2011 FPV GS Automatic Sedan Review

Overall Rating

  • Interior

  • On The Road

  • Ancap

  • Value For Money

  • See Full Specs
  • Country of Origin
    AUSTRALIA
  • Price
    $57,990 (plus on-road costs)
  • Engine
    8 Cylinders
  • Output
    315 kW / 545 Nm
  • Transmission
    Sports Automatic
  • ANCAP Rating
    5
  • Airbags
    Driver & Passenger (Dual), Side for 1st Row Occupants (Front), Head for 1st Row Seats (Front)
  • L/100 km
    13.7
  • C02
    325 g/km
  • Luggage Capacity
    N/A
  • Towing (braked)
    1600 kg
  • Towing (unbraked)
    750 kg
Mike Stevens | Feb 17, 2011 | 13 Comments

FPV GS REVIEW

Vehicle Style: Large performance sedan
Price: $56,990

Engine: 5.0 litre supercharged ‘Miami’ V8 petrol
Outputs: 315kW @ 5750rpm / 545Nm @ 2200-5500rpm
Transmission: six-speed automatic
Official fuel efficiency: 13.6 l/100km
On test fuel efficiency: 12.8 l/100km
CO2 emissions: 325g/km

The supercharged ‘Miami’ V8-powered 2011 GS enters the FPV line-up as a permanent member of the Ford sporting family; it follows the limited-edition and less-powerful GS of last year.

The new model is an impressive stand-in for the Falcon XR8, its 5.4 litre 'Boss' V8 a casualty of tightening emissions laws.

Priced to compete with the Holden SS V Redline, FPV’s slick GS has genuine muscle and is a strong-value entry into the performance segment.

INTERIOR

  • Quality: The GS’s interior - its leather (fitted to our car as an option), plastics and metal garnishes - are of high quality and fit and finish is commendably good. Highlights include a boost gauge, carbon fibre-like pattern and a build number plate.
  • Comfort: The squabs and backrests up front are comfortable, although slimmer drivers may find the wide seats and low bolsters lacking in lateral support.

    Driver's seat gets power adjustment for height, with manual controls for slide and backrest. Passenger’s seat is entirely manual.

    There is also tilt/reach adjustment for the steering wheel, and leg, shoulder and head room is excellent throughout.
  • Equipment: CD/iPod/Bluetooth, climate control, push-button starter and 19-inch alloys. Premium audio package with six-CD stacker available as an option, along with dual-zone climate control.
  • Storage: 60/40 split-fold rear seat. The boot is huge at 535 litres.

ON THE ROAD

  • Driveability: The GS’s supercharged engine ensures plenty of torque on demand, with maximum twist available from about 2000rpm in a smooth, linear delivery.

    The auto features the familiar sport mode, and while ‘D’ is adequate, it’s the sport mode that sets the GS alight. Throttle response is instant, gears are held longer and - in manual mode - there’s a welcome throttle blip on downshifts.
  • Refinement: Inside, the GS is relatively quiet, although its large wheels and low-profile tyres see some road noise. In highway driving, there’s noticeable wind noise from the base of the A-pillars.
  • Suspension: FPV has re-tuned the suspension to match the 40kg lighter engine, resulting in excellent poise and composure both when cornering and on uneven surfaces. Ride is firm, but it offers enough compliance to be a comfortable commuter and family car.
  • Braking: With the same brakes as the XR8 (322mm and 302mm discs, sliding calipers), the 315kW GS is under-braked in our view, even as an entry model.

    Feel through the pedal is soft, making it poorly matched to the ability of the engine. A shame, then, that the GT's four-piston Brembos are no longer an option on the GS.

SAFETY

  • ANCAP rating: 5-Star
  • Safety features: driver/passenger front, side head/thorax and curtain airbags. Driver’s seatbelt reminder. ESC, traction control, ABS, EBD and Brake Assist.

WARRANTY AND SERVICING

  • Warranty: 3year/100,000km warranty.
  • Service costs: First service at 3000km, subsequent services every 15,000km. For costs, check with your FPV dealer before buying.

HOW IT COMPARES | VALUE FOR MONEY

  • Holden SS V Redline automatic ($59,790) - 45kW and 15Nm down on the GS, the Redline however gets Brembo brakes and the special FE3 ‘super sports’ suspension.

    The Redline is slightly more controllable, but the FPV has the better interior. (see SS V reviews)
  • Chrysler 300C 5.7 V8 sedan ($60,990) - Visually polarising, and not as powerful as the GS or SS V Redline.

