Detroit 2009: 2010 Ford Taurus

We finally get the Mondeo! Kind of.

When I first drove the Ford Five Hundred, I joked that it felt like it was based on the F-150. Its high seating position and big, bulky feel were everything I don’t like in a car. But I’m not its target buyer.

Unfortunately, even though Ford gave that target market exactly what they were looking for, the Five Hundred was just, well, not pretty. So the target market walked past the Five Hundred and found other cars that fit their needs but looked better.

Then we saw the Taurus, a mild facelift and some new powertrains on the same car. And the result? You don’t see too many of them on the road.

And now finally -finally!- Ford has fixed what was wrong with the Taurus in the first place… it took 2 facelifts, but it’s pretty now. Funny lady Kathy Griffin is my favorite comedienne, and I would never want to insult her… but as she proved, sometimes it takes more than one round of plastic surgery to make a beauty. (Kathy, I love you. You’re beautiful now.)

And so is the 2010 Taurus. When I first saw the current Mondeo in person a few years ago in Paris, I was devastated that American Ford buyers wouldn’t have the opportunity to buy such a sleek, sporty, modern, and elegant sedan. Well, it was worth the wait, because while the new Taurus isn’t quite as “dynamic” to look at, it has just enough of the Mondeo’s design traits to finally get past its homliness.

Bravo to Ford. If they brought the Mondeo here again (like they did with the Contour/Mystique) it’d probably have been criticized for being too European. Giving us the Euro styling with the size that American midsize buyers want is definitely a step in the right direction.

Plus, Ford had a cool display, which split the Taurus in half.