2010 Ford Taurus SEL FWD

I just spent the morning hanging out with a 1950 Ford for a photo shoot. Now that's a workaday Ford that uses some great, robust materials and has impressive attention to detail. This 2010 Taurus ... not quite so much.

The rest of the Taurus is so good, I'm surprised by the hard, poorly fitting gray plastic that flanks the center console, which is inconsistent with some of the other cabin materials, which include plenty of nice, good-fitting, soft-touch items. The layout of the interior is very good, too, both ergonomically and visually, and the trunk is absolutely huge. However, space for back-seat passengers is somewhat disappointing, especially footroom; I doubt that four six-footers would be very comfortable for a long drive in this car. And one more comment about the interior (which is so critical in a car like this): the massaging driver's seat is a cool feature, particularly in a $31,000 car, but why is it controlled by a vague, seat-side-mounted rocker switch instead of a simple pushbutton?

The new Taurus drives well but not remarkably so, which, as Phil noted, is just about right for a pseudoluxury mid-size car. The Ford's acceleration is perfectly adequate, but the SHO edition will certainly be a welcome upgrade not only for speed demons but also for patriotic VIPs in a hurry. I really like the exterior styling, but it would take some time to get used to the spoilerlike turn-up on the trunk lid, which makes it seem like other drivers are tailgating you a lot more closely than they actually are.

Rusty Blackwell, Copy Editor

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