Honda Accord 2014 Review
There's some really good tech' stuff in the new Honda Accord but not much in this particular model, the entry level $31,490 VTi.
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Until recently the idea of Australia’s iconic Ford Falcon being powered by a turbocharged 2.0-litre engine would have been seen as sales suicide akin to the decision of Holden to build a compact Commodore back in the late 1970s, a decision that gave Ford market leadership for the next decade.
With just three years left before the Falcon disappears from our roads the turbo engine is far less of a gamble than it otherwise would have been. Especially so as the new EcoBoost engines are being added progressively across the Ford range and its exposure in the Falcon is likely to flow through to improved sales in other vehicles, including the recently unveiled Mustang.
The Ford Falcon EcoBoost comes in three variants. The entry level XT sells for $37,235; mid-specced G6 at $40,835; and G6E at $46,735. Interestingly these prices are identical to those of the equivalent six-cylinder models which probably accounts for the slow sales of the EcoBoost to date.
ENGINE / TRANSMISSION
EcoBoost engines are smaller and lighter than conventional petrol engines, with the combination of common-rail direct fuel injection, variable valve timing to reduce both fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. At the same time they deliver power and torque outputs around the same levels as larger, naturally-aspirated engines.
The 2.0-litre Falcon engine generates maximum power of 179 kW at 5500 rpm and a substantial 353 Nm from as low as 2000 rpm. Compare these numbers to the 195 kW and 391 Nm of the Falcon 4.0-litre six and any doubts about performance should be allayed.
Fuel consumption in the EcoBoost G6E that we drove is listed at 8.5 litres per 100 kilometres on the combined urban/highway cycle compared to the 9.9 L/100 km of the six and CO2 at 201 grams per kilometre against 235 g/km. All EcoBoost Falcons come with six-speed ZF automatic transmission, the manual option in the 4.0-litre XT not being offered.
The big Aussie sixes are often used for towing so be aware that the capacity of the EcoBoost models is just 1600 kg, well down on the 2300 kg with the 4.0-litre engine.
The interior of the Falcon is spacious enough for five passengers although with my 1.8-metre height and declining suppleness I found it almost impossible to get into the driver’s seat, at its lowest setting, without brushing my head against the top of the door opening and then scraping my leg against the bottom of the steering wheel, at its highest setting. Just another reason why SUV sales are booming.
On the road the lower weight of the EcoBoost Falcon shows up in noticeably lighter steering and more nimble handling. The steering feels more direct with plenty of feedback. Ride and handling are what we have come to expect from a car that’s made in Australia for local conditions.
At idle the EcoBoost Falcon sounds much like the 4.0-litre six. Outside the car the sound is slightly different to the in-line six, but no louder. Under hard acceleration both sound much the same inside the cabin. Acceleration when overtaking is as good as a six, with negligible turbo lag.
The cabin is quieter thanks to an acoustic windscreen, inner and outer dashboard insulation, an under-bonnet sound absorber, improved engine and transmission mounts and insulated transmission tunnel.
Over the past two months we’ve done extended tests on both Holden Commodore and Ford Falcon and come away with the feeling that buyers may have over-reacted in their swing away from large cars. Cars like the Ford Falcon are just right for Australian conditions, particularly in country driving.
Add the environmental benefits of the EcoBoost model and you’ve got a real car for the future. That future is of course limited – all the more reason to get down to your local Ford dealer and do some serious haggling.
XT EcoBoost 2.0-litre turbo-petrol four-door sedan: from $37,235 (automatic)
G6 EcoBoost 2.0-litre turbo-petrol four-door sedan: from $40,835 (automatic)
G6E EcoBoost 2.0-litre turbo-petrol four-door sedan: from $46,735 (automatic)
Ford Falcon G6E Ecoboost
Price: from $46,735
Engine: 2.0L 4-cylinder, 179kW/353Nm
Transmission: 6-speed auto, RWD
|(base)||4.0L, ULP, 6 SP AUTO||$9,490 – 22,990||2014 Ford Falcon 2014 (base) Pricing and Specs|
|(LPI)||4.0L, LPG, 6 SP AUTO||$10,980 – 22,777||2014 Ford Falcon 2014 (LPI) Pricing and Specs|
|Ecoboost||2.0L, ULP, 6 SP AUTO||$9,680 – 13,200||2014 Ford Falcon 2014 Ecoboost Pricing and Specs|
|G6||4.0L, ULP, 6 SP AUTO||$10,230 – 13,970||2014 Ford Falcon 2014 G6 Pricing and Specs|
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