2004 Ford Falcon Reviews from Australia and New Zealand

2004 Ford Falcon XR6 Turbo 4.0 turbo petrol

Model year2004
Year of manufacture2004
Most recent year of ownership2014
Engine and transmission 4.0 turbo petrol Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 4 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Dealer Service marks 1 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 3 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
4.4 / 10
Distance when acquired60000 kilometres
Most recent distance130000 kilometres
Previous carHyundai Excel

Summary:

Dressed up 90s car

Faults:

The car is onto its 3rd radiator. Not sure if that is just bad servicing by the Hyundai dealer that it was bought from, but if it needs that many new radiators and it has been serviced by them regularly, then they are obviously clueless.

Rough idling.

Brake shudder.

Ceiling lining peeling off.

Power steering noisy.

Very thirsty.

Turbo requires frequent servicing.

Bits of trim falling off - especially the chrome film on the badges.

General Comments:

This is actually my partner's car, which I drive from time to time. It is a big, heavy, gas-guzzling bogan car, I'm afraid. Sure, it has a bit of guts when you want to win a drag race at the lights, but it is tiring to drive, the clutch is heavy, the handling is heavy, and the interior is positively dowdy for a car built in 2004; it is basically a dressed up 90s model. Same engine from the 90s with the same fuel economy from the 90s model.

To give it some credit, it does long haul trip in relative comfort. Overtaking on the other side of the road is no trouble for this car.

But there is really nothing classy about the car. Hard plastics everywhere, tasteless cloth trim. And this might be an unusual complaint, but the rear doors don't open very wide. Often something that doesn't fit in the boot will go in the back seat; but not in this car.

Ford are so lazy... rehashing the same crap again and again. That's the real reason why they had to close shop in Australia.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 26th June, 2014

29th Jun 2014, 23:25

The same engine as those from the 1990's EA to AU Series? You're not serious are you? The only similarity this engine has to those ones is that it has 6 cylinders and runs on petrol.

1st Jul 2014, 06:31

I think the 4 liter I6 had various head modifications when the BA Falcon was released, but other than that, it has been virtually the same since its introduction in the early '80s Falcon.

Personally I don't see this as a bad thing. We're talking about tried and tested technology, which has been around long enough for all the faults to be found and dealt with. These are very reliable and strong engines; they may be thirstier and lack the free-revving characteristics of more modern V6's, but will definitely stand up to abuse a lot better.

I have no problem with the ergonomic layout or style of the BA Falcon's interior (God, it's so much better than the AU!), but fully agree that Ford's cost-cutting completely ruined its execution. Notice how the dashboard material is a (passably) nice soft vinyl, yet from the center console down (including the seat surrounds & door handles) is cheap, hard plastic rubbish? "Oh never mind that, the customer won't ever look down there anyway" was what I imagine the accountants were thinking during its "development" phase.

Recycling old technology and ideas isn't always a bad thing. But in the case of the BA Falcon... it was.

2004 Ford Falcon XT 4.0 petrol

Model year2005
Year of manufacture2004
First year of ownership2013
Most recent year of ownership2014
Engine and transmission 4.0 petrol Automatic
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 2 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 4 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
5.0 / 10
Distance when acquired160000 kilometres
Most recent distance166000 kilometres
Previous carMazda MX5

Summary:

Built Ford Rough

Faults:

Drive shaft coupling was unroadworthy when I bought the car (most likely towing).

Gearbox went temporarily insane from day one (refusing to shift beyond second gear, stuck in some sort of limp-home mode). The problem was never properly diagnosed. Came good on good days, independent of when fluid was changed.

Some exhaust heat shields played like some sort of percussive trio depending on engine revs. Spot welded cracked bits together again; resolved the problem.

Engine light switched on and off on alternating days. Not diagnosed, but an old Ford mechanic pointed out some inconspicuous symptoms that meant the start of a blown head gasket (air bubbles in oil, on dipstick). No oil smoke appeared, though.

Engine occasionally refused to rev beyond 3000. Also seemed to be a limp-home mode set by the ECU. Wasn't repeatable at the mechanic, was temporarily resolved by disconnecting the battery and giving the car amnesia.

Diff had a whole lot of lash, but the car also did some towing. Diff sounded bad, but never actually let go.

General Comments:

I bought the car from some friends that have owned nothing but Falcons for the last decade and some. After I bought the thing, having owned nothing but small, aging Japanese sports cars and sedans, I started to ask them what they considered to be 'normal servicing'.

Cheerfully, they talked about the car's yearly water pump change, the two broken drive shaft couplings and brake rotors that were just as consumable as the brake pads. They seemed genuinely surprised that my 'antique' cars didn't need nearly this much care. This was just the Falcon experience.

Ridiculous build quality and unpredictability aside, it was actually a quiet, comfortable and powerful vehicle when it worked. I've had rental Falcons that were equally as nice, but that was the best thing about them; you could give them back before they got too comfortable in the relationship and let themselves go.

Got rid of it at bottom dollar because the stupid thing could never be trusted. This was the first and last Ford I'll own.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 17th April, 2014

21st Apr 2014, 19:05

Agree with your comment. Nice to drive, but very high maintenance for what it is. Holden seems a bit more solid, but common issues with Ford have been transmission, suspension leaks, steering rack and many others, but I do admit - it's nice to drive when it drives.

Average review marks: 6.6 / 10, based on 15 reviews