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2008 Ford Falcon R6 Ute Review
by Matt Brogan

2008 Ford Falcon R6 Ute Review & Road Test

Weekend warrior or tonka-tough Tradie, R6 is all the Ute you’ll ever need

Model Tested:

  • 2008 Ford FG Falcon R6 style side 4.0-litre, six-cylinder, five-speed automatic utility – $30,795 (RRP) / $34,105 (As Tested)


  • Metallic Paint $400; Climate Control $2160 (Fitted); ESP $750; Prestige Sound $700 (Fitted); LSD $495; One Tonne Suspension $495; Safety Enhancement Pack $600; Technology Pack $450 (Fitted); 17-inch Alloy Wheels $1000

Power Delivery, Handling, Payload, Feature List

Ambiguous Model Placement, Steering Wheel Size

CarAdvice Rating:

2008 Ford Falcon R6 Ute Review
2008 Ford Falcon R6 Ute Review
2008 Ford Falcon R6 Ute Review
2008 Ford Falcon R6 Ute Review

– by Matt Brogan

As Australians, we’re proud to claim the utility as our own, just look at the population attending the Deni Ute Muster each year. It’s a vehicle firmly ingrained in our culture, and as it was Ford who first provided us with a coupé-utility that could “take the pigs to market Saturday and the Missus to church on Sunday”, – an analogy where you certainly don’t want to mince your words – what better ute to review than this one.

Though it’s highly unlikely we’ll see pigs up back these days, the ute still has a massive uptake here in Australia, both as a workhorse and a show pony, and with the style and substance offered in the new R6 it’s not hard to see why.

The R6 sits above the base Falcon Ute, but below the XR6 essentially replacing the XLS to offer a blend or compromise if you will of sporty looks but trade tough practicality. This puts the R6 in a slightly confusing and rather lonely position against direct rival Holden, as its base model Omega ute sits below and the SV6 ute above the R6 respectively.

From the outside R6 is unpretentious and robust with a hint of sporting flair thrown in for good measure. Much like potential owners, R6 is trade tough, but still manages to run some product through its hair each morning. The FG series kinetic front, 16-inch alloy wheels, subtle side skirts and sports rear bumper all lend a more aesthetically pleasing exterior over the base model Falcon ute’s more mundane appearance.

2008 Ford Falcon R6 Ute Review
2008 Ford Falcon R6 Ute Review
2008 Ford Falcon R6 Ute Review
2008 Ford Falcon R6 Ute Review

Cabin space and refinement has improved markedly from the BA/BF series the FG replaces and is noticeably quieter and more ergonomic in layout. The seating position offers greater flexibility in adjustment and is more accommodating, all the controls are functionally more sensible, and the décor more uniform and appealing throughout.Space behind the seats is also very handy for someone who’ll use the R6 as their primary vehicle.

Next page…

Propelled by Ford’s legendary 4.0-litre, DOHC, in-line six, R6 delivers an assiduous 195kW at 6000 revs and brawny 391Nm of torque at 3250 rpm. It’s not afraid to rev out but also manages to achieve an ADR fuel consumption result reflecting an average 11.7 litres per 100km (combined). Somehow our test vehicle managed to better these results with a week of very mixed driving conditions, weights and weather returning a very impressive 10.4 litres!

Our Vixen (red) test vehicle was coupled to a five-speed automatic transmission though a six-speed manual is available as standard. The drive on offer is noticeably more refined and decisive than the four-speed offering it replaces, but is still not a mark on the sensational ZF six-speed, which is only available in higher end and performance model FGs.

2008 Ford Falcon R6 Ute Review
2008 Ford Falcon R6 Ute Review
2008 Ford Falcon R6 Ute Review
2008 Ford Falcon R6 Ute Review

Underneath R6 rides on Virtual Pivot Control Link front and Hotchkiss (leaf) rear suspension providing a passably smooth ride and very impressive handling characteristics, which though not overly harsh, are not as refined as coil based competitors. The upshot of this is greater carrying capacity, but more on that soon.

Steering is a vast improvement in all FG models and the R6 is no exception. There’s a lot more road feel and the turn in rate is quicker which is actually unusual for a ute. It does help the package feel more together front to rear, despite the leaf springs, and isn’t at all an issue to live with – even with a load up back, which is when most utilities have a front end that feels light and unsettled.


