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Road Test

Ford G6E Turbo

by Stephen Walker

10th November, 2008

Ford G6E Turbo (FG series) 
Location: K13 Submarine Memorial Park, Carlingford, NSW 
Click on the copyright image for a larger view

So called "experts" (self-appointed on occasions) tell us that Australia's market for large cars has contracted because of high fuel prices. This is an analysis which I dispute.

Although there has been numerous upward "spikes" in fuel prices, which has certainly had an effect, the market has been changing for many years. Our new vehicle market has grown in volume and in choice. Now, consumers have a choice of vehicles that would have been unimaginable two decades ago. In the 1970s and 1980s Australian families often had just one vehicle. To provide room for the family, the car of choice was often a large car.

However, as economic circumstances changed, the nation became wealthier and vehicle choice was influenced by other factors. With greater disposable income, families were having two cars. Often the second car would be a small car. But as the nation became even richer, the options for a second car broadened considerably. Large 4x4s came into the picture in big numbers. Flashier cars also came into the picture. Nowadays, lifestyle vehicles include not only 4x4s, but also convertibles, coupes, SUVs, retro cars, sports cars and hot hatches. It's my view that this broadening of choice is effecting the sales of large cars more than any other factor.

Having said that though, it is clear that governments, fleet buyers and families still have an interest in large Australian cars. But the numbers are reducing, simply because Australia's wealth provides so many options that a large family car isn't necessarily seen as the best option in more and more cases.

However, Ford, with the new FG series, has manufactured a new Australian large car with many fine attributes.

Stephen Walker with the Ford G6E Turbo (FG series) 

Click on the copyright image for a larger view

In the traditional manner, we take a drive in one. This time we experience the Falcon G6E Turbo. By the way, the name Falcon does not appear on the car itself. Is there a hidden message with this name game?

Our drive programme was from Melbourne to Sydney, via Echuca, Deniliquen, Wagga Wagga and Gundagai, then back to Melbourne via the Hume Highway. In total, we managed to cover 2,374 kms in seven days.

The turbocharged engine for the G6E Turbo is a 4 litre in-line 6 cylinder unit with double overhead camshaft (DOHC). Power is rated at 270 kW at 5,250 rpm, whilst the torque rating is 533 Nm at 2,000 to 4,750 rpm. Believe me, on the road this engine provides plenty of satisfaction in the performance department. Our drive was long and leisurely, yet our spirits were lifted when we seized the opportunity to overtake a slow moving vehicle out Wagga Wagga way. Acceleration was immediate and the overtaking manoeuvre was commanding, as we briefly executed a rush of adrenalin. No sooner had we began the overtaking exercise than it was over. Then it was back to the leisurely drive routine with the cruise control in charge. I'm convinced that cruise control is a great invention. In the case of the new FG series Falcons, the cruise control also manages the speed. Hence, on the inevitable down hill runs, the speed build up is limited somewhat. We found the G6E Turbo only ever exceeded the speed limit by just a few kilometres per hour. So by electronically reducing the set speed on the crest of a hill, you can do the down hill run within the limit quite easily. This is a great way to enhance your responsible driving skills. Ford is to be commended for including speed management as an integral component of its cruise control for the new FG Falcons. Now we need other car companies to do the same!

The one and only transmission choice for the G6E Turbo is the excellent ZF 6 speed unit. It features two overdrive ratios.

The test car was coloured "Steel" and featured "Cashmere" leather trim. A very nice combination.

Priced from $54,990 (RRP) without options, the Ford G6E Turbo offers good value for this new top-of-the-line Australian built Ford.

Ford G6E Turbo (FG series) 
Location: alongside the former HMAS Ottway, Holbrook, NSW 
Click on the copyright image for a larger view

Standard equipment includes a reversing camera, reversing sensors, six airbags, four 18" alloy wheels (optional 19" alloy wheels were fitted to the test car), temporary spare wheel, dynamic stability control (similar to electronic stability programme), premium audio system with 6 disc in-dash CD player, dual zone automatic climate control air conditioning, adjustable lumbar support with both front seats, automatic headlamps, electrochromatic rear vision mirror, 8-way power adjustable driver seat with 3-position memory and so much more.

With attributes such as a roomy interior, a large boot, powerful performance with effective driving dynamics, nice styling and a quality feel about the entire car, the new large Ford presents itself quite well. It is an enjoyable car to occupy.

We drove the Ford G6E Turbo a long way. And you have to go a long way to find criticism with the new FG Falcons. Obviously we didn't go far enough, because we cannot criticise the G6E Turbo in any way at all.

Click on an image for a larger view

Other Ford content: here.

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