will bring it back. I can’t believe Ford thought nobody cared about the V8.

    • Suntory time

      It’s not that Ford thought nobody cared for V8′s, they just failed with their BOSS V8 and therefore had to stick it out until there was a replacement available.

      The BOSS V8 was outclassed from day one, it barely fit in the Falcons engine bay, it was heavy & sat to high & to far foward, blunting handling.

      And even though it had more ‘tech’ than the Chevy small block, it was outgunned any day of the week. And now that they finally have a proper V8, the Falcon can’t harness the power.

      Things don’t look good for the V8 performance Falcons, especially when their cheapest V8 (FPV GS) is such an underwhelming package for its price.

      • Ima Hogg

        Also didn’t the engine not meet Euro emissions standereds in Australia and ford didn’t bother using ( I forget the engines name) and they just dummped it.

        @Save it for the track. Yeah it was sluggish but did make an awesome sound

        • Suntory time

          Yes, but what I said is also factual.

          The XR8 never sold as well as Holden’s SS & most of its buyers were just die-hard Ford fans that probably didn’t care they were buying the inferior car (power & handling wise).

      • The.Menz

        In relation to the introduction of the Coyote (Miami) V8,
        I think it is fair to say that it has been rushed.

        Part of the problem was that Ford had to replace the V8 due to the impeding switch to Euro v compliance which forced the to make the switch prior to prior to the introduction of the FG’s replacement.

        Hence it is simply an upgrade of the engine and not a more comprehensive upgrade.

        It will be interesting to see what the next series brings. Especially if the XR8 is reintroduced. The GS will need to step up if the the XR comes in at 307KW like the Nat atmo mustang V8.

  • Save It for the track

    the old 5.4L Boss v8 was NOT awesome. Sure it sounded great, but was sluggish and made the xr8 feel like a lead tipped arrow (a SLOWER arrow than the xr6t). I note in this review the mention of ‘lag’. I’ve read elsewhere that 80% of the torwue of the six cylinder turbo is available from something like 1500 rpm, and full torque from something like 2-2500 through to peak. What exactly is the lag called then in an SS when you put the boot into it? peak torwue in an SS is also up at about 4400 or so. The straight six turbo matched with the ZF is brilliant. I have known suspension and other issues over the years but thought that was due to the use the xr6t’s I’ve driven were subjected to. I always thought that in normal everyday use they would be okay. The thing that stand out to me about the v8 situation is that the new coyote motor is a 5.0L and produces similar torque to the six cylinder turbo. If the 6.0L Holden efforts were anywhere neare efficient or ‘good’ motors they’d be knocking out 590 or 600Nm plus. Isn’t there an old ‘standard’ of 100Nm per litre for naturally aspirated engines? Doesn’t the base 4.0L engine put out 383Nm (on standard 91 RON). That’s another point not often mentioned in much press, the 4.0L engine figures are quoted on 91 RON, and actually produce more power and torque on higher octanes.
    .
    So in conlcusion. Falcon xr6t vs SS.
    – Falcon no massive blindspot A-pillar
    – Bigger boot space
    – Faster, smoother and better gearbox.
    .
    The VE’s are definetely better than VY, VZ and don’t seem to be breaking diffs or gearboxes anymore, but in performance terms xr6t is still the Aussie ‘bang for buck’ leader. With accelleration times comparable to more expensive HSV’s. I also remember a telling stat in a mag once with the 80-120 time of the xr6t somewhere around 2.5 secs. (I’ll have to look it up, or someone else might have the info)

    • Roadtard

      If we’re saving it for the track, Mr Save It For The Track, the Commodore SS is – in factory standard form – considered a better track car than the XR6T by a certain MOTORing enthusiast’s publication. Power-down seems to be where the Holden shines.