Payload can be optioned to a full tonne up back in style side or alloy tray formation (1220kg all told including passengers and fuel) and with the box fitted, as per our test unit, offers generous internal dimensions of 1843mm L x 1224mm W x 442mm H. R6 also has a braked towing capacity of up to 2300kg.

Next page…


Obviously R6 comes with power steer, cloth seats and air-conditioning, but it also features sports suspension, a flush fit tonneau cover (style side only), poly bed liner, cruise control, single MP3 compatible CD tuner (with 3.5mm input jack), power windows and mirrors, remote central locking, four-way power seat, 16-inch alloy wheels, a rather large leather wrapped steering wheel, side skirts, fog lamps and dusk sensing headlights.

2008 Ford Falcon R6 Ute Review
2008 Ford Falcon R6 Ute Review
2008 Ford Falcon R6 Ute Review
2008 Ford Falcon R6 Ute Review

Safety comes courtesy of ABS with electronic brake force distribution, dual front airbags and optional ESP. It may not seem much, but R6 still manages a very respectable four-star ANCAP rating, which is a reassuring score for what is essentially a commercial vehicle.

Better still R6 can be optioned to include Prestige Sound (112W six-CD tuner), larger 17-inch alloy wheels, climate control (single zone) or with a Safety Enhancement Pack (Side Airbags and Perimetre Alarm) and/or Technology Pack (Bluetooth connectivity and iPod Integration) for a little more personality.

The R6 represents a tough, reliable and value-for-money means of getting yourself in to FG commercial and whether you’re the weekend warrior or tonka-tough tradie it is sure to prove just about all the ute you’ll ever need.

CarAdvice Overall Rating:
How does it Drive:
How does it Look:
How does it Go:


  • Engine: 3984cc DOHC in-line six cylinder (24 valve)
  • Induction: Multi-Point Injection
  • Power: 195kW @ 6000rpm
  • Torque: 391Nm @ 3250rpm
  • Transmission: Five Speed Automatic
  • Brakes: Discs with ABS & EBD
  • Driven Wheels: Rear
  • Fuel Type: 91 RON petrol
  • Fuel Tank Capacity: 81 litres
  • Fuel Consumption: 11.7 litres per 100km
  • CO2 Emissions: 280 grams per kilometre
  • Safety: Dual Front Airbags, ESP (Optional)
  • ANCAP Rating: Four Stars
  • Service Interval: 12 month / 15,000km
  • Spare Wheel: Full Size Steel (16-inch)
  • Turning Circle: 11.5 metres
  • Towing Capacity: 2,300kg (Braked)
  • Warranty: 3 years / 100,000lm
  • Weight: 1600kg (Tare) / 1220kg (Payload)
  • Wheels: Alloy 16 x 7.0-inch

Road Test the Rivals:

2008 Ford Falcon R6 Ute Review
2008 Ford Falcon R6 Ute Review
  • Holden VE Omega Ute – $28,990 (RRP)
  • Holden VE Commodore SV6 Ute – $36,990 (RRP)

  • realcars

    Bring back the RTV and I’ll buy one.

  • azza21

    Looks too much like the old one, i’d rather get a BA/BF with more options on it…

  • pg

    caradvice, your photographers are brilliant in this review, and the one with the vantage… supremely epic shots

  • acfsambo

    Shame you had to get the red paint dirty, but then whats the point of a ute that you cant get dirty.

    Great review and pics, though some more concentrations on the downsides for all of your reviews, its hard to know what you will have to live with.

  • Gibbo

    I do like the Falcon ute, but I must ask why the LPG engine can’t be optioned with any of the good transmissions, all the petrol versions get a choice of 5 or 6 gears and the LPG is stuck with the old 4 speed.
    The R6 is certainally a better looker than the old XLS.

  • Frosty

    From a rear view it looks too much like a VT to VZ Holden ute with those taillights despite being the reverse/indicators above the brake/tail light. Saw one in Southbank parked and looked very much like a SS Commodore ute from the rear. Infact those rear lights could have come straight out of the last model Magna Wagons parts bin.

