By on June 24, 2009

Don’t believe the hype. The 1986 Taurus was not “the car that saved Ford.” Trucks saved Ford in the late Eighties and early Nineties, as consumer tastes moved away from the one-sedan-fits-nearly-all market in favor of the newly popular SUV. Nor can the 2010 Taurus save a Ford beset by problems on all sides. There are no longer enough potential mid-sized car buyers to make a huge impact on the company’s  bottom line, and most of those buyers are really better candidates for the smaller, more affordable Fusion.

No, the Taurus is neither Ford’s savior nor the vanguard of an American sedan renaissance. Instead, it’s a return to that quaintest of quaint American ideals: that of the premium Ford, primus inter pares in the millions of tract homes and leafy streets in that oft-derided “flyover country.” The original Taurus was notable for its unabashed futurism; the 1996 model, for a tragically ovoid miscalculation of the importance of price versus product in the market. This Taurus is something new and old at the same time. It’s intended to be a car that people want to own.

Our exposure to the 2010 Taurus took the form of a press introduction in Knoxville, Tennessee, followed by a long drive to Asheville, North Carolina, in conditions that could best be described as “forty percent chance of loading pairs of animals into a homebuilt ark.” The particular vehicle we drove was a white front-wheel-drive Taurus Limited with a reasonable but not comprehensive selection of the available options. Although the Taurus SE starts at $25,995, same as its predecessor, expect real-world stickers to range between twenty-eight and thirty-four grand for “popularly equipped” lot stock.

The alert reader will note that this price range is not really “Camcord” territory. The vast majority of the Japanese-brand mid-sizers sold are automatic-transmission four-bangers which leave the lot for a price well south of the base Taurus. This is fine with Ford; those buyers will be shown a Fusion. Instead, the Taurus is aimed upmarket. The media kit mentions the Audi A6, Lexus GS350, Chrysler 300, and Toyota Avalon. The first two comparisons can be dismissed as fantasy, the third is likely to be increasingly irrelevant, but the fourth is critical. There are plenty of older people in America who like the idea of buying a large sedan with a few gadgets on it, and those people are very fond of Toyota’s big Camry derivative.

Towards that end, Ford’s made no fewer than ten killer-app gadgets available on the Taurus, including radar cruise control, a surprisingly effective blind-spot warning system that can also notify the driver of cars approaching from the side in a parking lot, and the Orwellian “MyKey” that allows a top speed to be set for the valet key. Presumably this last feature is aimed at overprotective parents.

The MyKey setting on our car was turned off, so we headed for the hills to engage in a little bit of the old ultraviolence. Seated behind the Ford corporate steering wheel and fiddling with SYNC to our hearts’ content, we mercilessly tortured the charmless Duratec 3.5 for every last pony. This is not a fast car by any means—the SHO (in a forthcoming review) will address this—but it can be driven very hard in lousy weather. Stability is outstanding, steering feel is usable, and the chassis provides a sound ride while preserving a modest ability to be turned in on the brakes, should some irresponsible Boomer try it.

Over space and time, the new Taurus proved itself to be a quiet, comfortable vehicle with plenty of useful features. The exterior styling is up for debate, but the interior really does satisfy, providing ninety-five percent of the Lincoln MKS experience for about sixty percent of the price. Lon Zaback, Ford’s Interior Design Manager, waxed eloquent to us on the terribly complex process by which the absolutely convincing-looking faux-stitched leather doors were produced. The doors deserve a story all by themselves, but for now just consider it emblematic of the effort put into the Taurus by all hands.

The last Ford sedan to have this kind of whole-hearted effort devoted to it was the 1996 Taurus, and we all know what happened to that well-intended but ultimately star-crossed effort. It was a premium product and design statement masquerading as a family car, but the 2010 suffers from no such mission confusion. Comparing this very competent and interesting big sedan to the aging Impala or Chrysler 300 is bringing a gun to a knife fight. Against the Maxima, Avalon, and Azera, the Taurus offers size, styling, unique features and perhaps the most focus on the driver to be found in the segment. Don’t expect it to save Ford, but don’t expect it to fail, either.

[Ford provided the vehicle reviewed, gas, insurance, transportation, lodging and food.]

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105 Comments on “Review: 2010 Ford Taurus...”


  • avatar
    mattstairs

    to engage in a little bit of the old ultraviolence

    Great reference.

    Glad to see FoMoCo style this thing up a bit. Won’t please everyone but at least it is no longer a blandmobile.

  • avatar
    AKM

    Good to hear that Ford is finding how to make good cars again. Any news regarding the European Fords? The Fiesta is on its way (even saw one yesterday), but the Mondeo was a bit iffy.

  • avatar
    ihatetrees

    I’ve driven an 08 – Nice highway cruiser. Interior did need work, and it seems like Ford did it.

    BTW, what’s up with no stars?!?

  • avatar
    dwford

    Ford is fantasizing to think people will cross shop the A6 or the ES350. The Maxima, Avalon, Azera and new LaCrosse are it’s more natural competitors.

    I don’t see how this can’t crush the Lincoln MKS. For $10,000 less you get the same car. Only a true badge snob (for a Lincoln badge?!) would pay that difference.

  • avatar
    Ronman

    I think it looks nice, and after all, if it’s middle aged/retirees they are aiming at, it’s not hard pleasing these people. just give them comfort and simplicity and the notion that they are not driving something severely outdated and they will say, where do i sign…..

  • avatar
    Bill Wade

    Unlike GM it sounds like Ford is making an honest effort to bring cars to the table that may actually interest the mass market instead of rental car fleets.

  • avatar
    BuzzDog

    Don’t believe the hype. The 1986 Taurus was not “the car that saved Ford.”

    Perhaps the 1986 Taurus – the car itself – didn’t save Ford, but it could be argued that the product development process and many of its features did.

    Probably one of the most trivial of the original Taurus’ features was the small, second sun visor that allowed the front seat occupants to pivot the main visor to the side, and still have the ability to block the sun from the top of the windshield. Minor, perhaps, but appreciated during a sunset drive on a curvy road.

  • avatar
    NulloModo

    Good review overall, although I wouldn’t call the Duratec 35 charmless, it’s a nice little engine even if a bit raucous at higher RPMs. You are spot on with where this sedan is being targeted though – the Fusion is the new volume seller, say hello to the replacement to the Crown Vic and Grand Marquis, which it is, thankfully, better than in every way.

    Aside from retirees and those who just like big cars (which aren’t insignificant chunks in the market) I see sedans like this becoming an alternative to big SUVs as gas prices climb again. For the CUV averse you get seating for a family of 4 or 5 in comfort, with rear seats big enough for big 6 footers, and a trunk big enough to hold a weeks worth of luggage for the entire group. With 18/28 mpg in FWD, mileage is very good for a car this big.