      • Save It for the track

        In reality xr6t’s and SS commodores are not track cars. And I believe that same MOTORing publication gives the xr6t one star more than an SS in the back and the quote goes something like, “Surely the world’s best-value sports sedan – fast, agile, quiet, comfy and huge fun”, and in the negatives, “Try telling Euro snobs or Holden fans; only cabin detail flaws let it down”. That same mag in the negatove for the SS says “… doesn’t have Falcons steering feel”.
        .
        or a certain TOP motoring mag says, “Fiesta for the city. The peerless xr6t for everything else. Better have a territory while we still can to.”
        .
        I’m also well aware of all the various tuning houses around. But this is about standard performance from the factory. Anyone can spend dollars in many different ways modifying cars. Other areas that I believe Falcon has advantages over Commodore is a more kid friendly window line, and od course not having the huge A and C pillars that Commodore has. A design feature which has been criticised as ‘lazy design’ by other motoring press on particular foreign small cars. And oc ocurse other marques and modesl have mention made of such faults, but not often the pedestrian and small vehicle swallowing A-pillar in Commodore.

        • Roadtard

          I’m probably wasting my time, given the number of thumbs down for my last comment, but that certain MOTORing publication wrote, in September 2008, the SS “overtakes the Falcon as a better track car with awesome drive”. It’s the Holden’s power-down ability that gives it the edge here (and yes, the SS posted a quicker lap time than the XR6T).

          Oh, and that certain TOP publication is also correct. Holden fans won’t be told ;-)

      • mark

        UNTIL YOU DRIVE AN R34 GTR

    • john

      Don’t forget the SS 6l V8 at 900 revs is generating just over 400nm of its maximum 530nm torque. The falcon six without the turbo kicking in at 900 revs is generating 280nm of its maximum 533nm torque. This is called lag. Once the turbo spools up their is no contest. The turbo six adds 253nm of torque in the space of only 1600 revs (max at 2500 revs or so) whereas the SS 6l V8 only adds another 130nm in around 3500 revs (max at 4400 revs or so)!

    • john

      One other thing “Save it for the track”. With a tune, intake change, exhaust etc. Patterson Cheney gets 400kw/780nm of torque from the stock 6L V8 all naturally aspirated. So I think more than the 100nm/L benchmark is easily achievable. Just like the turbo six, the stock 6l V8 is in an extremely mild state of tune at 270kw/530nm. Who needs forced induction when the above numbers are available fully naturally aspirated!

      • Jeremy

        Absolutely true John. But as far as a daily driver is concerned? There is no free lunch. A V8 with the tune you mentioned is rough as guts and sounds terrible at low rpm. It also drinks a lot more fuel.
        The same could be said for a tuned XR6T. A stage 4 tune with exhaust and fuel pump can put out 360RWKW without touching the internals. Serious power but hardly practical for an A-B.
        What the XR6T in stock form represents is an extremely well balanced package in terms of power, performance, handling, comfort, space and reasonable fuel consumption all at an affordable price.

    • xr6- monster

      @save it to the track days: I read about the times but don’t remember the numberes but I do remember that Motor magazine wrote that XR6T matches 911 in rolling 80-120kmh, leg in fg is so small that it can’t be noticed only time when you can notice the lag is in 35plus summer days but even then is small and don’t forget ppl v8′s get slower too so no loss there… Dear John you spend all that money to mod your commodore and you will still be slower so is 20 grand of mods worth it on the other hand all I need to do is get a tune that costs around 1,500aud to blow you into another galaxy and thats without touching any hardware. Mine is bog standard(270rwkw) and I’m yet to lose from anything under 150,000aud now thats a bang for your back.

      • Jeremy

        xr6- monster, that would be 270KW @ the flywheel if it’s standard.

      • Roadtard

        I’m probably wasting my time, given the number of thumbs down for my last comment, but that certain MOTORing publication wrote, in September 2008, the SS “overtakes the Falcon as a better track car with awesome drive”. It’s the Holden’s power-down ability that gives it the edge here (and yes, the SS posted a quicker lap time than the XR6T).

        Oh, and that certain TOP publication is also correct. Holden fans won’t be told ;-)

        • Suntory time

          I’m neither a Ford or Holden man, but based on research and seat of the pants driving experience, the VE is the car with the superior chassis.