  • John

    I agree it looks too much like the BA ute, only uglier. That rear tray looks oversized for the wheels and the panels are a mish mash, not very well executed at all……..vomit

  • acfsambo

    Azza and John, like most photos of the FG Falcon, it does look like the old one, but in real life it looks totally different. John the ute in the pics only has 16’s. Maybe 17’s would look better in relation to the tray.

  • realcars

    Agree the FG looks better in the flesh especially the xr variants.

    Can’t understand why people complain about it not being different enough.

  • realcars

    Panels are different as is the interior,the gearboxes on offer (except lpg) and Territory front end suspension.

    Engine has also been tweaked and is a gem.

    What more do u want?

  • Cupid Stunt aka No Name

    Oh come on Ford Europe, shove a big deisel engine (2.7twin turbo) price it at £18K and you’ll sell millions. Trust me.

  • Dlr1

    I disagree with Matt Brogan\’s negative point that the R6 is an ambiguous model in the Falcon ute range. For the past 15 years Falcon utes have traditionally had 3 different models. In the XG /XH series they were GLi, S and XR6, in the AU to BF they were XL, XLS and XR6.

    Just because Holden wants their customers to choose between the base model Omega and SV6 doesn\’t mean there\’s no place for a model in between the two. I think Ford has positioned the R6 perfectly, more equipment than the Standard ute but don\’t want to spend the $6800 premium the XR6 commands over the base model. And those customers who option the one tonne payload on an XR6 end up with the same wheel and tyre package as an R6 anyway, not the 17s they normally wear.

    Perhaps Holden should be asked why there is a $7000 and $8000 gap between omega and SV6? To me the R6 model is a positive not a negative.

  • http://integra Manly

    What a great looking ute !! Nice modern styling compared to the BF which looks old and slabby in comparison. How anyone but a Commodore driver coulld say its ugly is only brand bias or jelousy. If you want ugly look at the front of the VE ute !!!! Strong resemblance to the BA with the most hideous ridiculous wheel arches even seen …….now thats vomit !! Ford always have and always will make the best car based utes……the FG confirms this……and I own a FG XR6 Turbo ute which even my Holden ute mates drool over !!!!!!

  • http://www.geardiary.com Mitchell Oke

    Don’t understand why people complain that it doesn’t look different enough from the previous model. The BF was quite a decent, understated looking car, and the FG just builds on that with some highlights pinched from the Mondeo (which looks great).

    My stepmum got a base model to replace her BA repmobile and it’s great.

  • Falcodore

    Yeah, cant understand people that say they cant tell the difference from BF to FG, either stupid or ignorant i reckon. VY to VZ commodore was much harder to pick, and before people say it was just an update or refresh, why then give it a different model designation at all? VY series 3 would have sufficed.

  • http://integra Manly

    Falcodore……i agree with you. People must be stupid or blind if they cant see the difference …….the only thing that resembles BF is the similsr XR headlights, the sedan and the ute look great and wont date like the VE already has…inside and out.

  • Sam

    Manly, I was looking at getting a new XR6 turbo ute also. Can you please give us a bit of insight into the things you like most and least about your new ute. I would like to hear what an owner thinks of it. Try not to be too biased. Just try. Any trouble with fit and finish of the cab?

  • http://integra Manly

    Sam…..fit and finish in the cab is very good and the materials and ergonomics are excellent. I have the XR luxury pack, 6 speed auto which is a cracker !! I have the tub on the back but will be removing it to put my tray on very soon as I have mowers and dogs and the tray is a much better option for me. If i want the tub back on in the future i can just refit it ……you cant have that choice with a VE ute……its like having 2 cars in one. I havent had any probs as yet and hope I dont. The seat mechanism to access the large space behing the seats could be better and no left foot footrest is something that should be fitted, one like in my AU XR6 ute would be great. Best you go drive one ……..

  • Andrew M

    I also have the FG XR6.
    a holden ute owner mate of mine reckons it looks sweet.

    he is also upset hes got the 4sp auto and ive got a 6 speeder manual ha ha ha ha to him.