    Having finally had a chance to see and play with one in person this could be a real competitor not only to the 300 and Avalon, but to the Lexus GS, Acura RL, and Infiniti M. No, I don’t think Lexus shoppers will put it on their list, but as most Lincoln Mercury dealers are also Ford dealers, and as the MKS is already stealing lots of sales from the mid-to-big segment Japanese luxury marks, quite a few might opt for the Taurus as a more economical option after coming in to initially look at an MKS.

  • avatar
    jerseydevil

    I drive a Cadillac DTS for work. Its a fine car, I really like it, it has every imaginable creature comfort.

    I have thought of buying a used one for myself, for long drives. The seats alone are worth the price of admission.

    A used one a few years old runs around 35K or so, about the price of this car new. And this car seems to have all the trinkets that I am so fond of on the Caddy.

    I beleive they are onto something here. I predict a success.

  • avatar
    no_slushbox

    This will hugely cannabalize the MKS, but Ford cannot afford to sandbag the Taurus just to help that niche product.

    North of $30K for a Taurus? Ford better keep production very low if it doesn’t want to see these massively discounted. If Ford gets anything near sticker I will take that as an indication that we have entered hyperinflation.

    It is the best looking Ford, other than the retro Mustang and GT, in a VERY long time, and thank god Ford did NOT use the “Dave/Gillette” grille.

  • avatar

    Actually, the Taurus did save Ford in the mid-80s. Trucks didn’t assume this role until the 1990s–the Explorer was introduced in 1990, the Expedition around 1995.

    Two things strike me as notable about the new Taurus:

    1. Compared to the 2008-2009, it’s larger on the outside–and heavier–but significantly tighter on the inside, especially in back. Ford has once again learned that function doesn’t sell.

    2. It’s sized and priced much like the Buick LaCrosse. Both have base curb weights around 4,000 pounds. For AWD add another 200. I posted a size and price comparison here:

    http://www.truedelta.com/blog/?p=373

    Reliability is a question mark. The Five Hundred and previous Taurus haven’t been bad cars, based on responses to TrueDelta’s Car Reliability Survey. We don’t yet have enough responses for the more closely related MKS–maybe in August. J.D. Power’s IQS suggests that the MKS has been having many problems, but then many of their latest results appear odd to me.

    TrueDelta hopes to have a quick initial reliability result for the new Taurus. All depends on how soon we get enough owners. If the sticker doesn’t scare people off, it should sell well, which would help.

    http://www.truedelta.com/reliability.php

  • avatar

    Jack, thanks for the review. I like the looks of this car. Hopefully it will be reliable.

  • avatar
    Robstar

    How well does the blind spot detection deal with motorcycles?

  • avatar
    wstansfi

    These are fairly attractive cars. I think maybe A.M. is doing something well. Is this a rebadged Mondeo? That’s a pretty decent looking car as well.

    Last time I rode in a ford sedan about 2 years ago, the seating was terrible… I mean terrible. I take it this has improved a bit?

    Last, this is not a meaningful price point for Ford. This is good price point for an entry level Lincoln. Tech is good for the young, and some aging baby boomers… not so much for the retired set that wants comfort, reliability, and a nice dealer experience.

    I predict the abyss for this new Taurus.

    Last, on the stars… I always loved the stars from way back, before they were gone and came back, when Farago was the principal reviewer. The review would be very opinionated and emotional. It would be centered around his particular wants and wishes for a car. The stars were like a step back to objectivity – they added to the review, not reinforced it or detracted from it.

  • avatar

    The new Taurus is based on the previous Taurus, which was based on the Five Hundred, which was based (loosely) on the Volvo S80.

  • avatar
    superbadd75

    jerseydevil : A used one a few years old runs around 35K or so, about the price of this car new. And this car seems to have all the trinkets that I am so fond of on the Caddy.

    You should be able to find that used DTS a few years old for low to mid $20k. Get it certified if you do buy one, lest you be stuck with repairing the “Northstar Leak” out of pocket.

    It’s nice to see Ford use the equity in the name “Taurus” for something good. This looks like a really nice car, and seems that Ford is finally putting their cars on the priority list. I really hope this car is a success for FoMoCo.

  • avatar
    jems86

    wstansfi : Last, this is not a meaningful price point for Ford. This is good price point for an entry level Lincoln.

    Lincoln? maybe Mercury. This shows that maybe Ford overdid it and this particular car should be rebadged as a mercury and Ford should sell a lower priced one.

  • avatar
    salhany

    That is a handsome car, and the grille treatment is much better on this Taurus than it is on the newly restyled Fusion. It may kill the MKS, but then again I doubt Ford expected to sell the MKS in any great numbers.

  • avatar
    commando1

    The 2010 Taurus is the first and only Ford I have considered in many, MANY, years.
    The 2010 Taurus pricing sent me looking elsewhere…

  • avatar

    Bill Wade, have you seen most of GM’s cars they’ve released the past few years? Hardly any of them are rental specials and have just as much effort put into them as the “new” refreshed “new” Taurus here. Like the upcoming 2010 LaCrosse which looks vastly better inside than this car.

    Will the refreshed Taurus really compete with anything? At it’s price point I really don’t think so. I don’t see any real home run part of this car and I can’t see people paying this much money for a Taurus. It will sell just as badly as the renamed Ford Five Hundred model. Unless Ford rebates the crap out of it of course.

  • avatar

    “Northstar leak?” I think the common headgasket durability problems with the Northstar were taken care of after the 2001 model year. The Deville/DTS is known for a host of other irritating problems, though.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    The only real trouble I have, other than the loss of the Five Hundred’s packaging, is Ford’s new climate and radio controls. Like the Flex (and the Honda Accord, and the previous Maxima), they’re composed of a billion identical buttons strewn attractively across the dash and labeled with small script.

    It looks good, but it’s not easy to pick out at speed. I suppose you get used to it, and it does look nicer than the big, rounded, somewhat infantile buttons in the Camry or Fit, but it’s not as easy to use.

    Other than that, it’s a really nice car.

  • avatar

    My family had an ’88, ’97, and ’02 Taurus, and as we bought each successive model you could tell that there wasn’t as much thought put into the little details. Gone were the dual visors (though they re-appeared in ’02), the bright yellow plastic cover to show you were the hood release was, the little covered storage on the rear parcel shelf.

    I actually liked the look and feel of the ovoid ’97 model, but the details let it down. They were all reliable vehicles though. Engine stalling on the ’88 and an A/C refresh, the auto trans in the ’97 was a bit finicky, but the ’02 with the DOHC engine never gave us much trouble.

    I do think that the ’86 Taurus and Sable saved Ford at the time. As Mr. Karesh mentioned, trucks did not come into vogue until the ’90. The ’86 Taurus and Sable (don’t discount the Sable, it was a big seller too) were definitely game changes at the time.

    As you can probably tell, I’m a Taurus fan and am glad to see the name attached to a great vehicle once again.

    Most importantly… Ford needs to keep all their vehicles on the Japanese method of model refreshes. Subtle revisions 3 years in, and a new model every 5 years. It’s going to be hard for Ford (or any domestic manufacturer) but they need to get new, high quality models to market quicker.

