2012 Ford Falcon G6 EcoBoost Review

Overall Rating

  • Interior

  • On The Road

  • Ancap

  • Value For Money

  • See Full Specs

What’s Hot

Good value, huge everywhere, light on its feet.

What’s Not

Fidgety ride over less-than-perfect surfaces, requires PULP for maximum power.

X Factor

That engine: it’s a real surprise.

  • Country of Origin
    AUSTRALIA
  • Price
    $40,835 (plus on-road costs)
  • Engine
    4 Cylinders
  • Output
    179 kW / 353 Nm
  • Transmission
    Sports Automatic
  • ANCAP Rating
    5
  • Airbags
    Driver & Passenger (Dual), Head for 2nd Row Seats, Side for 1st Row Occupants (Front), Head for 1st Row Seats (Front)
  • L/100 km
    8.5
  • C02
    201 g/km
  • Luggage Capacity
    N/A
  • Towing (braked)
    1600 kg
  • Towing (unbraked)
    750 kg
Peter Anderson | Aug 10, 2012 | 13 Comments

FORD FALCON ECOBOOST G6 REVIEW

Vehicle Style: large sedan
Price: $40,835 (plus on-roads)
Fuel Economy claimed: 8.5 l/100km | tested: 9.2 l/100km

The Ford Falcon is a stalwart of the Australian motoring industry. It’s been around for as long as many of us can remember.

The Falcon used to mean something that everyone understood - that badge signified a big Aussie six or eight under the bonnet, acres of room, and effortless long-distance motoring.

For families, it, and the Commodore, was the car of choice. But not now. For Ford Australia, if it’s to sell cars in the numbers it needs, tradition has to go out the window.

And so a four cylinder - turbo-charged, direct-injected, and as modern as tomorrow - now joins the ‘six’ in the Falcon range.

We slipped behind the wheel of the 2.0 litre EcoBoost G6 Falcon to spend a week finding out if Ford's new weapon - efficiency - is effective enough to win back some hearts.

The EcoBoost's media launch sent us around Tasmania, but now, in a new G6, we decided to put it into far wilder and more inhospitable conditions - Sydney.

INTERIOR

Quality: The fit and feel of the plastics is generally very good. And, although we noticed a couple of mismatched colours and textures, the stuff you touch feels good beneath the fingertips or palms.

The cabin is a little plain, but airy and solid, and generally has a better feel than its nearest competitor, Holden’s Commodore.

Comfort: The interior is gigantic, comfortable and perfectly agreeable. It’s an easy place to be, with good clearances for getting in and out.

The plastics and fabrics should prove hardy although the seats front and rear are squidgy around the edges and lacking in support when you decide to press on.

The seat backs could do with slightly firmer padding, but there’s plenty of adjustment for the driver, as there is with the steering column.

There were no complaints from the back, apart from the soft edges, and two kids can loll about without causing any territorial disputes.

Equipment: The G6 is the mid-tier specification level sitting between the XT and the G6E.

It features electric windows all round, cloth seats, climate control and infotainment screen. G6 spec also brings Bluetooth for voice and music streaming, plus USB connectivity for phones and music devices.

The touch-screen sits atop the centre stack, and is a good size and bright enough to see in sunlight. It’s no smartphone interface, more stab than touch-sensitive, but does feel like it will survive years of abuse

The rear parking sensors are very welcome in a car of this size, with a graphical assistant on the touch-screen a nice bonus.

Storage: Both front doors feature long, deep bins with a cutout for soft-drink sized bottles. The console storage bin and glove box are huge, with plenty of space to hide valuables.

Of course, the 535 litre boot is massive and largely free of awkward intrusions into the space, meaning luggage or boxes slot in easily through the wide-opening boot.

Fold-down rear seats also give it an edge over its Holden-badged competitor.

ON THE ROAD

Driveability: The whole point of this car is its engine. The 2.0 litre EcoBoost is a revelation. Boasting 179kW and a scarcely believable 353Nm of torque, it’s is astonishing for an engine of its size

It's no fireball, but every time we stepped in and put it through its paces, the idea that the Falcon 'needs' its six cylinder engine became more and more absurd.

It doesn’t feel any slower than the six on road, and, with all that torque, the performance is barely blunted even with a full load.

Put it to work, and the EcoBoost gets the 1648kg Falcon off the line smartly enough, but it's in the gears where the engine really impresses. There's a huge slab of torque sitting under the toe at mid-speeds - and virtually lag-free.

