By on April 4, 2018

2017 Ford Taurus - Image: Ford

It’s a bad news day if you’re a lover of traditional passenger cars, but surely you’ve grown used to this thing by now. As automakers, especially domestic ones, cast a critical eye on their lineups, many models without rear liftgates will inevitably fall victim to the quest for greater profit.

We brought you a report of the Chevrolet Sonic’s impending demise earlier today, but now it’s time to turn from GM to Ford. The same report, drawing on sources with knowledge of the company’s product plans, says the storied Taurus nameplate is not long for this world. Imagine dropping this bombshell on someone in the late 1980s.

Nowadays, you’d likely be greeted with, “They still make the Taurus?”

The Wall Street Journal cites sources claiming Fiesta production will cease for American consumers this year. That’s no shock, as this continent didn’t get the next-generation Fiesta that debuted in Europe in late 2016. The Fiesta was a dead subcompact walking. Erm, driving. A Ford exec admitted as much in Romania last summer, though the U.S. eventually saw a carryover 2018 model.

These same sources claim Ford has decided to discontinue the Taurus, but did not provide a timeline for its departure. If confirmed, this means the current, aging generation will be the model’s last. It also means the end of the Ford Police Interceptor Sedan — a variant that’s quickly being replaced by the Explorer-based Interceptor Utility.

Built at Ford’s troubled Chicago Assembly plant, today’s Taurus is better known to fleet customers than retail buyers. It wasn’t always that way. In the decade following its 1986 model year introduction, the Taurus was a domestic sales juggernaut, providing the likes of the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry with real competition. When its spaceship styling gave way to the ovoid monstrosity of 1996, sales began a slow, sad descent. Still, U.S. sales crested the 300,000 mark in 2005 (much of that being fleet buys).

The Taurus withered on the vine, ceasing production in 2006. Newly minted Ford CEO Alan Mulally couldn’t stomach it, however, and resurrected the model nameplate soon after, affixing it to the former full-size Five Hundred.

The sixth-generation Taurus bowed for the 2010 model year, with a refresh arriving for 2013. Since reaching a current-generation U.S. sales high of 74,375 units in 2013, Taurus popularity waned to 41,236 sales last year. In March, civilian Taurus sales fell 36.3 percent, year over year. Over the first three months of 2018, Taurus volume fell 29.5 percent.

Crushed by this report? The news isn’t all bad — the same WSJ sources claim Ford hasn’t yet reached a decision on what to do with the endangered Fusion, which sees the most minor of refreshes for the 2019 model year. A reprieve is possible.

[Images: Ford Motor Company]

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157 Comments on “Ford Taurus to Follow Fiesta Out the Door: Report...”


  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    While the Taurus is pretty redundant as anything other than a police interceptor, Ford may as well keep making the Fusion for at least a few more years. It looks current (they just announced another refresh for 2019, like you said) and sells well enough.

    And even though the MKS and now Taurus have been executed, I wonder whether Ford will keep whoring out the D3/D4 platform. The Explorer, even though the new one will go on a new RWD-based platform, sells quite well. Maybe they’ll sell it alongside the old model, a la GM (see Impala Limited, Cruze Limited, Acadia Limited, etc…). Or maybe they’ll just sell it as the Interceptor Utility. And what of the MKT, since its Aviator replacement looks set to go to production quite soon? It’s a hard sell to consumers, but I’m sure it prints money for the livery market.

    Maybe it’ll all depend on where they manufacture the cars. If it’s at the Chicago plant, it may not have enough room to build D3 and the new platform.

    • 0 avatar
      MRF 95 T-Bird

      Over the weekend I rode in a 2015 Explorer. I found it to be a cut above in ride and fit and finish over a similar three row Honda Pilot.
      They got a lot out of the D3/D4 platform which ought to mean this new RWD platform could spur a number of CUV’s and sedans.

      • 0 avatar
        Jean-Pierre Sarti

        i too recently took a cross country trip in a fairly modest base model XLT Explorer with 20k on the clock and was extremely impressed by it through all driving conditions.

      • 0 avatar
        johnds

        I wanted to buy the explorer, but the crash tests are much worse than the pilot. Explorer was rated Marginal in the moderate overlap test, whereas the pilot was rated good. I also find it troubling about the Explorer’s carbon monoxide investigation. Real or not, it raises some concerns.

    • 0 avatar
      SC5door

      The D3 platform will pass on when the last U502 Explorer rolls off the line. They will not continue on with 2 different Explorers. The new police interceptor will be on the new platform.

  • avatar
    DEVILLE88

    I’m going to laugh my butt off when the CUV trend ends(probably in the next year or two)and these idiots find themselves sedan-less.

    • 0 avatar
      Firestorm 500

      I think your butt is going to stay safely attached for a long time. You’ll have to get your laughs from “Roseanne”.

      • 0 avatar
        DEVILLE88

        That……and she are not funny!!…………LOL!!!

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        He’s right, and mostly because the industry is already producing too much hence the supply glut. Having three or four models of the same damn thing is going to lead to lower profit per model, and cutback (which we are now seeing). If there is only one sedan model, this market should remain reasonably steady and could even see growth as other models or segments shrink with sales.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I agree.

    • 0 avatar
      junkandfrunk

      Wait till fuel prices re-spike. Wah wah wah from the crossover junkies all the way to the repo man.

      • 0 avatar
        bumpy ii

        Naah. The dominance of car-based SUVs means the mileage penalty versus sedans is much less than it was the last time around.

