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Car reviews - Ford - Falcon - XT sedan

Safety

Ford logo19 Dec 2002

By MARTON PETTENDY

BA FALCON benefits from a number of active and passive safety improvements, not least of them the 88 per cent stiffer bodyshell and, for the first time in Falcon, the availability of side impact airbags to match Commodore.

Optional in models below Fairmont Ghia, the seat-mounted items ensure correct alignment with both front occupants and also necessitated the relocation of each front seat 12mm inboard.

Like Commodore Executive, Falcon XT's standard safety package includes ABS with electronic brake-force distribution, twin front airbags, five force-limiting lap/sash seatbelts, a centre rear child seat anchor, rear door child safety locks and built-in outboard rear head restraints - meaning they're not height adjustable and the centre rear occupant misses out altogether.

However, Falcon goes a step further with front seatbelt height adjustment, while there's now also a seatbelt warning chime accompanied by a flashing red icon on the instrument panel, which repeats intermittently if the driver's seatbelt is left unbuckled.

Traction control is now optional across the Falcon range and standard from the Fairmont upwards, while Barra's braking capability has also been substantially upgraded.

Did you know?

For BA Falcon, CAE staff used more than 2 billion CPU seconds for crash simulation. It would take a Pentium III computer more than 236 years to run one crash simulation. CAE engineers ran more than 1750 virtual crash simulations. That is more than one crash simulation every day, continuously, for four years

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