2008 Ford Taurus Review
This review was written when the 2008 Ford Taurus was new.
The 2008 Taurus provides class-leading safety, a spacious cabin and good fuel efficiency at a comparatively low cost. However, it doesn't even try to match the driving performance or visual appeal of some of its competitors.
Banking on a well-known and popular badge from the past, Ford has renamed its flagship Five Hundred sedan the Taurus, updated its exterior styling and boosted its engine power for 2008. The result is "a car that looks better, performs better and rides quieter than before," according to the Detroit News. But while reviewers agree that the performance on the Taurus has improved, most say its bland appearance and average performance hold it back from topping its class.
What the Taurus does offer in abundance is safety. An Insurance Institute for Highway Safety "Top Safety Pick," the Taurus is built on the same platform as Volvo's flagship S80. It sits at the top of our safety ratings for this class of car. It also manages good fuel economy rating for the class -- an increasingly important consideration in 2008 -- and a comfortable, well-liked passenger cabin. It's hard to find unqualified praise of the car -- reviewers just seem to consider it a big boring. But it's equally hard to find a review that doesn't label it a good value, blending safety with fuel efficiency that makes it relatively affordable for those who need a car of this size. Ford has begun work on the next Taurus, and this car will likely be replaced by the 2010 model year.
For 2008, the Taurus comes to market with moderate restyling inside and out. Improved performance comes courtesy of a more powerful, 263-horsepower V6 engine. The Taurus can be bought in two trim levels: a basic SEL and a more well-appointed Limited. If you are looking for a large sedan with solid crash-test scores, you should also consider the 2008 Toyota Avalon or the 2008 Hyundai Azera.
- +"A new name, looks and power should help [with sales] but so should retaining that massive cabin and trunk room in a midsize sedan loaded with goodies -- plus the all-season security of AWD -- for around $30,000." -- Chicago Tribune
- "The changes, especially the new engine, are welcome and unquestionably make this a better car, ideal for a buyer seeking comfortable transportation at a Ford price." -- Newsday
- "You need size and traction. You don't care for thrills behind the wheel; your blood pressure and heart rate are high enough already. Your idea of automotive excellence involves a quiet interior and predictable overall behavior. ... Step right up. Taurus could be your new best friend." -- USA Today
- "Many people want something that they only think about when they put the key in the ignition and start it. Other than that, they just want it to run, provide decent fuel economy, have enough power to merge onto the highway and enough space to carry their friends and family, and offer a pleasant, quiet ride. The 2008 Taurus does all that and more." -- Detroit News
- "Basically, if the Camry and Accord are a dimensional squeeze and the Avalon is a financial pinch, the Taurus could be just the right Fahrenheit porridge." -- Motor Trend
- "Aside from braking and the numbish power rack-and-pinion steering, its road manners are hard to fault, its comfort index is high, its interior noise levels low, and so is its pricing." -- Car and Driver