      • 0 avatar
        gtem

        The current gen of compact crossovers don’t give up a meaningful amount of fuel economy IMO, not enough to make someone cringe and want to downsize anyways. Half-ton pickups likewise have really improved substantially where 20mpg in a highway-biased driving loop is very achievable in the real world. Durangos and Pilots and Highlanders are knocking on mid-20s mpg highway.

        • 0 avatar
          cpthaddock

          Any comparison which posits that a crossover is a modified version of a sedan is now obsolete. It’s the other way round, and the sedan is the impractical one.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Just a wagon in a world where interior human room was purposely curtailed and the vast majority of the real economy cannot afford new vehicles at advertised prices. “Can afford” is defined as not needing to sign a seven to nine year note and has a consistent steady income stream.

        • 0 avatar
          ponchoman49

          And mid size sedans are knocking on high 30’s highway with full sizers easily getting 32-34 so there is a big difference whether people want to believe it or not. A heavier taller hulking SUV that rides on gargantuan tires is going to use more fuel period unless of course it is electric or full hybrid.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Full sized sedans of today are yesterday’s compacts. Try putting one next to an early-60s Chevy II or Corvair and see how much difference there is between them. (Not much.)

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            Look at it from an actual cost perspective. How much is an extra 5mpg going from 30-ish in a CRV to a 35mpg in an Accord really saving you? It’s not much. When it was 16 mpg SUVs and 30mpg sedans it was much more noticeable.

      • 0 avatar
        TrailerTrash

        If fuel prices rise to the point it effects cars sales again, it will be from manipulation or production woes.it has been proven there is plenty of oil.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus

        Because the Explorer gets 12 mpg and the Taurus gets 37?

        Fact check, please.

        • 0 avatar
          ponchoman49

          I have driven plenty of both. A FWD Taurus can pretty easily get 30 highway MPG with the 2.0T models cresting 32-33. AWD versions usually see 26-27. The Explorer’s which are always AWD usually see mid to high teens in suburban driving and low 20’s highway.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Pretty sad I can pull 30-32 hwy out of 3800 and this behemoth can only achieve the same with a DI I4 with turboz and a how many speed transaxle?

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        In addition, the majority of sedan owners switching to CUVs go DOWN a size-segment (i.e. – Accord owners opting for the CR-V and not the Pilot), which ends up being fairly similar in price-point and fuel economy.

        And these days, there is a proliferation of subcompact CUVs and some automakers are planning to bring to market even smaller CUVs.

      • 0 avatar
        Peter Gazis

        Junkandfrunk

        The Taurus is not known for its fuel efficiency.
        Ford could always bring in Fiestas from Mexico.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      That’s what we said when Sergio killed off the relatively-new Dodge Dart and Chrysler 200. But now he’s looking smarter than ever.

      • 0 avatar
        sportyaccordy

        Hardly. FCA’s average fleet MPG is like 17. Between subprime customers getting pushed out by interest rates and fuel already on the uptick they are not well positioned for the short/medium term.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Was he smart, or did he go all truck/CUV/SUV out of necessity because the cars bombed?

        I’d go with about 15% of the former and 85% of the latter.

        • 0 avatar
          TwoBelugas

          “Was he smart, or did he go all truck/CUV/SUV out of necessity because the cars bombed?”

          Smart? That’s subjective. But it was definitely sensible to lose deadweight and focus on the company’s core competencies. And he was not wrong that the sedan segment was shrinking so was it worth it to further invest to try to stay in the game for a shrinking pie?

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Right, but if the sedans had actually been *successful*, they’d still be around.

            Which begs the question: were they meant to be successful? I’d have to think the answer to that is yes.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Well never know since they’ve been so crippled. They have truly become switch cars. Well sir you could buy the Fusion but for a few dollars more Escape…

          • 0 avatar
            TwoBelugas

            “Which begs the question: were they meant to be successful? I’d have to think the answer to that is yes.”

            The Darts and 200s were not bad cars objectively speaking, the problem they had was the residual crap image the earlier Sebring/200 and Avenger twins carried, and it does appear they spent a boat load of money on developing the Dart. It was just a bad time to be pushing sedans. It will take a long, long time for FCA to shed the image it took on during the cut-to-the-bone Daimler years. I still can’t take the Gen 3 Rams seriously with the crap interior it got, no matter how good the Hemi and 5.9 Cummins were.

            Some say the Dart should not have been named as such being a FWD people mover, but that didn’t stop GM from doing the same with Impalas and Malibus 10 years before that.

            footnote: no idea why but the “reply” button is not always available so please excuse the location of this reply.

          • 0 avatar
            Dan

            “Which begs the question: were they meant to be successful? I’d have to think the answer to that is yes.”

            You’d be wrong. Those cars existed at all because one of the conditions of the previous administration’s gift of Chrysler to Fiat was building a 40 mpg car in the US. Fiat followed the letter of that requirement by bringing one of their existing European clown cars to Belvidere.

        • 0 avatar
          John Horner

          Sergio read the market correctly. He had an easier decision to make than some because his sedan sales tanked early and the Jeep brand is a license to print money.

          Like him or hate him, the fact is that he called this trend correctly and did so sooner than his peers did. Now everyone is onboard.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Indeed he is, and it never should have been green-lighted in the first place.

        @sporty

        I see why you might think this, but Sergio’s actually got room to wheel and deal. You want fuel efficient? He’s got a number of Fiat cars masquerading as Jeeps which sell well. You want capable? He’s got a Wrangler which sells itself and a paid for Grand Cherokee platform which dates from 2011. You want a pickup? They just launched a new truck and likely will continue the MY18s as fleet for a period, both of which are Hecho in Mexico giving him a slight cost edge. Should you want a car, or a performance model, he’s got LXs to sell you. From a balance sheet standpoint, you might be right on Chryco being run poorly for the mid to long term but product wise I wouldn’t count them out just yet.

