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X MARKS THE SPOT

This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!

Published on Thu, Mar 27, 2008

By: The LACar Editorial Staff

X MARKS THE SPOT By Harold Osmer

There's a lot to like about the Ford Taurus X. Size, comfort, reasonable price, and plenty of power to move the thing around. What more could one want? The short answer is: not much. Ford has resurrected the Taurus nameplate and renamed two offerings with some variation on the theme. For instance, the capable Ford 500 is now the Taurus. Likewise, the Freestyle has become Taurus X. "X" stands for crossover, meaning that this is neither car nor truck. A decent blend between the two, yet not quite hefty enough to be called an SUV. Jeez, this automotive anagram game is tiresome.

New styling for the Taurus X brings about a classy, slightly aggressive look to the front and rear. Grill, bumpers, and lights blend well into the Taurus X. The side profile is what it is, but closer examination will reveal a finely sculpted roofline that adds to the sleek aerodynamics of this vehicle. A beefier version of Ford's workhorse 3.5 liter V6 Duratec engine produces 263 horsepower and 249 pound-feet of very useable torque to move the 4280 pound Taurus X around. Ford elected to change from its CVT transmission found in earlier models back to a 6-speed automatic. Speculation holds that the more traditional transmissions handle torque better than CVTs. From a driver standpoint, the difference is a matter of taste. Our test car shifted seamlessly from any and all gears and speeds. Engine response was quick and sure. Get this: the third row seat in Taurus X will fit an average sized adult. Ford accomplished this by increasing the roofline and thinking about legroom. My above average 6'-2" frame could fit back there, but I was much more comfortable in the driver's seat. Five passengers rode in comfort in their leather-clad seats. All rear seats fold into a flat configuration for a rated 85 cubic feet of cargo hauling. Switching from seats to cargo arrangement was a simple matter, taking less than a minute. All cars should work this well.

OK, let's be frank about Ford. Ford produces cars aimed at the masses. Blue-collar cars, if you will. It's the largest automotive market because that's where most of us live. So after driving around in Taurus X for a few days, I found myself wondering why "they" didn't make this interior piece or that in wood or leather or whatever. It soon occurred to me that Taurus X is a $26,000-$32,000 vehicle and those kinds of items are usually found on much higher-end cars. THAT's how good Taurus X is. You won't scorch the tires, turn a lot of heads, or haul two tons of stuff. But that's not what the Taurus X is for. Standard traction control harnesses the power. Outward styling readily exceeds what currently passes for passable in this market segment. If you're hauling more friends than elephants, you can haul five in true comfort, time-after-time. The Taurus X is quiet, solid, predictable, comfortable. It is everything you could want in car of this type. Yep, I'd buy one. SUMMARY JUDGMENT A good crossover vehicle, make even better in the new generation Taurus X For more information about Ford products, go to www.fordvehicles.com

SPECIFICATIONS Name of vehicle: 2008 Ford Taurus X SEL AWD Price: Base $26,449 options include: Interior Convenience package ($595); Navigation System ($1995); Leather Seats ($895) Engine type: 3.5L, Duratec V6, 24-Valve, DOHC Horsepower: 263 @ 6250 rpm Torque: 249 lb.-ft @ 4500 rpm EPA mileage estimates City/ Highway: 15/22 Drive configuration: Full-time All Wheel Drive Transmission type: 6-speed AOD with transfer case Suspension: Front: McPherson struts with coil springs, stabilizer bar Rear: Multi-link independent, stabilizer bar Automatic load leveling Wheels and tires: 17-inch Alloy wheels P215/65R17 BSW Tires Brakes: 4-wheel discs with ABS Electronic Brake Force Distribution Advance Trac®, Roll Stability control system Traction Control System Overall length/wheelbase: 200.3 inches/112.9 inches Overall width: 74.9 inches Overall height: 67.4 inches Warranty: 3/36,000 Bumper to Bumper; 5/60,000 Powertrain

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