          And it’s only logical since the VE is a true clean sheet design by engineers that actually wanted to make a true drivers car.

          The VE is probably one of the only ‘budget’ platforms made, that actually performs almost as well as other higher-end platforms.

        • Unclefesta

          My mate just got a spanking HSV, cost a years wage and I smaked it all the way from the dealership in North Sydney to Kiama on the south coast in my FG XR6 Turbo. Every set of lights, ate it. Straight on hwy, BOOM, waiting, waiting. I took it through Kiama s bends faster then I can take my car though, it out handles but doesn’t  out GUN:)

  • Davexr6

    needs the optioned 19s

  • Luke

    Awesome cars and great BFYB, it’s just a pity about the crappy interior materials.

    If they offered this in a slightly smaller package I’d be very interested (even with the cheap interior). Not everyone needs or wants a massive family sedan with four doors.

  • David

    pff… Yay, another Australia bit of rubbish that drives super quick in a straight line, then rolls itself in fear as soon as it sees a corner.

    Spend a few more bucks and by a Focus RS instead. Or save a few bucks and buy a Xr5.

    Both are much better drivers cars.

    • Suntory time

      The cars you speak of appeal to a different segment (usualy IT guys that think they’re ‘into’ cars). And as for the comments about the lack of handling… all I can say is, what total narrow minded ignorance.

      Take some time to research lateral g & slalom times of cars that are in the same size & weight catagory as the Commodore SS or Ford XR6 Turbo and see your prejudice views be dashed to pieces.

      Locally developed cars are right up there in the handling stakes with makes that spend 10 times the amount on chassis engineering… and that’s a fact!

    • Frank

      Hahaha would you like a handbag with you hatchback? Perhaps a manicure?

      Put 4 people in your silly little wannabe-performance box-car and see how it handles…

  • Morpheus

    I not quite sure I would agree with “how good we have it in Australia automotively”. We are a captured market where imports are made disproportionately more expensive to protect the local car makers. So I guess the Fords and Holdens are good value but it depends on what you are comparing. For example, a Lexus ISF is $60K in the US and $130K here. If we had proportionate pricing then our tired looking (and iffy build quality) local offerings wouldn’t look good. Personally, I would rather an equal playing field which would mean more choice and more competitive pricing. And if the locals can’t compete, well then …..

    • AB

      I am sick of people saying imports are ‘disproportionately more expensive’ in Australia due to local protection!!!

      Have you even bothered to look at what the CURRENT IMPORT TARIFF is??? 5%… THATS RIGHT 5 PERCENT

      It has no factor at all in the extreme price difference!

      If you want to know what ‘Local Protection’ is, then go to a country like Malaysia, or China, or many Eastern European countries where they recognise having an automotive sector is beneficial to their developement!!

      Yes our ‘Captive Market’ pays higher prices, but thats because Importers can promote their product however they like, and price it however they like. And as long as Australians keep paying those prices, why wouldnt they.
      Sure the Luxury Car tax adds significant dollars to the sale price, but that tax applies to ALL Vehicles!

      Just wait until we have NO local manufacturers and see what happens to the imported prices.. If you think they will go down I think you’re dreaming!

      Plus all importers had the chance to pass on both the savings from the strong Australian dollar AND also the recent ‘import tariff reduction’. But guess what, most didnt

      • Suntory time

        Well put.

      • Camms

        Sorry but that is wrong – the australian government subsidises the local car industry to the tune of over $6 billion dollars – import tariffs are only a fraction of the reason Ford and Holden can sell cars at a much lower cost than other manufacturers.

        • AB

          Please mate, provide a break down of this $6B figure….. I gaurantee you the government is not ‘handing over’ subsidy money as many people think!

          • Camms

            I cant post links here – google “car industry subsidy”…

    • nickdl

      As AB said, the tariffs are now minimal. However manufacturers know that a lot of people are like you and think that imports command a large premium over their locally manufactured counterparts. They therefore keep the prices and profits higher.

