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Journeys : August September 2009
Life on the move Driver training for all .drivers. Falcon XR6 ute W Modern vehicles Expert instructors Individual driving lessons for learners and driver assessment Safety Drive Package includes ROADSIDE ADVANTAGE cover and discounts on vehicle inspections, car insurance and RACT Batteries. Defensive Driver Training with both private and business courses. Hobart 6232 6399 Launceston 6335 5644 Devonport 6421 1944 Burnie 6434 2944 hen the opportunity to get into a current Falcon ute arose, I immediately got out the jobs-to-do list. If I had to drive a ute for a week I might as well make use of it. I quickly found the XR6 model supplied would do the business, but with its sleek sporty looks, would I want to get it dirty? The sedan version of the FG Falcon range has won a shed full of awards. Mechanically the sedan and ute are almost identical, with the major variation the ute’s rear suspension, which has remained leafsprung. While there are some compromises with this setup, it allows the Falcon ute in non-XR guise to carry up to 1000 kg, as opposed to its main rival, which has gone down the independent rear end and lesser carrying capacity path. In the cabin there’s plenty to like, with excellent supportive seats, more space behind the seats, CD stacker, MP3 and Bluetooth phone connection, climate and cruise control. Ergonomics are still classleading with interior design a generation ahead of its rival. Vision over the right shoulder isn’t fantastic, so good use of mirrors when lane-changing is required. The combination of Ford’s 195 kW 4 litre six and five speed auto transmission are well-suited. The engine offers great lowdown torque for when you have that load in the back. The transmission offers smooth shifts and has a sequential sportsshift mode if you want it. The acclaimed ZF six speed auto is available as standard on the XR6 Turbo version. www.ract.com.au 32 August / September 09 Despite the compromises of the leafsprung rear end, steering is precise and He says… Darren Moody well-weighted, with the standard 17” alloys and rubber contributing to the handling package. There isn’t the usual bounce from the rear end, although moderate acceleration from rest will induce tramp, even with the traction control supervising grip. Just because it’s a ute don’t think safety has been forgotten. Front and side airbags, seat belt reminders, ABS TC and ESP are fitted as standard. The test car was supplied with a standard vinyl cover for the ute body, using a nifty push-in channel design that allowed it to be secured to the body without the use of an elastic rope or press-button system. A hard cover is available from the options list. Does the XR6 ute deliver on the original purpose? Yes, it will do all the work you want during the week – add racing on Saturday, church on Sunday and the week is covered. Unfortunately for me, I was enjoying driving the XR6 so much that the todo list remained relatively unscathed, but there’s always another day and another ute. L P 6253
June July 2009
October November 2009