        If Ford really spent $1 billion on Lincoln, it may cost Chrysler about the same to spin up a better Dart. They had might as well have a bonfire as Ford did because there is no way any profit would come out of such an investment.

        • 0 avatar
          danio3834

          “They just launched a new truck and likely will continue the MY18s as fleet for a period, both of which are Hecho in Mexico giving him a slight cost edge.”

          HD Rams are built in Mexico, along with *some* 1500s. The new 1500 is built in Michigan, as are 90% of the outgoing model. As the old 1500 is phased out, HDs will be transitioned to the Warren Michigan plant. There’s enough margin to absorb the labour cost increase, while saving money on distribution and potentially tariffs.

      • 0 avatar

        Sergio is still seen as an idiot. Like Chrysler, Ford in future will sell only mediocre trucks and SUVs. How can Sergio be seen as smart when Chrysler is ranked near the back of the pack in reliability surveys.

        • 0 avatar
          dantes_inferno

          > How can Sergio be seen as smart when Chrysler is ranked near the back of the pack in reliability surveys.

          Chrysler’s motto: “Dodge testing – RAM it into production”

    • 0 avatar
      Hydromatic

      As long as you have Baby Boomers who like sliding across seats instead of sinking down into them, you’ll have CUVs.

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    I think the Fusion will end up like the 300: a series of mild refreshes every few years to serve whatever is left of the large sedan market.

    • 0 avatar
      Firestorm 500

      To me the Fusion is mid-sized. Regardless what the rental car agencies call it. “Full-size” its not.

      • 0 avatar

        Agree RE: mid-size classification on Fusion. I’m sure it has more interior space than the Taurus (which is badly packaged), but exterior size isn’t there.

        • 0 avatar
          bumpy ii

          That’s why I said “large”.

        • 0 avatar
          Firestorm 500

          I rented a Fusion Titanium in Las Vegas in November 2016. My wife and I both liked it. 2.0T, black on black. Good looking car.

          • 0 avatar
            Middcore

            My daily is a ’15 Fusion 2.0T AWD and I like it very much. Only real complaint is the gas mileage is mediocre at best. Mine is also black on black, which I think looks classy but there are so many black Fusions on the road I kind of wish mine was, say, blue.

          • 0 avatar
            MRF 95 T-Bird

            Last week I was away on vacation and needed a rental so I picked the Ford Fusion hybrid. I got 40-45 mpg mixed use with plenty of power to spare and more than enough comfort for my 6’2” self. When I returned it to the rental agency I didn’t even have to top it off.
            The rental agencies refers to it as large while the Taurus and Impala are often referenced as full-sized.

        • 0 avatar
          JohnTaurus

          You’d be wrong Corey, the Taurus has more room.

          • 0 avatar

            Interesting, now I’ve not been in this current Taurus, but the pictures and video always made it looked cramped. I’ve been in a Fusion, and it felt open/pretty spacious.

          • 0 avatar
            Featherston

            Agreed, JohnTaurus. The Taurus has a slightly claustrophobic air because of the high sills and large console. If you can get past that impression however, you realize it’s a roomy and comfortable car for four adults. Three friends and I had an SEL as a day-trip rental, and I had a Limited as a rental for a 1,000-mile work/vacation drive. I quite liked it both times. And I love that the base engine is a 288-hp, naturally aspirated V6.

        • 0 avatar
          WallMeerkat

          Fusion in Europe is a continuation of the Mondeo line (Ford Contour), which is successor to the Sierra (Merkur XR4Ti) and Cortina, and has always been considered D segment / mid size

      • 0 avatar
        cpthaddock

        Rental car companies have their own parallel reality when it comes to defining car size classes.

    • 0 avatar
      dwford

      There’s no reason the Fusion couldn’t be completely restyled on the current platform. The CD4 is still a newer platform. If Toyota can milk the Camry platform for 15 years, surely Ford can get another 4-5 years out of the CD4 if they did a full restyle inside and out.

  • avatar
    Verbal

    So if the Fusion and Taurus both get terminated, Ford will be left with two passenger cars in their lineup (Mustang and Focus) and 827 CUV/SUV/truck models. Approximately.

    • 0 avatar
      TheEndlessEnigma

      Sounds like a larger version of Chrysler, incomplete product line.

      • 0 avatar
        JDG1980

        “Sounds like a larger version of Chrysler, incomplete product line.”

        Would you argue that any company which doesn’t have a minivan has an “incomplete” product line? This is no different. There was a time when minivans were popular and every company had an entry in the category, even if it wasn’t very good. It was worth it if they could grab even a small segment of marketshare. Now, minivans are a niche, so only those companies that think they can produce a competitive offering (either in terms of quality or price) even bother trying.

        Sedans are quickly going the way of minivans – a niche product that many car companies won’t bother trying to produce if they don’t truly think they are among the best-in-breed. Younger buyers mostly don’t want sedans, and older buyers mostly still think domestic sedans suck because they did a couple of decades ago. That doesn’t leave much room for Ford and GM to make profits here.

        As a side note, no one ever accuses Honda of having an “incomplete” lineup because they don’t have full-size BOF pickup trucks or SUVs, even though pickup trucks are the best-selling vehicles in America – far, far more popular than sedans. (And to be clear, there’s nothing wrong with that – Honda has chosen to specialize in what they’re good at, and they have a strong reputation for quality that lets them remain profitable despite this omission.)

