Dear WhichCar team – We are looking to replace our 2015 Ford Falcon XR6 but there is nothing obvious that fits the bill. My husband and I have loved the car since we bought it new. It’s got heaps of go, has been great for long trips with the whole family (we have two kids) and it has never let us down. We have held on to it longer than most of our previous cars but the kilometres are getting high and there’s no 2019 Falcon! What do we do?
Our budget is about what we paid for the XR6 - $40,000. We don’t do quite as many long trips with kids anymore and, while I’ll be the main driver, we would both like something that is still fun to drive and big enough for four when we need it.
Vicky, Victoria Park, VIC
You are certainly not the first Falcon owner to encounter this roadblock Vicky! Not only has the Falcon been out of production since 2016, slipping large sedan car sales have been impacting the options available to customers from all brands.
If you are after something directly comparable in size to the Ford and in sedan form, your options are limited.
If you don’t mind jumping to Ford’s arch-rival brand, the Holden Commodore is still available offering plenty of space for up to five adults, while a choice of turbo four-cylinder or 3.6-litre V6 petrol engines offer plenty of power. Bodystyles include a fastback style hatch or wagon and pricing kicks off from about $34,000 or $40,790 for the cheapest V6, which also adds all-wheel drive.
You might be surprised to hear that Toyota’s Camry is now better than ever to drive and, while it technically fits into the mid-sized segment, its Tardis-like interior would likely suit your purposes and there’s a surprisingly beefy V6 version that costs from $37,390.
As another Japanese mid-size wildcard, you might also look at the Infiniti Q50, which costs from about $55,000 and is heavily laden with luxury features, plenty of technology and offers rear-wheel drive for fun handling.
Or how about this? Kia’s Stinger is often lauded in mighty 3.3-litre turbocharged V6 form but it has a 2.0-litre turbo sibling that starts from $45,990 and also offers rear-wheel drive, a sporty chassis and looks that will turn heads. Despite its coupe-like profile, it has four doors, there’s a spacious second row of seats and it comes with Kia’s class-leading seven-year warranty and roadside assistance.
Finally, you should certainly have a look at the Volkswagen Passat and its mechanically related Skoda Superb sibling. The Volkswagen is on offer with very efficient but surprisingly powerful petrol and diesel engines and there’s a wagon version if you ever need to haul larger loads. It costs from around the $37,000 mark, which is a very affordable way into German car ownership.
The Skoda is also on offer with efficient 2.0-litre turbo engines and both wagon and sedan bodies, but our pick is the $51,790 206TSI which comes with the same engine as the potent Volkswagen Golf R coupled to all-wheel drive for some brilliant road-holding and fun at the wheel.
If nothing fits the brief in the large sedan market, you might consider sliding one way or the other into a slightly different class of car, especially if your circumstances have changed since you bought the XR6.
Many families are now looking to large SUVs as the family car – good examples include the Hyundai Sante Fe, Kia Sorento and Skoda Kodiaq, while dual-cab utes are finding favour with other families as the one vehicle that can do it all.
If this sounds like it might work for you then the Volkswagen Amarok, Holden Colorado and Mitsubishi Triton are great value, while Ford’s Ranger is definitely worth a look and would enable you to stay loyal to the Blue Oval - though none will really give you the sporty appeal that your XR6 had.