2010 Ford Taurus SEL FWD

This 3.5-liter V-6 feels stronger than it did in the 2008 Taurus I drove last year, but for even more thrust, check out the Taurus SHO and its 355-hp EcoBoost V-6. The EPA city rating for this V-6 is only 18 mpg, which seems a little low, but this is a big, heavy sedan.

Everything in the handling department feels pretty much spot-on for a sedan of this size that lacks sporting pretentions. Damping, spring rates, and body roll are all in line with a sedan that skews more toward luxury than sport. There is a bit too much tire and suspension noise over broken pavement, but the cabin is otherwise very quiet and well insulated.

Most of the materials and finish on the interior were quite nice, but I noticed a few flaws. One would hope that production cars will be free of the annoying squeak that emanated from behind the dashboard and that the material quality will be more uniform. The controls for the audio, climate control, and other vital systems are very easy to decipher.

Yes, this is the flagship sedan Ford has been looking for. I don't know that the Taurus name is the right choice, but Ford's CEO, Alan Mulally, has spoken, and the Taurus name will probably stick around for a while. Let's hope Ford can keep this car fresh.

Phil Floraday, Senior Online Editor

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