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      The odds of the Fusion turning it around, even with a full model change, are slim. It’s down 100K from 310K or so in the last 2 years. Crucially, the new Sonata/Optima are also down, indicating that even full model changes cannot stem the tide on second tier midsizers. It’s over. They would do better to bolster the Focus.

  • avatar
    CaddyDaddy

    ….. as I stated before, this is a return to our roots. In the 20’s and 30’s, high, tall and a roomy box was the preferred style of automobile. In the Late 50’s and Early 60’s as Dinah Shore sung it was all “…slim line, fresh clean low to the ground…”. CUV style automobiles are the new rehash of what was perfected as the stagecoach and then the Model A.

    ….and if you wanted more room, you could order a bussleback trunk lid for extra storage pace.

    • 0 avatar
      Advance_92

      So that’ll make us the automotive Amish of the globe?

    • 0 avatar
      TheEndlessEnigma

      This is an example of the automakers deciding what the hot market would be. Harken to the 70’s and station wagons were king….until mini-vans made their splash then mini-vans were king….until SUV’s made their splash then SUV’s were king….until CUV’s made their splash and are king and queen with SUV’s. In each case, I would argue, the consumer began preferring the new hot thing because automaker marketing decided to push and market one platform over another. Why? Profit. For years station wagons were the high margin platform…then minivans…then SUV’s(and that continues)…and CUV’s(and that continues). I would argue, if marketing was firmly behind a platform, content and value were firmly behind a platform, features and tech were firmly behind a platform AND the pricing models made sense we would see a more balanced market. However that’s not the case and we are seeing a result.

      Think about your average CUV on the market, it’s really nothing more than a station wagon that rides higher than a car. BUT the automaker charges a higher price for a product that costs them no more to produce than the equivalent car model does. Why. Because they can.

      I’m rambling. In the end this is very short sighted of Ford, they will be pinched hard (like Chrysler was) when the current cheap gasoline bubble pops and the rotation back into fuel efficient vehicles happens. It will be 2008 all over again.

      • 0 avatar
        JDG1980

        The last gas price spike hurt SUVs because most of them were based on body-on-frame platforms and were lucky to get 15 MPG. Today, even 1/2 ton pickup trucks can usually do more than 20 MPG, and compact crossovers sometimes exceed 30. My 2016 Escape is slightly less fuel-efficient than my 2010 Fit was, but the difference is not huge.

        Fracking makes a new gas price spike unlikely, and even if it does happen, $4-$5/gallon gas wouldn’t make current crossovers a deal-breaker. A lot of people made dumb decisions at the last gas spike over what turned out to be a short-term anomaly; I think it will take more than that to move people who remember the false prophecies of “peak oil”.

        And there are already hybrid crossovers (RAV4) with more coming soon (Escape, maybe CR-V if Honda decides to bring it here). These will be *more* efficient, at least around town, than a non-hybrid sedan. With batteries getting cheaper, expect to see a lot more hybrids before long. There is even a hybrid F-150 pickup coming in 2020.

        It’s true to an extent that crossovers are “just” tall hatchbacks/wagons with more ground clearance. But for most buyers, that’s actually what makes the most sense. The long-standing preference for three-box designs in the U.S. was an irrational fad. Station wagons (and minivans even more so) got stereotyped as mommy-mobiles, so men didn’t want to drive them. So far, crossovers seem to have avoided that.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          “Fracking makes a new gas price spike unlikely, and even if it does happen, $4-$5/gallon gas wouldn’t make current crossovers a deal-breaker. ”

          That really depends; not all of these “crossovers” are all that efficient. The way some people drive, they’ll be lucky to get 25mpg and too many of them only carry about 10-13 gallons of fuel, meaning stops every 200 miles or so. You can do better, but you have to drive more slowly to manage it.

          And don’t forget, gas prices ARE rising again; regular is approaching $3/gallon where I live and mid-grade has already broken that mark. Guess where Premium and Diesel are. Those folks driving the Road Whales™ are going to start hurting because on average, if they drive like so many others, they’ll be lucky to break 20mpg and a fill-up is going to cost $75 or more. Twice that if they carry two tanks.

          • 0 avatar
            ponchoman49

            One of my co-workers is driving around a current 2017 Honda Pilot AWD and is only seeing between 15-16 MPG currently. Granted it is still cold weather and Winter blend fuel but that kind of mileage just plain sucks. He also says it has the 6 speed being a lower trim level so not having the 9 speed might also be hurting MPG a little. I would hate that kind of MPG

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          “With batteries getting cheaper, expect to see a lot more hybrids before long.”

          I keep hearing this, and it has yet to happen.

      • 0 avatar
        John Horner

        Today’s CUVs give up very little fuel economy wise compared to similar sized sedans. Analogies to the last time around don’t hold.

        • 0 avatar
          ponchoman49

          Not if you compare full size to full size or mid size to mid size. You usually have to move down a size or two and go from a V6 to a 4 cylinder to get a CUV into sedan MPG.

  • avatar
    gtem

    I had a Taurus Limited as a rental a month or so ago for a day trip, and found it to be a supremely comfortable and relaxing mile eater with good power on tap, but also quite thirsty for a sedan. I was getting an indicated 25mpg going 75-77mph on mostly level ground. Something like a Passat TSI that I’ve rented in the past had all of the same good highway manners (with a smidge more roadnoise perhaps), but got vastly better MPG, and had more passenger space.

