The Ford Taurus X will disappear from Ford's lineup in February of 2009, replaced by the 2009 Ford Flex. The Taurus X initially debuted at the 2003 North American International Auto Show as the Freestyle Concept before going into production in 2005 as the 2005 Ford Freestyle. When it debuted, it was one of the first Ford vehicles (along with the 2005 Ford Five Hundred and 2005 Ford Escape Hybrid) to use a CVT transmission.
The Freestyle suffered an identity crisis in 2007, when new CEO Alan Mulally criticized the management's decision to drop the Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable monikers for Ford Five Hundred and Mercury Montego in 2005. At the 2007 Chicago auto show, Ford killed the Five Hundred and Montego names in favor of the Taurus and Sable-as well as dubbing the Freestyle a Taurus X.
Ford revamped the Freestyle's grille, gave it a new engine, killed the CVT, upgraded the interior and slapped the new Taurus X name on it in the hopes of increasing its disappointing sales figures. Though we prefer the 2009 Ford Flex, we found the 2008 Ford Taurus X to be an adequate replacement to the Explorer. We bid the short-lived crossover a fond farewell.