“Its an LPG (liquefied petroleum gas), but they don’t want to call it Ford Falcon LPG because they don’t want people to confuse it with their old LPG model”. True or not, this statement, along with the new Ford Falcon EcoLPI was delivered to me last week. In the past few months we have reviewed many cars which boasted low running and fuel costs. This was our first chance to give our verdict on an LPG vehicle.
The LPI model exterior is a carbon copy of the 7th generation Ford Falcon and in this sense it carries the same styling baggage. Simply put, the Falcon blends in far too well. I actually lost it in more than one car park! The front end has a tame grille and the back end has simply nothing to say for itself. Contrast this with the new styling from the Series 2 Holden and it's easy to see why the Falcon is dropping its top 10 placing in the past few years. To put it another way, this generation of Falcons is exactly what you would get if you asked a small child to draw a picture of a car, and that’s not a compliment.
Inside the EcoLPI is comfortable but not especially well laid out. As per usual the steering wheel controls are a little close together and the centre console is not altogether inspired. Don’t get me wrong, the EcoLPI is spacious. With the exception of the boot space it is comfortable and capable as the “family taxi” it hopes to be.
The saving grace of the EcoLPI is undoubtedly the drive quality. With 198kW of power and 409Nm of torque the EcoLPI does contain more push than the traditional Falcon. The acceleration is exciting and unlike the previous LPG versions drivers should be taken aback by the sheer power. Despite looking a little dull the EcoLPI does come up trumps on both standing starts and overtaking. Add to this the fact that as a LPG model you will save on fuel costs and you give potential buyers a big pause for thought.
The new Falcon EcoLPI is a significant improvement on the former LPG model and as an LPG vehicle the Falcon EcoLPI does tick almost every box. There is, however, a big “but”. As amazing as the car is to drive, the Ford Falcon range, with the exception of the XR6 range, is still in need of a facelift. Its tired looks have and will continue to put off buyers who look to the more styled models in the $30-$50K price range. My final thoughts would have to be that the EcoLPI is a fantastic model and it could have lit up the runway, if it wasn’t for its minor skin problem.