Cheap as Chips Grand Tourer
The only thing that has gone wrong with the car in my brief time (about 1.5 months) of owning it has been a rusted metal pipe that carries water to the engine and so has developed a leak.
I purchased my beautiful 1990 EA Series 2 Ford Fairmont Ghia in August 2007 to replace my old Falcon S that was wearing out a bit.
It was and is in immaculate condition save a few extremely minor details such as some small stone chips and a cigarette burn on the passenger seat.
The Muliport Inline six of the ghia gains an additional 19KW and 26NM on the Falcons 120KW 311NM engine for a total of 139KW and 338NM. Off the line it is barely faster, but as speed and revs build the difference is really noticeable.
The gearing is very tall as is typical for a ford and allows for quiet and relaxed highway cruising at speeds of 160+ km/h, but it still rips to 100 from standstill in the high seven/low eight second range. High speed in gear acceleration is very strong, the gearbox downshifts eagerly and the engine revs more strongly than the Central Fuel Injected Falcon Motor.
The manual override isn't the best as there is a slight pause between moving the shifter and the gearshifts.
The cars primitive leaf springs certainly show when cornering, while it is stable at higher speeds it breaks traction very easily at lower speeds especially in the wet, despite large 65/205 mag wheels.
Despite being very large and heavy, the ghia is as easy to maneuver and handle as any small sedan due to its feather light power steering. The power assistance is very strong at low speeds and allows for easy parking, but unlike my old falcon doesn't twitch as much at higher speeds as the assistance decreases.
The seats are very comfortable and supportive with side bolsters for the driver and passenger and are made of a very nice soft plush velour material. The controlls and instruments are excellent and intuitively layed out, a large digital speedometer nicely contrasts the analog rev counter.
The Trip computer seems to be very accurate to within a few kilometers of what it predicts and also beeps to warn of low fuel levels or faults/hazards.
Economy is quite good for a large car with the trip computer showing around 14 litres per 100 kms when driven sedately.
To put it simply, this big Ford has all the power, performance and features if not the handling of a European sports sedan, for a small fraction of the price. 2000 dollars is cheap indeed for such a pleasing car to drive and own.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 29th October, 2007