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Ford Falcon Ecoboost G6E 2012 review

The Falcon is starting to look pretty ordinary compared to the competition.

So. This is the car that is going to save Ford's bacon?

Just as Holden did with the Commodore in the early 80s, Ford has introduced a four cylinder Falcon in the name of better fuel economy. The difference is that this four is turbocharged to compensate for its smaller capacity. But is it all too little too late?

The engine

It's a 2.0-litre four cylinder engine with direct injection that produces 179kW of power at 5500 revs and 353Nm of torque at 2000 revs.

This compares with the good old 4.0-litre straight six that delivers 195kW and 391Nm and the the EcoLPi (liquid LPG) engine that kicks out an impressive 198kW and 409Nm.

The asking price for the six and the EcoBoost four is exactly the same, making the decision easier  but the LPG model is $2500 more which has us reaching for the calculator.

Economy

At the time of writing the cost of unleaded was $1.34 a litre and LPG 61 cents per litre. After doing the sums, the cheapest of the three variants to run works out to be the LPG model at $7.61 per 100km.

The EcoBoost model on the other hand costs $10.93 per 100km and the six at $13.36 per 100km to fuel. But, because it cost $2500 more, it will take 75,000km before you recoup the $2500 outlay for the LPG model and it starts to pay for itself. Given that 80 per cent of Falcon sales are to fleets, they would be turning them over long before that.

How's it drive?

Fine. It's smooth, quiet and comfortable and there's no bloody great spare hogging the boot as with the LPG model. It doesn't have the same urgent feel as the six, but it's certainly no slouch and if you've never had it you're not going to miss it. After about 500km we were getting 8.3 litres/100km which is pretty close to the manufacturer's claim.

But apart from the promise of better fuel economy what does the car have to offer? The Commodore in all guises looks sporty, but the Falcon sadly does not.

What else

Nothing has changed much apart from the centre computer screen which is larger and has been relocated to the top of the dash. Our test car was the G6 priced from $40,835 which is one step up the ladder from the base XT and as such is better equipped.

But the Commodore can't really be considered its primary competitor any longer and the Falcon is starting to look pretty ordinary compared to the competition. The big touchscreen is in truth a waste of space without satnav or a reversing camera.

And the steering wheel controls for cruise and audio need to be backlit because they're invisible in the dark. The driver's window is not even auto up.

Verdict

Ford really needs to consider a sporty XR version with the Ecoboost engine. The XR is by far and away its most sought after model and at least it would stir some interest. After all, who wants to drive boring cars.

For the same money or less you could buy a four cylinder Honda Accord or top of the line Accord Euro with satnav, not to mention the premium versions of Hyundai's i45 or Kia's Optima. Then there's the six cylinder Aurion with the very competitive fuel figures of 9.3 litres/100km. Your call.

Pricing guides

$14,990
Based on 218 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$6,999
Highest Price
$33,950

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
G6 4.0L, ULP, 6 SP AUTO $7,200 – 11,110 2012 Ford Falcon 2012 G6 Pricing and Specs
G6 (lpi) 4.0L, LPG, 6 SP AUTO $7,600 – 11,770 2012 Ford Falcon 2012 G6 (lpi) Pricing and Specs
G6 Ecoboost 2.0L, ULP, 6 SP AUTO $8,000 – 12,320 2012 Ford Falcon 2012 G6 Ecoboost Pricing and Specs
G6 Limited Edition 4.0L, ULP, 6 SP AUTO $7,200 – 11,220 2012 Ford Falcon 2012 G6 Limited Edition Pricing and Specs
Pricing Guide

$6,999

Lowest price, based on 206 car listings in the last 6 months

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