1997 Ford Falcon Futura 4.0 inline six (petrol) from Australia and New Zealand
Great value for money
Blown head gasket (most common mechanical problem with this Ford generation).
Some issues with the temperature sensor causing the car to rev too high at idle.
Gearbox faded, but responded very well to a transmission service. Clutch never slipped, but diff did thump on up and down shifts.
Overall, an excellent vehicle if you are prepared to maintain usual things such as brakes, tyres, maybe an aircon regas (although mine worked perfectly).
This car for what it gives you is probably the best value for money for a cheap used car in Australia right now. My EL Falcon Futura had factory fitted aircon and cruise control and an aftermarket CD player, and overall, it was a very solid driving package with plenty of power.
However, be aware that head gaskets are known to go on these engines, especially at high mileage, and sure enough, mine went with the odometer at 282800. My gearbox was faded, but responded very well to a transmission service (they don't always respond well, ALWAYS get your mechanic's opinion first) and whilst the diff thumped a bit, the clutch never slipped.
Overall, this car is cheap to service, and its only everyday achilles heel is petrol consumption, which is fairly high.
If you can find an EL with gas installed and motor/box running well, you are on to a very good thing.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 27th December, 2010