Last post on Mar 30, 2008 at 4:44 PM
You are in the Ford Taurus/Mercury Sable
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Ford Taurus, Sedan
#5 of 14 Re: 2008 Ford Taurus Test Drives [dzier217]
Aug 20, 2007 (2:13 pm)
I just returned from a 1,400 mile 5 day rental with a 2008 Taurus SEL from Hertz. Overall, I was very pleased with the car. Best highway mileage observed was 28.5 MPG which I feel is quite excellent for this car.
Having driven the Five Hundred with the 3.0L Duratec, the new 3.5L is much more responsive and seemingly smoother as well. The new 6-speed automatic is smooth, but it seemed to occasionally be caught in the wrong gear in stop-and-go traffic. The overall quality control seemed excellent with consistent panel gaps, etc.
Now the carps: the trunk is huge, but I wish it had a flat floor - this would make hauling large amounts of luggage much more space efficient. The seat bottoms should be a bit wider - in fact, the two front bucket seats seems quite narrow overall, both the bottoms and backs - and, I am of just average build. Ford continues to use very thin and very small carpet floor mats compared to other cars of this class - this is a minor thing, but it looks cheap, and I don't think the carpet mats will stand the test of time. The clothes hang-up hooks in the backseat area are very narrow and only hold a couple of clothes hangers each - again, this is a minor carp, but the Asians are very good at attention to small details like this. Many of these observations are indeed minor, but affect your day-to-day interface with the car.
I, too, noticed a certain softness in the front suspension, and the car would occasionally float over large bumps. But, overall it's a decent combination of ride and handling for the Taurus' target demographic. The new 2008 Taurus seems tight and very solid, and most likely would perform very well in case of an accident. It reminds me of older Volvo's in this way, but that should come as no surprise as I believe the Taurus is built on the Volvo S80 platform.
This is a big, big improvement over the old Taurus, and an improvement, especially in the engine and transmission departments, over the Five Hundred which came before it. I just question Ford's marketing: they spent millions of dollars creating consumer awareness of the Five Hundred, and then they drop it in favor of the more recognizable Taurus nameplate, albeit as more often a fleet product.
Sep 08, 2007 (4:16 pm)
I finally was able to drive an AWD Taurus. In fact, I drove an SEL followed by a Limited. Both were AWD. I was surprised at the difference between the two vehicles - the steering of the SEL was almost too light while the Limited steering had a much more substantial feel to it. I wonder if this is a car to car difference or if the larger wheels and tires on the Limited make that much difference?
The Limited seemed quieter than the SEL. Other than that they were similar. I had an MKZ rental earlier this year and was impressed with the responsiveness of the engine/transmission combination. I believe this is the same package in the Taurus and it was nicely responsive. The SEL only had 26 miles on it while the Limited had nearly 2600 so the later felt quicker. I was greatly disappointed that Ford has chosen to not offer any greater manual control over the transmission. I had heard there was an OD lock out button but I couldn't find one and the sales person was of no help either. He did say all you had to do to manually downshift was to pull the selector back into low and the transmission would downshift one gear. When I did it the transmission went all the way to LOW. The tach certainly works okay:)!
The sales person also said that when you turn off the stability control it basically sends equal torque to all four wheels. Is this true?
Any feedback on the navigation system? The two dealers that I visited didn't have any vehicles so equipped.
We have been driving a series of AWD vehicles to replace our 2000 Park Avenue. Lots of nice vehicles but the Taurus seems to be the best compromise for our requirements. It is comfortable, handles decently, appears to get decent mileage and has AWD. I am not a FORD person but am leaning that way right now.
#7 of 14 Stability control
Sep 09, 2007 (9:36 am)
Thats wrong, the stability control is seperate from the AWD...When you turn it off, it means that torque only moves from front to rear based on wheel speed differences that indicate loss of traction at the front.
Stability control alows torque to be shifted from left to right.
Also the MKZ still uses the Aisen trans.
We never stock Navi equipped Tauruses, or 500s. The car gets too expensive.
#8 of 14 Re: Stability control [mschmal]
Sep 10, 2007 (6:50 pm)
Thanks Mark. What about the OD lock out button. Is there such an item on the Taurus? Also, have you noticed the difference in steering effort between the two models?
#9 of 14 Re: Stability control [desertrat5]
Sep 13, 2007 (12:47 pm)
The OD button is located on the left hand side of the shifter.
If you look at any Ford with NAV then you will be able to see what it is like.
The NAV system is relativley user friendly like all things once you figure it out and get the hang of it.
As far as handling and suspension goes the cars are the same with the exception of the wheels. The limited comes standard with the 18" tires and wheels
#10 of 14 Test Drive
Oct 29, 2007 (8:49 am)
10/25, the wife and I test drove a 2008 Taurus SEL. I canít say enough, the car is wonderful. Keep in mind though, that our present car is a 1993 Explorer purchased new and now has 194,000 miles on it, so any thing would be a great ride.
We only drove the car for about 20 minutes on mostly back roads and 10 minutes on the freeway. Very nice ride and tight, responsive steering are the two things that impressed me the most.
When getting on the freeway I was surprised at how fast and smoothly the car reached 60 mph with out stomping on the accelerator.
The wife was impressed and that is a good thing, but we didnít buy.
I made a promise (damn me) that no new car until we get new carpet and that should come late winter or early spring.
#11 of 14 Re: Test Drive [jkinzel]
Oct 29, 2007 (9:50 am)
When it comes time to buy your car, I hope you'll report back to us! There is a Prices Paid forum for the new Taurus I hope you'll participate in as well. On it are quotes people have received for the car (so far its just my quotes - its a new forum).
Keep us posted!
#12 of 14 No AccuTrac
Mar 30, 2008 (3:26 pm)
I test drove a 08 Taurus Limited yesterday. I was leaning toward a Fusion SEL V6 but after driving the Taurus with comparable fuel mpg the Taurus wins. My question is why can't I find a Taurus with AccuTrac stability control? They all seem to have traction control but not stability control, I would have thought AccuTrac would be a very popular option. IMHO it should be standard in the Limited model.
I also noted the 08 Taurus does not have a cabin air filter. Didn't earlier model Taurus's have a cabin air filter?
#13 of 14 Re: No AccuTrac [7milehi]
Mar 30, 2008 (4:29 pm)
The 08's have stability control. It's standard on the high dollar versions and an option on the lower dollar ones. I believe it's the safety package option. It's one of the main reasons I went for the Taurus along with it's stellar safety rating.
Fusion mileage will probably be better however. It's a smaller car.
#14 of 14 Re: No AccuTrac [7milehi]
Mar 30, 2008 (4:44 pm)
I had the same problem when I was shopping for a Taurus. I looked over 100 mile radius (dealer inventory on the internet) for the color and options I wanted (without options I did not want). I ended up getting a Sable Premier from a dealer 40 miles away. My wife and I liked the Sable a little better than the Taurus. I got the Light Sage color with AdvanceTrac (Ford's name for their ESC), memory adjustable pedals, reverse sensors, and Sirius Radio. Here is the report I posted on another forum:
Bought a new 2008 Mecury Sable in Gastonia, NC. MSRP was $28875, and selling price $26314. Adding $700. tax, $99 tag/transfer, and $389 Doc fee the OTD price, after $2400 rebates and $3000 trade-in, was $22102.
The buying experience was very good. I did a lot of the preliminary negotiations on the internet and telephone since the dealer was 40 miles from where I live. I was able to get a 5.99% 60 month loan, which beat the 2.9% Ford deal in which I would have had to give up $2000 of the rebate.