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Storm riders - Ford Falcon G6 vs Holden Commodore Berlina vs Toyota Aurion Prodigy

Peter McKay & Sean Poppitt
10 July 2008
www.wheelsmag.com.au

The climate has already changed for Australian-made sedans, but do these big sixes still offer the right attributes for inhabitants of the lucky country?

Mind-numbing boredom accompanies us along the gun-barrel-straight road to Walgett. Bourke-based radio 2WEB keeps us company. Offerings of Dolly, Lee and Slim are served routinely, but the playlist also delves into rock, pop and, for the taste impaired, rap.

With dusk approaching, wind velocity picks up, bowling tumbleweeds hard and fast at our three-car convoy. The big skies overhead take on hues of navy, purple then charcoal. Surely not rain? A few drops of water dance across the bug-smeared windscreen, then accumulate long enough to require the wipers on intermittent. For the drought-ravaged north-west, it looks promising.

As the sun slips lower in the western sky, fiery reds and oranges light the leaden horizon. Photographer Thomas Wielecki is beside himself, whooping and dancing like a loon as he drags out his gear to capture nature’s artistry.

Within minutes the precipitation has blown away. We later learn this is an all-too frequent tease. “It comes over all promising, there are a few drops, and then it moves on,” a local tells us. So when was the last decent rain? “That’d be maybe eight or 10 years ago...”

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I have to say, I like both the Holden and the Ford. I'd be hard-pressed to choose between the two.

The Toyota is ghastly, though . . . the world's ugliest Camry variant? (If that is indeed what it is).
 

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The Toyota is ghastly, though . . . the world's ugliest Camry variant? (If that is indeed what it is).

But we also get the best looking variant aswell...

 

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Well and truly time. They need some economy gains and the 4 speed isn't doing them any favours. It is only now that Commodore is starting to loose comparisons. If they really want to retain best selling status, they need to stay ahead of the gameand at the moment they aren't even making par.

It is looking like they are willing to loose sales before their knee jerks.
 

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Even though the base engine tranny are below par the car itself is a rippa.
Base model engine isn't as bad as first though (But you still wouldnt get me to buy one),

0.4L less per 100km? with old VR 4L60-E transmission.. Considering how old it is it still brings good econemy. Now consider 80% of people buying this car will only want a car from a-b with some c in there.. Then extra comfort and features etc.
Rare many race heads will buy them.
More to the point why is it the better package V6 and 5speed auto get worse econemy??.
They are a match made in heaven as the 195 5 speed combo goes it's worlds better then the 180 4 speed, Yet it yields worse fuel? Officially it does, On the road it doesn't.

I'm not worried, Ford has had since BA the chance to tune and work there suspension out, Plus the chance to do amazing things with there motor, It's no surprise that they have moved forward of the VE which is 2 years old with only cosmetic updates..
Next year Holden will move into update mode, Lets not forget they have introduced a Ute now a wagon and helped with many GM programs in that long 2 year period.
Finally they can move into the Sedan and soon it will have it's updates but it's been a pretty busy 2 years for holden.


Holden has changed Tactics in this new age, And they apparently will not be making series 2 cars anymore, Just running model changes and special edition cars.
 

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The Falcon looks as Mondeo-like in the pic as it gets. I had to double-check the title to see if they weren't testing a Mondeo.
 

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I thought it was odd that this design language has been adopted quite widely yet has now been given the flick. Next gen are to adopt a newer language in accordance with some of the comgens going around of the Capri and Mondeo 4door coupe. They seem to be leaning closer to the Mazda 6s direction.
 

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True on road you think new ford then you see the hatch ohh mondeo?.

There was a pic on few back now carsguide front cover, It was hard to pick if it was the mondeo or the G6E you could only see the front end.
 

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Well its obvious with the VE's first major update the 4-speed will be ditched and probably the base V6 as well. I would predict that the Omega and Berlina will ditch the base 180 V6 and old 4-speed and get the High Output 195 V6 maybe an upgraded version (possibly 200kW and 345-350Nm).

Holden could do well here and invest handsomely into its V6 to get the best out of it, they have 2 good options. There is 2 versions of it right now (the base 180 and the high-end 195) but I reckon Holden should do one of these.