      The fact that Australia is a relatively small market also means that economies of scale does not apply and the cost per car of bringing them over is increased. In NZ a lot of the cars are cheaper at the higher end of the market because there is no LCT but smaller cars tend to start at a higher price due to the fact that we buy about 10 times as many new cars as they do.

  • Sam

    My BF XR6 Turbo is 5 years old this month. The seats, including the driver’s are in perfect condition. It still goes like hell after 88,000 kms and is perfectly reliable.

    • http://Ferrari Daniel D

      Bolstering if much softer on FG for whatever reason. First thing I noticed when I sat in one, compared to my old BA XR8.

  • Robin Graves

    Nice review, I have driven the roads to Moora many times (some daily) and yes, the Bindoon to Moora Rd is horrendous, is that the route you took Karl? GNH to Bindoon then Bindoon-Moora rd? Hope you dropped into the Bindoon bakery on your journey. I’ve driven a G6 on those roads and it handles it nicely, the XR’s are a little more fidgety over bumps I’ve found, but only driven the XR’s in the city so far. You definitely need the midrange grunt for overtaking roadtrains in that neck of the woods.

  • MattW

    A few comments on what I have found with mine:
    - As mentioned in the review, having two sets of trip computer buttons is a pain, have to hit “menu” on the right, then use the select and up/down on left
    - I like the boot floor dropping down, stops groceries sliding around on the way home
    - The side bolstering on the seats could be better – liked the grip of seats in a mate’s VW but I guess this is more for fat Aussies than skinny Euros
    - I like the screen being at the top of the centre stack. Looks like the new Territory will have SYNC & MyFord Touch, so should be on FG update
    - Agree with you on the handling, pretty happy there
    - Don’t agree with out about “lag”. Yes you don’t have boost off the line but the acceleration of the engine is no slouch and it doesnt take long at all get up and go, no longer than an SS
    - Love the way the TC works, that little bit of leeway it allows is great
    - No problem with seats wearing, though I’m not a fan of the webbing on the armrest on the door, bit irritating after a few back-to-back long drives (or maybe I ijust have senstive arms> lol)

    Regarding the review:
    - What’s the point of heated seats in Australia? Cooled seats – that’ll get my attention
    - What are you doing that you are scuffing up the centre console?

    • Eric

      Heated seat, great for people with lower back problems.

      • FmC

        Much as I sympathise with those who have back problems (I do myself), that’s unlikely to be a lucrative market for Ford to aim at. I come from the UK, and believe me, Aussies don’t need heated seats!!

  • nickdl

    Absolute bargain given the amount of space and performance it has. It’s pretty well equipped too. Even if I had the cash for an FPV GT-P I’d still go for this or a G6ET.

    CA tested a G6ET from 0-100 at 4.97 seconds about a year ago. Wheels got one at 5.0 and an XR6T at 5.1. As far is I know the best times from the supercharged FPVs are about 5.3-5.5. Now the times for a 1/4 mile are a bit more in favour of the V8s but by then you’re well over the speed limit. I don’t think that any stock Australian car has got the same sorts of times bar the $150k W427.

    Now obviously acceleration isn’t everything and that’s why the Falcon is so good. It can sit at 1800rpm on the freeway with just a bit of road noise if it’s a typical bad Australian road. It’s a shame to see the Falcon fast fading away because this engine is truly one of, if not the best that Australia has ever produced. And the rest of it is pretty good as well.

    • Jeremy

      All valid points. I’d like to see an updated XR6T where the engineers focus purely on improving fuel efficiency. For what it is, it isn’t bad but it could still be better.
      Perhaps direct injection is where they should go and people will need to juice it with premium. Not sure how long the I6 has left with the supercharged coyote and Ecoboost on the horizon.

      • nickdl

        I think if Ford really want to improve efficiency they need to focus more on reducing the Falcon’s weight. It’s done wonders for the new Jag XJ all round. While that is a much more expensive car Ford could still adopt a lot of the measures that Jag used such as aluminum panels for weight reduction.

