FORD AUSTRALIA has confirmed that it won't upgrade its range of FG Falcon utes to offer side and curtain airbags as standard. This is despite the recent announcement from Holden that the entire 2010 Commodore ute line-up will feature six airbags from the factory.
In its base form, the Ford Falcon ute currently scores 4-Stars under ANCAP's testing protocol. A 5-Star rating is only possible with the passing of a side-impact pole test.
Ford offers an optional safety pack that includes side, head and thorax airbags for its FG ute range, and stability control is available on base model utes as a factory option. However there are no immediate plans to make such features standard equipment across the range.
Speaking at a recent press conference, Ford Australia President and CEO Marin Burela said ute customers preferred to have the extra safety kit available, but did not want it fitted as standard if it necessitated a price rise.
The Falcon ute currently features dual front airbags and ABS with electronic brakeforce distribution as standard.
Stability control, traction control and emergency brake assist are standard from XR6 grade upwards, and optional on lower-spec models.
The base Falcon ute with an automatic transmission retails for $1731 less than the equivalent auto-equipped Commodore ute, making it a slightly more attractive proposition for ute buyers on a budget.
Mr Burela said that Ford Australia would be keeping a keen eye on how buyers react to Holden's new safety-enhanced Commodore ute over the coming months, and making the safety pack standard-fit across the Falcon ute range wasn't entirely out of the question.
The FG Falcon sedan range currently boasts a full 5-Star ANCAP rating.