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she's gonna get a piece of my mind on a couple things.....

Date posted online: Saturday, August 04, 2007

Ford Taurus returns for 2008: bigger, with more power and more safety features


For The Associated Press

Once America's top-selling car, the Ford Taurus is back in a big way.

The five-passenger 2008 Taurus is the largest Taurus ever -- so sizable it's classified by the government as a large sedan, rather than the typical "mid-size" family car.

It has more safety features than any previous Taurus and includes standard side-mounted air bags for front-seat passengers and head curtain air bags for front and rear seats that provide protection during both side and rollover crashes.

But electronic stability control that can help avert a skid and loss of car control is a $495 option.

The 2008 Taurus story is unusual. Ford officials created the new Taurus by rebadging the Ford Five Hundred sedan and adding updates, including a larger, more powerful engine, better sound insulation and retuned rear suspension.

The reason for the change: The Five Hundred had launched in calendar 2004 as a Taurus replacement but it never really caught on with consumers, and name recognition for the Taurus remained high.

Taurus debuted as a 1986 model and zoomed to more than 406,000 annual sales by calendar 1992. More than 6.7 million Tauruses were sold over more than 20 years.

But Taurus buyers from the past who may recall a family sedan that started below $20,000 are in for a surprise.

The 2008 Taurus has a starting manufacturer's suggested retail price, including destination charge, of $23,995, which is just above the starting price for a 2007 Five Hundred.

Indeed, the test Taurus -- a top-of-the-line Limited model with all-wheel drive and several options -- topped out at nearly $34,000.

Ford officials want shoppers to compare the Taurus with other large, V-6-powered sedans, such as the Toyota Avalon, which starts at $27,495 for a 2007 model and the 2008 Chevrolet Impala, which starts at $21,940.

But this assumes American families are looking for bigger, more powerful sedans rather than top-selling, mid-size cars like the Toyota Camry, with a 2007 starting price of $20,140 for a four-cylinder model with automatic transmission.

It also assumes that fuel efficiency isn't a high priority for buyers, because the best fuel mileage rating for the 2008 Taurus is 18 miles per gallon in city driving and 28 mpg on the highway for a front-wheel drive model. The only Taurus powerplant is a 263-horsepower V-6.

This compares with the 21/30-mpg rating for a 158-horspeower, four-cylinder Camry with automatic.

There's no doubt the new Taurus rides smoothly and comfortably and is roomy. I marveled at the distance between me and my front-seat passenger as I traveled. And with more than 41 inches of legroom and nearly an inch more headroom in the front and back seats than a 2007 Camry, this Taurus is welcoming for even tall passengers.

Trunk space is mammoth at 21.2 cubic feet and makes the Camry's 15-cubic-foot trunk seem almost stingy.

It's worth noting that despite the fuel mileage rating, the Taurus can travel more than 520 highway miles on a single tank of regular gasoline. This is close to the four-cylinder Camry's range and stems from the fact the Taurus comes with a large, 20-gallon tank, while the Camry has an 18.5-gallon gas tank.

The newfound power in the Taurus is very satisfying, and the 3.5-liter, double overhead cam, Duratec V-6 worked capably to speed me past slower cars on country roads and help me merge easily onto highways.

Torque peaks at 249 foot-pounds at 4,500 rpm and propels the Taurus forward in a pleasing, not unsettling, fashion. This engine also is used in Ford's Edge crossover, which weighs more than the Taurus, so there's plentiful power here.

The only Taurus transmission is a six-speed automatic that smoothly works through the gears with nary a shift point for drivers to notice. Note that this transmission -- a joint venture product with General Motors Corp. -- has two overdrive gears to get the maximum out of every gallon of fuel.

In fact, Ford engineers said this new transmission, which also is in the Edge and GM's Saturn Aura mid-size car, is more fuel-efficient than the Five Hundred's previous continuously variable transmission.

Drivers will notice how much quieter this Taurus is compared with earlier models. It's even quieter than the 2007 Five Hundred, thanks to new sound insulating material and revised outside mirrors that produce less wind noise.

Another improvement: Engine vibration is isolated now because of new engine mounts and doesn't transmit readily to the passenger compartment.

There can be a bit of noise from the Limited's 18-inch tires, however, on rough pavement.

The Taurus looks dressed up on the outside, with eye-catching taillamps and headlamps and a grille reminiscent of the one on Ford's popular and smaller sedan, the Fusion.

The top, Taurus Limited is my favorite for appearance because it includes lots of nice chrome-colored touches, such as on the door handles.

Even with stability control optional, the new Taurus earned the top, five-out-of-five-stars rating from the federal government in frontal and side crash tests. And the 2007 Ford Five Hundred on which the Taurus is based was a recommended buy of Consumer Reports magazine this year.

2008 Ford Taurus Limited AWD

BASE PRICE: $23,245 for base SEL; $25,095 for SEL with AWD; $26,845 for Limited; $28,695 for Limited AWD.

