Comfort, space, family versatility, ABS and cruise control standard, strong and durable
Room for improvement
Agricultural rear suspension compromises handling and ride finesse
THE EL is the last of the E series of Falcons which first saw the
light of day in 1988.
There may not be too much difference in styling between the
original EA and the EL but under the skin the improvement in
quality, safety and equipment has been enormous and transformed
the Falcon into one of the best value for money cars on the
Ford spent $40 million upgrading the EL Falcon to keep it
competitive until it was replaced by the AU Falcon in September,
Most of the money was spent on improved safety equipment and
The Falcon station wagon follows the styling theme and shares a
lot of the sedan's mechanical parts with a longer wheelbase (the
wagon is 129mm longer) and a 100mm higher roof line, which makes
it a big car.
The Futura wagon was lightly restyled around the front but you
still need to look carefully to pick it from its predecessor, the
The EL wagon was sold with two levels of equipment; the lower
level GLi and the Futura, which has as much convenience and
safety equipment as many much more expensive luxury cars.
Power steering, anti-lock brakes, a driver's airbag and cruise
control are all on the list. There's also remote central locking,
an anti-theft system and electric windows for the front doors.
Popular options were air-conditioning and a reasonably priced
There were lots of small but useful features introduced with the
EL such as speed-sensitive intermittent wipers and a battery
saver function which automatically turns off the interior and
glovebox lights after an hour if they have been left on.
The 4.0-litre engine carried over from the previous model with
minor changes to reduce mechanical noise.
But the big improvements are in the steering and suspension.
The EF Falcon was criticised for lacking straight-line stability
and a floating feel on the highway.
The EL benefited from some fine tuning which eliminated the
criticisms and it requires much less concentration to drive on
Considering the wagon's size, weight and leaf spring rear
suspension, it handles, rides and corners well and is predictable
The Falcon wagon is also a very capable tow car. Buyers optioned
them up with a high capacity tow pack and a limited slip
differential for heavy duty towing.
An LP gas conversion is well worth an extra $1700 provided it is
a genuine Ford/Tickford installation.
The EL Futura Falcon is a strong, dependable workhorse with a
high level of comfort and safety.
Add in low service costs and generous people and cargo space, and
the Falcon is hard to beat as a family wagon.