2010 Ford Taurus SEL

It was a Monday morning.

It was a Monday morning. I was in a parking lot. I was reaching into the trunk of the car, getting something out, when I heard a woman say, “Nice car. How do you like it?” I told her that I liked it fine, and that I found the trunk to be particularly huge (20.1-ft3), although I thought they could have taken a few inches out of the trunk and given it to the rear-seat passengers (there are 41.9 in. of legroom for the passengers in the front, but those in the back get but 38.1 in., which is quite a difference, as you might be able to discern just by rounding up on the 9 and down on the 1.) She looked in the trunk, then in the back seat. “They’re just trying to make it look more sporty,” she said, which, I must confess, puzzled me. Yes, the optional leather-trimmed seats with visible stitching adds a certain flair, but sportiness. . .until I noticed that she had gotten out of a Taurus X, the three-row precursor to the Ford Flex. Yes, the new Taurus is somewhat sportier.

“My husband works for Ford, and we have a Taurus on order,” she said, adding, “That’s really a nice color.” Steel Blue Metallic. And then she went on in to work.

At that point I came to the realization that the 2010 Taurus is America’s Car. It is big, it is capable. It is well appointed. It has a sufficiently powerful engine (3.5-liter V6 Duratec) for its mass (4,015 lb., as the vehicle Driven is a front- not all-wheel-drive version; that would have upped the ante by 209 lb.) for the use that most people will put it to. . .like driving to work on a Monday morning.

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And if you did have a Taurus to drive to work, you’d probably feel pretty good about it, all things considered.

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Yes, America’s car. Built in Chicago with an engine manufactured in Cleveland by a company headquartered in Dearborn. America’s car. Not the Flex (built in Canada), not the Fusion (built in Mexico), but the Taurus. It with the SEL trim with standard features like six-way power driver’s seat, eight cupholders, dual chromed exhaust tips, projector beam halogen headlamps, tilt and telescoping steering wheel, a six-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters (OK, that’s really somewhat silly as we’re not talking about the Taurus SHO, but really the daily driver of the bunch), several more features, and an MSRP of $27,170 (and add $825 for destination and delivery) and you’ve got something that people will pay for over three or more years and probably feel as though they’re getting value for money. Which is what America wants.

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Maybe this isn’t as astonishing as the original Taurus. Maybe there are other cars in this category that have a better this or that. Maybe this is the kind of car that you drive to work in. Maybe, just maybe, that’s the point.

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Selected Specs

Engine: 3.6-liter V6. Aluminum block & heads

Horsepower: 263 @ 6,250 rpm

Torque: 249 lb-ft @ 4,500 rpm

Transmission: Six-speed automatic

Wheelbase: 112.9 in.

Length: 202.9 in.

Width: 76.2 in.

Height: 60.7 in.

Fuel economy: 18 mpg city; 28 mpg highway