1997 Ford Fairmont 4.0 inline 6 cylinder from Australia and New Zealand
Rear section of exhaust rusted out. Haven't bothered replacing.
Plastic surround around antenna/demister button on dash shattered, and was never to be seen again. :/
Other than this, there are no other faults.
This is the 3rd Ford I've owned in 5 years, and something keeps bringing me back. The previous Fords I owned were the EF model, and the EL brings very noticeable differences.
Cosmetic: New grille and badging, better colour co-ordination in the interior (grey buttons instead of the horrid black), new instrument cluster facia, much more colourful velour seats/patterns with extra lumbar support.
Hardware/Mechanical: better handling (lowering the pivot point of Fords watts link 20mm), smoother gearbox operation + refinement of shift points in both power and economy mode (no torque converter lock-up at 50km/h in econ mode, only when 3 is selected on the shifter), more soundproofing in the firewall, and the replacement of troublesome coilpacks with a good ol' distributor.
I find these cars to make excellent family movers, and comfortable daily drivers. They handle long distance trips with ease, and fuel economy on the open road is great. Gets a bit thirsty in traffic, but once you're moving, generally returns about 8-9L/100km above 70-80km/h.
The new seats in this model aren't as comfortable as the previous EF seats, and make you sit higher than usual.
Ample performance in all conditions, but mostly whilst on the open road. Makes overtaking a breeze.
Would recommend this car to anyone looking for a cheap, yet reliable family car.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 5th September, 2010