Car reviews - Ford - Falcon - XT sedan
The BA, or Barra, Falcon was Ford's most important new model in recent history.
5 Nov 2002
IF COMPETITION improves the breed, as they say, there is no better example than Ford's facelifted 2003 Falcon. More like an all-new car, the BA Falcon is Ford's long-awaited response to five years of being comprehensively outsold by its opposite number at Holden. And it's a product that speaks convincingly for itself - particularly in entry level XT specification, which was subjected to more attention than other models to lift its image. Underneath the clean, conservative but more masculine front and rear-end styling, a twin-cam version of Ford's trusty sixpack makes Falcon easily the most powerful in class, and a manual shift function for BTR's excellent four-speed auto extracts the most from it. A classy new rear suspension delivers a prestige ride and improves handling dynamics, there are impressive reductions in noise, vibration and harshness, plus a prestigious new interior, more equipment and improved steering and brakes. Raising the bar for homegrown large cars considerably, XT is easily the best base Falcon ever.
The Road to Recovery podcast series
Model release date: 1 September 2002 to 1 September 2005
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Ford Falcon ForteReleased: September 98
Ended: August 02
Family Tree: Falcon
FORD launched the unloved AU Falcon in September 1998 - including the entry level Forte to replace the GLi in the previous EL model series - exactly one year after Holden released the VT Commodore. In April 2000 came the vastly improved, much quieter and less flamboyant AUII Forte, while the further enhanced AUIII was released in November 2001. Just 10 months later the heavily facelifted BA Falcon went on sale, with XT replacing Forte as the base Falcon.
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