It was inevitable. I knew I was going to drive the new Taurus at some point since it first came out. As the owner of two Tauruses, it was my duty to drive the new one.
Milwaukee had it's annual auto show a few weeks ago. As I usually do, I made my way down there to attend it. Ford, having probably the largest display I've ever seen at the auto show, had a promotion waiting for me: Take a test drive of a 2010 Ford, get a fifty dollar Mastercard gift card.
Normally I won't bother a salesman to take a test drive of something when I'm not at all interested in buying. But here was Ford offering to stuff cash in my pocket to drive a car and tell them what I think of it. That's pretty much my dream job right there.
Today I finally had the chance to take one for a spin. I didn't bring my camera, but here's a random internet pic of a nearly identical Taurus:
With the light interior
It was a pretty basic model (as basic as the Taurus gets, anyway), with a sunroof as pretty much the only option.
-A few here have written about the Taurus feeling "cramped" or "small". At no point during my drive did I feel that the Taurus was anything but a big car. There was plenty of room inside. However, unlike in most cars, the center console is tall. It sat about an inch or so above my knee. That probably exacerbated any feeling of claustrophobia. Perhaps with the release of the Police interceptor Ford will make a column shifter and bench seat available on the regular civilian models (I wouldn't hold my breath). Otherwise, police should have no problems with room.
-You sit high in the Taurus. Very high. It's akin to a crossover in this regard. This has it's advantages, especially in city driving.
-As with every car nowadays, glass space is minimal. Visibility in the Taurus is only okay. I would've liked a more upright windshield, as there were times where I had to lean forward a bit to see a stoplight. For the record I'm slightly over six feet tall.
-The power on the 3.5L V6 was there, but higher up than I expected. The Taurus had to rev up a bit to get to it. Now we aren't talking Honda levels here, but more than my '04 which finds it's (only) power down low.
-The suspension on the Taurus was perfect. It was soft enough to soak up some rough stretches of city street, while stiff enough to not feel like a rowboat. Note that I did not go blasting around any backroads with it. For those wondering, it feels a bit softer than my '04s suspension. Might also have something to do with the weight difference between the two.
-The controls were layed out in a fairly good order. The turn signal lever was a bit far back for my taste, but still manageable. Those with smaller hands may not like it. I am a little curious as to who put the trunk release button on the passenger side.
-The interior materials all felt high-end, as well they should at this price.