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.

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The Taurus X is an SUV-like wagon with three rows of seats.
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Base prices: $23,000 to $28,000
Seating: Four comfortably, five maximum
Fuel mileage: 22 mpg overall, according to new EPA testing method
Power: 3.5-liter V6, 6-speed transmission

In all, the Taurus is a car with a lot to show for itself. Unfortunately, it may be brushed off by shoppers who see it as just a Five Hundred with a little make up and jewelry, but who miss the more powerful engine and suspension improvements.

They're the same shoppers who missed that the Five Hundred - while no-one's idea of a hot ride - really wasn't bad if you were just looking for a practical family car.

If questions about reliability are standing in your way, check with J.D. Power & Associates and Consumer Reports.

If you just look at recently introduced models, like the Ford Five Hundred and Fusion, it's a non-issue. Ford's new models perform just as well as Toyota's and Honda's and, in some cases, better. There's no reason to think the same won't hold true for the Taurus.

If you're shopping for a large car, the new Taurus should absolutely be on your list. In fact, if you're shopping for a mid-sized SUV, it should be on your list as well. You'd have a hard time finding anything in an SUV that you're not getting here except with better fuel economy and closed-in lockable cargo space.

And, if you want a third row of seats, there's the Ford Taurus X. It's basically a crossover SUV based on the Taurus.

New old name

Big small shape

Improved drive

Top safety

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