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Used Ford Falcon XR6 review: 2008-2012

EXPERT RATING
8
Ford's sporty six kept up the performance image but had a thrftier LPG variant. New Having dropped its V8 in the 1980s, Ford went looking for a suitable model on which to hang its performance credentials. The answer was the XR6, a six-cylinder sports sedan created more in the European style than the earlier GTs that

Ford's sporty six kept up the performance image but had a thrftier LPG variant.

New

Having dropped its V8 in the 1980s, Ford went looking for a suitable model on which to hang its performance credentials. The answer was the XR6, a six-cylinder sports sedan created more in the European style than the earlier GTs that underpinned Ford's performance image.

Many scoffed at the idea at the beginning but the XR6 has become one of the most popular Falcons. The FG carried on the tradition in 2008 with the XR6 sports sedan and an LPG-engined version for those who wanted to cut their fuel bills.

It was an attractive four-door sedan with flowing lines and nicely balanced proportions, with added touches to give it a sporting feel.

The heart of the XR6 was Ford's 4.0-litre six-cylinder engine, the staple for the FG range. Packed with the latest technology, such as alloy head, fuel injection, double overhead camshafts, variable valve timing and four valves per cylinder it punched out an impressive 195kW and 391Nm for some impressive performance.

For buyers wanting the look but needing lower fuel bills Ford offered its dedicated LPG engine option. It cost less to run but performance also came down a notch, given the more modest outputs, 156kW/371Nm.

Transmissions varied. If you chose the LPG engine you got a four-speed auto but buyers of the petrol versions chose from six-speed manual, five-speed auto or a six-speed auto depending on the budget.

If the powertrain was no different to the rest of the six-cylinders, it was the suspension that honed the XR6. Sportier settings and specific springs, shock absorbers and roll bars enhanced its handling.

On-road dynamics and safety benefited from electronic stability control, ABS and a raft of other electronic driving aids.

On the road it not only delivered an engaging drive but was also quiet and refined.

Now

The clock was ticking for the big Aussie sedan by the time the FG Falcon was launched and buyers were turning their backs on the local cars.

Despite the switch to smaller cars, large locally made cars still have their fans and arguably the FG Falcon is the best ever made in this country.

The engine is well proven and gives little trouble, the transmissions are also generally trouble-free — but one issue continues to plague the brand.

The transmission cooler is a renowned weak point. Despite Ford's efforts to fix it, we still receive reports from owners of gearbox failures caused by the engine coolant contaminating the transmission oil. Replacing the transmission is expensive.

Owners should be alert for such a problem and get to a transmission specialist to check before it gets expensive to fix.

When road testing a potential purchase, focus on the transmission. Listen also for knocks or clunks in the suspension that might point to worn bushing.

Smithy says

Good-looking large car with a sporting bent.

Owners say

Alan Hayward: My 2011 Falcon XR6 is quite powerful, handles beautifully, looks good and is good to drive. It's now done 41,000km. One small problem was fixed under warranty.

Judy Hill: I needed a large car — not one with AWD or 4WD — to get me along a country highway five days a week in all types of weather. I wanted something with a bit of power up higher for passing. The car I bought was a 2011 XR6, which had done 30,000km at the time. It is a beauty. It handles beautifully, has a great amount of power and a lovely smooth transmission. The brakes are top notch, too. On 550km of highway driving plus 40km of town driving a week, I average 8.6L/100km, which I think is great for a large car. The only downside was at 79,000km — an oil leak was found in the timing cover and I needed a new harmonic balancer.

Garry Miller: I have owned my Falcon for four years. It has been powerful, comfortable, reliable and economical for a 4.0-litre petrol engine. I have had no mechanical problems in 70,000km and hope to buy another before production ends.

Brian Morgan: I wanted a good, solid full-size sedan with a bit of sporting presence when I bought my XR6 and it has lived up to me expectations with effortless performance, confidence-inspiring brakes and the quality of the finish.

Tom Hartnett: I was disappointed with my XR6. When I had a problem with the ABS the dealer was most unhelpful. An independent mechanic found it had to be replaced at a cost of $6000.

 

Pricing

Year Price From Price To
2012 $6,490 $20,900
2011 $6,160 $21,890
2010 $5,940 $21,340
2009 $5,170 $20,790
2008 $4,290 $20,240

View all Ford Falcon pricing and specifications

Pricing Guides

$8,860
Based on 356 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$2,999
Highest Price
$25,990

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
ES 4.0L, ULP, 6 SP AUTO $5,170 – 7,590 2008 Ford Falcon 2008 ES Pricing and Specs
ES (LPG) 4.0L, LPG, 4 SP AUTO $5,610 – 7,920 2008 Ford Falcon 2008 ES (LPG) Pricing and Specs
Futura 4.0L, ULP, 6 SP AUTO $3,950 – 4,990 2008 Ford Falcon 2008 Futura Pricing and Specs
Futura (LPG) 4.0L, LPG, 4 SP AUTO $6,050 – 8,580 2008 Ford Falcon 2008 Futura (LPG) Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
8
Graham Smith
Contributing Journalist

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