No kidding: New Ford Taurus is really good

The rebirth of the Taurus name was greeted by laughs but, it turns out, Ford has made a good car out of what was the Five Hundred.

Big small shape
Ford's engineers and designers upgraded the car's power, ride and look without taking away from its practical side.
Big small shape
The Taurus's overall tall, rounded shape is unchanged from the Five Hundred. The car still looks a bit chubby, but the big three-bar chrome grill and the flashy side vents help.

The Taurus Limited, the top trim level, comes with chrome side view mirrors and door handles, too. At that level, the sheer volume of chrome really does lend the car some luxury-class style.

The pudgy shape serves a purpose, though. This car fits an awful lot of space over a small amount of asphalt.

The basic idea has always been to offer all the functionality of an SUV in a sedan body. The Taurus succeeds at that and more. There is plenty of room for passengers in both the front and back seats - more than you'll find in most two-row SUVs, in fact.

With all its seats filled with passengers, the Taurus actually has more storage space than many SUVs. The back seats fold down flat, just like an SUV's, leaving a full top-to-bottom pass-through. Even the front passenger seat folds flat, letting you load items that reach from the taillights all the way to the dashboard.

It's also available with all-wheel-drive.

These are all features that already existed in the Five Hundred and, thankfully, the Taurus hasn't lost them.

Its new interior doesn't look as well put together as, say, the Toyota Avalon's or even the Chrysler 300's, but it's still an attractive and functional piece of work. The center console has two separate bins, a lower, larger one and a big one beneath that.

Even with four occupants, everyone gets plenty of space for beverages. There are front and rear cupholders in the center. The back ones come in a fold-down center armrest. There's also a bottle holder in each door large enough to hold a two-liter soda bottle.

New old name

Big small shape

Improved drive

Top safety

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