    Lastly, Ford really went all out with Tech. toys on the new car, and I’m glad to see them pushing hard in this are. Ford’s navigation system is among the best in the business.

  • avatar
    P71_CrownVic

    Someone should tell Ford that just because the car looks like it is always driving down hill, does not mean the fuel economy will improve.

    And the windows are too small.

  • avatar
    superbadd75

    “Northstar leak?” I think the common headgasket durability problems with the Northstar were taken care of after the 2001 model year.

    Head gasket issues are no longer a problem, but lower crankcase oil leaks still are. If you make it past 60k without oil leaks on a Northstar consider yourself lucky. But that’s another story for another day. That does underline, however, what got GM in trouble, and what Ford has seemingly avoided. GM’s known for years about issues with the Northstar —as well as loads of issues with other products— and has done little or nothing to correct them. Ford doesn’t seem to have the same problem, at least from what I’ve seen. One more reason I hope to see Ford do well.

  • avatar
    P71_CrownVic

    Last, this is not a meaningful price point for Ford. This is good price point for an entry level Lincoln.

    Well…all Lincolns are entry level luxury cars, or “near-luxury”

    And you are correct…This is Lincoln money for a Ford Taurus…which makes the Lincoln rebadged of this car even more outrageously priced.

    But it seems of late, Ford has a very bad habit of overpricing their cars. 33K for a Fusion, 28K for a Fusion hybrid, 45K for a silly Flex, 45K for a Taurus, 50K+ for a MKS with TwinForce.

  • avatar
    NickR

    Thanks freaking God. I really don’t want to have to get a CUV, but I need something roomy (for me) and for hauling camping and beach gear around (marry someone from South America and you will understand what ‘beach gear’ means. I had less ‘stuff’ in my old apartment).

    A biggish sedan, with decent looks and reasonably economy has always been my preference. This looks to fit the bill (and is infinitely better looking than the Avalon, which Toyota uglified as only Toyota can). Geez, I sound like Ford PR.

  • avatar
    jamie1

    P71_CrownVic :

    Someone should tell Ford that just because the car looks like it is always driving down hill, does not mean the fuel economy will improve.

    And the windows are too small.</em

    Thanks for telling us. The fuel economy is just fine – nothing in the competitive set that beats either the regular V6 or the EcoBoost on the highway.

    And the windows are fine thanks.

  • avatar
    trk2

    Those of you complaining about the pricing do not understand the market the Taurus is targeting. It is priced fine for competing against the Avalon and 300.

  • avatar
    vvk

    It is just too expensive. Avalon will at least have manageable depreciation. By the time the 2010 Taurus owner will be ready to trade it in, they might be in for a very nasty financial hit. Besides, I think the intended audience would be better served by a Lucerne.

  • avatar
    xyzzy

    Ford has one feature that I have no idea why no one else has implemented: keypad entry. I know Nissan had it on Maximas for a while, but it’s long disappeared from them. That is great feature, at the beach or on a bike ride you don’t need to lug your keys around, never in danger of getting locked out.

    Call me bland but IMO the last Five Hundred was the best styled Ford in recent times. I hate excess chrome and decorative geegaws like those fake vents in the front quarter panel.

    I would be in the market for this type of car, I currently drive a 1998 Lexus LS and I see this car as equivalent to that. It’s good to see that Ford has possibly caught up to a 1998 Lexus, in 2009. Unfortunately for Ford my Lexus is still so comfortable and reliable that I am not looking to replace it in the foreseeable future. But if I was in the future, a 2-3 year old example of this car would get serious consideration.

  • avatar
    carguy

    This is a refreshing change – a full size sedan that doesn’t look like it was designed by an AARP focus group. As far as competition goes I would say that its mainly the Maxima which is the only other car in this class that is endowed with even a hint of desirability.

  • avatar
    tauronmaikar

    Ford is garbage, period.

  • avatar
    Jacob

    Is there a chance the police would want to use this car as a new cruiser?

  • avatar
    Lumbergh21

    a surprisingly effective blind-spot warning system that can also notify the driver of cars approaching from the side in a parking lot,

    Okay, there’s a new gadget that actually sounds cool and usefull to me. Good to hear that you thought the car was a good effort by Ford and a good competitor in the full-size sedan market.

  • avatar
    TonyJZX

    i’m pretty sure the police are not gonna want to jump a $30k+ FWD sedan over a median strip any time soon

  • avatar
    Mr. Sparky

    psarhjinian :

    The only real trouble I have, other than the loss of the Five Hundred’s packaging, is Ford’s new climate and radio controls. Like the Flex (and the Honda Accord, and the previous Maxima), they’re composed of a billion identical buttons strewn attractively across the dash and labeled with small script.

    Actually, the Flex controls look worse than they are. They’re pretty easy to pickup. Unlike Honda that seems to randomly arrange buttons (I owned an 05 TL), the buttons are grouped in bands by function. Also, there are four sizeable knobs for volume, tuning, cabin temp, and passenger temp.

    The automatic climate control works well enough that you never need the manual adjustment buttons (in 9 months, I’ve used them once), so all you need to change are the temp knobs. The radio is the easiest I’ve ever had. The presets have their own row at the top of the stack. Volume and tuning have their own knobs with the media source buttons in between. Plus, Sync takes up any other slack.

  • avatar
    tonycd

    xyzzy, I couldn’t agree more about the keypad. It’s the only true method of “keyless entry” — no fobs, no batteries, no keys. Lock your stuff in the car and go jump in the ocean. (Just make sure you change the code every year or two so you don’t wear in a permanent visual clue of what your code is.)

    The ’98 Lexus is an unfair comparison, though. They could go hog-wild on the luxury cues like real wood and finer leather, because they didn’t have to hit this price point. Also, RWD is all but useless in the great snowy North where I live.

  • avatar

    Michael Karesh : Actually, the Taurus did save Ford in the mid-80s. Trucks didn’t assume this role until the 1990s–the Explorer was introduced in 1990, the Expedition around 1995.

    Beat me to it. No need to believe the hype, just look at the profits trending upward from 1981-1990.

    What could be said is that trucks and the Panther chassis kept Ford afloat while they were making the Taurus…kinda like right now.

    But this isn’t 1986, and the new Taurus is playing in a pool far too deep and dangerous. Either this car needs to be capped at $30k, or the MKS needs to go. Ford’s branding is so bad they’ll actually make a Ford that costs the same or more than a Lincoln!

  • avatar
    greenb1ood

    @ tauronmaikar
    Thanks for providing constructive critique that adds to the intelligent discourse here at TTAC.

    I recently ran across 3 Taurus SHOs being driven around mid-Michigan by what I have to assume were journalists based on the beaten-down look of road wear they each sported, and the Taurii were very nice looking vehicles.

    Ford needed this Taurus to be svelte on the outside, classy on the inside, and drenched in quality and reliability in order to continue their path to respectability.

