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2008 Ford Taurus X Limited – Short Take Road Test
Highs: Improved powertrain, exemplary road manners, nifty new nose, spiffy interior.
Lows: Excessive brake fade, long stopping distances, puny towing limits.
2008 Ford Taurus X Limited – Short Take Road Test
Now, that’s more like it.
When you peel away all the Gen-X pandering and celebrity worship of today’s new-car marketing, the heart of the U.S. business is still family transportation, and this revitalized Ford wagon is as well conceived for that market as any other.
Consider the attributes: First-rate crash ratings. Enough airbags to cushion a Mars lander. Seats for six or seven. Lighter than an Explorer, with a bit more cargo room. Minivan utility minus minivan stigma. Quiet interior. Rigid front-drive unibody. Ride quality that irons out lumps but maintains a hint of Euro firmness. Excellent all-around dynamics (although diluted by long stopping distances). All-wheel drive availability. Stability control standard.
With the exception of stability control, which is new for 2008, all these attributes applied to this vehicle when it made its 2005 debut as the Ford Freestyle. But if it was so terrific, why was it almost invisible? Could it have been the name, so easily confused with the Freestar minivan?
Ford has obviously thought better of that moniker, but there were more substantive issues—power, for one. A two-ton wagon was more than a 203-hp, 3.0-liter V-6 could propel with any zeal (0 to 60 in 8.2 seconds). And although our January 2005 road test gave the Freestyle’s continuously variable transmission a passing grade, this device was not loved by all. Then there was the bland styling, with its generic Ford face and cheap-looking wire mesh grille.
Behold the Taurus X. The powertrain issues have been addressed with Ford’s 3.5-liter V-6 (263 horsepower) and a six-speed automatic, a combo that propels this tall wagon to 60 mph in 7.7 seconds with none of the irritating engine crescendos that come with CVTs. The forgettable fascia has been refreshed with Ford’s Edgey three-bar grille, the rear end gets a power-liftgate option, and the interior sports improved materials and textures.
All of this adds up to a more desirable vehicle, albeit one that still defies easy classification. The shape says SUV, a message enhanced by a high seating position. But ground clearance is about the same as the Taurus sedan’s, and even with all-wheel drive (add $1850), off-road isn’t part of the deal here. Nor is there much towing capability (2000 pounds).
But if towing isn’t on your family menu, this X might mark your spot.
2008 Ford Taurus X Limited – Specs
VEHICLE TYPE: front-engine, front-wheel-drive, 6-passenger, 5-door wagon
PRICE AS TESTED: $36,310 (base price: $30,700)
ENGINE TYPE: DOHC 24-valve V-6, aluminum block and heads, port fuel injection
Displacement: 213 cu in, 3496cc
Power (SAE net): 263 bhp @ 6250 rpm
Torque (SAE net): 249 lb-ft @ 4500 rpm
TRANSMISSION: 6-speed automatic
Wheelbase: 112.9 in Length: 200.3 in Width: 74.9 in Height: 67.6 in
Curb weight: 4216 lb
C/D TEST RESULTS:
Zero to 60 mph: 7.7 sec
Zero to 100 mph: 22.0 sec
Street start, 5-60 mph: 7.9 sec
Standing ¼-mile: 16.0 sec @ 88 mph
Top speed (governor limited): 111 mph
Braking, 70-0 mph: 200 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.76 g
EPA city driving: 16 mpg
C/D observed: 16 mpg
Over the past year LRS Architects along with TM Rippey engineers completed the design for the new Dick’s Country Chrysler Jeep Dodge in Hillsboro, OR. The new facility will be constructed by Perlo McCormack Pacific. The jobsite will be run by Jay Edgar as superintendent, along with Dan Pierson as project manager.
On March 21, 2008, the demolition permit was obtained to remove the small detail service building and the process to build a new Dick’s Country Chrysler was underway. The new 38,428 square foot single building dealership will be constructed while the existing showroom and service buildings remain open. Once occupancy is achieved for the new facility later this year, the two older buildings will then be removed.
The first construction step was to remove the asphalt paving where the new building will be located. This material was crushed and stockpiled for later use in filling around the new building. The next step involved grading and compacting soil to the new building floor elevation. Upon completion of this grading, the excavator then dug out the locations where building footings occur. Concrete formwork and reinforcing steel (rebar) was installed and approved by inspectors. On April 16th, the first concrete trucks arrived and the footings and elevator pit were poured.
Working around the footing crews, the electrician and plumber are now installing underslab piping and fixture boxes. Once complete the floor slab, rebar and formwork will commence. The current schedule calls for the main building concrete floor to be placed by the end of April.
Stay tuned for the future plans and action involved in building a new home for Dick’s Country Chrysler.
We Support Boys and Girls Clubs of Portland
Learn more about the Inukai Family Boys & Girls Club
“To inspire and enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens.”
Since 1946, Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland has been providing thousands of young people throughout the Portland metro area with affordable, high-quality after-school and summer programs designed to help them develop the qualities needed to become responsible citizens and leaders. The Clubs offer kids what they want the most: safe, clean, fun places to go when they’re not in school; caring adults who respect and guide them; and challenging programs that teach them life skills and keep them engaged in productive activities.
The Inukai Boys and Girls Club
In October 2006, dozens of community leaders and investors joined with more than 300 Boys & Girls Club youth to witness the ground-breaking event of the Inukai Family Boys & Girls Club. Preceding the ground-breaking, Club Kids and guests were honored with a visit by Former Secretary of State, General Colin Powell, who took time to share a personal message for the Kids before participating in the ceremony.
The ground-breaking marked an important event in the Hillsboro Club’s history. With the investment of many community leaders and donors, the Hillsboro Boys & Girls Club was able to undertake a capital expansion project, adding an additional 12,000 square feet to the existing 8,100 square foot facility.
The new Club has been renamed the Inukai Family Boys & Girls Club after the family of Richard Inukai, Board Chair of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland Metropolitan Area and major contributor to the Clubs operations and expansion effort. Mr. Inukai is also owner of Dick’s MacKenzie Ford and Dick’s Country Chrysler Jeep Dodge of Hillsboro.