Monday, January 12, 2009

Is it 1986 All over again?

For those of you that were around in 1985, Ford launched the Taurus, the car that saved Ford.

Are you humming the cheesy song? Thank goodness the car was good enough to overcome the terrible commercial.

What happened? 2007, the last Taurus rolled off the line. Long since becoming a favorite of company cars and rental fleets. Ford let a good product die on the vine. Seems to be something they're good at doing. I don't think Taurus was competitive in the retail Market for at least 4 or 5 years before it died.

Ford does this with a lot of their vehicles, Ranger, Econoline, Crown Victoria, fleet favorites that probably would remain competitive with a little refreshening. These are all vehicles that are reliable, durable and well built, and unfortunately, outdated.

Fast forward, Ford rebadges the 2005 Five Hundred to the 2008 Ford Taurus, which a bunch of little changes (for the better) and a Decent 3.5L 24 Valve Duratec, good for 263 hp. While its not 'all new', I appreciate Ford bringing back the name. But its not good enough to go head to head with Camry and Accord, missing may nicities and key features and the general panache and buyers expect...yet.

Lets face it, there are too many damn nice cars that are available in the 20-25K range, both new and used. What makes the 08-09 Taurus Stand out? Not much...

On Sunday, Jan 11, 2009, the 2010 Ford Taurus was released. This is an all new design that will bring Ford back. This car is equipped with the Proven 3.5L Duratec, 6 Speed Automatic, (SEL and Limited will get paddle shifters).

Three trim lines, SE, SEL and Limited, base price of $25,995 for the SE, but that gives you a Standard V6 with a 6 speed automatic. Accord and Camry make you pay extra for the V6.

I think its better looking than what Japan has to offer, and the fit and finish look rich and switchgear look of quality. While I'm generally not a fan of Front Wheel Driven vehicles, this car does appeal. Job #2 (late 2010 Production) will bring a 340 hp Twin Turbo "EcoBoost V6 to the mix. I also hear rumors of the SHO returning....

I'm pretty excited that Ford has decided to get back into the car game. Don't get me wrong, I love how they're really doing well with trucks, but a few years ago, they made the mistake of putting all their eggs in the Truck/SUV Game, letting their cars become favorites of rental fleets. This is good for Ford. Check back when I review the 2010 Fusion Next!

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