    EDIT: would be curious to finally land a Charger rental to see how a Pentastar+8spd would stack up MPG-wise at those speeds.

    • 0 avatar

      Had a Challenger rental through hilly terrain, at various speeds on highways and side roads, and at the end of a long day (I wasn’t easy on it) had done 26 mpg.

      • 0 avatar
        ernest

        Last Christmas, we took the Charger up to the San Juan Islands and averaged just under 30 for the trip. That’s mostly Interstate, Adaptive Cruise set @ 75ish. What’s bizarre is we took the wife’s Camry up last week on the same trip. Averaged 33 mpg, which isn’t bad. BUT- half the cylinders, about 1,000 lbs less weight, in a much smaller car. By rights, I’d have expected a bigger difference between the two cars.

      • 0 avatar
        ponchoman49

        I had an AWD Charger rental last year with the 3.6 and 8 speed and saw an honest 31 MPG on the open road going 75 MPH. Just try getting anything close to that in a Durango with the same identical drive train. Not going to happen

    • 0 avatar
      TwoBelugas

      my 300 gets about 28-29mpg hand calculated, 30mpg indicated, at 75 with the 3.6 and 8 speed.

      • 0 avatar
        markmeup

        same here. on road trips approx 3-4 hour with little traffic, my previous RWD 300S was doing 29-31, still hard to believe a car this large, heavy & comfortable can hit those numbers, but that’s where it was.

        Now my new AWD 300S lost couple MPG in urban city runs, as well as about 2mpg avg. hit on the expressway. Still, MPG is amazing for 4500+ lbs, AWD & 300+hp. I’m def not complaining.

      • 0 avatar
        dantes_inferno

        >my 300 gets about 28-29mpg hand calculated, 30mpg indicated, at 75 with the 3.6 and 8 speed.

        The hand-calculated figures are more realistic. I wouldn’t trust those electronic fuel mileage indicators any further than I can throw a 747.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Was that with the V6 or the 2.0T? Either way it’s more crossover-like than sedan-like. Which makes sense as the Taurus is an Explorer with a sedan body.

      I’ve had 300/8A rentals for long trips. They’ll do 28 to 30 mpg in pure highway driving, but expect high teens in the city.

      • 0 avatar
        gtem

        3.5L NA, I’ve gotten about the same MPG with the 2.0T in an AWD Edge.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        The Volvo P2 platform on which D3/4 are based launched with the S80 in 1998, not the XC90 which came on-line as an MY03. While S80 was as much of a problem child as the 800 series, functionally it was very much a comfortable car with good visibility. Ford produced the Taurus the way they did, because they are utterly terrible, not because of the D3/4 platform. I think Mr. Magoo was head of the design team, it certainly seems that way.

    • 0 avatar
      brn

      gtem, was it AWD? Ford’s AWD system is pretty aggressive. It makes for an improved driving experience, at the expensive of mileage.

      Of course, driving style has a lot to do with, but on my FWD ’13 Taurus… Those speeds would get me an easy 30mpg. Drop it to 60mph and I’m at 38mpg. Back and forth to work (even mix of highway and city), nets 27mpg. Overall, I’m quite impressed.

      Again, Ford AWD takes a pretty big toll on that.

      • 0 avatar
        gtem

        FWD as far as I’m aware. I think it’s the huge tires and high weight. Keep in mind this was on winter-blend gas and in cold-ish conditions as I recall.

        • 0 avatar
          brn

          I live in the land of E15. My 27 average is 26 on winter blend and 28 on summer. Not sure why your experience was so different.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            Truthfully, I may have been cruising closer to 80? 77-79ish rather than the 75-77 I initially stated sounds more realistic given the 70mph limit across Indiana and most of I-74 in IL.

          • 0 avatar
            brn

            At those speeds the mpg does start to drop quicker than you would expect.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      My parent’s ’12 averages around 28, little over 30 on cross country trips.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      Last year, I bought my mother a barely used 2017 300C Platinum (3.6/8AT/AWD). My parents flew out then drove it home across the country. My dad was thrilled that it averaged 31 mpg. He’s a pilot and manually counts fuel volume consumed.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    This will simply go fleet, i’d say until at least 2021/22. I believe the new Explorer is not due until 2020, and there will be fleet overlap as there always has been between the launch and D4’s demise.

  • avatar
    dividebytube

    The SHO was/is on my shortlist for gotta try sleeper(-ish) cars. Too bad it’s such a heavy beast. These days I like a little handling more than just straight line speed.

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      Fusion Sport? (or whatever the AWD V6 turbo one is)

      • 0 avatar
        dividebytube

        That’s on my list too – but it’s still new enough that prices are a little too rich for my blood. Maybe in another year or two.

        Focus ST – new, I see deals for $21k-22k – just may be my next ride.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          Know what’d worry me about STs? I see TONS of them on the market lightly used. Makes me wonder.

          GTIs are available for low-20s. I know which one I’d pick.

          • 0 avatar
            dividebytube

            I see a few used in the 15k-18k range. They do seem to hold their value better than the SE version.

            I’m also looking at a GTI but fear das German engineering after a few Mini and a BMW experiences.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            That’s why you buy it new, and either lease it or get 0% financing (which they were offering last month). VWs now have 5/60 warranties. Either way, you’re covered.

