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Car reviews - Ford - Falcon - XT sedan

Controls

Ford logo19 Dec 2002

By MARTON PETTENDY

FALCON XT represents a big step forward from Falcon Forte when it comes to driver controls. First the new Interior Command Centre (covered in the Dash section) makes operating controls easier, then the new Controller Area Network bus and multiplex wiring technology make it work faster.

The closer dash fascia and gearshift makes for an easier reach to both and optional power pedal adjustment adds to a wider seat adjustment range to find a more comfortable driving position for a wider variety of drivers. However, the driver's footrest is now just a simple moulded item that's narrower and angled inboard.

Tactile new stalks are mounted higher and closer to the wheel, allowing easier operation of indicators and wipers without removing hands from the wheel, while headlight switch has gone from the dashboard and is now located Japanese-style on the indicator stalk.

Standard remote audio controls on the left side of the smaller diameter, fatter rimmed steering wheel now feature Braille, as do the optional cruise controls on the right. The dash-mounted boot and fuel flap release buttons are different too, while the internal door lock button has been relocated to a row of push-buttons below the air-conditioning unit that also includes an interior light switch and (optional) traction control off button.

The control pad for the standard front power windows is now more tactile, features an auto driver's down function, and has been relocated higher on the driver's door, feeling more natural and leaving all but the power mirror controller unchanged. Though power windows are optional in VY Executive, Commodore benefits from an auto-down passenger window.

Finally, the standard trip computer displays average fuel consumption, instant fuel consumption, range, time traveled and average speed in an LCD panel within the tacho, which also displays gear selection and the trip meter.

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Some 120 hours of Fordstar video were dedicated to the development of BA Falcon

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