1996 Ford Falcon Reviews from Australia and New Zealand - Page 3 of 5

1996 Ford Falcon GLi 4.0L petrol + LPG

Year of manufacture1996
First year of ownership2004
Most recent year of ownership2006
Engine and transmission 4.0L petrol + LPG Automatic
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 6 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Dealer Service marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.2 / 10
Distance when acquired259000 kilometres
Most recent distance296000 kilometres
Previous carToyota Camry


Comfortable, spacious, but..


Heater tap had to be replaced

Two water hoses needed replacement

Airbox exploded

Two sets of rotors and two sets of brake pads in only 37,000km

Transmission repeatedly leaked oil

Transmission was randomly shifting

Engine was burning off lots of oil

Engine produced a lot of soot under high load, resulting in emission of thick black smoke

Brakes fading severely under stress

Plastic headlights turned yellow.

General Comments:

When I purchased the car, it was pretty good looking with only minor blemishes like a very worn steering wheel and a burn mark on the drivers seat.

The first six months, all was fairly well, but then the trouble started. Within the next six months, the car was in the garage three times with severe water leaks. After about 10,000km, I had to replace rotors and pads at the front, after another 20,000km another set of rotors and pads was due. I am heavy on the accelerator and therefore heavy on the brakes, but I have never managed to wear down a set of rotors, or pads for that matter, in just 20,000km. The brakes did bite fairly well when cold, but under a bit of stress, they faded very quickly and at dangerous levels.

At one stage the engine backfired and literally ripped the airbox into pieces. This resulted in pieces of plastic being sucked into the intake manifold and one larger piece held the butterfly valve fully open, so I lost all control over the acceleration of the engine. The only way to stop the car was to turn the engine off in the middle of a freeway.

The transmission was pretty rough shifting and had the tendency to randomly shift back for no reason. One second you are cruising on the freeway doing 110km/h, the next, the transmission shifts back into second, reving the engine almost into the limiter. When you took the foot off the accelerator, it shifted back up and as soon as you put the foot down again, it did the back shift again. Putting the auto into neutral and back into "D" fixed the problem, but only for a short time. From what I've heard, that's a fairly common problem with the EF Falcons.

The fuel economy was also pretty bad. within city traffic, less than 14 litres/100km was impossible and 14-15 the standard when running on petrol, 20l/100km when running on LPG. Even on long distance trips, less than 12 litres was very rare. Sure, a 4 litre engine is pretty thirsty, but this is extreme. You can tell the car was built when petrol was still dirt cheap.

I have no Idea who had the bright Idea to fit the car with plastic headlights, but it was a bad one. They may not break as easily as glass does, but instead, they turn yellow, resulting in a pretty poor visibility at night.

I also didn't think the car was very well built. In the interior, everything was rattling, squeaking and humming and the front suspension was also very noisy. I do realise that many of these noises develop with age, but I've had older cars that didn't have these problems.

If it wasn't for all the trouble I had with it, the Falcon would have been a pretty nice car. It was decent looking, comfortable, spacious and a nice ride on long distance trips.

I am willing to accept that the car was a lemon. If it wasn't, I couldn't understand how anybody would possibly consider buying a Falcon. But lemon or not, I've had two Fords in my life and both were crap, to say the least. It's enough for me to not ever buy a Ford again.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 28th March, 2006

11th May 2006, 02:08

I reckon stick to your Camry. I'm sure it is a lot less troublesome :).

9th Jul 2006, 02:00

It is strange the vastly different experiences different people can have with the same type of car. My parents had a Falcon for 6 years (it was a 94 ED), they bought it second hand with 160,000 kilometres on the clock, and while they had it they clocked up 120,000 - during this time the only problem they had with it was the thermostat in the radiator stuffed up, they replaced it the same day and never had another problem (the car already had 260,000 kilometres on it when this happened). It started everytime, they were definitely sad to see it go.

1996 Ford Falcon EL 4 Litre

Model year1996
Year of manufacture1996
First year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 4 Litre Automatic
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.8 / 10
Distance when acquired158000 kilometres
Most recent distance182000 kilometres
Previous carNissan Pintara


Stylish, reliable, solid, cheap to own, does everything, handles well, great torquey motor


Only normal general maintenance has been carried out. Regular servicing, water pump and drive/cooling belt replaced. Automatic serviced, diff fluid changed. Coolant changed yearly.

New tyres, exhaust and brakes shortly after buying it. New battery.

Minor repair to electric window (Silicone release spray is the lubricant to use on the runners).

General Comments:

The Falcon (Futura) is a VERY good car.

Reliable, comfortable, excellent cruiser, handles well and relaxing to drive.

It is a bit thirsty around town with the air conditioning going. That is to be expected with a wagon weighing about 1.7 tonnes.

I needed a wagon to carry my sons Double Bass in.

Research on the net gave me the choice of 2 models. The EL falcon or a VT Commodore. This was $10,000, the VT would have been about $18,000. I prefer to not have a lot of money depreciating on the road or being dented in the carparks.

The servicing I lavish upon my older cars makes them great to drive and cheaper in the long run. Preventative maintenance is VERY economic to do. I am an Electronics Tech, we do a lot of preventatitive maintenance. Downtime is just too expensive.

Any garage can work on it, bills are cheap. Some of my friends have exotic cars, their bills are many times higher than mine.

My nickname for this car is "The Jolly Green Giant".

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th January, 2005

26th Dec 2010, 15:14

I also have an EL wagon that I bought for $5000 with 152,000kms on the clock. Depreciation? At that cost, who cares?

So far I have had to replace the front shockies (one had a slight leak), the water pump, fan belt and three steering knuckles. All quite cheap fixes.

Drives great on the open road from Mount Isa to Townsville, and fuel cost around town isn't high enough to worry about, considering the ability to fit all the grandkids in with their their bikes and skateboards.

My wife loved the car so much, she bought a BA station wagon with 160,000 on the clock in beautiful condition for $9,000. No problems with it, other than an intermittent ABS switch that never plays up in the workshop.

Average review marks: 7.6 / 10, based on 13 reviews