I replaced my 98 Avalon with the 08 Taurus. It is as quiet as the Avalon, has more interior room, and comfortable- -even for a 6'5" guy. Fuel economy is very important to me, and I am very disappointed. A recent drive, Wyoming to Iowa and back netted only 25.5 mpg hand calculated. I would consistently get 30 on the old Avalon doing the same route. It missed the EPA estimate by 2.5 mpg, and I drove conservatively as I typically do. Also, I find the heater, a/c, and fan controls on the lower dashboard are small and difficult to locate and adjust when driving. I would give a strong recommendation for the Taurus, but my disappointing gas mileage might make it a deal killer.
Interior room, quiet, a trunk large enough to host a party, and overall fit and finish. The transmission shifts smoothly and accurately.
Simplify and enlarge dashboard controls. Dashboard is too busy and making adjustments while driving may create safety issues, particularly with senior drivers.