AS TESTED: $33,795.

TYPE: Front-engine, all-wheel drive, five-passenger, large sedan.

ENGINE: 3.5-liter, double overhead cam, Duratec V-6.

MILEAGE: 17 mpg (city), 24 mpg (highway).

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Sent: Thursday, August 09, 2007 11:42 AM



Thanks for being complimentary on the new Taurus. Nice review……


Lets please compare the fuel economy of the v6 camry to the fwd v6 Taurus please. Its highly misleading to compare the 4 cylinder Camry’s fuel mileage to the v6 mileage of any car, much less one that has vastly more interior space and trunk room. I think the v6 FWD Taurus matches or exceeds the mpg ratings of the Camry for 2008, no?

Also, you seem obsessed with the stability control on the Taurus being optional. I don’t think its standard on the Camry either. And, stability control has no bearing on crash test ratings for front and side crash test ratings. For you intimate to the public that there is any connection there is again, misleading.

You also didn’t say that the Camry is not available with safety and traction enhancing AWD, that the Taurus has. Where was that?

Thanks for not continuing on with the unwarranted media piling on of domestics, at least for not taking any jabs at ‘domestic’ cars ‘predicted reliability’. My Five Hundred has been error free, as have all my domestics purchased in the last 10 years. The continuous media pounding on domestics is tired and old and unwarranted for a long time now, so thanks for not joining in on that.

I wish Toyota could live up to its overblown reputation lately. Its sludgy v6’s on many models, shredding camshafts in the Tundras, defective transmissions in its new Camry’s, and recalls, overall obvious decline in interior quality and attention to detail on many models really needs to be told as much as the pre-written PR pieces we see regurgitated on so many media outlets these days (maybe not yours but many others).

Bottom line, the Taurus is a tremendous buy. You can get a leather lined, top safety pick, v6 large sedan for 27 and change…..most folks are more than willing to plop down that much for smaller, flimsier Camrys. By that comparison, the Taurus comes out smelling like a rose because it matches or exceeds the Camry on function, solidity, utility, build quality and value.


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Ann Job is the Blowjob queen. Some of her reviews are so horrendous that a five year old can write better.

Some of her comments are senile as well as childish.

Good job reg. Will it change her probably not, but at least she will notice that people are not sheeplings.

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I wrote one to her too....we'll see if she approves these or they never see the light of day.

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i'll give her a fair chance at a counter point. My guess is I won't get any reply. I think think the article was horribly bad, except for the Camry love.

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She probably assumed it was a joke after she read "My Five Hundred has been error free, as have all my domestics purchased in the last 10 years.". Quick, buy a lottery ticket and watch out for lightning!

She was clearly making a point that a large, V6-only sedan might not be everyone's cup of tea ("But this assumes American families are looking for bigger, more powerful sedans rather than top-selling, mid-size cars like the Toyota Camry"). If the question is, "I want good fuel economy and I don't need a boat of a car, which offers better fuel economy?" I doesn't matter how big the Trunk is or if Toyota offers a V6 as well. This is a fair comparison to make, and I think she handled it well.

Writing "Even with stability control optional..." does not mean she is "obsessed with the stability control on the Taurus being optional". Nor is she making any statement in this regard on the Camry, Accord, Aveo, Rio, etc. I would agree it does not affect the tests, but I think she was just (clumsily) trying to sum up the "safety" of the Taurus in one sentence.

You then proceed to thank her for not commenting on "predicted reliability", and then to drive the point home (?) you do just that by commenting on the few random C&G-staple Toyota problems you could think of, some of which affected only a handful of vehicles. To top it off you used the word "regurgitated" and weren't referring to yourself. If I hadn't read some of your other posts I would swear it was brilliant satire.

I know shooting the messenger is a full-time occupation for some, but this was a very positive review. I'd suggest re-reading the article. You might save some bullets.

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i realize she was getting at a lot of folks don't want a full size vs. mid size, but first, the camry is not the benchmark midsizer even though it sells the best. second, she totally discounts the taurus as an option comparable to the camry.

taurus= more for your dollar than camry, only when you want the four cylinder does the camry have any substantive economical bias. if you want to talk v6 there is no case for the smaller less functional camry to be chosen.

i agree she was more positive than usual, but honestly she left out some key things. A better way to frame the article if she was going to use the toyota as a reference would be to say it is bookended by the camry on the small end and the avalon on the large end.

I mean, the extra function and utility a taurus gives over a v6 camry with virtually identical mpg and the fact there is a higher level of safety and more safety options on the taurus.......better price......

if she is gonna go that route the better way to write the article would be to compare the Fusion to the taurus. It would have given a more comprehensive story on the evolution of the tuarus to a full size and how ford is plugging the taurus gap with the fusion. toyota had no need to even be in the article then.

Edited by regfootball

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