1. Give the Omega and Berlina the 195 V6 (maybe 200 V6 if its modified for the model refresh), and produce 2 versions of the DI 225 V6. One for the Calais, Calais-V, Statesman and Caprice which is more focused on smoothness, quiet running and fuel consumption but still maintaining enough power to lug them around. And another more tuned version (after some typical Holden fettling) to produce around 230-235kW and 380-385Nm for the SV6 and the rumoured SV6-V (luxury V6 to be added next year). The Omega and Berlina to be standard with the 5-speed auto and the DI models to be mated with the 6L50 6-speed auto.

OR

2. Give every V6 model a DI 225 V6 but give the SV6, Calais, Calais-V, and Statesman/Caprice a slightly more powerful version. So the base models wouldn't be lagging behind terribly and the high-end models will be differentiated.
 

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That was a good read. I have the sudden urge to go driving around North Dakota with In a Big Country playing on the radio.

I hope our next Taurus does look like that.
 

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Well its obvious with the VE's first major update the 4-speed will be ditched and probably the base V6 as well. I would predict that the Omega and Berlina will ditch the base 180 V6 and old 4-speed and get the High Output 195 V6 maybe an upgraded version (possibly 200kW and 345-350Nm).

Holden could do well here and invest handsomely into its V6 to get the best out of it, they have 2 good options. There is 2 versions of it right now (the base 180 and the high-end 195) but I reckon Holden should do one of these.

1. Give the Omega and Berlina the 195 V6 (maybe 200 V6 if its modified for the model refresh), and produce 2 versions of the DI 225 V6. One for the Calais, Calais-V, Statesman and Caprice which is more focused on smoothness, quiet running and fuel consumption but still maintaining enough power to lug them around. And another more tuned version (after some typical Holden fettling) to produce around 230-235kW and 380-385Nm for the SV6 and the rumoured SV6-V (luxury V6 to be added next year). The Omega and Berlina to be standard with the 5-speed auto and the DI models to be mated with the 6L50 6-speed auto.

OR

2. Give every V6 model a DI 225 V6 but give the SV6, Calais, Calais-V, and Statesman/Caprice a slightly more powerful version. So the base models wouldn't be lagging behind terribly and the high-end models will be differentiated.
I don't mind the sound of a SV6-V version, But it must not go over the price of the Calais V6. If they can meet in between i like it, As a guy who doesn't mind a V6, But likes some type of luxury, I always liked the Sv6 but always thought the Calais was best because it offers that luxury inside,
But since the Calais V6 models offer FE2 suspension it's sporty feel without the sporty look, But for those that want sporty look sporty feel with luxury inside they can get this also.

I'd buy one my type of car almost, Just price it right and all will be good.
 

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That review was a bit dodgy. No, I'm saying that because of sour grapes, but I found that the criticism of the Calais was duplicated on others, but blown off as less important.

CA said:
The Calais:
The five-speed automatic gearbox was always reasonably responsive, but too often seemed unsure about which gear it should be in, something that was drawn into sharp comparison by the Ford’s superbly managed ZF gearbox.
CA said:
The Camry:
The Aurion’s six-speed automatic gearbox, with sequential shifting available, is smooth and responsive, although it does tend to hunt around a bit when trying to maintain a certain speed under load.

It’s a characteristic common to quite a few multi ratio gearboxes these days, and again, usually due to not enough torque available at some throttle points.
Its okay really because everyone does it :rolleyes:
CA said:
The Calais:
All very commendable and the safety offerings are no less than you should expect these days, but they still mean that the VE range has only a four-Star ANCAP rating.
CA said:
The Accord:
Continuing the safety theme Accord also offers standard ESP, front, side and curtain airbags, ISOFIX preparation for the kid’s seats and a four star EuroNCAP rating. Not a bad deal for the $46,990 asking price though I’d not settle for any thing less by today’s standards.
Well you can get it (aside from ISOfix which is no better than normal anchor points) for less if you buy the Calais. In fact the same standard of safety, number of airbags and ESP are standard on even the base Commodore models. Curtain airbags on the Accord are not. Wanker.



CA said:
The Calais:
What’s hard to take, when you look at the competition, is the relative ‘poverty’ feel of the Calais interior.

There’s a mono-colour LCD screen with no Sat/Nav available, part leather upholstery – the rest offer full leather, and way too much dull, grey/black plastic for a car that is supposed to be almost at the top of the Commodore range.

Remember, to get rid of some of these criticisms you have to pay $8000
Wrong CA. Full leather is $3000 as part of a package which also adds 8 way electric heated seats and heated electric mirrors with memory.
Full colour Satellite Navigation is a 2K option, whilst turn by turn is 1300.

Some people just love to bitch. ....no not me.
 
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