Published on September 2nd, 2014 | by Frosty
Ford FG XR6 Turbo
I needed a ute, plain and simple. That was the easy part of the equation. The difficulty was what to choose.
Now firstly, the question that has divided friends and family alike for years, Ford or Holden? Now if I had to decide which side of the fence to sit on, you would find me on the Ford side generously dishing out high fives and feeling pride at podium finishes by the Blue Oval. Having said that, I am also a bit of a car mercenary having owned many Fords and Holdens over the years. My first ever car was a 1963 EJ Holden Wagon that had been in a crash and converted to a ute, my next vehicle was a Ford XB Fairmont, followed by a 1985 Ford XF Falcon “S” pack, a 1987 Ford XF Fairmont and then a 5 litre V8 Holden Sandman Panel Van, and so began my waxing and waning between Ford and Holden.
Now for the sake of a little background, the car that sat in my driveway before I started thinking utes, was a Holden VY SS. I loved it, like a 3am kebab. It was a six speed manual set to the soundtrack of a 3-inch Lukey exhaust system. Tragically, due to practicality, I had to sell it to a mate. Still, every time I hear him come up the road in the old girl, my heart smiles. But you can’t get attached, for now I had set my sights on the FORD FG XR6 Turbo. “What about an SS?” I hear you say.
Well let me show you the comparison:
- 270kw (same as current SS)
- 533nm (three more than current SS)
- 12.7l/100km (14.5l/100km for the SS)
- Pay load (41kg more than the current SS)
- Full iPod integration (SS fail)
- 3-piece hard tonneau cover with integrated sports bar (not available on the SS at the time of purchase).
So on paper the FG stacks up pretty well, but what about on the road? Well after reading all the reviews and performance claims for the FG XR6 Turbo I was as toey as a Roman Sandal to get behind the wheel. So let me tell you, the first time I drove the FG and felt the turbo I was convinced. All I could think was wow, 0 to 100km in a tad over 5 seconds and double wow; I can claim this beast as a work vehicle.
The September onwards release of the FG XR6 Turbo came with the important addition of ESC (Electronic Stability Control). Earlier models had only been equipped with standard traction control. It’s important to note that Ford have tweaked the ESC a bit, allowing you to have a bit more “fun” before it kicks in. You can turn the ESC off, but do so at your own peril. The ESC once switched off stays off. I went ESC free for a short stint after my initial purchase, and let me tell you, if you’re not careful with your right foot, you may find yourself in more trouble than Brendan Fevola with a microphone on Brownlow night.
I have to say that overall the FG XR6 Turbo is a supremely fun machine, equally at home on a windy road as it is lugging supplies around town.
Now it can’t be all good I hear you say, and I must admit that there are a few minor things that do annoy me about the FG. For starters the fuel filler is down around your ankles and it’s a pain in the arse to stand there filling her up. The hard tonneau is a little too deep which means you can fit very little beneath it. The seats for such a performance-oriented vehicle also lack support and I have found them to be getting worse with age. The only other fault I can really comment on is the fact that the upgraded model comes with 19-inch rims. Why is this a problem Will? You should be happy. Well dear reader, they do look great, but they also seem to give the FG a much harder ride than standard rims, and when it comes time to replace them, expect a hefty bill with those 35 profile tyres!
Now for those who know me and cars they would be asking “what modifications have you made Will?” They would be surprised to know that for the first time I haven’t had the urge to modify this car. Of course there were the obligatory tinted windows to make it look better and the aftermarket BMC panel air filter to improve performance and economy. But that’s it for this car, most likely because I ticked all bar the Sat Nav option boxes when I ordered this ute. I have to admit I still can’t believe it is called a work ute with leather seats, premium sound system, 19-inch rims, side airbags etc etc.
Now being a turbo (don’t you just love that word, especially when it is in relation to a petrol ute and not a diesel?) I have been careful in ensuring that I have serviced the FG before time and I always keep a close eye on the oil levels. Since purchase (and under warranty) my FG has had to have the front rotors machined as well as a new gear lever boot and non-return valve fitted to the windscreen wipers. Bugger all for 40,000km on a new car if you ask me.
So if you want a good-looking ute with more than a bit of grunt, you can’t go past the FG XR6 Turbo, unless of course you want to put a stack of tools in the back. Then again you could always make your apprentice cart them round.
I’m Frosty. That’s the Ford FG XR6 Turbo.
See you on the road.
Summary: If you want a good-looking ute with more than a bit of grunt, you can’t go past An FG XR6 Turbo.