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Avg. Price Paid:$8,397 - $10,285
Original MSRP: $23,635 - $29,470
MPG: 18 City / 28 Hwy
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2008 Ford Taurus Performance

This performance review was written when the 2008 Ford Taurus was new.

The Detroit Free Press calls the Taurus' performance "excellent, with plenty of power in all speed ranges and very smooth shifts from the six-speed automatic," and those that have test-driven the new model generally agree.

The San Antonio-Express News writes that Ford's decision to increase engine power for the 2008 Taurus "is more significant than any restyling," and suggests that the new powertrain will bring the car "inline with competitors as the Toyota Avalon and Nissan Maxima, and ahead of the Buick LaCrosse, Chevrolet Impala and Pontiac Grand Prix V6 engines." Others agree, and The Car Connection notes that a quieter drivetrain also allows the Taurus to compete better in its class. The Taurus also offers an all-wheel-drive option for the first time in 2008.

Acceleration and Power

One of the major complaints about the outgoing Ford Five Hundred is that it was underpowered, so most reviewers are pleased with the new engine, which adds 60 horsepower. All 2008 Ford Tauruses have a 3.5-liter, 24 valve Duratec V6 engine with 263 horsepower that reviews like the Detroit News call "a vast improvement over the plodding 3.0-liter" in the previous Five Hundred. Yet, Car and Driver still calls the improved engine "meager," saying that the "V-6 left us yawning." Auto writers from Consumer Guide say that while the Taurus is "no hot rod," the engine is larger and "torquier."

Edmunds says Ford includes a "more responsive" six-speed automatic transmission to replace the Five Hundred's "sluggish" continuously variable transmission. Consumer Guide calls the automatic transmission a "smooth operator," but still finds it "reluctant to downshift for passing."

With all-wheel drive, the Environmental Protection Agency rates the 2008 Ford Taurus at 17 miles per gallon in the city and 24 miles per gallon on highways. The 2008 Ford Taurus with front wheel drive rates at 18 mpg for the city and 28 mpg on the highway -- numbers that are "less than stunning" to the Los Angeles Times and other critics. However, The Car Connection notes that with 30 percent more power, "the Taurus gets better fuel economy and qualifies as a Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle."

Handling and Braking

Reviewers find the ride in the 2008 Taurus improved.The Detroit News says, "The Taurus glides over bumps and rides smoothly. Its handling at highways speeds is excellent for a large sedan." Cars.com explains that "changes to the four-wheel independent suspension include 10 more millimeters of front suspension travel, new dampers and springs, and tweaks to the rear suspension." Edmunds predicts that this will give the Taurus a more balanced ride. The Detroit Free Press says the Taurus has a "smooth, quiet ride, thanks to a redesigned front suspension and added sound insulation," and adds, "Handling is fine in highway driving and over curing country roads." The 2008 Taurus features independent MacPherson struts with rear facing lower L-arms in front and multi-link fully independent suspension with coil over shocks in the rear.

The Taurus also has rack-and-pinion steering that Autobytel says "varies power steering boost," while "maximizing effectiveness and economy." MSN adds, the steering is "quick, with decent road feel," while the San Antonio Express-News calls it "precise." Consumer Guide calls the brakes on the Taurus "good but unexceptional." The 2008 Taurus comes standard with four-wheel disc, anti-lock brakes with traction control.

Review Last Updated: 3/23/09

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