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Car reviews - Ford - Falcon - Futura sedan


31 Oct 2002

MUCH attention was devoted to improving Falcon's notoriously uncomfortable seats, which are manufactured on site by Air International - and the results are like a breath of fresh air.

In a significant turnaround, not only does Falcon now offer an even lower and more cosseting driving position than Commodore, its all-new seats are better too.

Featuring power adjustment for the first time, the entry level Falcon driver's seat now matches Commodore's with four-way power adjustment, via a similar system that raises and tilts the entire new pew from either its front or rear hinges.

While the system replaces previous Falcons' twin rotary manual adjusters, seatback recline and lumbar support remain adjustable via improved manual rotating knobs. Meantime, the BA Fairmont Ghia adds fore and aft power adjustment in its new six-way memory power seat system.

Other seat changes include the fitment of stepless manual lumbar adjustment for both front seats as standard, while head restraints are bigger, the rear bench has been reshaped and better isolated, and all seat tracks are now concealed under plastic covers. There is a 24mm increase in front seat travel, while the driver's seat height adjustment range is up 10mm to 50mm.

Vastly more comfortable and heavily bolstered to offer reasonable lateral support, Futura's new seats are, like XT, trimmed in a classy knitted velour fabric.

The XT's standard "Oscar and Ralph" colour scheme is replaced in Futura by "Malo and Ralph", also in Medium Stone colour, while the Warm Charcoal coloured version carried over from AUIII is optional in Futura.

The new front seatbacks are subtely scalloped to further enhance rear legroom, while the rear seat split-fold mechanism was redesigned to improve location and is now accessed by release levers within the outboard side of the rear head restraints.

Unlike its predecessor, the new lumbar support mechanism is now a delight to use and, in Futura, features on both the driver's and front passenger's seats. Futura also adds a centre rear armrest to the XT's seating equation.

Side airbags (pictured) are seat-mounted and remain an optional extra on Futura.

Did you know?

Ford Australia's CAE group uses Ford's supercomputer centre, which contains 23 of the world's fastest supercomputers. Combined, they total one million megabytes of RAM - equivalent to that of about 7100 home computers

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