Due to a massive corporate sponsorship deal, tax breaks for non-profit service organisations, and an 18,000km lifecycle, my new employer actually makes a profit on using XR6 Falcons as company cars.
Now, I'm pretty sure they'd make a profit on using base-model Falcons as company cars as well, but what fun would that be?
What this means, however, is that for one week out of every three, I have an XR6 ute in my driveway. Strictly, it need hardly be said, for business purposes only.
There's just one problem.
It may be ungrateful, rude and possibly even sacrilegious to say this, but:
I don't think it's a very good car.
There is no feel from the steering whatsoever. The styling makes it really difficult to work out where the corners are. Visibility from the cabin is horribly compromised, particularly over your right shoulder, and through the left A-pillar. The throttle pedal is soft and imprecise. The suspension is crude (I mean, it has the 1-tonne suspension, which means leaf-springs. Haven't they been phasing those out of bargain-basement trucks?). The gearbox is slow to react and slow to shift.
I actually prefer the way my partner's 1994 Commodore wagon drives, to the way this brand new sports-model Falcon ute drives.
Talk about a let-down.
Oh yes, and one more thing: It has the world's most stupid tray cover. It's rubberised fabric, and it's held down not by the good old-fashioned elastic rope around hooks, or even by clips. It's held on by what I can only describe as a giant zip-lock bag arrangement. There's a plastic lip around the edge of the cover which clips over a lip on the edge of the tray. It's very easy to not completely close it, and it's a fearful pain in the arse to get on. Who the hell thought that would be a good idea?