The news that Ford would slap the Taurus name and the company's suddenly ubiquitous three-bar grille on the slow-selling Five Hundred sedan was greeted with hosannas by the Detroit-based automotive press, which acted as if Ford's management team had suddenly found the Golden Key to Success. Well, the early results are now in, and the one-time best-selling nameplate and the chromey new face have done exactly nothing to lift sales. Imagine.
The hew and cry over dropping and then bringing back the Taurus name, as well as the endless derision of the admittedly plain design--which was, of course, an overreaction to the different-just-to-be-different second-generation Taurus (whose oval-mad styling was supposed to echo the Ford logo)--is all just noise. Overlooked is the fact that the Taurus-ne-Five Hundred actually has a lot to offer.
To Ford's credit, its engineers tried to give their mainstream sedan some of the qualities that buyers liked in the company's successful SUVs. They raised the seating position in order to provide that commanding view of the road that SUV owners were always going on about, and they added the option of all-wheel drive, because buyers in the Snow Belt often gave that as a justification for an SUV purchase. They also eliminated the cramped sedan feeling of the previous Taurus, creating a car that is exceedingly spacious, with more interior room than a ... Read full article