You need to carry kids and loads of bags and a pram and maybe a car fridge? You hate people movers and they are too tall anyway to fit into your garage? You just long for a good old-style station wagon like mum and dad used to own but today they are all European or Japanese and too small. Except for this one.
The last-ever Falcon station wagon is undeniably old-fashioned. The design dates back to the 1990s, so does the 4.0-litre overhead camshaft engine that powered who knows how many cabs and can manage a million kilometres with proper maintenance.
As anyone who had parked one will tell you that the BA-BF wagon is huge. Overall it measures more than five metres with a 2.9 metre wheelbase. That means lots of legroom front and rear and two metres of level load-space with the back seat lowered. If you need to tow, the maximum weight for a braked trailer is 2.3 tonnes.
Inside the seats are covered in hard-wearing cloth and even the basic XT version has air-conditioning, cruise control, a trip computer and CD player. Dual front air-bags were standard as were anti-lock brakes (ABS).
The big Ford’s lack of independent rear suspension becomes apparent on potholed or corrugated roads and may cause the car to flick sideways without warning. This behaviour can be minimized by fitting high-quality shock absorbers.
Build quality was never a Falcon strong point and with a couple of hundred thousand kms under its wheels, any wagon you test will likely have developed some rattles and interior squeaks that weren’t there originally.
Ford’s remote central locking system has been a source of problems over many years, locking and then unlocking at random one or all of the doors. Make certain the doors have locked before leaving the car. Power window mechanisms also fail with age and replacements are not cheap.
Prices range from less than $2000 for a BA wagon in ordinary condition to around $6000 for a top-quality BFII. Most mechanical parts are available and not expensive and any workshop in the country can service a Falcon.
- battery leakage and corroded cables.
- cylinder head oil leaks.
- engine management module unobtainable new.
- front tyre wear due to misaligned wheels.
- exhaust system damage.
- worn rear shock absorbers.
- malfunctioning central locking and power windows
- Affordability: 7.5/10
- Durability: 8.5/10
- Running Costs: 7/10
- On The Road: 6.5/10
- Practicality: 8/10BB
- SCORE: 37.5/50
- YEARS BUILT: 2002-2008
- BODY STYLES: four-door station wagon
- ENGINE: 4.0-litre overhead camshaft six-cylinder with fuel injection
- TRANSMISSION: four-speed automatic
- POWER & TORQUE: 190kW @ 5250rpm, 383Nm @ 2500rpm
- SUSPENSION & BRAKES: independent front/live axle rear, disc front/disc rear with ABS
- PERFORMANCE & FUEL CONSUMPTION: 0-100km/h – 9.5 seconds, 12.1L/100km (BA)
PRICE GUIDE (BA XT)
FAIR: $1600 GOOD: $3200 EXCELLENT: $4800