Large family automobiles have always been a staple of the American auto industry and for 2008 Ford has brought back its retired "Taurus" nameplate, and affixed it to the 5-passenger sedan formerly sold as the Ford 500.
The Taurus comes in two trim levels, the SEL and Limited and from the outside there is little to set the two apart. The body profile strikes a much more contemporary stance than previous offerings; its relatively low beltline emphasizing the nearly all glass passenger compartment. The short rear deck counter balances the long hood line as 17-inch or 18-inch aluminum alloy wheels, available on the Limited model, high light the side view.
A 263 horse power 3.5 Liter V6 mated to a six-speed automatic transmission is the only power train available with the sole choice in this category being that of front, or all-wheel-drive.
Both trim levels come with 4-wheel ABS anti-lock brakes, traction and available stability control.
The EPA estimates you'll get 17 MPG City/24 Highway based on the AWD model or 18 City/28 Highway for the FWD version.
Interior space is more than ample for passengers front and back and the 60/40 rear folding seats provide access to the 21.2 cubic feet of cargo space in the trunk.
An adjustable, multi-function leather wrapped steering wheel and wood grain trim are standard on SEL and Limited with additional features such as leather trimmed seats additional wood trim and 8-way power adjustable seats provided on the Limited.
Up rated audio and entertainment systems are optional on both models and include multi-disc CD/MP3 player, rear seat DVD entertainment system and DVD-based Navigation system.
State of the art air bags include side-impact and safety-canopy with roll-over sensor as well as dual-stage front air bags.
MSRP for the SEL model is $23,245 with the Limited coming in at $26,845. Ford warranties the Taurus for 3 years/36,000 miles.
The '08 Ford Taurus a definite contender for the "All-American" large family sedan.