The Road Ahead : August 1st 2012
WWW.ROADAHEAD.COM.AU 54 THE ROAD AHEAD AUG/SEP 2012 KEY STATS IT'S QUITE A while since Bob Dylan's nasal drawl first proclaimed "... for the times they are a changin'... ". Those words now seem to sum up nicely Ford's move to a four-cylinder engine option in Falcon after more than 50 years of six and eight-cylinder models. And the Ecoboost four-pot Ford has the potential to be a real game-changer in the large car segment -- it's really that good. It delivers buyers all the practical virtues, roominess and excellent ride quality of the 4.0-litre Falcons, but with lower fuel consumption and emissions. Compared with the 'six', the Spanish-built 'four' is down 16 kW of power and 45 Nm of torque. But the car is also some 60 kilograms lighter too. It's 'on the road' rather than 'on paper' that counts though. Our numbers show performance from the 2.0-litre turbo engine is within the narrowest whisker of the 'six'. There's plentiful torque from low down in the revs and the standard six-speed auto is an excellent match-up. Drivers used to the 'six' won't feel cheated at all, though the 'four' does have a different seat-of-the-pants feel. The Ecoboost's suspension, steering and tyre revisions, plus its lighter weight, give it a slightly sharper turn-in to corners too. We managed 7.2 litres/100 km on a highway run MLP: $37,235 (auto) SAFETY: Dual front/side/curtain airbags, anti-lock brakes, brake assist, electronic brake distribution, electronic stability control, traction control. KEY FEATURES: Climate-control airconditioning, 16" alloys, four- way power driver's seat with lumbar adjustment, MP3 compatible CD, iPod/ USB 3.5 aux integration, rear park sensors, Bluetooth. ENGINE: 2.0-litre,turbo-petrol, 4-cyl. MAX. POWER: 179 kW @ 5500 rpm. MAX. TORQUE: 353 Nm @ 2000 rpm. 0-100 KM/H: 7.1 sec (as tested). 80 KM/H-STOP: 26.0 m (wet road). FUEL (ADR FIGURE): 8.1 litres/100 km. ANCAP CRASH RATING: EMISSIONS RATING: FOR: Fuel economy, performance, large car comfort, road manners, capped price servicing. AGAINST: Reduced towing capacity. ford fg falcon xt ecoboost MOTORING NEW CAR REVIEWS bmw 520i BMW's entry-level to its acclaimed 5 Series* puts forward a compelling argument as a (comparatively) affordable buy that would tick most boxes for a buyer in the prestige vehicle segment. Its 2.0-litre turbocharged engine, coupled with smooth eight- speed auto, delivers more than adequate power (135 kW) and torque (270 Nm) for any situation, yet still returns an impressive 6.4 litres/100 km (ADR average). Comfort, ride, handling, braking and standard equipment levels are also high. For durability, we would recommend against the cream-coloured interior our test car came with. KEY STATS MLP: $77,900 SAFETY: Dual front/side/curtain airbags, anti-lock brakes, electronic brakeforce distribution, brake assist, electronic stability and traction controls. KEY FEATURES: Adaptive cruise control, front/ rear parking sensors, Bluetooth connectivity with audio streaming, leather interior, climate-control airconditioning. ENGINE: 2.0-litre, turbo-petrol, 4-cyl. ANCAP CRASH RATING: mini coupe cooper s It might stand nearly 30 mm lower than the 'conventional' MINI hatch, but the Coupe offers good headspace thanks to ample seat height adjustment and oval recesses in the roof liner. And as a dedicated two-seater, there's relatively generous interior space and cargo space. Like the 'conventional' Cooper S, the Coupe walks the MINI walk. The steering is sharp, the handling is up for it, and grip levels resolute. When you need it, there's an extra 20 Nm of torque on overboost that gives the turbocharged 1.6 its second wind. Limited rear view and a firm ride over rough surfaces are minuses. KEY STATS MLP: $46,045 (six- speed auto) SAFETY: Dual front/side/curtain airbags, anti-lock brakes, electronic brakeforce distribution, brake assist, electronic stability and traction controls. KEY FEATURES: Park distance control, automatic climate-control airconditioning, Bluetooth with USB audio interface, 17" alloys. ENGINE: 1.6-litre, turbo-petrol, 4-cyl. CRASH RATING: (EuroNCAP). * BMW 520D WITH M SPORT PACKAGE USED FOR ILLUSTRATION.
June July 2012