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Car reviews - Ford - Falcon - Fairmont Ghia V8 sedan

Controls

Ford logo22 Nov 2002

By MARTON PETTENDY

WITH a totally redesigned dashboard for BA Falcon, it is no surprise to find all the major controls to be new as well - with the exception of the carryover power mirror switchgear, which remains on the driver's door sill.

All Falcons feature a new smaller diameter, thicker rimmed, height and reach adjustable steering wheel - in this case incorporating highly tactile audio and cruise controls - plus new steering column stalks that are higher, closer to the upper wheel spokes and feature intermittent wipers on the left and (automatic) headlights on the right.

Centrepiece of the new dash is the new Interior Command Centre console, which in Fairmont Ghia is dominated by a standard TFT screen displaying climate control functions in its top half and both trip computer and audio functions below.

Climate functions displayed include ventilation mode, fan speed, outside temperature and front/rear demist, while six multi-function piano keys ahead of the screen allow radio station or CD selection.

Integrated beneath the display screen are matching control units for the Premium audio and climate systems - each dominated by cool-to-touch satin chrome finished rotary knobs.

Under them lies a bank of tactile buttons to operate, from left: traction control off, internal door lock, dome light and trip computer - functions of which include: fuel range, average fuel, instant fuel, average speed and trip time.

Hazard light and instrument illumination switches are placed either side of the new instrument binnacle, while Ghia's standard adjustable pedals are operated via a toggle switch on the steering column.

While the mirror switch remains unchanged, there's a new, more tactile power window control module mounted higher and further away on the new door handle, deleting the need to have a double-jointed wrist.

Did you know?

More than 300 Ford dealers were linked to the Blue Oval's satellite-based Fordstar training service at the BA launch

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