Heavier, but Falcon can still fly
Article from SMH
After five years in the shadow of Holden's Commodore, the Ford Falcon is back.
The $500 million Falcon has emerged the winner by a nose in a test by the Herald that compared the main models of both makers over a combined 20,000 kilometres.
A panel of motoring writers from the Herald and The Age drove four Fords and four Holdens more than 2500km from Canberra to Melbourne to Sydney and back to Melbourne. The route included freeways and sealed and unsealed rural roads.
Four of the five judges voted in favour of the Ford and praised it for having superior equipment, refinement and engine performance.
However, it ran into criticism for its increase in fuel consumption.
At a time when the world's car makers are trying to reduce fuel consumption, the Falcon has become thirstier because it has put on 130 kilograms and now weighs in at nearly 1.7 tonnes.
The Commodore still has a significant fuel economy advantage, but both models are now closer than ever in dynamics, styling and performance.
Despite the improvements, industry pundits - and Ford - believe it could take years for the Falcon to regain the mantle as Australia's best-selling car because the Holden Commodore has so much sales momentum.
Having invested double what Holden spent on the new Commodore, the president of Ford Australia, Geoff Polites, said: "I'm more interested in making a profit than selling more cars than Holden."
After the longest domination by Holden in the history of the two brands, it is hard to imagine that in October 1997, the last time the Falcon led the sales race, the pair were separated by just 81 sales. This year the gap will be close to 30,000.
You know, somebody actually complimented me on my driving today. They left a little note on the windscreen. It said, 'Parking Fine.'So that was nice.