The engine also provides enough power for the six-speed transmission to work smoothly. In the Five Hundred, the car would often slog between shifts that seemed to come too early.
The Taurus' 57 horsepower improvement over the old Five Hundred also comes at no cost in terms of fuel economy. In fact, the Taurus gets about one mile more out of each gallon than the Five Hundred did, according to new EPA estimates. (It's actually not that unusual for an increase in power to result in better fuel economy. A stronger engine doesn't need to work as hard.)
The suspension is also tighter, but this is still no performance sedan. The Taurus is supposed to be a roomy, comfortable cruiser. The new shock tuning makes it feel more controlled in turns and over bumps, though, while still offering a smooth ride.
Steering remains a weak point. It doesn't feel like you're tossing around one of those American land barges of the old days, but the steering still feels a bit remote and numb. Still, it beats the Toyota Avalon in this respect.