1997 Ford Falcon EL 4.0 Litres from Australia and New Zealand


Very reliable and relatively cheap to run


Petrol tank seal wore out (in boot), and the fumes were horrendous. Easily fixed for around $50.

Inhibitor switch is a bit dodgy, which means I sometimes need to start it in neutral. But it has been fine for over 2 years like that. I should probably get it fixed soon.

The heater has just stopped working, and at the same time the radiator lost a lot of fluid. I found a great review on this site that says the heater taps are the explanation. So I'll get my mechanic to fix them this week.

Had a bit of rust in the boot lid (water seems to accumulate at the end of the lid nearest the back window). Other than that, no rust, and I live one km from the beach, although it has only been 3.5 years since I got the car.

General Comments:

This car has been really reliable, and mechanical repairs have been pretty cheap. It uses a fair bit of petrol, but it isn't too bad. In the city I usually get about 6-8 kms to the litre if the traffic is moving fairly smoothly. On the highway I get about 10 kms to the litre.

It has no shortage of power, and is fairly comfortable and smooth.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th April, 2008

1997 Ford Falcon EL 4.0L Inline 6 cylinder. from Australia and New Zealand


A fantastic all-rounder Aussie made car


The most potentially damaging problem was a leaking heater tap, which led to the radiator losing fluid. Replacement tap was $15. Replaced by myself.

Steering knuckles replaced at 155000kms. Steering improved dramatically after replacement by mechanic. ($100).

Small transmission housing weep. Apparently common and not dangerous, but still requires top up of transmission fluid every 6-7 months.

City fuel consumption is as heavy as to be expected from a 1.6 tonne car with 4 litres under the bonnet, however on the highway with a very full load I travelled from Sydney to Seymour (100km north of Melbourne) on one tank of fuel.

General Comments:

If you're looking for sportscar performance, try elsewhere. My previous ride, a 306 XSi Peugeot was a lot of fun in that respect. This is not to say that the Falcon is a slug. It's a lot of fun being a rear wheel drive car and there is a nice punch under the bonnet, but don't be trying anything too fancy in the wet or you might just end up on the footpath.

On the highway is where this car comes into it's own. You have the power to cruise at a very nice speed, and overtaking is never an effort.

I think if this car was a manual I would have a lot more fun in it, being in control of that 4 litre to the instant, without that auto lag.

The interior is what you would expect of a base model. Not too hard to dress up with some carpet mats etc. It's a blank canvas for all budding upholsterers. It's comfortable though.

The sound system is a real sleeper. I'm not talking about $6000 systems, but the standard 4x 6" Pioneer speakers really do sound good if you put a decent head unit in. If you want the whole world to listen then theres also a nice big boot to dump your hard earned cash into in the form of subs etc.

Potential for sports mods is VERY high. I'm considering installing a 2.5" Exhaust, Extractors, Hi-Flo Pod filter air intake and lowering slightly.

This is a great all-rounder. It has a LOT of room, is great for highway trips, drives comfortably in all conditions (as long as you take it easy in the wet, but that should go without saying for ANY car) and has cost me very little to service.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th March, 2005

6th Apr 2005, 17:22

You have no idea what you are talking about. EL Ford Falcon when squeezed can outperform most, and I mean almost all little 4 cylinder cars. You don't know what you are on about. You are not well in the head!

18th Apr 2005, 21:30

Good to see you like your EL. I love mine too.

Just discovered the radiator was blocked. Apparently that is quite common.

Only cost about $60 to have to professionally cleared. That may be the cause of many blown head gaskets in older cars.

Oh, that and replace the water pump at about 150,000 kms.

My EL now runs at about 1/4 on the temp gauge. It used to sit about 1/2 way up.

All the best and hope this helps your ford run forever.

25th Aug 2005, 00:07

I like my EL too, Although find that the newer AU Accelerates better and the steering is a lot easier.

I don't know if I'm having engine problems, but my EL is taking 9 seconds to go from 0- 100km/h.. that's not what I would expect from a 6 clr 4L.

5th Apr 2006, 20:16

9 seconds for 0-100 is normal.

NRMA reported 9.2, I managed 8.9 the one time I tested my EL while it was stock.

4th Oct 2021, 09:01

I am a (very) oldie, so I don't normally 'Fang' it, but if your EL is like mine (with 140,000 km) it should be able to 'light up' one of the STANDARD back tyres on acceleration without too much difficulty. But you need to run it on BP Ultimate... and have NEW NOS plug leads.