    Check and check…awaiting word on the third part of the equation.

    Nice job so far Mr. Mullaly.

  • avatar

    Svelte? This is a big car that looks like a big car.

    Sajeev:

    I haven’t yet run a price comparison between the Taurus and the MKS, but easily enough done…

    …adjusted for feature differences, the MKS appears to be priced about $6,000 higher. So the Ford isn’t quite priced like a Lincoln.

    I don’t have 2009 MKS prices in the database yet. 2010 to 2010, the difference might be a little larger.

    http://www.truedelta.com/prices.php

  • avatar
    NulloModo

    Regarding police use, a number of departments already use fwd impalas and intrepeds, so, a fwd taurus wouldn’t be a bad thing. Plus, AWD is availible, and for a SE with fleet pricing it would come in far below 30K.

    Regarding the MKS, Lincoln is as much of a real luxury brand as Lexus, Infiniti, or Cadillac. While the badge might not draw the same snob appeal as Mercedes or BMW yet, it does add value for certain customers. The MKS for 2010 will add a couple exclusive features, such as the ability to self park. The MKS is a big seller now, and while the taurus might eat some of that, it won’t take too much.

    P71 – That is a mix of base, mirange, and loaded prices you came up with. The fact is the Fusion, Flex, Taurus, MKS, and the rest of the lineup are priced equally or below competitors from Toyota, Honda, Nissan, etc, for the same size and class and options. Yes you can go buy a car from a BK Chrysler or GM cheaper, but who wants to do that?

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    And the windows are too small.

    I think Ford is reacting to the boring but functional Five Hundred having it’s ass handed to it by the very stylized Chrysler 300 back in ’05.

    IIRC, Mullaly about a year ago (when this model was first glimpsed out in the wild during testing) has said more or less this is the car they should have released back in ’05.

    Kudos to Ford. This is a great looking car with a strong drivetrain and hopefully excellent reliability. Overpriced? Well, once the market settles down I would expect $3-4k discounts, and since the car is already well-equipped, unless you have to have all the toys it will be reasonably priced I believe.

    All I would want is a sunroof, SYNC, HIDs, perimeter alarm, and maybe heated seats. For around $32k, this would be a lot of car.

  • avatar

    Neither Cadillac nor Linoln is a “real luxury brand.” They’re second tier, like Acura and Volvo. Infiniti is on the edge–depends on what they do to replace the flagging M.

  • avatar

    Michael: I wasn’t just talking about the MKS (though SHO vs. MKS Turbo would be good to know) because the MKZ starts in the mid 30s.

    Ford has too many sedans in the near luxury 25-40k price point. And if there’s one vehicle that shouldn’t be there, its either the Taurus or the MKZ. Either Ford goes upscale or Lincoln goes cheap…not both.

  • avatar
    dolorean23

    Don’t believe the hype. The 1986 Taurus was not “the car that saved Ford.”

    Sorry but I have to take umbarage with this statement. Trucks may have saved Ford in the early to late 90′s, but in the mid-80′s the Taurus is what shook the money-maker. From wikipedia; “Replacing the Ford LTD, the front wheel drive Taurus introduced a much rounder and more organic design…described as “jelly bean” shaped, the design proved successful and helped to launch Ford into a new era of prosperity”.

    During the time between ’87-96, the Taurus was the best-selling car in the United States, losing the title in 1997. The Ford F-150 however, then gained the country’s best-selling vehicle title, leading sales along with several other vehicles not classified as “cars”.

    Over 5 million were sold in that time frame. It was one of the most successful cars Ford ever sold and broke the styling mold of big, boxy cars.

  • avatar
    derek533

    P71_Crownvic:
    But it seems of late, Ford has a very bad habit of overpricing their cars. 33K for a Fusion, 28K for a Fusion hybrid, 45K for a silly Flex, 45K for a Taurus, 50K+ for a MKS with TwinForce.

    That’s not a fair comparison as you have those vehicles listed with every single option available and you’re still higher than reality even at that. You can take any vehicle, option it up and it’ll will be priced higher than nicer vehicles a class up or what it theoretically should be.

    Just so you know, I paid $31K for my Flex OTD including leather and every option available other than Nav or DVD. Much less than a similarly equipped Odyssey or Sienna and right on par with the Lambdas and what other competitors are priced at. I see no problem with their pricing structure or their target audience to be honest.

    BTW, I love my keypad too. Nothing like keeping the car cool while you get your big gulp or keeping it warm while fetching your coffee.

  • avatar
    afabbro

    It looks to me like the biggest problem with this car is its name.

    There is (despite Ford’s best efforts) some brand equity left in Taurus. But if you say “Ford Taurus” to most people, they think “mid-priced sedan”, not “Avalon competitor”. When I think of a Taurus, I think of something like the role the Ford Fusion has in their lineup – the standard mid-grade, average Joe, high-volume sedan, like a Camry or Accord.

    The 2010 Taurus might be a worthy competitor to the Avalon, but why call it a “Taurus”? It’s like GM introducing a new upscale Buick Cavalier, or Toyota releasing a Lexus Corolla. The name Taurus is placed and defined – trying to push it upscale doesn’t make sense to me.

    And I agree the windows are too small ;-)

  • avatar

    Infiniti is definitely second tier. The brand is carried and defined by the G. Everything else they offer has tepid sales and isn’t very popular.

  • avatar
    Alcibiades

    My wife and I looked at the new Taurus last weekend (AWD Limited, in Cherry Red). It was an impressive car. We didn’t get to drive it, but it sounds from the review that it drives pretty well, for a non-sports car. I don’t know if it will be a “hit” but it is a great car, and a lot of people are going to want one.

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    During the time between ‘87-96, the Taurus was the best-selling car in the United States, losing the title in 1997.

    I beg to differ; I believe the Camry and Accord swapped that title several times until ’92-’95, when the Taurus won. Then Ford ovaled the ’96 and blew it.

  • avatar
    jamie1

    But it seems of late, Ford has a very bad habit of overpricing their cars. 33K for a Fusion, 28K for a Fusion hybrid, 45K for a silly Flex, 45K for a Taurus, 50K+ for a MKS with TwinForce.

    The desire to kick Ford yet again notwithstanding, the inaccuracy has to be yet again put to rest.
    Fusion starts at $19,995
    Flex starts at $28,995
    Taurus starts at $25,995
    MKS EcoBoost starts at $48,585

    Please ensure accuracy when posting comments even if you hate Ford for some reason as yet never stated.

  • avatar
    ronin

    Michael, thanks for the observation re interior size.

    I sat in the 09 Taurus. I was disappointed how narrow it was inside, given the overall car size.

    I especially noticed the same thing in the Panther line. The Crown Vics are huge, the interior space disproportionately smaller.

    A large car like this fits a category often ignored by the bloggy fanboys: The highway cruiser. Not a canyon curve carver, not a green light launcher, but a ride made for miles and miles of miles and miles. Read “On the Road.”

