So what does one say about Ford’s 2008 Taurus X. The update, rebadged Freestyle certainly seems to be suffering from a bit of an identity crisis in the market and I’m not sure the change in moniker is going to help things any, but does it have any real personality on the road?
First impressions can make or break any relationship. Our first impression was of the two tone model that Los Jalops had for a week and it somehow looked like an overgrown outback wannabe. Fortunately, our tester was dead sexy looking in a nice coat of black with all sorts of well chosen chrome accents and 18 inch polished aluminum wheels. The front end treatment, from headlamps to fenders and chrome 3 bar grille is distinctly modern day Ford.
Out on the road, the Taurus X is a bit hard to pin down. The ride is quiet and comfortable, especially so on the highway. With 263 horsepower on tap though, I expected a bit more oomph. The X feels a bit heavy off the line and isn’t interested in any rapid acceleration. Step on it, and things pick up a bit but the 3.5 liter V6 sounds like it’s working harder than it wants to. A few writers have mentioned that the new 6 speed transmission weren’t to their liking. They say that the 6 cog unit can’t decide what gear to be in most of the time. Perhaps that has something to do with their youthfully enthusiastic driving styles. In a week of regular day to day, big city stop & go driving, the tranny shifted like butta. In fact, the shifts were almost imperceptible unless one really mashes the gas. Folks, it’s an
SUV minivan CUV (Oh, whatever, you get the idea) not a muscle car, drive it like the vehicle it is and it will treat you just fine. On a normal road test, it can be a bit of a challenge to test or explain the operation of an all wheel drive system. Suffice it to say that the new active awd setup in the Taurus X worked well enough to keep us out of trouble during one of the snowiest winters in recent memory.
For some reason, Ford’s designers still feel the need to use these silly keypad entry systems that are left over from the Lincoln’s of old. In the days of reliable keyless remotes, they are just pointless.
Did I mention the Taurus X looks great in pictures?