Ford BFII Falcon XR8 Ute 2007 Review

Ford Falcon ute 2007 fq

It won’t help the fuel consumption, but a block of granite in the back of a Ford Falcon XR8 ute assists in the handling department. A ute is designed with two purposes in mind. It shows the world that:

  1. you like getting your hands dirty either as a professional tradesperson or a serious hobbyist; or
  2. all you need is a two-seater car because you’re either rugged, single and virile, or perhaps infertile.

In the case of the tradesperson, it’s highly likely you’ll have some weight in the back to settle it down; if not, any large dense object will do (and we’re not talking your local Labour candidate.) But I’m making the XR8 out to be a beast of a drive when it’s empty, which it isn’t. If you want to drive it nice and sedately, full or empty, it’s a breeze. It has traction control to tame the Boss 5.4-litre V8 with its 260kW at 5250rpm and 500Nm of torque at 4000rpm. There are nice wide tyres at the back — 245/40ZR18 to be precise — that wrap around some tasty alloys.

But it’s a tad ‘taily’ at the pointy end of pushing it through the bends, and fast hands are required to catch any sideways action. Our test mule was the auto version with sports shift. It’s a tricky little gearbox as far as autos go. It doesn’t kick down consistently under acceleration, and I would prefer either the manual, or to drive the auto like it’s a manual.

Braking performance is good, with a slight tendency for the ABS to kick in on the rear if the road is bumpy when there’s no weight in the back. Performance brakes (two-pot at the front and single-pot at the rear) with ventilated disks and sports suspension are standard on the XR8, as (supposedly) is a limited slip diff. I’d have to contest this, though, because I got the XR8 stuck. I have a very tight driveway with a gravel strip down one side. One rear wheel got on the gravel and dug itself a hole. Forward momentum ceased and I had to roll backward to get back on a concrete bit and give it another go.

The cab is comfortable, though doesn’t seem spacious. There are cloth-trimmed sports bucket seats with four-way power adjustment. There’s room behind the seats to store things, but it would be nice if there were more covered compartments to hide bits and bobs in. The steering feel is quite heavy, and the wheel itself is Ford’s leather number with cruise control and stereo controls on either side. An LCD in the dashboard gives readouts for the trip computer, climate control air conditioning the stereo. A bit more bass and treble is required in the stereo setup with it sounding thin when the equaliser is set flat.

The XR8 isn’t the practical choice as a hardcore tradesman’s ute — it would be a vanity purchase. But, if you want a practical sportscar to haul the jetski or a couple of motocross bikes around, it will perform admirably. The optional heavy duty towing kit allows you to lug 2300kg in a braked trailer with the auto gearbox. Unless you really like the V8 sound (and need the slightly larger towing capacity and 18-inch wheels), you may want to plump for the XR6 turbo which has similar performance but is $3,500 less.

Price: Ford Falcon BFII XR8 ute from $53,990

What we like

  • Power and torque
  • Bonnet bulge

What we don’t like

  • Easy to scrape the front splitter on the building site
  • Can’t hide anything in it unless you get the optional lockable cover
  • Only a driver and passenger airbag
  • It’s not bad, but could be better

