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A good car that suffers a bad rap. Problem is, in the hotly contested midsize family sedan segment, good isn't good enough.
Excellent value for the money, high level of safety, available as a sedan or a wagon.
Rental car stigma, front seats lack comfort, no rear disc brakes on the sedan.
Available Taurus Models
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After the 2000 redesign, updates are minor. A Lower Anchor and Tether for Children (LATCH) is now standard on all models. LATCH is an anchoring system for child safety seats. Also new is Spruce Green Clearcoat Metallic, an increase in fuel tank capacity to 18 gallons, a six-disc CD changer standard on SES models, power locks standard on LX and an optional rear spoiler.
For several years now, the Taurus has been the Yankee entry in the best-selling- car-in-America war. It's like the WWF, but for cars. Each year, the Taurus jumps into the ring to duke it out with the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry. The goal? To earn that prestigious title of No. 1, or the "best-selling car in America."
In hopes of putting the Taurus on top for 2000, Ford put its main contender through the automotive equivalent of a Tae-Bo class, endowing it with better safety, styling, power and suspension. The current Taurus' main feature is Ford's Personal Safety System. It's a collection of components that allows the car to more fully understand the nature of a crash and factors in whether or not the seatbelts are in use. With the system, the dual-stage airbags inflate at two different rates, depending on the situation. Additionally, safety belts are equipped with pre-tensioners that are designed to help reduce the risk of force-related injuries in a crash. Taurus also becomes the first car in North America to offer power-adjustable brake and accelerator pedals, allowing drivers of smaller stature to move the pedals toward their feet, rather than moving the seat too close to the steering wheel.
Last year's styling changes were a welcome improvement. All exterior panels on the 2001 Taurus are carried over from last year.We give the '01 Taurus high marks in the ride and handling department. On the road, the car transmits truly usable feedback to the wheel, letting the driver know what is happening with the tires. The Taurus has a compliant suspension with excellent rebound shock valving for spirited canyon driving, yet without the harshness that can render a cross-country drive unenjoyable. Drive the Taurus into a turn, prod the throttle and the car responds in a predictable manner. Yet on the highway, passengers are treated to a comfortably smooth ride.
The 2001 Taurus powertrains include the 3.0-liter Vulcan and 3.0-liter Duratec V6s. The main difference between the two engines is the cylinder heads. The base Vulcan has two valves per cylinder, while the Duratec has four. The four-valve motor makes 200 horsepower at 5650 rpm and 200 foot-pounds of torque at 4,400 rpm. The base engine makes do with 155 horsepower at 4,900 rpm and 185 foot-pounds at 3950 rpm.
All Tauri get a four-speed automatic. Both the Vulcan and Duratec engines meet low-emission vehicle (LEV) standards in California and the Northeastern states.
The Taurus has always been a good value and now it's better than ever. And with the number of 2000s out there, the car is apparently a popular American-nameplate alternative to an Accord or Camry. Especially when price is factored into the picture.
Laura's old car was costing her a small fortune every month for gas and repairs. She didn't even want to drive her kids to the park any more. But buying a new Kia Soul changed all that.