    I was told LPG cant be put with other auto boxes because they found it hard to get it them to work with LPG. something to do with recognising the revs of the engine being different, was what i was told.
    I had one of the last LPG falcon utes in a manual before they made them Autos only.
    During the time i owned that ute, i came to believe the reason they wont give you a manual is because people probably didnt no how to drive them.
    What i found is that because its an old school LPG system, If you stall it whilst pressing the throttle, or pressing it after you stall, you would effectively “flood” it, and hence would take a bit of cranking to get it going again.

    if you were to stall with out having pressed the throttle at all, then it would re-crank up instantly.

    and when i say it took a bit to crank up if you stalled/flooded, i mean around 5 seconds or so.
    first time it happened to me, i didnt think it was ever going to start again.
    i would crank for a few seconds, and then stop. crank for a few seconds, and then stop.
    once i figured out you just have to keep cranking it, it was fine and dandy.
    Also, when the original battery died, i replaced it with a you beaut one with more “cranking amps”, and i found that also helped a heck of a lot.

    I dont reckon this was the best review.
    there are a lot of changes revolving around practicallity that were missed.

    ill be back later

  • Phill

    Looks like it still has the aussie ute design flaw,the blind spot over the drivers right sholder,Ford and Holden should fix that with there utes,its a shocker

  • Andrew M

    i agree partially.
    the severity of the blind spot out the drivers window depends on your seating position.
    the blind spot in the commodore is far worse. no matter how far you turn your head in the commodore, you still will be left to guess if anyones there.

    also keep in mind that a single cab aussie ute equates to a space cab Jap ute.
    i find its not that big of a deal in the falcon, but even if you place that as a negative on it (and probably rightly so) the negatives of having to drive a Jap ute day in day out far out weigh a semi blind spot.

  • Andrew M

    there techniclly is a foot rest, its just that its not raised as high as it used to be.

    Manly is right. fit and finish is pretty damn good.
    one main thing that i like that they have changed is the Qtr glass. Previously it used to have a plastic trim running down the “B” pillar to cover the edge of the glass.
    the problem with that no matter how many utes i looked at, that trim was always misaligned (fitted poorly). i had mine replaced twice under warranty, and they still couldnt fit it properly. Im sure you recognised that too Manly??????
    now with the FG, the QTR glass could be described as “Frameless”. It looks far tidier, and ensures there wont be any ill fitted trims.

    Manly is right, you really need to drive one, They are awesome. Ive owned 4 falcon utes and seen them evolve over the years.
    i struggle to see how they could improve much on any further models to come. they really have thought of a lot.
    this review hasnt really done justice to the things that have changed on the FG.
    i thought the Adjustable tiedowns was easily worth of a mention, or the storage box for the Jack.
    or perhaps the fuel flap now being with out a finger grip to open it.
    Well dont ford, im verry happy with it

    do you have the perimeter alarm?
    i optioned it and would be curious to find out what it actually protects. ive tried pulling the handle and rocking it to see if its got shock sensors.
    what will set the alarm off??

  • Phill

    Andrew – Yea I agree,I would still take the falcon over a jap ute even with the blind spot,as well.Just stepping from a XH longreach S, to BA MKII XR6T,It was a bit of a let down,that and the fact that I couldn’t wear my work boots to work anymore.My feet hit the steering column when changing gears,thats the only negatives i have for it.It looks good,goes great,and hasn’t missed a beat,GO FORD.

  • Andrew M

    i also went from an XH ute to a “space cab” model.
    i remember when i initially test drove it, i said to the salesman are you going to give me free blind spot mirrors because i cant see out my side.

    over the years of owning that one, i got used to it. i also found that slightly altering the seating position made it far better too.

    now in my FG i found visibility as a whole is a bit better mainly due to the higher driving position.

    Feet hitting the steering column when changing gears???
    never had that one, and 95% of the time I am also wearing my Work Boots.
    all of my falcon utes have been Manual too.

    just sounds like you are sitting too close……

  • Tom

    Holden’s models will continue to outsells ford (arguably) superior product from the styling point alone.

    Most drivers won’t notice the difference between a good and a average auto gearbox, but they will notice what their car looks like everytime they step outside of it.

  • http://integra Manly

    Andrew m ……i know thats what they call a footrest but it isnt really…….if yiu know what I mean. That trim panel is the worst thing about the interior but if that all there is then i can put up with it. Exterior looks might mak a diffrence if the car is ugy but it isnt……if you dont enjoy the whole experience of a car then you wont like it…….the FG looks great drives great feels great to be in …….enough said. Holdens 4 speed auto is a dog compared to even the FG 5 speed……

  • Andrew M

    dont forget the falcon ute was top seller for around a decade, and only surrendered its its lead towards the end of the BF.
    even the AU Ute was #1 seller for its life.

