The rise in fuel prices has slashed new sales volumes and the used values of what once was the staple diet of fleet and family buyers: the large, six-cylinder sedan.
But with many desirable attributes, local heroes such as BA Falcon can provide good value, used buying.
What you get
The major re-engineering program by Ford to introduce the BA series in September 2002 delivered mechanical and equipment upgrades, a stylish new interior, new body sheet metal, plus greater attention to refinement and quality.
There’s a BA model to suit most tastes and standard kit improves as you ascend the model ladder from the base XT, through Futura, Fairmont and Fairmont Ghia. With enhancements including body kit and sports suspension, the XR6 adds sportiness to the range. For serious performance though, look for the XR6 Turbo.
Wagons, utes, dedicated LPG versions (the E-Gas), and V8 models round out the BA family. Mk II versions from October 2004 until replacement by the substantially revised BF series, offered minor upgrades.
How it drives
The re-engineered, 4.0-litre, double overhead cam, variable valve timing, six-cylinder engine offers plenty of torque through the rev range for effortless performance under any conditions. Most will be fitted with a four-speed auto with sequential sports shift, rather than the five-speed manual. The Falcon’s drive-train is more refined than rival Commodore.
BA’s control blade independent rear suspension helps endow it with a commendable blend of supple ride and competent handling. Improved steering and bigger brakes aid road manners.
Inside, there’s plenty of space and comfortable pews, while drivers will delight in the excellent ergonomics. Some models offer power adjustment of pedal position.
Reliability isn’t bad, but a professional inspection is recommended. Transmission oil coolers can fail allowing water into the auto. That could mean an expensive auto rebuild and radiator renewal. Check also for oil leaks from power steering hoses, cooling system leaks (especially water pumps), smooth and quiet transmission operation and differential noise. Brakes should be checked for shudder and deteriorated hoses. Validate scheduled servicing of oil and coolant changes.
Under the pump
BA Falcon (excluding E-Gas) will use between 9.0 litres and 15.0 litres of fuel every 100 km, depending on model and driving conditions.
What will it cost?
For an indication of what you would pay for this vehicle please go to CD's online car price guide
or our Car review Advice Service on 07 3666 9148 or 623 456 outside the Brisbane area.
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