      • 0 avatar
        gtem

        I’m seeing used ’16 Fusion Sports with less than 40k miles (sometimes less than 20k) in the $22k range. That’s an incredible amount of performance for the money. I generally have little interest in newer sedans, but even my interest is piqued by this

        http://www.cars.com/vehicledetail/detail/732194262/overview/
        http://www.cars.com/vehicledetail/detail/727845075/overview/

    • 0 avatar
      zamoti

      As I was preparing to unload my 545i, I was looking real hard at a SHO as it’s replacement. I test drove a few as well as an MKS ecoboost and was VERY pleased with just about every aspect of the SHO. I ended up going in an entirely different direction mainly because I didn’t want an automatic, but in all reality, the SHO is (to me at least) a very good value for a very comfortable car that has a lot of creature comforts and moves along at a pace that I found very satisfying. I sometimes see them out and about and I think perhaps I made the wrong decision. Big quiet, comfortable and while I wouldn’t call it sporty, I also don’t think it’s as sloppy around corners some (who haven’t driven one) would lead you to believe. The true bargain is the MKS which often sells at nearly the same price as it’s SHO cousin; the only major differences is that the MKS was not available with a so-called “performance package” which lets you turn off traction control and ESP completely and the SHO didn’t have a dual moon roof. I think the Lincoln had power up/down for all windows and the Ford only had it for the front.
      Just be sure to have the transfer case oil changed or else it will cook itself and you’ll have a FWD car. It seems that anything that used this drive system which includes Taurus, MKS, Flex, MKT, maybe some Fusions and even Mazda CX9 all suffered the same issues. Gearbox does not contain a sufficient amount of oil so any leak or issue will quickly result in a ruined transfer case. It happened to my CX9 so I’ve done plenty of reading about it. Checking/changing the oil isn’t noted in any maintenance schedule so you have to demand it or learn to DIY.

    • 0 avatar
      brn

      I’m a firm believer that the Taurus never got the love it deserved. The SHO is pretty attractive, but I’d be cautious. The transmission is at it’s limits with the power of the SHO. If driven hard, the transmission isn’t up to the task and will need major repairs.

      Non-SHO, go for it!

  • avatar
    TheEndlessEnigma

    Ford kills Fiesta, Taurus and (likely at some point) Fusion. Insert Toyota, Honda and Nissan squealing with delight.

    • 0 avatar
      DEVILLE88

      You said it best!!!

    • 0 avatar
      TwoBelugas

      Camry, Accord and Altima have all seen significant falling sales in the last 3 years. Not a good place to be if you are in the business of making money.

      • 0 avatar
        TheEndlessEnigma

        And when Ford essentially exits the passenger car market they are in a position to recover volume. Also don’t forget, cars (due to price) can be the entry point for a buyer into a brand. Eliminate that entry point you are then in a position to be trying to break into the relationship the consumerism has with their brand. Automobile buyers tend to stay with a brand (manufacturer) they own when they are looking for that next purchase.

        • 0 avatar
          TwoBelugas

          ” Also don’t forget, cars (due to price) can be the entry point for a buyer into a brand. ”

          Which also means their margins are far lower. Again, not a great place to be if your aim is to make money.

          Given how much of Camry and Altima volume now resides with rental fleet sales, I don’t think the “entry point” thing is as important as they used to be. A generation ago a Camry was seen as a car for the more discerning middle class buyer. Today it’s just another rental fodder and base trim dealer lot filler not unlike a Taurus or Malibu.

        • 0 avatar
          JDG1980

          “Also don’t forget, cars (due to price) can be the entry point for a buyer into a brand.”

          With increased reliability, used vehicles now tend to be the entry point for buyers. Ford and GM vehicles (at least the unibodies) depreciate faster than Honda and Toyota, so entry-level buyers may end up in them anyway.

          Besides, the subcompact crossovers are designed to fill the niche that small cars once did. Cars.com shows new Chevy Traxes in my region as low as $14,285; new Ford EcoSports as low as $17,650; and new Jeep Renegades as low as $15,557. These are entry-level prices. The cheapest new Honda Fit that showed up on my search was $16,639, so subcompact cars don’t necessarily have an advantage over subcompact crossovers here.

    • 0 avatar
      MrGreenMan

      I caught myself looking at an Avalon the other day, and that Camry looks cute if they’d just stretch it.

      I really liked the Accord V6 I test drove two years back, so they dropped that from the lineup.

    • 0 avatar
      TW5

      It’s a tricky situation. CAFE is going to put immense pressure on manufacturers to use hybrid powertrains in the entire lineup. By cutting fat, Ford can reduce the number of new hybrid powertrains it must develop. That’s a good thing.

      However, if oil prices rise sharply again, and Ford lacks a decent selection of passenger cars, they will be in even more trouble than they are in now. Building hybrid CUVs will mitigate, but it’s still a precarious strategy. Passenger cars have higher fuel efficiency potential.

      Under normal circumstances, I’d say the manufacturers are betting that crossovers and passenger cars will sort of merge back into a 1940s paradigm, with upright step-in vehicles that lack ground clearance. However, the two-class CAFE system more or less make it impossible, imo.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        It’s a fallacy to assume that if fuel prices spike, buyers will flock back to passenger cars. They want fuel efficient CUVs which are being given to them. Even if they did, small-mid passenger cars aren’t very profitable if at all so automakers don’t really want to build them anymore.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      Right, less competing offers for Hertz, Avis and Enterprise. Squeal like a fleet pig, you’re so right.

  • avatar
    AK

    The Taurus isn’t very good. Getting rid of it is no big loss.

    Assuming they do a proper update on the Fusion soon, I don’t see a problem with having a new Focus and Fusion being Ford’s lone sedans…especially considering the amount of trim levels they offer for both.