  • Andrew M

    anyone know what the little symbols that appeal just to the left of where the blue tooth symbol comes up stand for??

    in the pic of the ICC on here there is 6 in a block.
    mine always comes up with just one.
    what the hell are they??

  • Frontman

    Hey guys, just a quick thing from the early days of BA that was taught as product knowledge, the lack of a plastic foot rest had something to do with the way the floor and firewall came together. Something along the lines of in a major impact the floor is designed to slide up inside the fire wall to lessen injury. I’m not a crash tes dummy so I don’t quite understand the full story but thats what they tols sales staff.

  • Andrew M

    wow they taught you that, yet i struggled to get an answer on what the go with tie downs in the FG ute was.

    the first FG i looked at didnt have the tie downs clipped in, and the salesman initially told me they dont have tie downs. it wasnt until i had a good look at it and said to him “something must clip in here”, that he went and asked someone else

  • KJ

    What’s with those wheel arches at the back? I’ve seen one with 20″ wheels and they still looks small.

  • The Axe

    Yeah it’s too much like the old one… It still has 4 wheels, headlights and tail lights.. Jeez what where Ford thinking trying to get away with that..

  • Bret

    The Commodore ute did outsell Falcon for the first 5 months of 2008, but Falcon has been outsold Commodore for the last 4 months, and leads on yearly numbers.

  • Dave

    Some of you guys have got to be kidding, the VE ute looks so much better with a muscular stance on the road than the poxy looking FG ute any day……..

  • Name (required)

    yea Dave love to see ur litle VE ute stay with a f6 ute dont see no holden ute keepn up ani way the fg ute looks shit loads beta then the crumperdoor least ford utes look tough not like somethng the cat dragged in

  • Duck

    The steering wheel is hideous! Yuck!!!!!!!! :)

  • Team Vodafone,,,,Endurance Experts

    The VE has aged so badly, overall Ford has kicked serious A$$,, make’s Holden look very cheap indeed..

  • http://caradvice.com.au James

    the FG looks good, I don’t mind that it is still obviously a ford. Only wish that it will come in the RTV model. I have settled for the BF MkII RTV instead.

  • Craig lowndes.

    Yeah look, the ute looks tuff with or without the kit all 3 models just needs xr wheel option,people still prefere leaf rear end to the ve irs.What about another CL edition to celebrate 3 in a row.

  • WTC Phil

    Great looking ute that shows that FORD are the true leaders in innovatine motoring technology. A great new look that is complimented by an improved mid range engine package , Holden will be bitterly disapointed they were left behind in the model package.
    To drive a new R6 is to look at others as if they were dirt,Holden just doesn’t keep up.
    Well done FORD for a great all round sporty work ute that can do the job and go well too.

  • Andrew M

    all models with XR wheels option???

    i would be pretty p*ssed if they did that.
    i would hate seeing people driving around in the pov pack version with the same wheels as me.

    if you want the XR look, buy the XR like i did

  • Chris

    This new Ford ute looks CRAP, worse than the BA ute.
    And what’s the go with the rear tray bulging way too much over the rear wheels and all the side panels out of sinc ? ……puke
    Go back to the drawing board Ford, this ute sucks!

  • Noel

    OK guys, the VE SS Commodore has just taken out Drive’s “Ute of the Year” award.
    Guess that settles it now…!

  • Tyler

    Anyone seen a white pove pack FG on the road, god they look FUGLY……..

  • Ben

    There really is that much difference between bf-fg it’s ugly and looks like an old commodore ute at the back. Tradies don’t buy utes like this they all have 4wds

  • Bavarian Missile (.)(.)

    Did everyone forget to take their smart pills on this site today ? geeeeeeezz!

  • Andrew M

    What is the Ute of the year based on??? Cant be anything substantial

    Plenty of Tradies buy Falcon utes and have done so for generations
    Who wants a sloppy handling, seat sliding, high revving jap ute??

  • Aggie

    All I can you. Guys. Is. I. Love My. R6. UTE