Hey simmo ive had 2 xg xr6 utes i now have a 2001 pursuit ute, you cant compare the handling with a pursuit but ride isnt a whole lot different i had manual and auto both good just play more with manual once ya get used to to the xg,s they are a lota fun.
I've got a basic GLI tricked to look like xr6 It works OK for a ute but unless its an XR6 I wouldn't claim it handles or rides well - too stiff in the rear - even prefer the column change and rubber floor mats for a work ute.
If you are getting LPG get one with the tank under the floor so you can still fit a bed liner. Has been a good unit for $5k
Things I'd get done - bed liner, window tint, S Pack dash, 17" wheels, XH mirrors, cup holders, make the roll bar removable, fit stiffer sway bars, XR6 front and rear springs, relocate LPG tank under floor, replace the ugly Phase 5 scoop with a fake shaker and make 351C noises
Lot easier to live with than my XY but still not as good as an AU / BA
The XG is essentially the same as the XF, but with the OHC 4L engine.
The suspension is the same as older utes and sedans from as far back as the XA.
WHilst they don't handle too good standard, once fitted with decent springs, shocks, and sway bars, the handling can become excellent.
I had an XD ute for many years and now have an XH. Both cars were set up very well and had/have done several track days, I'd have to say that the newer ute doesn't handle any better under race track conditions.
This is confirmed with my brothers current XG ute, which also handles as good as my XH on the track.
On the road, however they suspension on the XG isn't as compliant and tends to crash and bang more. It is also wanders more and is just basically more unsettled when the going gets bumpy.
Performance is the same as the newer utes, quite lively. The same mods can be done the engine as any of the I6's.