    This should translate into an interior space commensurate with the exterior space. To take the 09 Taurus and reduce the interior while bulking out the girth is plain nuts.

    Personally I’m slim, but I like shoulder room. Cars like the latest Malibu or G6 are already too narrow for me, and lack back legroom.

    So pending sitting in one, as interested as I have been, I may pass on the 10 SHO. If I want a small narrow car I’ll just drive a subcompact.

  • avatar
    jamie1

    tauronmaikar :

    Ford is garbage, period.

    So much for the death of intelligent and insightful commentary!
    I would question why posts like this are allowed by TTAC. I have always engaged on this site based on the quality of the commentary as much as by the editorial. Posts like these are neither accurate or of any use to the overall debate.

  • avatar
    geeber

    The 1986 Taurus only covered its development costs, so I don’t know if it could be said to have saved Ford.

    The F-150 was already the nation’s best-selling vehicle by 1982, and the Panther cars really took off around 1984, as GM began phasing out its big rear-wheel-drive cars. Those vehicles were raking in the big profits by the mid-1980s.

    This new Taurus looks very sharp in real life. A SHO version was at the Carlisle All-Ford Nationals, and it was drawing many favorable comments. I can see people who want a larger car buying this. The Fusion, however, will be Ford’s big gun in the sedan markt.

  • avatar
    Axel

    Our exposure to the 2010 Taurus took the form of a press introduction in Knoxville, Tennessee, followed by a long drive to Asheville, NC

    Beautiful, beautiful drive, by the way. I mean, when it’s not pounding rain.

    Against the Maxima, Avalon, and Azera, the Taurus offers size, styling, unique features

    The SHO better offer some serious pep if it’s going to be mentioned in the same sentence as a Maxima.

    Though that could be interesting showdown: Say I’m a 60-year-old upper-level manager who wants big, comfy ride, I want to go fast, and I don’t want to deplete more than $35k out of my retirement savings. And I live in a northern city that’s covered in sheet ice half the year (no RWD). Maxima or Taurus SHO? Or (G*d help us) a V8 Lucerne or Impala SS?

  • avatar
    Axel

    OK, the SHO starts at over $38k. Since the Maxima starts at $30k, AND goes from 0-60 in under 6 seconds, AND carries the reputation of the Nissan badge, Ford better produce something pretty damn fine if they want to compete.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    …depends on what they do to replace the flagging M.

    Non sequitur: I don’t think I’d call the M “flagging”, at least unless I was willing to call the STS and GS “flagging” as well. It’s quite a good car, and one that’d consistently tested better than it’s peers at Audi and BMW.

  • avatar

    Oh, the STS and GS are definitely flagging as well. All three cars sell in very small numbers. The M got killed by the new G. The other two have never sold well.

  • avatar
    rpol35

    Styling is always subjective but for me it becomes a critical path item, go or no-go. I saw a new Taurus at a car show in Florida in February and the “in the flesh version” just didn’t work for me; it is, in my estimation, too busy and a bit awkward.

    I honestly liked the styling of the 500 and was surprised that it didn’t have more takers. Can’t comment on its ergonomics or engineering as I never drove one.

  • avatar
    Axel

    NickR :Thanks freaking God. I really don’t want to have to get a CUV, but I need something roomy (for me) and for hauling camping and beach gear around (marry someone from South America and you will understand what ‘beach gear’ means. I had less ’stuff’ in my old apartment).

    There are a ton of mainstream, mid-size station wagons out there to suit this mission at a lower price point, and possibly better fuel economy.

    Wait, what? You mean it’s not 1995? :-)

    Seriously, when will Americans discover that a mid-size wagon gives you all the benefits of a car (pep, handling, fuel economy, price) with all the benefits of a CUV (hauling)?

    Have a look at an Elantra Touring before buying the Taurus. Yeah, the Elantra is in the compact market segment, but EPA classes it as mid-size, and it’s surprisingly roomy inside (enough for my 6’2″ comfort). It might meet your needs for a whopping ten grand less.

  • avatar
    SLLTTAC

    I bought a new 1989 SHO, which turned out to be the worst vehicle that I’ve ever had. Great concept, poor execution. I was considering the 2010 SHO until I learned how big and heavy it is. If the rumors turn out to be true, the 2010 Hyundai Genesis will have Haldex AWD and that will be a car I’d consider. If not, then I’d consider a 2010 Cadillac CTS AWD if it has a rear-view camera and other features that the SHO has. It’s so hard to find a medium-sized AWD wagon that is utile and fun to drive.

  • avatar

    geeber : The 1986 Taurus only covered its development costs, so I don’t know if it could be said to have saved Ford.

    Weren’t those development costs around a billion dollars in 1986 dollars? Don’t forget that the Taurus program also included a new engine to go with the new platform.

    If your comment is true, that explains why Ford made it big in 1987, far more profitable than GM that year.

  • avatar
    jpcavanaugh

    About the 86 Taurus/Sable, I remember it well. This was the first mainstream domestic sedan I had driven in YEARS that did not constantly remind the driver of engineering compromises made for the sake of emission control or CAFE.

    My mother bought an 85 Crown Victoria. Nice car, but everytime I drove it, all I could think of is that it needed either a 390 or a C6 transmission. But the 302 with the AOD and its tall gearing was nearly insufferable, and smacked you in the face everytime it shifted into 3rd/lockup at 25 mph and said “now, I dare you to try to accellerate!”

    A friend’s dad bought an 86 Sable. Smooth, seamless torque (for 1986). One of the most pleasant engine/transmission/axle ratio combinations I had driven in anything built since the early 70s. This car made instant mincemeat out of the Celebrity and its ilk from GM. The Taurus/Sable owned the midsided sedan market till the oval redesign. Recall also, that it was significantly larger than the Camry and Accord in most of those years.

  • avatar
    MrDot

    A fat Taurus for Audi money? Is Ford on drugs?

    I’m kidding, but on one hand, you can’t expect people to be receptive to bumping up a formerly-affordable nameplate a couple of price brackets.

    On the other, you have Ford’s chronic inability to generate any kind of marketing presence with a new name. In an ideal world, this should be a review of the new generation of FiveHundred.

    So in the end you have a Zen koan of car marketing. Is it better for Ford to have an established name and then ruin the forumla that made it a hit, or is it better to start from scratch and trust Ford’s marketing department to not fuck it up.

    It really seems like Ford has it’s shit together on this one, but I’m skeptical because of the price. If sales don’t meet expectations, they’re going to be tempted to start discounting them, and then we’re off on another Detroit Deathspiral.

  • avatar
    trk2

    The SHO better offer some serious pep if it’s going to be mentioned in the same sentence as a Maxima.

    Jalopnik reports 0-60 in 5.2s. That’s some serious pep in my book for a full size sedan.

  • avatar

    Thanks for a very nicely written, very informative review.

    @SLLTTAC: did I pick up some French in your post? If so, you’ll probably like my upcoming car review.

