Garry Fabian test drives and reviews the new four cylinder Falcon…
Will having two less cylinders help increase Falcon sales?
That is the $64 thousand dollar question.
The long term love affair Australian drivers have had with large six cylinder cars has cooled considerably in recent years as the trend to small, more economical cars continues to gather pace.
The latest offering from Ford, the 2.0 lt four cylinder Falcon EcoBoost may at first glance create doubts in the minds of big-six devotees, But I’m confident a drive will soon alleviate their misgivings.
Just a tickle of the accelerator produces instant reaction of a typically bigger engine.
The engine delivers more power than most will ever need in a family car, certainly around town, as well as being no slouch once you let it loose on the open road.
In all you get 353 Nm which is well in excess of the average small car.
But power is only one aspect of the EcoBoost, its flexibility makes the traditional six-cylinder feel redundant.
One of the slight negatives against the four-cylinder is that the towing capacity drops form 2300 kg to 1600 kg but unless you are towing a large caravan or heavy trailer, this will not be an issue with most users.
The EcoBoost engine is well balanced with the six-speed automatic transmission, which shifts smoothly, almost imperceptive even in heavy urban traffic.
Other than the changes under the bonnet, the car is the same as the FG Mark II, which has been around for over a year.
All the standard features have been retained – power windows and mirrors, remote central locking, a good sound and climate control system, reversing camera, proximity sensors, good leg and head room front and back, and lots of storage spots.
I do however have a couple of small criticisms -there’s a lack of a driver’s footrest, which is a bit annoying, particularly on long journeys, and the rear head rests are fixed, not adjustable.
The safety package is well designed, with multiple airbags, side impact protection, ABS, and other features.
Summing it up the Falcon EcoBoost provides a good alternative to the big six-cylinder version that has been a staple for Ford for 50 years.
It’s perfect for those who want economical motoring but don’t want to sacrifice the comfort and utility of a roomy larger car.
NUTS & BOLTS
Engine: 2.0 lt, four cylinder, producing 179 kW and 353 Nm.
Transmission: six-speed automatic, sequential drive.