Words and photos Darren Cottingham

Interior Features Falcon XR8 Ute
Cruise Control – Steering Wheel Mounted Controls S
Interior Command Centre featuring audio & climate LCD screen S
Carpet Floor Covering S
Rubber Floor Covering -
Adjustable Rake & Reach Steering Column S
Leather wrapped steering wheel S
Sports Leather Steering Wheel O
Alloy pedal covers S
Power Mirrors S
Power Windows with engine off time delay S
Automatic headlamps on/off feature S
Air Conditioning S
Pollen Air Filter A
Illuminated Entry and Exit – remote activated S
Key-out Courtesy Light S
Auto-off Interior Light S
Driver/Passenger Adjustable Reading Lamps S
Sports Instrument cluster with blue illumination & unique XR graphics S
Trip computer including trip time, fuel used, average fuel, average speed, distance-to-empty (steering wheel mounted controls) S
LCD display including trip computer, Odometer & speed alert indicator (audible warning) S
Engine
Barra 190 4.0L DOHC DIVCT I6 -
E-Gas – 4.0L DOHC VCT I6 Engine -
Barra 220 – 5.4L SOHC V8 3V Engine -
Barra 245T 4.0L DOHC DIVCT I6 Turbo -
Boss 260 – 5.4L DOHC V8 4V Engine S
Compression Ratio 9.5:1
Max. Power (DIN) (standard engine) 260 kW @ 5250 rpm
Max. Power (DIN) (optional e-gas engine) -
Max. Power (DIN) (optional V8 engine) -
Max. Torque (DIN) (standard engine) 500 Nm @ 4000 rpm
Max. Torque (DIN) (optional e-gas engine) -
Max. Torque (DIN) (optional V8 engine) -
Bore x Stroke (mm) 90.2 x 105.8 mm
Displacement (L) 5.408
Audio
100 watt AM/FM Stereo Radio with single CD -
100 watt AM/FM Radio with 6 in-dash CD S
Steering wheel mounted audio controls S
Electrical/Clutch
Battery 54Ah
Alternator 130A
Clutch type Self-adjusting diaphragm spring
Diameter 279mm
Fuel
Fuel tank capacity (L) 75
Fuel tank capacity (L) (optional e-gas engine) -
Maximum Towing Capacity
Manua 1200kg
Automatic 1600kg
Automatic (heavy duty towbar and load levelling kit) 2300kg
Seating
Fixed Centre Seat with Lap/Sash Seat Belt -
Cloth Trim Sports Bucket Seats S
4-Way Power Adjustment for Driver Seat S
Adjustable Lumbar Support for Driver S
Adjustable Lumbar Support for Passenger S
Quick-Tilt Forward Seats S
Cargo Dimensions
Suspension type (mm) Sports
Floor level load length (mm) 1818.8
Belt level load length (mm) 1848.0
Wheelhouse cargo width (mm) 1154.0
Floor and belt level rear opening width (mm) 1394.0
Liftover height (mm) 663.0
Cargo depth (mm) 410.1
Vehicle Masses
Suspension type (kg) Sports
GVM (kg) 2280
Kerb mass (kg) 1830
Payload (maximum) (kg) 450
Front axle load (maximum) (kg) 1165
Rear axle load (maximum) (kg) 1170
GCM-manual 1200kg towing (kg) 3360
- auto 1600kg towing (kg) 3720
- auto 2300kg towing (kg) 4350
Exterior Dimensions
Overall length (mm) 5101
Overall width (mm) 1871
Wheelbase (mm) 3095
Front track (mm) 1533
Rear track (mm) 1547
Front overhang (mm) 932
Rear overhang (mm) 1074
Exterior Features
Body Colour Body Side Protection Mouldings S
Body Colour Mirrors S
Variable Speed Intermittent Windscreen Wipers S
Rear / Side Demister S
On-glass Antenna S
Wiring Facility for Cargo Lamp and High Mount Stop Lamp S
Polyethylene loadbed S
Tonneau Cover (black with 2 steel bows) S
Underbody protection shields -
Wheel arch fender flares -
Delete tonneau hooks O
Aluminium tray -
Aluminium tray (with side steps and rear mudflaps) A
Rear mudflaps A
Partial body styling kit -
Full body styling kit S
Dual outlet exhaust system – bright tip S
Drive Ratio
3.45:1 O
2.73:1 S
Mechanical
6-Speed manual transmission O