  • avatar
    mikeolan

    An Audi A6 might be a bit of a stretch, but realistically the Taurus will last much, much longer.

  • avatar
    Monty

    I don’t get the hate for Ford, I just don’t get it.

    I’ve read countless postings and comments about how the D3 should be making better and more reliable cars, which will enable them to up the price and not have to leave any money on the hood and to sell fewer cars at higher prices. In other words, make a profit on the car, even if they don’t sell millions of a particular model.

    So what do I read? “The car’s price is too high.” “They’re never going to sell a lot of these.” “They should be keeping the model names from the past.”.

    You know, I come to the conclusion that no matter what any of the D3 do, they will never please any of the Best and Brightest.

    It’s obvious that Ford is on the right track. Their cars are consistently earning higher quality marks. Resale values for the Fusion are surprisingly high. They have re-styled or re-freshed almost everything in their lineup. They’re bringing over the Euro Fords every pistonhead has been clamouring for. They’re reducing their reliance on trucks and SUVs. Some of their vehicles (Fusion, Mustang, Flex and soon-to-arrive Fiesta) are now becoming benchmark cars (“It’s almost as good as a Camry, Accord or Fusion.”) They’ve retained the Taurus name, and improved the product by a country mile compared to the last two iterations of the name.

    Yet somehow, the friggin’ Taurus has drawn the bellyachers out of the closet. It’s too much money, it shouldn’t be called the Taurus, it’s too much of an appliance it’s so bland.

    Holy fuck you mofaux’s! Everything that you complained about a year previously seems to have been rectified, or at least addressed by Ford and all you can do is lay the hatedown on them for doing exactly what you wanted them to do in the first place.

    It has become obvious that some people aren’t willing or capable of letting facts get in the way of a archaic or insipid viewpoint.

    My wife’s grandfather said it like this: “If one person tells me that black is white, I might argue with him and never change my mind, but if ten people tell me the same thing, maybe I’m the crazy one, and I should be willing to consider their point.” (rest in peace, Emil)

  • avatar

    @Robstar: The weather prevented a single one of them (motorcycles) from appearing in our Limited drive, so I don’t know how well BLIS works with them. Although I saw a few sportbikes on my SHO drive, I was in the process of passing them all on two-lanes so I didn’t have a chance to see for the system functions. I wouldn’t rely on any mechanical system to tell me it’s safe to move back over on a bike; I’d turn my head and look.

  • avatar
    Vorenus

    To those complaining about the price, remember that the Avalon at which the Taurus is aimed STARTS at $27,845.

    For the money, I’ll take the Ford.

  • avatar
    greenb1ood

    Michael Karesh :
    June 24th, 2009 at 12:03 pm

    “Svelte? This is a big car that looks like a big car.”

    I should have clarified…when compared to the outgoing Taurus/FiveHundred, svelte is an appropriate description. The outgoing model was at every angle, a brick.

  • avatar
    Vorenus

    Monty, I am with you, dude.

    Ford has been showing serious effort.

  • avatar
    artmaltman

    ALL WHEEL DRIVE.

    This is a natural (possibly a home run) car for the northeast and upper midwest.

    When I’m in LA I want to a top-down bimmer.

    In New York I simply want protection, space, decent power, responsive handling and nice look – and all wheel drive.

    As for pricing – this is a U.S. car company. $32k sticker you end up paying what, $28k? $27k?

  • avatar
    Matt51

    Ford is hopeless. They put different sheet metal on a Volvo. I think the Volvo looks better anyway, this car looks like it copied the Camry styling, which is about the worst styling you can copy. Ford should have put more money into Volvo, instead of bringing this car to market. Ford needs to put their money into mass market cars, which this is not. This car won’t compete with Impala with rebates, much less the ’10 LaCrosse. Those who point out lack of rear seat room are doing a valuable service. Large on the outside, small on the inside, no longer sells. Yes, Maxima beats this hands down.

  • avatar
    dkulmacz

    “Matt51, meet P71_CrownVic.

    P71_CrownVic, meet Matt51.

    I’m sure you two will have LOTS to talk about!”

    +1 Monty, well said.

  • avatar
    thoots

    OK, I’m positive towards “making an old name good,” rather than tossing them away after ruining them, like the D3 have been doing for the past 30 years.

    And, I do appreciate that Ford is investing money and making a good product.

    But….

    How many Buick sedans have been sold in the US over the past, say, 5 years? About one month’s worth of Camry sales? And I doubt that Toyota sells all THAT many Avalons, comparatively.

    Bottom line, this isn’t a high-sales segment — it’s one of the smaller niches in the market. As others have mentioned, it’ll probably steal more sales from Lincoln than anyone else.

    Oh, good golly WHY, can’t Ford spend some money to get the euro-Focus into the US market ASAP?? Gosh, they could sell absolute SCADS of those things!

    (Yeah, I suppose the counterpoint to that would be “But would they make any MONEY by doing so?”)

    Anyway. No matter what kind of new shaving-razor grille they slap onto it, Fusion just seems to be “not quite enough” in its segment. CamCord will presumably continue to beat the very pants off of it for the rest of its current generation. New Taurus is too big and too expensive for the mass marketeers. Ford just isn’t hitting that “sweet spot” that CamCord have been hitting for a decade or more.

    I guess I ultimately blame Fusion: Currently a face-lift on a clone of a long-ago long-in-the-tooth previous-generation Mazda 6. Current Focus is pretty much in the same territory: Ford is trying to compete with virtually a decade-old design compared to its competitors.

    Though, I suppose New Taurus is really in that same boat, too — “third time is a charm” on the same vehicle, isn’t it?

  • avatar

    Oh, the STS and GS are definitely flagging as well. All three cars sell in very small numbers. The M got killed by the new G. The other two have never sold well.

    I actually liked how the first-gen M45 looked. Athletic and svelte. Funny how most of the cars I like are always the ones to be summarily ignored by the rest of the market. The Isuzu Axiom is another one I liked that didn’t do so well marketwise. The second-gen M was too close to the G35/G37 sedan to make much rational sense. I bet Infiniti will just call it quits on V8-powered sedans and make the G the top slot on the pyramid.

    My mother bought an 85 Crown Victoria. Nice car, but everytime I drove it, all I could think of is that it needed either a 390 or a C6 transmission. But the 302 with the AOD and its tall gearing was nearly insufferable, and smacked you in the face everytime it shifted into 3rd/lockup at 25 mph and said “now, I dare you to try to accellerate!”

    A 90 Town Car with the 302 and AOD felt positively youthful compared to my 88 Cadillac Brougham, whose terminally wheezy 307 brooked no adventures past 2500rpm and the THM200 bled a good 40hp from the 140hp iron block.

  • avatar
    NulloModo

    The comparisons to the Maxima are a bit puzzling. The Taurus is a full foot longer, as well as being wider, taller, and having more interior space in all dimensions except front leg room (which is bizarre, I’m 6′ and if I sit with the Taurus’s seat all the way back it is an uncomfortable reach to the pedals… Nissan must have had a really leggy engineer in their design team on the Maxima) and has 42% more trunk space than the Maxima as well.