    • 0 avatar
      TheEndlessEnigma

      Have you driven a Taurus? If you have I don’t see how you could be saying Taurus “…isn’t very good…”

      • 0 avatar
        John Horner

        Taurus is terribly inefficient from an interior to exterior volume perspective.

        • 0 avatar
          brn

          Your statement is accurate, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a great car.

          It’s still roomier than a Fusion. It’s a fantastic cruiser. Looking at street price, you get more for your dollar with at Taurus than a Fusion. It’s too bad the car gets a lot of hate. It’s really underrated.

          Faults: Rearward visibility is terrible. Those damn touch sensitive buttons on the console.

          • 0 avatar
            Mandalorian

            Its not a bad car, but the competition is better. Avalon is a better cruiser, Charger/300 are better muscle sedans, and a lightly used E-Class or 5-Series have the cachet

  • avatar
    seth1065

    Well I had about 8 Touri , yes all company cars from a 88 to a 96, they were pretty good for their time, did not excel at anything but overall a good package, compared to the GM of the day. Not sure I can kill Ford and I am no Ford fan but if they do not sell , kill it off, it sedans come back into favor they can bring it back to life. I think GM will do a paring down of their fleet but they will still be able to offer something in each class, they will be the last of the 2 1/2 to be able to say that.

  • avatar
    Sub-600

    The Taurus was always just an appliance like the CamCord. While it’s sad to see cars disappearing, this one’s no great loss. Start shoveling.

  • avatar
    cognoscenti

    Recently returned from a trip where we were upgraded to a new Taurus at the rental counter from two or three classes down. I have to say, the whole family, and the friends we were visiting, loved that rental. Smooth, quiet and powerful enough, plus very stable in the unexpected snowstorm we encountered on the highway (we were in PA). This was the first time since the 1st-Gen Taurus SHO that I came away impressed by a middle market Ford. I think they should at least keep it in production and extract full value from the tooling, until there is no longer enough market to support it.

  • avatar
    MrGreenMan

    I love my Taurus. It’s great to be in such an exclusive club.

  • avatar
    slavuta

    ford is bunch of m0r0n$. they think, if I want to buy a car, they will be gliding me into SUV? I see fallacy already. I’ll go Honda

    • 0 avatar
      brn

      I don’t agree with how your phrased it, but I agree with your direction.

      I like sedans. I like the way they drive. Every time I buy, I shop across brands, but always wind up with a Ford product. Honda has often been on the short list, but the street price was always too high. If Ford drops sedans, my next sedan might be a Honda. Too bad they can’t make a durable transmission.

  • avatar
    MoparRocker74

    Good riddance. Its a pointless car, even if its competent. My parents have one of this generation. Its been reliable but an utterly soul less appliance devoid of any compelling reason to own one. Toyota and Honda already have the market covered for bland appliances that move places…why bother with the also ran? Park this water heater looking blob next to a Charger or 300 (also competent and reliable daily drivers that ups the ante with a healthy dose of AWESOME), and I cant see any possible reason for choosing a Taurus.

    If ford wants to stay in the sedan game, they need to use the mustang platform and offer something of substance. That’s what the failing Continental SHOULD have been all along: competition for the 300, whereas a Ford (Interceptor?) could keep the Charger’s game sharp.

  • avatar
    pmirp1

    We can now all agree that Sergio is a genius. He saw this trend before any one else. Sedan and low hatch business is dead, dead, dead. At best, it will be some made in China or Mexico crap for those low credit score customers or young non-impacting life forms under 30. Or some Johnny come lately customer for German leased thingy.

    Somewhere, the artist masquerading as John same last name as one of the cars dying in this article on this site has gone hiding.

  • avatar
    Spartan

    We’ve owned a 2010 Taurus SHO for the past 8 plus years. I washed it yesterday and plan to keep it for at least another 8 years. 75k trouble free miles. It’s one of our four cars in our mini fleet.

    The Taurus is more comfortable than the Fusion and the interior is better. I’ve rented a Fusion on a few occasions, always when the Taurus or Impala isn’t available. Yeah the Fusion has the same interior space, but if you drive the Taurus and Fusion back to back, you appreciate the Taurus more. The Fusion’s seats are absolutely terrible compared to the Taurus.

    I’ll miss it in the market, but I won’t miss mine because it’s not going anywhere.

    • 0 avatar
      Featherston

      How’s the reliability been, Spartan? You aren’t right at the bleeding edge of turbo DI’s introduction, but (if memory serves) you are in a first year for that body style and engine? I’m inferring that it’s been good to you.

      I smile a little bit every time I see an SHO because I’ve enjoyed the Taurus SEL and Limited as rentals and I feel like SHO buyers are a tiny slice of the market who have sought out something that pleases them and not somebody else.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    Ford doesn’t seem to be in the habit of making cars people really want; only cars that, one one or another, they can afford.

    The Taurus has never been a desirable car for me, though they obviously tried to change that by giving it the “500” name for a short time in an effort to recall the classic Galaxy 500 of the 60s. I’m hardly surprised by the coming demise of the Taurus. Then again, I expect a lot of Ford’s existing lineup to fade away over the next few years; replaced by new models that will either carry new names or again attempt to revive some old ones. Maybe it’s time for the T-bird, the Galaxy, the Fairlane and yes, even the Falcon to return.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      The Five Hundred was given the Taurus name, not the other way around. The Five Hundred was completely and totally unrelated to the Taurus of that time, aside from the Duratec 3.0L (that you could no longer get in the Taurus once the Five Hundred was introduced). Ford, under Mullaly, decided the name was too recognizable to ditch, and thus the Taurus was reborn from the bones of the Five Hundred.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        Turn that around, John; the 500 replaced the original Taurus and simply wasn’t doing as well under that name as Ford had hoped. That’s why Ford renamed the 500 as Taurus. It’s a matter of perception.

