Here are a few quotes from the Drive section of the Herald-Sun newspaper.
Paul Gover - A
"First impression? The car looks tough in traffic, the cabin is much more luxurious, and the steering wheel is uncomfortable.
Next? The Turbo-charged six is hugely impressive with sensational acceleration - almost from idle, the suspension feels more compliant, and the headlights are great."
"But the most impressive thing about the BA was how the car shrank around me.
It felt far more nimble, precise and balanced than any previous Falcon and that's a feeling that carries through the whole BA range.
The steering has great feedback, the front-to-rear balance is better than before - without any of the sharpness or crashing in the nose and cornering grip is very impressive."
"The turbocharged engine is just plain brilliant. It doesn't have the tailpipe thunder of a V8, but it's more usable and promises to be lighter at the bowser. The five-speed gearbox, with a bold Momo alloy knob on top, felt just a little crisper."
"It wasn't down to the XR6 package, but the overall updating and upgrading . Ford has done a massive amount of work and the result is a car that's better in every area. It's going to make plenty of people take a fresh look at a Falcon"
Gavin McGrath - A+
"After driving an AUII Falcon as a starting point, the BA Falcon simply does everything better than the car it replaces"
"The biggest improvements occur in the base model XT, which has ditched the "poverty pack" feel once and for all. As a fleet model, the XT has an interior look and touch to a level you would find in some more expensive European cars."
"Overall the BA is an impressive car"
Graham Smith - B (Anti-Ford)
"It's a good car and a huge leap forward from the AU, but there were things - like shoddy build quality - that disappointed.
Bubbling crash pads, loose trim parts, poorly-fitting doors, clunking rear suspension and varying levels of wind noise suggesting that Ford hasn't pegged down the production bugs. Given that the cars were going to be driven by the media, it's disappointing the problems weren't fixed"
The risk in running a media campaign over such an extended period is that the car won't live up to expectations, and that's the way it was for me with the interior. While it is a huge advance over the very plastic AU interior, it falls well short of Euro look and feel that was promised.
The high-end home stereo look fell far short of Bose or B&Q.
It was rather bland, the finish was obviously plastic and the feel of the controls was sloppy.
Those criticisms aside, the six cylinder engine is superb, in both normally-aspirated and turbo form.
It is so good that it overshadows the new V8. Likewise, the Falcon's on-road feel is good.
The steering is progressive, the handling well-balanced with high level of grip, and the ride is well controlled and comfortable., although in my view the ride of the Fairmont Ghia is too firm for a car touted as the ultimate luxury model.
Graham Smith has a right to his own opinions but he is a complete idiot.
He doesn't deserve to drive a Ford.