ZF 6-Speed Sequential Sports Shift auto transmission (incl. adaptive shift) S
Boss 260 5.4L DOHC 4V V8 S
Safety and Security
Traction Control S
Driver Airbag S
Passenger Airbag S
Adjustable Seatbelt Height S
Beltminderâ„¢ Alarm System S
Pyrotechnic seatbelt buckle pretensioners S
Restraints control module, driver seat position sensor, crash severity sensor S
Child Seat Anchorage Point S
Smartshield security system S
Remote Central Locking S
Anti-lock braking system S
Alarm system A
Exterior Styling
18″ 5 spoke alloy wheels – 245/40 ZR18 sport tyres S
Power bulge hard tonneau – with spoiler/with alloy sports bar/with alloy sports bar and spoiler O/A
Flat hard tonneau cover A
Alloy sports bar O/A
Interior Storage
Centre console bin with lid (except with fixed centre seat) S
Cup Holders/ Door Bins/ Command Ctr Storage Console S
Lockable glove box S
Driver side coat hook S
Exterior Protection
Bonnet protector/foglamp guards/headlamp guards/weathershields A
Lights on feature A
Mudspats A
Sump guard A
Soft tonneau covers/leathergrain tonneau cover A
Ride and Handling
Fully Independent Double Wishbone Front Suspension S
1-Tonne Suspension -
Hotchkiss Rear Suspension S
Heavy Duty Suspension -
Rack and Pinion Power Assisted Steering S
Turns (lock-to-lock) 2.8
Turning circle (kerb-to-kerb) 11.5
Limited slip differential (LSD) S
Vented Disc Front Brakes with Twin Piston Caliper -
Solid Disc Rear Brakes with Single Piston Caliper -
16″ x 6.5″ silver steel spare wheel (rated 1-tonne) -
Sports suspension S
Performance brakes with vented front disc with twin piston caliper S
Performance brakes with vented rear disc with single piston caliper S
16″ x 7.0″ alloy wheel (rated 1-tonne) – 215/55 R16 95W tyre -
16” x 7.0” alloy wheel (rated 1-tonne) – 215/65 R16 C 1-tonne tyre -
17″ x 8.0″ alloy wheel – 235/45 R17 93W tyre S
17″ x 7.5″ black steel spare wheel S
16” x 7.0” silver steel wheel (rated 1-tonne) – 215/65 R16 C 1-tonne tyre -
18″ 5 spoke alloy wheels – 245/40 ZR18 sport tyres S
Towing Capacity
1600kg rated (auto)/1200kg rated (manual) towbar A
2300kg rated heavy duty towpack (auto only) A
Gear Ratios
1st – 6-speed Auto 4.17
2nd – 6-speed Auto 2.34
3rd – 6-speed Auto 1.52
4th – 6-speed Auto 1.14
5th – 6-speed Auto 0.87
6th – 6-speed Auto 0.69
Reverse – 6-speed Auto 3.40
1st – 6-speed Manual 2.97
2nd – 6-speed Manual 1.78
3rd – 6-speed Manual 1.3
4th – 6-speed Manual 1.00
5th – 6-speed Manual 0.80
6th – 6-speed Manual 0.63
Reverse – 6-speed Manual 2.90
Interior Styling
XR leather seat trim O
XR sports leather seat trim O
XR luxury interior package with Premium ICC, XR sports leather seat trim O
Alloy pedal pads S
Momo leather steering wheel (available in grey, blue or red) O
Momo gear knob/Sequential Sports Shifter O
Scuff plate inserts A
Interior Comforts and Storage
Cabin tidy A
Cargo swing net A
Carpet mats/rubber floor mats A
XR carpet mats (available in grey, blue or red) A
Dashmat A
Disabled drivers kit (auto only) A
Pollen filter A
Smokers pack A
XR waterproof seat covers A
In-Car Electrical and Entertainment
Bluetooth® mobile phone kit A
iPod®/MP3 audio input/auxiliary audio plug in A
Fridge ‘Day Tripper’ 15L/fridge power adaptor A

S – Standard.
O – Factory Option that can be ordered before a vehicle is manufactured.
A – Accessory that can be added at any time.
NCO – No cost option that can be ordered before a vehicle is manufactured.

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