Road Test : Ford Falcon EcoBoost
Review by Tristan Tancredi - 3 October 2012
The Ford Falcon Ecoboost is an attempt by Ford to reinstate the Large Family Sedan on the market.
We can imagine the folk at Broadmeadows assembling one day to discuss the sales decline of the large family sedan. The outcome from such meetings, The Ford Falcon Ecoboost. A vehicle powered by a 2.0 litre engine, capable of conserving fuel and polluting less and built specifically for the harsh Aussie outback.
This would definitely entice some back into the large sedan market, but is this car capable of saving the large car segment.
The Ecoboost engine moves this vehicle with seemingly little to no effort.
The ZF 6-speed automatic transmission with Sequential Sports Shift zips through the gears at appropriate intervals and rarely does the car exceed the neccessary rev count. Thus creating a smooth and quiet transit.
The car handled itself well for a large sedan on a variety of surfaces. Chucking it around a tight corner and the vehicle was completely responsive. Planting the foot to the floor and the car surprisingly (for a 2.0 litre engine) responded positively, in fact, reaching 0-100 km/h in 6.5 seconds. Compare that to the G6E turbo (0-100 km/h in 5.1 seconds) and it is very respectable.
This is even more impressive when you take a look at the fuel consumption figures. The Falcon Ecoboost consumes 8.5 litres per 100 kilometres, whilst in comparison the G6E turbo consumes 11.7 litres per 100 kms. We know which car we would prefer to have.
The Ford Falcon Ecoboost garners it's name from 'Ecoboost' which roughly means 'better performance at a lower cost'.
Ecoboost technology, like the environmentally friendly engines of the Hondas and the Toyotas, enables a larger vehicle, like a Ford Falcon to be adequately supported by a smaller engine.
The 2.0 litre Ecoboost engine is said to emit 15% less greenhouse gas, whilst providing 20% greater fuel efficiency, but does this translate to a lack of raw power. Figures suggest that the Ecoboost engine provides a maximum power output of 179kW at 5500rpm and maximum torque at 353Nm at 2000rpm. Pretty decent figures we must admit.
A vehicle that: 1) is fitted with an Ecoboost engine to enhance fuel efficiency and 2) exceeds expectations of power and speed gets a massive tick from us. It's just a shame that Ford may have introduced this car a little too late into the decline of the large sedan.
The latest Falcon measures in at 4955mm long, 1868mm wide and 1453mm high.
As mentioned in our review of the Falcon XT MKII EcoLPi, the body upgrade to the Falcon over the past couple of years have been small at best. Tiny tweaks here and there to create an overall more pleasing exterior design.
With the current Falcon comes front fascia refinements. Sleek style lines run the length of the vehicle and 16" alloys sit beneath this "soon to be taxi".
The Ford Falcon comes with a 5-Star ANCAP safety rating.
The lovely folk in Broadmeadows have made the Falcon a reliable and safe vehicle fitted with a host of safety features.
These features include: Curtain, Front Seat Side/Thorax Airbags, Crash Severity Sensor, Dynamic Stability Control (Traction Control, EBA), ABS, EBD and driver fatigue warning.
No surprise ANCAP gave it 5 stars.
The degree of difficulty when connecting ones bluetooth changes from manufacturer to manufacturer varies. Some require the user manual to make any progress, others are as simple as 1,2,3. In Fords case, thankfully it is the latter.
Even the technologically impaired would have little, if any, dramas connecting the Ford handsfree bluetooth.
It is with this example that best describes the inside of the Ford Falcon: Simple. From the dash layout, the steering wheel controls, to the media functionality, everything about the Ford Falcon is simple to use and easy to access.
The use of the word Simple in this case is a positive one. Too often these days, cars are cluttered with too many buttons, dials and controls. Not the case with the Ford Falcon.
The seating space in this large family sedan is generous and easily accomodates a party of five. The cloth trim covering the seats is comfortable and not surprisingly, simple. There is plently of bootspace available and with a 60/40 rear split, theres enough room for a road trip.
Other notable interior features include; A 5.8" LCD dot matrix monochrome display (An 8" Colour Touch Screen is Optional), Multi-Function Display (featuring distance to empty, average speed, average fuel consumption and heaps more) and Automatic Climate Control.
The Ecoboost is impressive from every angle. This should truly be the benchmark for the large car industry.
Consumers these days tend to be leaning toward the fuel efficient, affordable, safe crossover SUVs and the like. Let's hope the large family sedan has greener pastures in the near future. With cars like the Ford Falcon Ecoboost, they deserve a brighter future.
In the market for a family car, check out this Aussie made product which starts at $37,235.
* Prices are manufacturer list prices only, for the drive away price please contact your local authorised Ford dealer.
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