        The NA I6 doesn’t really need upgrading becuase it’s already pushing the envelope in how powerful a family car needs to be. Maybe the XR6 and the turbo I6 could use direct injection but then the development costs would be too high to justify making less than 50,000 engines per year. It would be great to see the I6 last longer, but many countries simply charge on carbon based on capacity, and it wouldn’t fare too well.

  • Nick Car

    The XR6 Turbo is not well equipped. As a standard vehicle it comes only with a 4 speaker, single CD, audio system. Although it has a 5 star safety rating, it does not come standard with curtain airbags plus front seat side thorax airbags {the entire Commodore range has curtain airbags). A Ford sales person said to me that due the 5 star rating it doesn’t need curtain airbags; what a laugh. The digital display is only monochrome, no colour. Only comes with clothe seats. Only has 18″ wheels. By the time you spec up the XR6 Turbo it is not a bargain. The FPV GS begins to look like an attractive buy compared to the XR6 Turbo.

    • Clueless

      Falcons without curtain airbags has head/throax airbags and this is how they obtain 5 star ANCAP. With Curtain airbags they revert to throax airbags. Head Throax airbags give greater protection than just throax. Obviously curtain airbags offer the rear seat occupants protection, but the honest truth is most of the time there are no rear seat passengers. It was a poor move from Ford not to include Curtain airbags as standard, but they are a simple $300 option on a $38K car. Also the endless hype of Drive and Fairfax constantly whinging is medicore, as the car meets 5 star crash and from day 1 was designed to do without curtain airbags.

    • nickdl

      The GS is hardly better equipped. In fact the only notable difference that I can think of between the two is the stupid starter button. Other than that it also has cloth seats and a monochrome screen. The GS even has the standard XR6T brakes.

      However since Falcons and Commodores are almost identical when it comes to equipment most of the time we can expect the MyFord touchscreen standard across the range with the series 2 update. Until then, if you want an even better equipped Falcon for a good price, buy a 50th Anniversary one.

  • Jeremy

    Slow news week? Old model, been reviewed a thousand times.
    Sure its a great car but we already knew that!

  • mick

    Best car on the road for many years in my opinion. I found the falcons more reliable then the holden equivlent (nice cars as well but dont seem too have as much luck with holdens). not bad on fuel if driven sainly and have plenty of punch when overtaking. I do alot of highway driving and i like space in my cars. these types of cars suit me well. I hope the large car segment doesnt die as small cars get uncomfy after a while on long trips and i dont really like 4WDs. (why buy something you don’t like). I’d buy another falcon for sure if i had the chance

  • The Realist

    Fifty thousand dollars?? Look at that pricing segment and the range of new and second hand vehicles on offer and you can see why FIFTY THOUSAND dollars is too much for a rep mobile.

    High prices coupled with tax payer funding and Ford Australia still can’t make any money…

    • nickdl

      So what other car could you buy with that sort of performance plus the space and comfort to take your family in for the price. It would have to be about 3 or 4 years out of warranty wouldn’t it? And parts would be how much?

      • The Realist

        Too many cars to list. But I’d buy second hand. It may be out of warranty, but it’ll still see less of the service department than a new rep mobile.

    • Captain Nemo

      What is it with you and second hand cars?? Who wants some crappy tired old BMW out of warranty that has had a fat middle aged businessman farting on the seats for the past 5years.

      • The Realist

        Plenty of people. I’m about to sell my E60 M5 for a pretty good price. The buyer could have chosen a rep mobile, but decided to spend a little more to get a great car.

        BTW, you’ll find more fat people in Fords and Holdens than M5s bud. Must be all the fast food outlets in lower socioeconomic areas.

        • Captain Nemo

          Care to take the blinkers off bud i see plenty of fat asian businessmen in my suburb in tatty old beemers. You know what they say “A fool(BMW owner)& their money are soon parted”.

