It might be facing trouble in the form of declining big-sedan sales, but Ford's latest iteration of the perennial Falcon sedan has carried out a major coup by attaining the first ever 5-star ANCAP rating for an Australian-built car. Initially we thought that the 5-star score would only be awarded to the G6E and G6E Turbo, the only Falcons fitted as standard with curtain and thorax air-bags, but we happily stand corrected - every Falcon sedan (with the exception of the eGas range which does not currently feature DSC) is now a 5-star ANCAP performer.
Thanks to its extensive list of standard safety equipment, the FG managed to score a very impressive 34.6 points out of a possible 37. In the offset frontal impact test, the FG's score of 14.6 was well above the VE's 11.5 and a full point ahead of the Toyota Aurion's 13.6. Side impact results were also better than the Commodore's, with the FG scoring 16 points against the VE's 15 and the Aurion's 15.4.
The FG's final tally was also better than that achieved by much more expensive machinery from Europe, with the 2004-onward E-Class Benz and the 2003-on 5 Series BMW losing out to the Falcon.
It's most certainly welcome news for Ford Australia and will no doubt become a major selling point for the automaker. Ford Australia President Bill Osborne was understandably pleased:
"These safety test results add further validation to the extensive crash simulation process and physical crash test program conducted by Ford Australia for the FG Falcon, which was the most comprehensive in the company's history," he said.
Ford conducted a grand total of 426 physical crash tests of the FG during its development, and over 5000 computer simulated tests as well. The FG also aced two of ANCAP's three physical crash tests, backing up Ford's safety claims for the large sedan.
So, what kind of gear helped the FG score so highly? Well, among the active safety systems (the ones that prevent you from having an accident) were:
- Dynamic Stability Control, with traction control
- ABS, with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution and Emergency Brake Assist
- A driver fatigue warning, which sounds an alarm after a set period of continuous driving
- Stickier tyres with greater grip in both wet and dry conditions
- Reverse parking sensors and a reversing camera, standard on the G6E and G6E Turbo.
In the event your FG does manage to get you into a spot of bother, Ford's extensive list of passive safety features will help you stay alive and in one piece. These features include:
- A stronger passenger safety cell, which uses high-strength Boron steel in the B-Pillar area to increase rollover protection.
- Head-protecting side airbags fitted as standard for all Falcon models, with curtain and thorax airbags a $300 option in all models bar the G6E and G6E Turbo.
- More sensitive airbag triggers and vehicle sensors, which help fire airbags more precisely and in better synchronisation with passenger movements
Congratulations Ford Australia for a job well done.