And, aided by the responsive six-speed transmission, there is no trouble shooting into gaps or overtaking. You quickly realise that the lighter, more frugal engine is all this car needs for the sort of driving most of us do.

Refinement: The EcoBoost engine can sound a tad rough when it’s cold, but most direct-injected engines do. Once it’s warm though, you won’t even be aware it’s running (so much so that a passenger asked me if the car featured stop-start).

The transmission is smooth and so well-tuned that sport mode is barely required. So we barely used it.

The claimed 8.5 l/100km looks quite achievable - we averaged 9.2 l/100km and never pushed past 10 l/100km, no matter how hard we tried.

Suspension: The EcoBoost's lighter weight also brings with it the Luxury Sports suspension tune. The car sits 13mm lower and is firmed up just a touch. Up front is Ford's double-wishbone ‘Virtual Pivot Control’ while the rear is a familiar ‘Control Blade’ setup.

This endows the G6 with excellent grip at the front. You can tip the car into corners at a brisk pace without having to worry about understeer.

You can also do this with the six, but the lighter four is more satisfying, more confidence-inspiring, and, yes, more competent.

With weight taken off both axles, most of it from the front, the car’s balance shifts towards the middle of the car and is more stable and settled as a result.

The steering is serene, if a bit light and lacking in feel, but this isn't a hot hatch.

Braking: The only debit is the brake pedal. The feel is odd; too soft for my liking (but not quite mushy). It took a bit of getting used to and some head-scratching, but the actual stopping power is pretty impressive with little dipping of the nose even when pushed hard.

SAFETY

ANCAP rating: 5-Stars

Safety features: Among a raft of safety features, the G6 has six airbags, ABS, dynamic stability control and traction control, which is now basically a minimum standard of most cars.

The reverse sensors are effective and the touch-screen shows a representation of what the radar is ‘seeing.’

WARRANTY AND SERVICING

Warranty: Three years/100,000km

Service costs: $250/15,000km/12mths

Ford’s myFord Price-Capped servicing starts at $250 per service and applies to A and B logbook services. An additional $75 charge applies for brake fluid if required and $215 for a radiator service.

The same service plan for the six-cylinder is $265.

HOW IT COMPARES | VALUE FOR MONEY

Holden Commodore Equipe ($39,990) - Also good buying (and a lot of car for the money) but the Falcon feels ‘classier’ on road and will cost less to run given its better fuel economy. (see Commodore reviews)

Toyota Aurion Prodigy ($41,490) - The Aurion is demonstrably smaller than the Falcon and also offers only front-wheel-drive against the Falcon’s nicely balanced RWD feel. It’s beautifully finished inside though.

As with the Commodore, the six-cylinder Aurion falls short of the EcoBoost’s frugality. (see Aurion reviews)

Skoda Superb 118 TSI Ambition ($38,990) The big, Czech-built Skoda might be a bit on the obscure side, but its 1.8 litre TSI engine provides comparable performance courtesy of its seven-speed DSG transmission.

Its very smart interior also offers more legroom than either Falcon or Commodore thanks to the front-drive layout. (see Superb reviews)

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

TMR VERDICT | OVERALL

Coming away from our time with the G6, we’re still shaking our heads at how great that engine is.

Its power deficit is tiny compared to the identically-priced six cylinder - but the EcoBoost feels slightly more nimble and more satisfying to drive.

The G6 won’t win any awards for interior or exterior styling, but Falcons have always been about honesty - what you see is what you get, no clever tricks, just a good solid effortless people’s car.

The G6 EcoBoost gives the Falcon a technology and efficiency boost that, when word gets out, may give it some renewed momentum in sales.

With this engine, a hugely underrated large car is made better.

Pricing

  • Falcon XT EcoBoost - $37,235
  • Falcon G6 EcoBoost - $40,835
  • Falcon G6E EcoBoost - $46,735

Filed under: Featured, review, Green, petrol, ecoboost, ford falcon, Falcon, ford ecoboost, 2012, australia, g6, Ford Falcon EcoBoost, sedan, automatic, Falcon EcoBoost, turbo, ford, family, large, Advice, special-featured, 4cyl, 4door, ford falcon g6, 6a, available, falcon g6

