Car reviews - Ford - Falcon - G6 sedan
Excellent prestige interior classy exterior styling supple ride excellent handling strong engine performance
Room for improvement
Some interior elements could be improved G6 name sounds awkward boot should be flat
10 Apr 2008
THE G6 is proof that Ford is serious about lifting the image and standing of the Falcon.
While there is no doubt the new XT is an impressive entry-level car, the G6 represents a huge step up and is well worth the extra $3500 if you can afford it.
The G6 essentially replaces the Futura, but the G6 feels every bit as good as the old Fairmont Ghia on the inside.
From the outside, the G6, like the G6E and G6E Turbo, looks substantially different to other Falcon models.
Its deep chrome grille means it is more likely to be confused with a European Mondeo from a distance rather than another Falcon.
Small details like the chrome strip along the bottom of the windows indicate this is a more expensive model than the base car and there is a lot more evidence of its standing when you slip into the cabin.
Interior features like a G6-branded chrome door sill plate and stitched leather-look fabric for the door bins of the front door also contribute to the classy look.
Material with a suede-like feel is used for part of the door trim and the seats, which are quite comfortable, while the dashboard looks elegant and is capped of by a large and impressive colour information display.
Clearly the best display unit it its class, it has good detail and crisp graphics and is easy to use, although the display unit in the G6 test car on the launch suffered from a glitch that will hopefully be fixed.
The instrumentation is clear and clean, with metal rings around the simple speedo.
Ford has done a lot of work to improve the steering wheels across the entire range. The new units feel far better and also look nicer than the chunky BA wheels, which never felt quite right.
The plastic surfaces are soft to touch and the panel fit on the cars at the launch was very good.
Downsides include a shallow glovebox and an exposed power socket – surely Ford could have designed a lid of some sort to hide it.
It is important that both the exterior and interior styling match the premium image that Ford is promoting, but the best part is the driving experience.
While people after a super-sporty drive are still going to opt for the aggressively-styled and sports-tuned XR series cars, owners of the FG do not miss out. It is a prestige car, with a solid sporty base.
The suspension tune of this car, with 17-inch alloy wheels, is just about perfect for what marketers would call a sports/luxury model.
There are far too many cars that push the sporty side too far and spoil the ride, but the G6 has a lovely supple ride without giving up on handling.
There is a bit more bodyroll than you would experience in the sharp XRs, but not much. You can still throw this thing into corners at an impressive pace and the G6 will happily hang on, making very little fuss.
A spirited run along a very tight and twisty section revealed just how much fun this car is to drive, and the whole FG Falcon range for that matter.
The work on the steering and suspension has really paid dividends. The steering of the previous model tended to feel a bit nervous at higher speeds, but the new variable ratio steering system really helps make it feel more solid and sure.
It is very easy to guide the G6 through corners smoothly, with little need to make major corrections because the car has gone where you wanted it to in the first place. And, while there was some steering-rack rattle in some of the other FG cars on the launch, none was evident in the G6.
Refinement has been improved substantially with the FG, resulting in much better cabin comfort. Wind noise is down and there also seems to be a vast improvement in road and tyre noise suppression.
Improvements to the naturally aspirated I6 engine also contribute to the refinement package. With so much torque on tap, the I6 can deliver what you need most of the time with very little fuss. It also behaves very well if you really get stuck in.
In the past, revving a Falcon engine to the redline really would have caused some serious thrashing and harsh noises. Now it is much smoother and quieter. The engine really feels like it is working half as hard as before.
The G6 test car was fitted with the excellent ZF six-speed gearbox, which is really worthwhile if you can afford the extra money.
We tested an XT with Ford’s new five-speed auto, which, unsurprisingly, is better than the old four-speed, but is still not as good as the six-speed ZF.
Practicality is good, with plenty of headroom and shoulder space in the front and back. Legroom is adequate, but you do expect more from a car of this size.
We like having a spilt-fold rear seat, and the boot is vast, but it is a pity that the boot surface is not flat.
However you look at it, the G6 is an excellent premium model and probably represents the best value in the FG range.
We are still not sure about the selection of the letter G for the premium Falcon brands.
After all, the G8 Fairlane, may it rest in peace, didn’t exactly set the world on fire, but we don’t see a problem in ditching the staid Fairmont and Fairmont Ghia titles.
The G6 should do very well when compared to the Holden Berlina, which makes do with a four-speed auto and has a far less prestigious interior.
Overall, the G6 feels and drives like a car deserving of a far higher price.
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