    I’m not trashing the Maxima, it’s a great car, but one of the big things Nissan talked about is how they made this new version smaller and more athletic than the last. The Maxima is a lot closer in size to an Altima than it is to the Taurus.

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    Yes, Maxima beats this hands down.

    Homie don’t do no CVT.

    To me at least, the Taurus is the better looking car. At least from the front.

  • avatar
    Zombo

    The Taurus may have not saved Ford in the late 80s , but it sure saved Old Detroit with Robocop driving it ! Seriously though a bit of revisionist history by the author of the article , since the only really popular SUV in the mid-80s was the Jeep Cherokee and the rest didn’t come into promenence until the middle 90s after the Taurus had been around the better part of a decade. At least that was the case in my neck of the woods here in NJ .

  • avatar
    jimmy2x

    @ dkulmacz

    Thanks for the laugh – made my night. And i agree with you and Monty. If we were in the market, would certainly give Ford a serious look. FWIW, with all the hate for the Taurus, I had an ’04 for a company car. Beat the crap out of it up and down the NJ Turnpike, GS Pkway, and many worse roads for 100K in 4 years. Never whimpered.

  • avatar
    Bimmer

    thoots :
    Fusion just seems to be “not quite enough” in its segment. CamCord will presumably continue to beat the very pants off of it for the rest of its current generation.

    FYI Fusion for that matter outsold CamCord and Ford outsold Toyonda in the past two month (April and May) in the US.

  • avatar
    NulloModo

    thoots –

    While the previous gen Mazda6 (and the current one for that matter) and the Fusion do ride on the same platform, it has upgraded and refined over the years. Considering it was a strong platform to begin with, what’s wrong with keeping it? Basic chassis/platform/suspension design for mainstream cars hasn’t changed a ton in the past decade.

    The current Fusion rides as nice as any Accord and has better driving feel than any Camry, has an interior that matches them in fit and finish and quality, has engines with just as much power with the same or better fuel efficiency, has more interior space (vs Camry, the Accord is huge), more trunk space than both, just as nice a reliability record, all the tech gizmos plus more, and the best bluetooth/iPod/Nav setup on the market.

    Yes, it will still be a while before the Fusion is the benchmark that the Asians strive to match just as the original Taurus was, but that is due to consumer doubt over troubles of Ford cars of the past, not the current models. It took Honda and Toyota a while to build the reputation they have today, and it will take a while for Ford to gain its reputation back where it comes to passenger cars. As long as they are all as nice as the new Fusion and Taurus though, it should be very steady progress.

  • avatar
    Alcibiades

    Jack, what are your thoughts about AWD versus FWD, if you are not concerned about winter driving (I live in New Mexico). Would AWD give a performance/handling advantage? Would it be worth the extra weight?

  • avatar
    Vorenus

    Alcibiades… that would depend on which AWD system we’re talking about. Not all AWD systems are created equal. We need to know what kind of system the Taurus employs.

  • avatar
    Ach

    Waiting on the two-star “take two”…

    In all seriousness, Ford’s abandonment of naturally aspirated DI technology hurts here. This car screams out for something in between the plain-Jane D35 (a decent engine that can’t compete with Maxima or even Avalon acceleration, largely due to weight, and AWD models will be even heavier) and the EcoBoost which is only available on the too-expensive SHO. Something around 300 bhp sounds about right. Or else make EcoBoost a $1500 option across the board.

  • avatar
    Ach

    Alcibiades… that would depend on which AWD system we’re talking about. Not all AWD systems are created equal. We need to know what kind of system the Taurus employs.

    If it’s the same one that’s in the Fusion, I can attest that it is great for snow traction but does not do much for dry handling.

  • avatar
    trk2

    Alcibiades… that would depend on which AWD system we’re talking about. Not all AWD systems are created equal. We need to know what kind of system the Taurus employs.

    It is Volvo’s AWD system. It is front wheel biased but capable of sending 100% of the power to rear wheels.

  • avatar

    @Alcibiades: The FWD car would be fine for any non-winter states. The normally aspirated Duratec isn’t powerful enough to require the extra driveshaft, so it’s hard to argue against the cost, efficiency, and simplicity benefits of FWD.

  • avatar
    finderskeepers

    For those of you who need a second opinion on everything
    http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/posteddriving/archive/2009/06/25/preview-2010-ford-taurus.aspx

    My wife bought an AWD fusion, and it really is a hoot to drive, even with only 221 hp. If the Taurus is a 5/4 model of the fusion, it should be a good seller. I’m sure the 365hp taurus SHO is enough pep for 99% of drivers, and the other 1% are likely candidates for the cuffs anyway. There is a video on youtube of an ecoboost 3.5 MKS doing the quarter faster than an SVT lightning at 111mph through the 1/4 mile

  • avatar
    rocketrodeo

    @robstar, @Jack Baruth:

    As a D258 development driver and a motorcyclist, I’ve been more than a little interested in BLIS’s ability to detect motorcycles in the blind spots. (BTW, Fusion, Flex, and MKT use the same system.) Over the past year I’ve satisfied myself that BLIS is more than sufficiently sensitive to bikes. The ONLY bike that I can recall it not detecting was a Ducati 1098 going about 20 mph faster in the same direction I was, in the outer wheel track of the left lane, so he wasn’t in my blind spot for very long. You’ll still need your mirrors to scan for squids.

  • avatar
    KnightRT

    > [T]he chassis provides a sound ride while preserving a modest ability to be turned in on the brakes, should some irresponsible Boomer try it.

    Jack, you don’t much seem to like trail-braking. Is that in general, or just a public roads sort of thing?

  • avatar
    threeer

    @Monty,

    high resale on Fusions?? REALLY??? Tell that to my 2006 Fusion that is worth next to nothing now. I bought it used last year for $12.5k (SE, 5 speed, sunroof, 6 CD changer)…yeah…I know, it’s a manual. But now it’s worth about $6k for trade. And this is only a three year old car. Sure, Ford might be making great strides, but I’m not sure I’ll soon buy another just for the abysmal resale alone. Hell, my son’s 1997 Tercel is holding up better in resale than the Fusion…

  • avatar
    trk2

    high resale on Fusions?? REALLY??? Tell that to my 2006 Fusion that is worth next to nothing now. I bought it used last year for $12.5k (SE, 5 speed, sunroof, 6 CD changer)…yeah…I know, it’s a manual. But now it’s worth about $6k for trade. And this is only a three year old car. Sure, Ford might be making great strides, but I’m not sure I’ll soon buy another just for the abysmal resale alone. Hell, my son’s 1997 Tercel is holding up better in resale than the Fusion…

    You’re getting jerked around by dealers. Trade in value for the 2006 4 cylinder (you didn’t state 6 vs 4) SE with standard transmission is $9500. Obviously that assumes average appearance and mileage.

