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2008 Ford Taurus Pros and Cons at TrueDelta: 2008 Taurus Limited - The Bull Came Back by jeb.hoge

Jeb

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Introduction

Sneaking in between the Five Hundred and the 2010 redesign, the 2008-09 Taurus is more than just a mid-cycle refresh. It's a combination of a new engine, improvements in just about every area of vehicle design, great visibility and seating position, and restrained but handsome styling. These model years are under the radar values.

Reviewed: 2008 Ford Taurus

4dr Sedan 263-horsepower 3.5L V6 6-speed automatic FWD

Why the 2008 Ford Taurus?

Front seat room

Outstanding interior space. I'm 6'4" with about a 34" inseam and I can sit comfortably in the rear when I have my front seat adjusted just so. With the driver seat all the way back, it's a stretch to reach the controls.

Driving position & visibility

The lack of a telescoping steering column may be a minor annoyance but overall the driving position is good, suitable for long hauls, and the beltline on this model of Taurus is not as high as later ones. Good glass all around.

Powertrain performance

The 3.5L DOHC V6 can put on speed with surprising verve and it sounds pretty good doing it. The transmission shifts nicely enough although occasionally there's some low speed clunk. But it's geared well for highway mileage and downshifts when you want.

Materials & workmanship

I'm convinced that the build quality is a reflection of the desire to impress the Alan Mulallyat the time. Everything about the 2008 Taurus says to me that Ford wanted their new CEO to be happy with it, so it's generally well built and enjoyable to operate.

Cargo capacity

Everyone who looks in the trunk is amazed at how vast it is.

Why Not the 2008 Ford Taurus?

Fuel economy

It's got a 20 gallon tank and I basically never see 400 miles on the trip counter. 20mpg in mixed use (almost 40 mile round trip commute) has been something to get used to after living with a 4-cylinderMazda 6. In addition, when I hit 1/4 tank on the gas gauge, the range computer plummets to the point that I start planning a fuel stop within 50 miles of the 1/4 tank mark. I don't know if this is unique to my car or not.

Handling

It could use some more body control. If I knew that the 2010 SHO suspension was a drop-in fit, I'd budget to replace the stock springs and dampers. But it's also still fun to drive and turns in well. I've taken it on some mountain twisties and enjoyed the ride.

Audio & nav systems

This model year had the original Sync interface and the basic green display on a square head unit. Sync works OK with my Android phone over Bluetooth but the steering wheel does not have volume control and the audio sometimes has a bit of static fuzz that I attribute to the Ford head unit (I've tested my phone with other BT devices and they don't do that).

Brand reputation & image

I get it. This is an "old people's car" in the common mindset.

Other Features of the 2008 Ford Taurus

Interior styling

Not super modern but haven't we all agreed that super modern isn't necessarily always great? I think the instrument and control layout is clean, clear, and effective. It looks nice with the black on black on (plastic) woodgrain finish and it's been easy to keep clean. My wife says "This feels like a grown-up's car," so I'm good with that.

Tires

I don't know how the stock tires performed, but the Sumitomos I've put on grip well and don't make tons of noise. Tire choice can have a lot to do with how the Taurus handles.

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Response from Turtlefoot

6:28 pm February 28, 2017

Related to the Fuel Economy portion of your review: It looks as if we have the same vehicle only mine is AWD. Also seem to have the same 'issues.' I have never been able to achieve over 21.5 MPG under any conditions. Also have the same size gas tank and the very same issue with the gas gauge. After it hits 50 miles left till out, it drops at a tad over twice the miles, e.g., at 48 miles supposed to be left, I've driven only ONE mile after it hit 50, at 2 miles driven, dropped to 46, etc., etc. I never now for sure how far I really can drive, so I just try to fill up after a quarter tank (or sooner). That's basically my only current issue. I love the vehicle now that it has had a full tuneup and new snow tires. It handles so much better on corners; previous tires were too soft on the sidewalls and it left me feeling as if I didn't have good control. Great pickup response though; better than my son's Crown Vic Police Interceptor. (Not that I drive mine that way normally!!)

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Response from Jeb

12:03 pm July 4, 2017

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