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Ford Falcon XR6 Turbo utility
road test


A show pony? Yes, and why not!


You only have to watch yourself being watched by those passing by to recognise that aussie utes have a certain quality. It's a quality which is difficult, if not impossible, to define. But it is a quality that is readily acceptable! And it is a quality which has become highly desirable.

As such, driving the Falcon XR6 Turbo ute is a make you feel good experience. There can be no doubt about it! To emphasise this point, let me ask a question. Have you ever seen a miserable person behind the wheel of Ford's highly fashionable XR series products? I haven't!

Clearly, driving this machine is all about image. Driving an XR ute says something about the driver and it says something about the concept. Ford and one of the other local competitors have correctly identified that a demand exists for a ute which portrays a showman type image with an air of quality and finesse which is, usually, not associated with a 'workhorse' type of vehicle. Sure, the XR ute can be used as a workhorse ..... I've seen it used that way! But I commonly consider the XR utes as more recreational than work ready. But both uses determine one thing ..... the owner and/or driver has good taste!

On the road the latest BA Mark II ute, in the form of a Falcon XR6 Turbo, is a thoroughly modern 2-seater delight. The cabin is comfortable and well appointed. The ride is very good. The drive is pleasant. The appearance is exciting. The packaging is compelling. Every aspect of this ute adds up to the machine being one mighty fine piece of equipment. Regardless of the usage, work or play, this ute has the capacity to make a statement like no other. But like I said, that statement is difficult to define.

As an everyday car, the XR6 Turbo delights with the plentiful power on hand, especially compared to the regular Falcon 6 cylinder engine. Accordingly, the turbo makes driving the Falcon a much more pleasurable experience.

The specifications for the XR6 Turbo utility include the now familiar 'Barra' DOHC 4-litre 6 cylinder turbocharged engine. This engine provides 240kW of power, which is just 20kW short of the power rating of the 'Boss 260' V8 which is standard in the XR8. The power difference between the two is less than 10%! The difference in torque is marginally greater though .... 450Nm in the XR6 Turbo, compared to 500Nm in the XR8. Standard transmission is a 6 speed manual (the two top gears are overdrive), whilst a 4 speed automatic transmission is available as an option. The fuel tank holds 80 litres of fuel, which is good for a vehicle of this type. This type of car isn't light on fuel! Although, we readily accept the XR6 Turbo is much lighter on fuel than the XR8.


www.nextcar.com.au (copyright image)
Ford Falcon XR6 Turbo utility
Location: Terrigal NSW


Click the image for a larger view


www.nextcar.com.au (copyright image)
Ford Falcon XR6 Turbo utility
Location: Terrigal NSW


Click the image for a larger view

Ford's new 6-speed manual is light and easy to use. It's standard on the XR6 Turbo and the XR8. Other Falcon utes have a 5-speed manual transmission as standard.

Externally, the XR utes look good .... there is no question to that! The discreet sportiness of the total package, including the alloy wheels and the badging, together with the air dam front bumper and the side skirts, all add up to the XR6/XR8 being the most attractive utes on the road today. The outstanding colour choices make it possible to find just the right colour.

Our test vehicle was 'Silhouette', which is another way of saying "black". This particular choice is an optional 'prestige' colour. It's one of 12 colour choices.

Price for a Falcon XR6 Turbo begins at $40,140 (RRP), whilst the test car came in at $41,510 (RRP). The test car was equipped with the optional prestige paint ($355) and leather seating ($1,015). Dealer delivery and state government charges and stamp duty are not included in these prices.

www.nextcar.com.au (copyright image)
Ford Falcon XR6 Turbo utility
Location: Terrigal NSW


Click the image for a larger view

The Falcon ute isn't perfect. The blind spot over the right shoulder for the driver is bad. Lane changing manoeuvres in a Falcon ute requires extreme caution because of the huge blind spot on the drivers side. To the rear and to the left, the driver has excellent vision. But not so over the right shoulder as the rear quarter window is useless for rear three-quarter vision. The lack of vision over the right shoulder borders on dangerous! This point, and the fact that the fuel cap doesn't lock are the only weaknesses in an otherwise excellent package.

With a comfortable interior and a stylish exterior, the Ford Falcon XR6 Turbo utility is a top unit. Every drive is a pleasure. It makes you feel good, time after time. Like I said, there is something about aussie utes!

Stephen Walker
18th April, 2005



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