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The Mercury Cars Guide : April 17th 2010
Saturday, April 17, 2010 Classifieds 62 300 400 carsguide.com.au ---15 Grunty FG still makes for a top buy There have been many important events in Falcon's long running history in this country, but none more so than the release of the FG Falcon in 2008. POPULAR: Two years on since the Falcon FG was launched, the sporty sedan is proving to be the winner Ford hoped it would be. FORD'S Falcon FG represented the last play in the Falcon fight back from the AU disaster. Ford couldn't afford to have another lame duck on its hands, so it had to be right. Two years on from the launch, as it appears on used car lots around the country as company lease cars, fleet units and ex-renters come up for sale, it's the winner Ford had hoped it would be. model watch TheFGcameinthewakeoftheBAandBF models, two solid models that managed to recover much of the ground lost by the unloved AU. Had it not been for the AUs failure the BA, and the BF makeover, would never have been. The model slated to replace the AU was to be a mild makeover to keep Falcon sales ticking over until an all-new model could be developed. But such was the alarm over the AU sales slide that Ford pressed the go button on a major revamp that became the Barra or BA. The BA proved a success, as did its BF cousin, and the AU became a distant memory. Enter the FG, the much-trumpeted all-new model that pushed the AU even further into the depths of history. With a new body, smart new looks, and new chassis, engines and transmissions the FG truly was an all-new car. What's more there was a new model line-up that clearly differentiated between luxury and sports models. By the launch of the FG the XR6 was a well- respected sports sedan model on the local market and was the entry model to Ford's new sports range. The other sports models were the XR6 Turbo and the V8 XR8. While the FG boasted a new look, the XRs sporty look came from its specific headlights, grille, front bumper, fog lamps, rocker panels, and 17-inch alloy wheels. The sports theme continued inside where in addition to all of the features of the FG XT, it also came with sports dials, sports seats and alloy pedal covers. Under the bonnet lay the familiar 4.0-litre double overhead camshaft six, but it now had a new fast-burn cylinder head and clever dual- mode intake manifold, and a revised engine calibration. As a result of the upgrades the peak engine output rose to 195 kW at 6000 revs and 391 Nm at 3250 revs. Not only was the engine's performance increased, its efficiency was also improved, and that meant better fuel economy. There was also a new five-speed auto, with sports shift function, and a new six-speed manual transmission. A new suspension package, with lightweight virtual pivot-control link front suspension and control-blade independent rear suspension, along with revised steering and new monotube shock absorbers gave the FG impressive on- road dynamics. Unique 17-inch alloy wheels wrapped with Dunlop SP Sport rubber completed the XR6 package. on the lot A 2008-2009 XT6 can be had for $25,000-$30,000, which makes it an appealing buy. in the shop Owners of previous model Falcons have regularly complained to carsGuide about problems with their cars, but to date the complaints about the FG have been few and far between. One regular complaint from owners of those previous models related to the adjustment of the park brake, which was tricky, but the FG has a self-adjusting park brake that should eliminate that issue. The overall lack of complaint is a good sign for FG owners, hopefully one that is a pointer to future reliability. But with less than 50,000km on average its still early days for this model. It's worth making a thorough check of all systems to make sure everything on the car works, listen for odd noises while driving, make sure auto transmission engages smoothly and without hesitation. Check also for signs of crash repairs, mismatching paint etc, gouged alloy wheels from contact with gutters and kerbs, and scarred bumpers. in a crash The XR6 came standard with an impressive list of safety features, including driver and front passenger airbags, front side head/thorax airbags, dynamic stability control, traction control, ABS brakes, electronic brakeforce distribution and emergency brake assist. By any measure its an impressive array of safety systems, enough to be given a five-star ANCAP rating. at the pump Driven by carsGuide an FG XR6 returned 10.0 L/100 km in general running