        • 0 avatar
          200k-min

          Actually the Fusion was the successor to the 4th gen Taurus. There was a minor overlap of both models when the Taurus was fleet only. The 500 was a replacement to the Crown Vic, again starting out only for non-fleet buyers. I think you’d be hard pressed to find an owner of the original Taurus that thinks the natural progression of the classic Taurus was into what we call the Taurus today

          Back when Ford brought Alan Mulally over from Boeing he admittedly didn’t know Ford. Even said something about how he drove a Lexus. When exec’s walked him through the lineup he asked, “where’s the Taurus??” The answer was it was dropped because they were going with all “F” named cars. Mulally said that was redick because Taurus had name recognition so they slapped that name on the poorly selling 500.

          That’s how the Crown Vic replacement became the Taurus. Ever notice what vehicle became the cop car replacement once the Vic was put to bed? Yes, as someone who drove a Gen I Taurus way back when I shed no tears for the loss of this poser.

          • 0 avatar
            Featherston

            Exactly, 200k-min. This is nicely delineated in Wikipedia’s “Ford car timeline, United States & Canada, 1980–present.” JohnTaurus and you are right.

  • avatar
    cpthaddock

    I found modern Taurus biggest problems to be caused by it’s restyle from the 500. To make a less conservative shape, they had to make compromises with the front passenger openings. If you’re above average height, having the front seats slid back to a comfortable spot means you’ll always have the B pillar forcing contortions to your entry and exit. Everything else about the car always struck me as just fine … for a sedan.

  • avatar
    86er

    Not particuarly fond of this ’09- model, but the worse news is the commensurate demise of the loved by (some) Flex.

  • avatar
    SaulTigh

    I find the demise of the sedan ironic. People decided they really did love wagons and hatch backs after all.

  • avatar
    John Horner

    Hatchbacks and station wagons have long been the most efficient and practical users of space. Modern sedans, on the other hand, have been going backwards in practicality. The “make it look like a coupe” styling trend means hitting your head on the way in or out of the vehicle and putting up with horrible visibility.

    People are kinda stupid though, and the masses convinced themselves (with lots of help from the sons of Madison Avenue) that “SUVS” make them look rugged, cool and sexually attractive. Meanwhile 1st and 2nd gen SUVs with their old school body on frame design were uncomfortable, inefficient and impractical. Car makers moved the segment to car-based unibody platforms but kept buyers thinking they were still cool. So the market has essentially settled on hatchbacks and station wagons with one to four extra inches of ground clearance as the new normal personal/family vehicle.

    Old school wagon lovers like myself can now have what we always wanted … we must might have to buy a set of aftermarket lowering springs to finish the job though :). Or maybe just get the torch out to do some backyard lowering like the hot rodders on the 1950s did.

    Everything old is new again.

    Oh yea, please kill the Fiesta and Taurus. Hardly anyone will notice.

  • avatar
    TW5

    Fusion is the nameplate that should vanish. Taurus is an institution, even if the model has faded into obscurity.

    The future of any mid/fullsize family sedan will probably be determined by changes to CAFE. Hopefully Taurus will survive.

  • avatar
    JohnTaurus

    The Taurus name isn’t long for this world? That would surprise China, which got an all-new Taurus a few years ago. It isn’t long for this market, and that’s been known for some time. People have been predicting its demise for several years.

    For those who claim it all went wrong with the 2010 redesign, please look up sales figures for the 2005-2007 Five Hundred along with the 2008-2009 Taurus and compare them to the 2010+. Only recently, as the model as aged without any updates and its segment has fallen into a steep decline in general, have sales fallen to the 2005-09 levels. The 2010 redesign saved the car from being discontinued long ago. You can argue about interior room compromises and so on, but the more dynamic styling gave the vehicle a new lease on life.

    My mom drove an ’09 Taurus shortly before I found her 2012. She was not impressed. She then drove a new 2012 and loved it. She ended up buying the barely used one I found (less than 2k miles) and hasn’t regretted it once. It now has a bit over 110k, and has been rock solid reliable. It is plenty roomy enough, it drives well, and the interior has held up extremely well. Her former 2008 Grand Marquis LS looked like it had twice the mileage, going by how poorly the interior held up. The leather was cheap, the plastics never failed to remind you that it was built to a price, and the driving dynamics made a Boeing 747 feel agile by comparison.

    The D3 Taurus works for some, and other than those I’ve read about above, I have also met others that love their 2010+ Taurus.

    BTW, what happened when demand for cars increased? Ford brought us the Fiesta, the world-market Focus and even the C-Max Hybrid. What makes any of you think that they couldn’t bring cars back to this market should demand for them reappear? There is an all-new Fiesta that could easily be federalized should there be demand for it. And then there is China’s Taurus, again, wouldn’t be hard to bring to this market if suddenly every one decides they want cars again.

    This goes the same for the Chevy Sonic. Also, FCA has global cars they could bring here if demand remateralized.

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    Just sad. It is getting hard to be a car guy as the years go by and cool vehicles keep being eliminated for boring egg shaped tall wagons called SUV’s. Thank god for the older stuff.

  • avatar

    IF Ford is going to cancel its cars at least do a good job producing SUVs. The Escape recently scored last in a government crash test.


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