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Car reviews - Ford - Falcon - Futura sedan


31 Oct 2002

THE BA Futura represents a big step forward from the AU Futura when it comes to driver controls.

First the new Interior Command Centre (covered in the Dash section) makes operating controls easier, then the new Controller Area Network bus and multiplex wiring technology make it work faster.

The closer dash fascia and gearshift makes for an easier reach to both and optional power pedal adjustment adds to a wider seat adjustment range to find a more comfortable driving position for a wider variety of drivers. However, the driver's footrest is now just a simple moulded item that's narrower and angled inboard.

Tactile new stalks are mounted higher and closer to the wheel, allowing easier operation of indicators and wipers without removing hands from the wheel, while headlight switch has gone from the dashboard and is now located Japanese-style on the indicator stalk.

Standard remote audio controls on the left side of the smaller diameter, fatter rimmed steering wheel now feature Braille, as do the cruise controls on the right, which are a standard feature only from the Futura model upwards.

The dash-mounted boot and fuel flap release buttons are different too, while the internal door lock button has been relocated to a row of push-buttons below the air-conditioning unit that also includes an interior light switch and (optional) traction control off button.

The control pad for the standard front power windows is now more tactile, features an auto driver's down function, and has been relocated higher on the driver's door, feeling more natural and leaving all but the power mirror controller unchanged.

While Futura adds rear power windows to the base XT's specification, power windows are totally optional in VY Commodore Executive - although entry level Commodores benefit from an auto-down passenger window in addition to Falcon's driver's side auto-down function.

Finally, the standard trip computer displays average fuel consumption, instant fuel consumption, range, time traveled and average speed in an LCD panel within the tacho, which also displays gear selection and the trip meter.

The Road to Recovery podcast series

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Some 120 hours of Fordstar video were dedicated to the development of BA Falcon

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