1996 Ford Falcon Gli 4.0L from Australia and New Zealand
With out a doubt the best car I will ever own. I might never sell it
Radiator weeping fluid at 70 000km. Cheaply replaced by myself.
Boot strut broke away from mount. $50 to have repaired.
Replaced front and rear bushes at 150000km. $600 to have repaired.
I really did well out of buying this car. I bought it when I was 18 from a Queensland Government fleet car auction when it was 12 months old with 40 000km on the clock. It was as standard as they come except for the cruise control.
Over the next year I made upgrades including lowering with Pedders suspension. K&N air filter, cam shaft, extractors and 2 1/2 inch Lukey exhaust system. These mods made the car much quicker and will give many similar aged V8's a good run for there money. I drove the car very hard for many years and had minimal mechanical problems as a result of my driving habits.
I also spent $3000 on a Kenwood sound system and have tinted the windows as this suits the dark blue piant very nice. Add to this some ROH Reflex 16" mags and it is one hot looking Gli. I have not done anything to the body, no spoilers on this ford. The basic EF falcon body looks fantastic untouched.
Now I am 25 my driving has slowed down quite a lot and I observe road rules (getting old in the head I think). The car still draws much attention at the lights and I quite often find people wanting to pit there car against mine. The last being a new BA XR6 Turbo, which while being much quicker then me still makes me laugh at the fact he feels he has to prove himself against my 8 year old Gli.
I would say in the last 7 years of ownership I have never taken it back to a dealer, do all my own servicing and have never not had it start or let me down when I needed transport. It has cost me no more than $1000 in total in repair costs since I have owned it. (That's $142 a year, what does your car cost you?)
I really don't see me updating any time soon as this car is just so right for me. I hate working on cars and this one doesn't give me any bother. And that is after me thrashing it for so many years!
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 17th June, 2004
I wish I could say that about the EF I just got rid of.
Admittedly, the car is very spacious and a fairly comfortable ride, but that is as far as praise on my behalf will go.
I bought it two years ago, with a fairly high mileage of 250,000km on the clock. While this is quite a bit, one would expect at least 350,000 of life from a 4 litre R6, so that was of no real concern.
The reason I bought the car in the first place was, that it had all its services done and it was a dual fuel. With the body in pretty good shape and the interior, appart from the pretty worn down steering wheel, and a burn mark on the driver seat, fairly neat.
The first thing that got me was the very high fuel consumption of about 14.5-15 litres/100km in city traffic (approx. 20l when run on LPG). While the car has a pretty big engine, this is way too much for a car from 1996.
In the first year, I had the box in the workshop three times due to water leaks. First the heater tap, then another hose and finally a hose that had been rubbed through by the fan belt.
The engine was idling very rough and "skipped a beat" very often, even after being serviced. It was also burning off quite a bit of oil and when under high load, it was smoking quite a bit; not the blue smoke of burnt oil, but thick black smoke. Also, the engine wasn't anywhere near the performance one would expect from a 4.0 litre 6-cylinder. Our old 3.0l Skyline from 1987 did a much better job, despite the fact that it had a 25% smaller engine and was nine years older.
The transmission was also a royal pain in the a*se. Apart from the fact that it was repeatedly leaking transmission oil and due to the lack of a dip stick required refilling at the garage because I'm "mechanically challenged". It was very nervous and the slightest acceleration caused it to shift back. It also had this annoying habit of randomly shifting back one or two gears for no apparent reason. One moment you are cruising on the freeway, doing 100 or 110km/h and suddenly it decides it would be a good thing to shift back into 2nd and let the engine roar. after lifting the foot a bit, it shifted back up, just to repeat the game over and over again giving you a nice "bonanza style" ride. Putting it into neutral and back into "D" usually fixed the problem, but that's not the point.
I also found the quality of the car itself rather poor. It was rattling, squeaking and humming left, right and centre and the front suspension was clearly audible.
The brakes were also very problematic. While in normal operation, they actually "bit" fairly well, they had a dangerously high tendency to fade. Driving down a mountain road was no joy at all, especially with a car in front, whose driver was heavy on the brakes. a three or four km drive down a windy, fairly steep road, left you with virtually no brakes at the bottom of the hill. Even putting the auto into a lower gear didn't achieve too much.
I've had two Fords in my life, a 1976 Cortina and the Falcon and both were disappointing enough to deter me from buying a Ford ever again, no matter how much praise the AUIIs and BAs are getting.
They say: Once bitten, twice shy. Well, I got bitten twice...