  • avatar

    @KnightRT: I was being somewhat flippant. The difficulty with trail-braking on public roads is that it really leaves you out of options if you find that the road surface is not exactly what you expect.

    Which is not to say I don’t do it. :)

    And, for the rest of our readers, I’m not referring to just leaving your foot on the pedals as you bend in to the turn 30mph short of the tires’ capability; I mean the kind of maneuver where a light brush with the left foot steps the tail out.

  • avatar
    plateau

    Just drove 2009 and 2010 Fusions including hybrid. Quite impressed. Highway mileage rating went from 28 to 31 on the four cylinder from 2009 to 2010. Wish I could have driven the new Taurus.

    I am no whiz bang car guy, but I think maybe a lot of the hype about the future being small very efficient cars is too narrow. I suspect an important piece of the future is about the traditional highway cruiser comfort car, ie Taurus, Avalon, etc, reengineered and eventually achieving good highway mileage in the mid 30′s to 40 mpg. That will sell to many old and younger duffers and seems achievable.

  • avatar
    pacificpom2

    Hmmmm do I spy the replacement for the Falcon if Ford Oz don’t get any more money to continue the falcon platform. The only tough sell will be the lack of a V8 and FWD in a large car. AWD is reserved for Subaru and Audi’s. Perhaps they could disconnect the FWD drive shafts in a AWD variant, call it RWD and option up(?) to the AWD ala the Ford Territory. Get Geelong to build the V6 instead of the inline 6

  • avatar
    armadamaster

    “Sajeev Mehta :
    June 24th, 2009 at 11:54 am
    What could be said is that trucks and the Panther chassis kept Ford afloat while they were making the Taurus…kinda like right now.

    But this isn’t 1986, and the new Taurus is playing in a pool far too deep and dangerous. Either this car needs to be capped at $30k, or the MKS needs to go. Ford’s branding is so bad they’ll actually make a Ford that costs the same or more than a Lincoln!

    Thank you Sajeev! Hit it right on the head with both above comments. This Taurus is too expensive, and considering the bottomless R&D pit the Volvo D3 platform has been for Ford the last five years, the price can only go up.

    Ford is rolling the dice on competing for the elusive Avalon buyer while they should be concentrating on keeping their existing Panther customers and trying to get some of those lost ones back. Fleets will not buy the Volvo D3 for a Panther replacement and if the elusive Avalon buyers don’t jump immediately on board Ford is going to find themselves totally out of the fullsize car arena that they once owned in a hurry.

  • avatar
    armadamaster

    “NulloModo :
    June 24th, 2009 at 8:25 am
    You are spot on with where this sedan is being targeted though – the Fusion is the new volume seller, say hello to the replacement to the Crown Vic and Grand Marquis, which it is, thankfully, better than in every way.

    Unless it is B-O-F and RWD with decades and millions of miles proven under it’s belt, it doesn’t hold a candle to a CV or GM.

  • avatar
    john343

    I think the Taurus is a excellent choice for people that want to move up from the camcord class of cars and not be stuck with a grandma car like the Avalon. I currenly drive a 03 Accord that has been a wonderful car but I want some thing a little bigger and flashier. As far as mileage goes the Taurus with 18/28 mpg beats the V6 Malibu 17/26, V6 Altima 19/26, V6 Mazda 6 17/25 and is comparable to the V6 Camry and Accord. And price wise those V6 models are within just hundreds of dollars of the Taurus SE. Kinda a no brainer!The Taurus is bigger in almost every dimmension. I think I will be driving a new Taurus soon!

  • avatar
    Zan Slaps Josef

    The Taurus is a size and equipment step above the Fusion, and the price-as pointed out above-would be subject to the usual haggling. For all you get, the price is hardly an issue.

    Well, unless you’re of the anti-domestic mindset that they have to underbid everyone all the time.

    It’s a very handsome car in person, and while the SHO is pricey…it’s a very complete car in terms of space, performance, and overall usability. I think that’ll stand out.

  • avatar
    ohsnapback

    This vehicle occupies no man’s land.

    It’s too big on the outside given its interior dimensions, it’s less fuel efficient than vehicles larger inside (Mazda6, Accord, etc.), it only offers greater heft and more steel and such than the Fusion, V6s are being abandoned in family sedans for 90% of the sale 4 cylinders, which this doesn’t offer, and it’s about 12% too expensive based on its MSRP.

    This is competing with the Avalon and Maxima? Really?

    You can get a Hyundai Genesis, which looks better and has more content, even in the lowest trim model, for 30k, at a few of the no haggle volume dealers. The Genesis is more powerful, has a better interior, better warranty, is most likely much quieter and roomier – and that car is not even remotely close to being a volume seller. I think Hyundai is selling 1,000 per month, if that.

    This car will end up being heavily discounted or it will rot on the dealer lots. Ford will also be forced to fleet sell it just to keep the line occupied.

    And watch for the Lincoln cannibalization…it’s going to be a problem for Lincoln.

    This is the wrong car, with inefficient interior space given the outside dimensions, at thousands too much, for these times.

    24k to 28k should have been the price range for the non-SHO version.

  • avatar
    santhoshg

    I just got one SEL AWD. Excellent car, but have a concern for rear visibility; and ofcourse its expensive.

  • avatar
    lax_NJ

    My dad stepped into the dealer for the LTD or SHO and bought the SEL AWD .
    He has owned great cars including Mercedes Benz. He was looking for a four-door sedan possibly Audi or BMW. After looking at these cars and realizing everyone and their mom owns one he decided he wanted something more unique but still subtle. I sent him a text about the new Taurus which he almost laughed me out of the house. After further investigation he found the car to be gorgeous and the new FORD system to be worth investing in (no bailouts).
    After test driving, we found the fit and finish to be great. Tons of room, drove nice, looked sharp was in the price range 29-40k. On purchasing day, there was an AWD on the lot and we didn’t even know that was an option. We went for it mainly because the other thing we had in mind was an SUV. We get some ice and snow and rain here in the hilly NJ suburbs and its a nice “psychological” attribute. Did great its first snow season (not a truck, but helped on slushy roads)
    Performance is great. I laugh when people talk about car performance like they drive the INDIE 500 commuting to work. The finish is great. The FORD experience has been great. I suggest this car for anyone thinking about an SUV and looking for style longevity and performance. There is a boatload of room. Plus it stands out in the crowd of NJ yuppies driving BMW’s and AUDI’s. If I had a dollar for every time someone asked about this vehicle I could buy another one already. Our good friends and BMW nuts are getting one now.  The “taurus” thing was a tough sell, but now we like it. It’s almost classic in a way.
    Availability seems to be an issue. The dealer had a bunch on the lot already sold before arriving. Price I think is fair. We paid low 30′s and it has sync, AWD, leather, sunroof, nice wheels, wood grain … If they keep the price a little cooler than the competition it will be great. The SHO is worth every penny though. Deciding on color will be the hardest part.
     
    GO FOR IT!


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