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Car reviews - Ford - Falcon - XT sedan


19 Dec 2002

THANKS to the more complex Control Blade IRS, Barra Falcon's boot has shrunk marginally from 528 litres to 504 litres - but Falcon's luggage compartment still out-accommodates Commodore's 475-litre boot.

No longer flat, Falcon's boot floor now has a depression above the spare wheel, though it is still fully lined and illuminated. In addition, a protective scuff plate has been added to the lower lip of the loading aperture and, showing further attention to detail, Falcon's excellent multi-link boot hinging system has been revised and now looks better finished. Unlike Commodore, Falcon's boot hinges are outside the cargo space and do not restrict its capacity.

Inside the revised cabin there's now a horizontally split compartment ahead of the gearshift gate where the ashtray (now optional, like Commodore) once resided, with the top shelf designed to accommodate a Ford-branded small Kleenex tissue box next to the covered 12-volt power outlet.

Behind the shift gate are two lidded cupholders, just ahead of the larger centre console bin beneath a soft black centre armrest that feels sturdier but still slips sideways under one's elbow.

While the new front door compartments are big enough to contain a street directory, the centre compartment now houses business cards and a pen as well as CDs and coins.

The slightly smaller glovebox is a weird, shallow shape but is lockable and illuminated, while XT buyers miss out on Futura's twin rear cup holders integrated with the centre rear armrest. The 60/40 split-folding rear seat continues to be an advantage over Commodore, but the through-loading aperture is now smaller thanks to a strengthened seat folding system.

AUIII's sunglass holder, rear interior lighting and grabrails are no longer, with only the front XT passenger getting a grabrail and cabin illunination limited to twin balljointed front reading lights and a central dome light. The rear coat hangers and twin front visor vanity mirrors continue, however, as do the dash-mounted boot and (steel) fuel flap release buttons.

The Road to Recovery podcast series

Did you know?

Ford engineers travelled to Sweden and the Arctic Circle to test the BA Falcon's new braking system and its updated traction control by driving for extended periods over snow and ice

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