        • Frank

          Hahahah ‘The Realist’, what an ironic name. BMW’s are cars for aspirational bogans, I would be so ashamed to be seen in one!

    • Michael

      Last i heard Ford Aus was making a profit.. sounds like you are just one of those people who hates Australia… ahwell…

      • The Realist

        Care to provide a source bud to show this 100% American owned company is making money? Can’t? Thought so…

        • Michael

          Just check the past stories on this very site tou egotistical ignorant person… check your head out… and get over yourself!!

        • Michael

          Just google Ford australia profit and you will find lots of articles that demonstrate Ford Australia turned a profit last year…

    • Robin Graves

      A rep in a big hurry?

    • Ron Flat

      Let’s be realistic here, this car was selling as a 50th Anniversary Limited Edition model (which came with extras) for just over $45k driveaway back in late 2010. No one is going to be paying 50-grand for one of these.

  • Joe

    Just saw on the net on a Sydney Ford Dealer’s website, a 50th Anniversary XR6 Turbo demo with auto, 20in alloys,quad exhaust,suspension kit, reverse camera plus the usual Anniversary goodies like full leather, premium sound etc., with only 4500km’s for under $50,000 drive away.

    Now that is what I call real value and up against the HSV GTS, reveiwed elsewhere on your site, for $82,900 plus on roads (approx $6000)it is a bargain.

    All that is missing is some big brakes and that’s not hard to fix.

    It’s easy to be critical about some cars and hyperventilate about others, but in the real world price puts everything into perspective doesn’t it.

  • Mark

    Hi all,looking to change my FG xr6 turbo ute as i dont use it for work,and cant cart the kids around.
    Am very keen on the new Passat coming and also a Liberty GT wagon.
    thing is i keep on thinking a FG xr6 turbo 50th is very good value at around $45000.
    Other car is a Mondeo.I fing the seats on the Zetec extremely uncomfortable after a 30 min drive,and the Mazda 2.3 a total joke for a car of its size.Do all Mazda motors ping in the heat.
    Quality of my ute is OK.Both windows are noisy and the exhaust rattles.Sedan doesnt have the rattly exhaust apparently.
    What do u guys suggest for around the $50k mark

    • Jeremy

      I suggest you try another site. Pehaps carsales. There you can search what prices other people have on similar cars. The also have a pricing tool linked to redbook.
      On the face of it I would think $50K would be asking too much, no one will bite.
      The new Passat will probably be a great car but from preview pics – bland compared to the old model.
      Liberty GT is a good all-rounder but thirsty for what it is.
      Shame the Mondeo is so uncomfortable. What sort of build/weight are you?
      Mazda 3 & 6 are generally well regarded if not a touch underpowered. It sounds like you had a dodgy one if it was pinging.

      • Mark

        Im 5 11 .and heavy build.
        Mates brand new cx7 pings like crazy.Mazda dont want anything to do with it.So ill stay well away.Will check out the titanium diesel.Hate the stereo as well.Very tinny.
        Love the power of the XR6 turbo,makes everything u do on the road absolutely effortless.Extremely comfortable on long drives.
        But want to keep this car for a few years,so something fuel efficient is a plus as prices will soar soon.

    • nickdl

      Have a look at the XR6 sedan. They’re really well equipped and a great deal for the price. If you’re happy with your Falcon I see no reason to change and you won’t get anywhere near the performance for the price unless you go to the red stable.

      Personally I don’t like the look of the Liberty, especially the wagon. The Passat will be quite expensive when the new model comes out and $50k won’t go as far. If you don’t like the Mondeo don’t try and convince yourself to like it because it won’t happen.

    • Eric

      Mazda dont have the 2.3 any more.

      Eric

  • Al Juraj

    This is one underrated car. There’s no reason for performance oriented people not to buy it. For 50K, it’s a steal. It beats all but a handful of supercars in a straight line.

