Released in 2008, the FG Falcon forms the basis for what would eventually become the final iteration in a long line of locally developed Fords. Styling was criticised by some as only a mild evolution from previous generations, however the FG cuts a nice shape when viewed in isolation from its forebears and is one of those vehicles where picking the ‘right' colour can really make a difference.
Our 2009 FG G6E is black with shadow interior. It looks great for a family sedan when it's clean but beware, black is not the smartest choice if you drive on dirt roads.
The G series is arguably the sweet spot of the FG range. Richer interior finishes combined with a full complement of features lift the presentation above that of the base model. Added exterior brightwork, especially the Aston Martin-esque lower grille afford the Falcon real presence on the road.
Fords of late have been renowned for their driving dynamics and the G6E is no exception. For a family sedan it's an involving drive, offering balanced handling and a supple ride that manages to soak up the worst Australian roads can throw at it. The steering is precise, well weighted and being a rear wheel drive, is uncorrupted in feel.
At 193cm tall, the often criticised driving position really hasn't been an issue. The FG design brought with it a higher belt-line to that of the AU-BF series as well as much taller centre console. This combined with the comfortable and supportive seats help to ensconce the driver in the cabin and increases the sensation of sitting in, rather than on the vehicle.
One of the highlights of the interior has been the MOMO style steering wheel. The rim is well shaped and feels great to hold while not suffering from fat spokes that inflict some of its competitors. The audio and cruise buttons are well placed and their use becomes second nature after a few days behind the wheel - the lack of illumination only an issue for first time drivers. Set-Point cruise control is one of the best in the business, simply dial up your desired speed and the car takes care of the rest – holding the setting regardless of terrain.
All audio, climate and phone controls are managed through Ford's easy to use Interior Command Centre with settings displayed on the large colour screen. A set of sub menus allows you to delve further into the vehicles functionality - each category represented by a different colour background. The screen doubles as the display for the reverse camera and offers superb clarity regardless of ambient light. Importantly the camera lens somehow manages to stay clean no matter how dirty the car gets, providing a balanced perspective or your surroundings when reversing.
The Australian designed and built inline 6 is what makes the G6E unique. Packing 195kw @ 6,000rpm and 391nm @ 3,250rpm, the torquey nature of this engine provides unrivalled long legged cruising ability and is further complimented by ZF's 6 speed auto. The gearbox always seems to pick the right gear and in manual mode will hold it all the way to redline if you desire.
Fuel consumption has been much better than previous Falcons. With a long term average of 10.3l/100km across a mix of city and country driving with an ability to drop below 8L/100km on the freeway, you could say we are more than happy. The G6E has proven that you don't need to downsize to be fuel efficient in this modern world.
Reliability wise, the ownership experience has been near faultless. After 90,000kms, the only problem has been with the Dual Zone climate control. The faulty part replaced under warranty and commonly diagnosed by temperature variation between driver and passenger.
So 6 years on, what are the negatives?
The loss of proper hand grips and limited storage for each door is a step backwards and the placement of window and mirror controls can be a little awkward. The staggered boot floor prevents items from rolling around however the moulded carpet looks and feels cheap. Radio reception can be sketchy from the in glass antenna and sound quality from the speakers is best described as average.
Overall though these are minor annoyances. Our G6E has become a companion, rather than an appliance, and one that you look forward to taking your next journey in. It's a car you can drive all day, arriving at your destination feeling fresh and relaxed. It comes highly recommended.