Car reviews - Ford - Falcon - XT sedan
19 Dec 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, the new XT seats are trimmed in either a classy new Stone coloured velour, replacing the previous model's grey cloth, or the Warm Charcoal colour carried over from AUIII.
Two-tone upholstery can be had in either colour in XT, while other models offer an all-Stone two-tone affair and Warm Charcoal is available throughout. Two-tone upholstery colours are matched to both upper and lower sections of the dashboard, as well as the door inserts.
All three models below the leather-lined Fairmont Ghia offer a specific colour scheme, pattern and texture for the three-panel backrest and cushion, with XT getting a boxed, geometric pattern that contrasts with the Stone or black background.
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.
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