    However if you want an affordable V8 RWD sedan and don't want a Holden or Ford, the 300C is your sole remaining option.

    Note: all prices are Manufacturer’s List Price and do not include dealer delivery or on-road costs.

TMR VERDICT | OVERALL

For a while now, FPV has played second fiddle in the power wars - but with its new supercharged V8, even HSV’s top-shelf GTS can rightly be wary of the GS.

With its sharp price, that world-class locally-modified engine, and FPV’s always admirable build quality inside and out, the GS is a genuinely good buy.

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Filed under: Featured, review, petrol, FPV, v8, supercharged, FPV GS, rwd, sedan, performance, family, large, enthusiast

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  • DM says,
    4 years ago
    I am not a ford or holden man but It irks me when reviewers dont compare like for like.
    The GS is priced almost exactly the same as the SS-V auto.... not the redline model. The redline model is a package option with the brembo brakes included, just as you can tick the brembo option on the ford. So you either compare them both with the brembo option ticked or you dont. Yes the Ford will then be $1500 more, but the features will be comparable and the reader can then choose whether the GS would be $1500 better or not.
  • Steve Thompson says,
    4 years ago
    1 like
    .. and the only difference between as GS and a GT's output lies in the ECU - a performance bargain. Get one while you still can...
  • MotorMouth says,
    4 years ago
    I don't see how anyone could say the Falcon's interior is better than Commodore's. In some areas it is great but the whole thing is completely ruined by the glove-box lid, which is a flat piece of plastic that just falls into the passenger's lap when you open it. I'm wracking my brain but I can't think of a cheaper/nastier glove-box on any car, at any price, and it drags the whole experience right down IMO. The only thing I don't like about the sporting Commodore's interior is the tiny instruments, and that's a very minor gripe.
    • Terri10 says,
      4 years ago
      3 likes
      What a load of ......... There are no problems with the glovebox lid. Grasping at straws much??

      And the Commodore interior whilst better than it was is still a whole generation behind, and Ford are about to update and refresh again.

      We've been shopping around for a new family car:

      After having sat in (and in some cases test driven) an FG G6 and XR6, Territory, Calais, Aurion (don't know why I bothered) and several Korean SUV's we have probably settled on the XR6 path.

      My point here however is the standout complaints from other family members during the whole process that helped to shape the decision:
      "Don't like the wierd styling" - Sorento
      "What are we doing here dad?" - Aurion
      "The one in the TS is much better" - base model TX Territory dash
      "Eergh, thats a crap dash" - Calais
      "Wow thats disapointing" - Calais interior
      "Seats aren't comfy in the back" - Calais
      "What a wierd handbrake, that would get really annoying" - Calais
  • Steve Thompson says,
    4 years ago
    @ MotorMouth - and the handbrake. It goes toe to toe with the FG glovebox for the title of worst piece of plasticy crap ever.

    Both cars interiors are let down by the plastics I reckon.
  • MotorMouth says,
    4 years ago
    I quite like the Commodore's hand-brake - it is nice and chunky and something a little different. I don't get the obsession with plastics, though. The only time I've ever been impressed with them are on the window sills of the Volvo C30's doors. Whatever they use for that is very impressive, everything else is just plastic. I don't see that the Commodore's is any better at all than my $70,000 Brera, to be honest, although the Brera does use real aluminium instead of plastic on the dash, which definitely counts for something.
    • super matthew
      Super Mattthew says,
      4 years ago
      2 likes
      Clearly it's all a matter of opinion and perspective. I've driven various FG models a few times and used the glovebox; whatever problems it may have certainly didn't leap out at me.
      • MotorMouth says,
        3 years ago
        Maybe the one I hired was broken but, unlike every other glove-box I can think of, it didn't have any inertial damping on the hinge, it just flopped open like my 1959 Hillman Minx used to. At least the Minx's lid was steel though, so it was better than the FG's.
  • PeterG says,
    3 years ago
    Why aren't exteriors rated ?
    For example the door stripes cheapen its looks.
  • MotorMouth says,
    3 years ago
    IN fact, when I saw the thumbnail on the front page of the site, the white-on-white image looked like an AU or BA, not an FG. To me, that is Falcon's biggest problem - it's styling is carrying way too much baggage.
  • 288gto
    288gto says,
    3 years ago
    Ywan .... another clone of a clone
  • Steve Thompson says,
    3 years ago
    True that 288gto - I hope the 'retro' thing will go quietly when baby boomers have exhausted demand for it. The stripes on GT and GS are awful IMO.
  • PeterG says,
    3 years ago
    More likely bogans than boomers that go for the stripes
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