I found BOF's thread most interesting as I also just picked my new NA XR6 up on Friday and have spent this weekend enjoying the new car experience. In NZ the basic XR6 comes standard with LSD, rear power windows and side airbags (I guess this is reflected in the list price NZ49,995).
Having stepped out of a AU1 Forte, the BA experience is unbelievable from an engine and handling perspective. I can understand why everyone raves about the sound of the Barra at 5000rpm, its a symphony! I chose to go with the auto trans and never even drove the manual version. The manual gearbox and clutch seem to be disliked by most other than those who must select their own cogs. Corners can be attacked with confidence even in the wet weather we have experienced this entire weekend. Hopefully next weekend will provide some dry roads for a good long trip......
My only grumble is the interior fitout and finish. Whilst the dash and controls are attractive and practical, it feels cheap and nasty in other areas, like the cup holder flap and the empty box between the front seats. A mate of mine has a Mondeo ST V6, whose interior the BA's seem to have been modelled on, yet the Mondeo's interior is streets ahead and has the solid "feel" of a decent European car. I wonder if my expectations in this area are too high, or the development budget ran out after the suspention and engine guys got busy. I would also like the option of fitting aftermarket stereo equipment, which isn't an option with the BA's.
Small fry stuff though, when the performance is as great as it is!
I would have to "sit on the fence" for this debate, so please read on and allow me to contradict myself :D
I mean the comand centre / dash looks awesome, very neat and precise however there is alot of plastic on the door skins and handles, and the fact the exterior shows through on the gaps on the doors gives a "cold" feel to the interior strictly because of the fact you can see metal!
Ofcourse whilst the dash looks nice the compound used also looks cheap but at the same time serves a purpose. Ford opted for this matte material in an effort to reduce glare from the sun on the dash, ofcourse it works however does look very plasticky.
On the other hand, the full revamp of the dash cosmetically is amongst the nices on the market, (better then holdens confusing button arrangments) cant see too much improvements and so on that note can only be picky on the materials they used and not the layout.
AND the empty box in the middle of the front chairs is a good idea considering the glovebox is small.
2003 BA XR8
Blood Orange, Manual, Leather Interior, Premium Sound, DVD Navigation System.
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