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The Ford Taurus X was a crossover wagon SUV that was produced for just two years. Technically, it first arrived in 2005 as the Freestyle, changing monikers a few years later when Ford revived the Taurus nameplate. The "X" differentiated this large wagon from the Taurus sedan, and Ford probably also meant it to signify an active outdoorsy lifestyle.
Whatever the case, the Taurus X flew under the radar while its flashy Flex platform-mate got all the press. It was actually a wholly competent crossover with three rows of seating, good cargo capacity, plenty of options, excellent safety ratings and a zesty if slightly raucous power plant. If your family doesn't need a hulking SUV with boat-towing V8 capabilities, and you can't imagine driving a minivan, then the Ford Taurus X is an excellent, though little-known, candidate.
Past Taurus X Models
The Ford Taurus X crossover SUV was produced for just the 2008 and '09 model years. It seated six by default, but adding an optional second-row split increased that to seven. The standard (and only) engine was a 3.5-liter V6 that produced 263 horsepower and 249 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission directed power to either a front-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive configuration.
The well-equipped base model came with alloy wheels, a power driver seat, an in-dash CD changer, cruise control and a trip computer. Higher trim levels offered accoutrements like two-tone leather upholstery, Ford's Sync entertainment and communications system, dual-zone automatic climate control, premium sound and reverse park assist. Options, depending on trim, included larger wheels, a moonroof, adjustable pedals, Sync, a rear-seat DVD entertainment system, a power liftgate and a navigation system.
In reviews, we've found that the Ford Taurus X accelerated briskly, but the V6 made unrefined noises at higher rpm, and the transmission was reluctant to downshift when extra power was needed. On the bright side, the Taurus X's ride quality was smooth and more carlike than traditional SUVs. In terms of functionality, the Taurus X managed to accommodate all seven of its potential passengers in relative comfort. Adults in the third row had adequate head- and legroom, a rarity in non-minivans. Furthermore, the Taurus X's low step-in height and optional button-activated flip-and-fold second-row seats made getting in and out of the third row easy. Interior materials overall were unimpressive, although storage space was abundant and there were cupholders galore. Even with all the seats up, the cargo area still provided a generous 16 cubic feet of space. With the second- and third-row seats folded, there were 85 cubic feet of maximum cargo capacity.
For the 2008 model year, Ford replaced this vehicle's "Freestyle" name with Taurus X, even though the vehicles remain functionally similar. More information about the Taurus X's earlier years can be found in our review of the Freestyle.