  • Michael

    Just google Ford australia profit and you will find lots of articles that demonstrate Ford Australia turning a profit last year…

  • Damian

    I am not a big fan of our locally made cars, but Ford have really hit a sweet spot with the XR6T. Name one car on the Australian market that has as much space and performance as the XR6T and Commodore SS.

    Sure, the Aussies still have a long way to go when it comes to build quality. But one cannot expect Audi interior fit and finish for $40k – especially when you’ll have to spend over $130k on anything European to get $40k XR6T/SS performance.

  • http://cheapusedcarsbrisbane.com Billy@cheap used cars brisbane

    exellent fuel economy when fitted with 6 speed auto , handles like its on rails , looks very hot , super comfy interior package , high build quality ….

  • http://dwharvy@hotmail.com David Harvy

    I don’t believe an FG 4.0T can achieve 12l/100kms in medium traffic suburban conditions even if driven like granny. Would like to know realistic expectations???

    • Turbo monster

      I agree mine got 12.9 only on couple of occasions. I average a 13l/100km which is awesome (13.4 when driven flat out) for a car that in stock frim have 272rwkw and it certanly go way quicker than 5.6. Allmost 3 years later and there is still not many cars that will embaras you even europeans strugle to keep up lol its so much fun to drive and it does look classy so you wont feel cheap but on the other hand only top models from europe have all bells and whistless usually all you get is a badge and for this money there isnt any european that can beat my ride on any level.

  • http://car.advice.com.au Richard

    I am wrapped in my FG 2009 XR6 Turbo. Performance and road handling are brilliant. I agree with the Car Advice review, interior is a bit plain but comfotable. The main negative as mentioned in review, when quickly backing off partway through acceleration, a jolt from the driveline causes a minor thump noise. Backing off quickly, isn’t someting you would not do under norml driving, but you would think that Ford would be prepared to rectify it. I have had no luck in tough negotiations so far, but I haven’t given up. I recently heard from a reliable source that a replacement kit will overcome the problem but Ford Service Mob are reluctant to agree to it as there is a fair bit of work involved. Has anybody else had this problem.

  • chook

    Mine was among the first XR6Ts built in 08 . Very happy and not worried about the warranty expiring soon. I can say first hand that it will level peg in a drag with current model clubsport , XR6T being stock and the clubsport owner being a mechanic who fitted aftermarket exhaust on his . 0 – 100 is less than 5.6 for sure on the falcon .

  • Jonty

    Great car.

    Mine has 43k on the odo after 2yrs, and has not put a foot wrong. Great family car with that bit more when you need it.

  • http://hotmail shelly ward

    i got a new ford xr 6 and it blows your mind!!!!!!! good job fords keep up the good work!!:)

  • http://hotmail shelly ward

    and it is PURPLE!!!!

  • Bernie

    Hi , Love my 2009 FG XR6 Turbo ,the ecomomy is to bad for a car with 270KW & 533NM ,it would be great if Ford bort out a LPI version to get the fuel ecomomy a bit more, they would sell like hot cakes.
    I have just had a America here this week ,he loved my Car and want’s to ship one to the States.
    Wake up Ford this Car need to be Exported to the States , My visitior said that all his mates would  love to Buy a XR6 Turbo or a G6E turbo or even a F6 or a GT, I also had a couple of another Yanks here early in the year which said the same thing .
    So Ford keeping making the Aussie Rear wheel Drive Falcon and Export it .
    We don’t want the Yankie Taurus to replace the Falcon .
    long Live the Aussie Falcon .
    So Mark stick with the XR6 Turbo and Buy the Sedan Version .

    • Bernie

      Sorry it should have read isn’t to bad for a Car with 270KW

    • Z80cs

      Hmmm…with the exchange rate it would cost more than a C class Merc with AMG options.

      The 4 cyl Merc puts out 500nm at 1500 rpm and unfortunately blows away the XR6T..

      While getting 5L/100km……

  • Tripleagent

    Lucky Aussies…you get the Falcon, we get the overweight, poor handling Taurus SHO.

  • RamboJoo

    4 out of 10? are you guys retarded?