2002 Ford Fairmont Ghia AU3 4.0 inline 6 (dual-fuel) from Australia and New Zealand
If only I hadn't written it off..
The only problem was shortly after I bought it, it would occasionally just not start. You would turn the key and nothing would happen. The problem turned out that there wasn't enough water in the battery. Also be careful if you leave the headlights on 'delay' setting, because it uses a lot of current and didn't help with my starting issues.
Apart from this, nothing else went wrong in the 5 months I owned it.
Unfortunately, I wrote off this car (at 50km/h...) It was converted to dual-fuel a week or so after I got it, and when they do this the traction control is disabled when it is running on LPG (I think to prevent backfiring?) so be cautious when on the wet road!
It was a very comfortable car, I used to drive back and forwards between Geelong and the Yarra Valley with it, and it was great. The leather seats were very comfortable; however, a lot of the interior was black which made it quite hot. Also, if you get an AU3 model, for some reason Ford gave you not as much of the fake-wood stuff (none on the door trims or around the gear selector) and the handbrake and gear selector didn't have leather on them, compared to the Series 1 and 2 models.
It was very cheap to run on gas, I think I averaged just under 16l/100km according to the on-board computer (this was a combination of city and freeway driving) but be careful without the traction control!
It had good power for overtaking, you could feel that there wasn't as much 'oomph' when running on LPG, but it was still plenty.
If you get it converted to dual-fuel, you have to take out the small subwoofer that sits in the middle of the parcel shelf. It still sounds fine without it, but if you check out some Ford forums, I've seen a couple of ways of re-mounting it. I didn't bother, though, and it didn't worry me.
I was looking for a decent BA wagon, but this turned up for about $2000 less than the wagons I'd been looking at, and was only a year older. It came with leather seats, sunroof, CD-autochanger, etc., and so seems much better value. If I could find another in the same condition I wouldn't hesitate in buying it, as I was planning on keeping this one for 10 years! I don't know if it was just that I stepped up from a 1980 Toyota Corona (4-speed manual, no power steering, no air-conditioning) but it was a really great car if you don't be too crazy in it!
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 6th April, 2008