around town, which was spot-on with Ford's official figure. owners say James Creece has owned several Falcons over the past 10 years and is bewildered by the complaints owners make about them. He currently owns two FG XR6 Falcon autos and is very happy with both of them. One, a work ute, has done 75,000km mostly with a load and towing a loaded trailer, has averaged 12.2 L/100 km and he says it's a good ute with a tight body, it handles well, everything works, and it's good value for money. The other is a sedan with premium sound, leather, 18-inch alloys, iPod/Bluetooth that has done 30,000km. He says it's great on the road, the best car hes ever owned. On the other hand, after 1000km Steve Walters noticed a clunking noise in the right front of his FG XR6 manual when backing it out of a driveway. The dealer checked it and tightened the front- end, and declared it fixed after a test drive, unfortunately when Steve subsequently checked it he found it was still there. This time, after another check, the dealer compared it to another XR6 and found it too exhibited the same noise. The dealers response was that it was a characteristic of the car and told Steve to ''put up with it''. After some frustrating discussions with Ford, the car was once more checked and the noise was diagnosed as being caused by the front lower control arm. The arm was replaced and for a time it seemed the problem was fixed, but after a few days it returned. The car has now done 15,000km and the noise is still there. look for Sports looks Great chassis Responsive six-cylinder engine Five-star safety Few problems reported also check these HOLDEN COMMODORE SV6 2006-2009 The SV6 was new to the Holden range in the VZ model, and a sign that Holden is feeling the pressure from the XR6 success. While the SV6 used the 195 kW 3.6-litre Alloytec engine it lacked the low-down grunt of the Falcon six and needed to be revved higher to extract the performance. Good driver, but lacks road presence. Pay $17,500-$30,000. BMW 325i/330i 2000-2004 Smaller than the Falcon and costs more, but there's no doubting the on-road thrill of the smooth-revving small BMW six. You should pay between $15,000 and $35,000. MITSUBISHI 380 GT/GTL 2005-2008 Sadly gone the sports version of the doomed 380 was a neat driving car weighed down by the troubles of the company at the time. Value for money, worth taking a drive. Pay $15,000-$22,000. the bottom line Grunty engine, good driving chassis, good buy. RATING - 85/100 COMING UP: What do you think of your Holden Vectra (2003-2006)? Send your comments to Graham Smith at carsGuide or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. GRAHAM SMITH 281 Main Road, Glenorchy Phone: 6213 3315 Hans Kerkvliet 0411 174 411 Robert Heuke 0438 289 277 Hobart Great Wall $23,990. Drive away. The V240 4x2 Ute -- Leather trimmed seats, airbags, CD/radio, ABS/EBD, air conditioning, electric windows, alloy wheels and a 3-year/100,000km warranty... Great. 4x4 $3,000 extra. Metallic paint $350 extra. The Great Cars of China are here! $23,990. Drive away. The X240 4WD -- Leather trimmed seats, airbags, CD/radio/mp3, ABS, climate control, electric windows/mirrors/driver s seat, alloy wheels and a 3-year/100,000km warranty... Great. Metallic paint $350 extra. 275 Main Road, Glenorchy Phone: 6213 3315 Brian Anning 0418 531 853 • Chris Wakefield 0400 635 446 • Allan Gebel 0428 729 659 99 AU Falcon Forte -- good car...................................... $ 4,990 95 Suzuki Baleno -- automatic ......................................... $ 4,990 98 Ford Festiva -- alloys, 82,000 km ............................... $ 4,990 04 Kia Rio sedan -- 86,000 km ....................................... $ 6,990 00 Mitsubishi Lancer Coupe Gli -- 5-speed .......$7,500 01 Suzuki Liana -- low km ..................................................$7,990 05 Mitsubishi TW ES Magna -- 3.5 litre auto..... $8,490 02 Toyota Corolla Ascent -- hatch............................. $8,490 04 Suzuki Ignis -- 5 door .................................................... $8,950 97 Pajero GLX Wagon -- 3.0 litre auto..................... $ 8,990 02 Hyundai Santa Fe -- auto 4x4 ................................ $ 9,990 03 Astra City -- automatic ..................................................$10,490 98 Subaru Forester -- GX wagon................................$11,990 03 Nissan Navara ST-R -- turbo diesel.....................$19,990 Good cars at cheap prices! SPECIAL OF THE WEEK 01 Hyundai GL Santa Fe 2.4 Litre, 4x4 .............. $10,990
April 10th 2010
April 24th 2010