The Ford Falcon is a car that in Australia at least, needs no introduction. Though with this final edition, the FGX, quite the opposite seems to be the case with advertising left at essentially cars parked at the dealerships, leaving only true Falcon fanatics knowing the new model had been released back in December 2014. Largely based on the FG model, the update mainly brought a new look front and rear and some minor interior changes.
This particular model is an XR6 sedan in manual guise and has the optional luxury pack fitted which increases the $35,590 price tag by $4,350 and adds satellite navigation, leather seats, 19” wheels and premium sound system (though satellite navigation is now standard). These features amount to create a car which is just that bit more special than the run of the mill XR6. One of the appealing aspects of this car is that getting and Audi or similar style car with roughly the same power will set you back at least double the money, albeit for a prestige product. Once the locally built cars are no longer made this car will be seriously unique, as there is basically no rear wheel drive cars with a manual transmission at a sub $100,000 price tag.
This Australian made icon has a fantastic blend of comfort and dynamic ability, with super sharp and easy steering that makes the vast size of this car feel insignificant. Though after driving this car in a mixture of conditions, the highway is when this car shines leaving hours of driving feeling like a walk in the park with the way it handles the local conditions. The 195 kilowatts of power is delivered in a very linear way, though the large 391Nm torque on offer from the 4.0 litre engine dominates the experience and this is an area where the Ford has a clear advantage over the other locally made six cylinder cars the Holden Commodore and the Toyota Aurion, offering 350Nm and 336Nm respectively. Fuel economy is reasonably considering the size of the engine and the power on offer, easily averaging less than 8L/100km on the highway, though city driving will see this figure inflate leaving an average of just over 10L/100km over the short life of the car. This means running costs are reasonable, especially when taking into account the common capped price servicing.
The interior has been well documented as an underwhelming place to be, especially those familiar with the previous FG models. Though after owning a previous FG and living with the package, it becomes extremely functional in the way that it operates and comes with most of the features you would expect in a modern car. Admittedly, features like push button start and lane departure warning are missing, though these are features I can live without. The Sync system on the 8 inch touch screen is excellent, with great features and reasonable speed that surprisingly work well with the voice control.
At the end of the day, I bought this car because I wanted to, not because I had to and I'm certain that is a view shared by many other FGX Falcon owners. Though owning this car leaves me with a sense of sadness, because never again will I be able to walk into the local Ford dealership and see my very own brand new Australian made Falcon sitting on the showroom floor, and that is a great shame.