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  • Karl says,
    2 years ago
    Great car, great value. Although I'd still go the LPi personally.
  • rod says,
    2 years ago
    1 like
    It requires premium fuel...that just about negates any saving over the I6, which is quite happy to run on 91 RON. What is this motor going to be like after 100,000 k's? The I6 will be just run in and I suspect this 4 cylinder will be just about run out!!
    • Robbo says,
      2 years ago
      1 like
      What do you base that comment on, Rod? I'd suggest your fuel bill over 12 months will be less with the four than with the six. Ford can't market its cars worth a damn, but this is a good car, and broad, unfounded, flat-earther sentiments like this really add nothing to the discussion.
      • Roger says,
        2 years ago
        1 like
        From one perspective he has a point, the I6 is proven to last a long time (aka taxi's). My BF XR6T has 140K on it and still hauls like a train all the way to red line, and still has more than enough to hold a VE SS (thats why I kept it so long, cannot see any point in getting a new one). But nobody makes engines like that anymore. Its the same engine that is in a 310Kw F6 that have stood the test of time as well. Its not to say that if this EcoBoost engine has been built properly it wont last, but we just dont know. Historically 4 cylinders are pretty shot after 150K, but turbocharging may address that by eliminating the requirement to rev them. Having a strong mid range means the engine wont have to work hard (rev hard = friction = wear = failure eventually). Time will tell, but in most circumstances new car buyers arent concerned with longevity as they change them over regularly.
        • Chris says,
          2 years ago
          You comment about turbo 4's lasting longer maybe correct as I have a TX5 turbo thats done 255,000 & is still going strong on the original motor. The turbo means you done have to rev the motor hard to get good performance with plenty of torque down low. I feel pretty confident the Ecoboost will go the distance.
      • ian says,
        2 years ago
        robbo you are dreaming , rod is dead right, who is the flat earther ?, and the turbo setup wont do 500 to 600 thousand ks like the six will before it needs expensive work, no way on this earth.
  • Mark says,
    2 years ago
    Reads well, an impressive car. If I was looking at buying in the near future, this would be on my 'test' list for sure.
    Regardless, there is no good excuse these days for all levels of Australian govt to NOT BUY OZ MADE CARS. There is no shortage of models on offer at competitive prices, and it makes a lot more sense than providing regular hand outs to the industry or providing welfare benefits to the workers loosing their jobs.
    Its time there was a consolidated MADE IN OZ car campaign, even if it cost millions, and it starts with the government putting its money where its mouth is and leading by example. 1/3 of all purchases Australian made simply isn't good enough.
  • FrugalOne says,
    2 years ago
    2 likes
    I would say this is the dumbest thing FoA have done

    If you buy a Falcon u buy a 6 or 8

    What they should have done was a Diesel donk, the 2.2 that everybody else is using, 1100km range anybody?

    If the IL6 was brought up to date:

    Direct injection
    Displacement on demand
    Idle stop
    Higher compression
    FIATS Multiair

    It would use less fuel than the E/Boost, AND made in Australia, and cheaper

    WIN x WIN x WIN

    THE BIGGEST issue the Falcodore have today is the price, they are way to expensive, need to be $30k DRIVEAWAY, its another reason sales have fallen
    • OutbackOZ
      OutbackOZ says,
      2 years ago
      1 like
      You want them to have better quality (as u said in another post) but drop the price!! You cant have it both ways. And even still i bet you still wouldnt buy one any way.

      As for this eco boost, dont knock it till your drive it, i took one for a spin and i was very surprised. I still wouldnt buy one. (falcons or commodores) As it doesnt suit my needs with family and travel. But it is a nice finish and drive!

      For car manufacturers to produce a car to suit all, its just not going to happen. The worst thing is its alway the critics that take stabs at them for not doing this not doing that and make the most noise.
      • FrugalOne says,
        2 years ago
        I own a BF11 Falcon on LPG only smile

        Yes, you CAN and do buy better for less, its called Made In Asia, and thats what the market is doing biggrin

        Falcodores are doomed sad
  • Gothy says,
    2 years ago
    1 like
    I have to say as good as the 4.0 litre 6 cyl is, and I know as I own a 2009 XR6. The Ecoboost is a better engine. It's quicker, quieter and 3 litres more fuel efficient city driving. If my next car is a Falcon I would definitely go the Ecoboost!
  • steve Parker says,
    2 years ago
    What do you base that comment on, Rod? I appreciate your energy bills over 12 months less than the four to six. ford can not market its cars worth a damn, but this is a good car, and broad, unfounded, flat-earther feeling when absolutely nothing to add to the discussion.
  • Jeff says,
    6 months ago
    The engine is fine but the suspension is sh1t. I've had my for almost 2 years and the suspension started giving problems at 15K. The Ford service techs cant find the problem and just give the excuse, "Leave it until it gets worse and then we'll find the issue". I'll be dumping mine for an Asian made car soon.
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