The EcoBoost Falcon makes sense at a time when big cars don’t. Photo Gallery
Dropping a smaller engine under the bonnet was never going to save the Ford Falcon.
The car Ford should have had in the noughties. The four-cylinder engine enhances economy and driving enjoyment. "It's the Falcon of the year. It's what Ford needed to do, but four or five years ago," Karla Pincott said at the COTY judging.
It’s an unpalatable fact of life for our local carmakers that big sedan sales are slumping everywhere from Germany to Geraldton as buyers scale down and step up.
What the EcoBoost mill does prove is just how good Ford’s new generation of engines are. Ironically, that’s one of the reasons why the Focus will supplant the Falcon as the Blue Oval’s biggest seller this year.
But for those who can’t fit in a Focus, the Falcon’s ride and handling makes it a better option than an SUV. The EcoBoost makes the six-cylinder redundant, unless buyers need the extra towing capacity - 2300kg against 1600kg.
The four-cylinder prefers premium leaded, in which case sub-seven second times to 100km/h are easily within reach. More impressive is the mid-range acceleration and the way the six-speed auto has been calibrated to bring out the EcoBoost’s best.
It lopes along at under 2000rpm at 100km/h and a quick dab of the pedal provides instant overtaking response. It's the same at 60 and 80km/h and at any speed this car turns-in better than bigger-engined Falcons, courtesy of the 60kg weight cut over the front wheels.
The ride is also near XR levels of firmness but never feels unsettled. The seats need upgrading though - bolstering support is marginal at the cornering speeds the EcoBoost is capable of.
The EcoBoost Falcon makes sense at a time when big cars don’t. It has the interior space to deal with a mushrooming family and the baggage that comes with them, backed by decent fuel economy and well-sorted road manners.
Ford Falcon EcoBoost G6
Price: from $40,835
Engine: two-litre turbocharged direct-injection four-cylinder
Transmission: six-speed automatic, rear wheel drive
Power: 179kW @ 5500rpm
Torque: 353Nm @ 2000rpm
Fuel use/emissions: 8.5 l/100km, tank 68 litres; 201g/km
Brakes/safety systems: Driver and front passenger airbags, front seat side/thorax, curtain airbags, stability control (Emergency Brake Assist (EBA), Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD), Traction Control), rear parking sensors
Dimensions: Length 4966mm, width 1868mm, height 1483mm, wheelbase 2838mm, cargo volume 535 litres, weight 1648kg
Wheels/tyres: 17in alloy wheels