Driving ImpressionsDriving Impressions Stable and secure, the 2005 Ford Taurus features decent handling but the ride is rough on bad pavement and it feels heavier than it really is.
Our 2005 Ford Taurus SEL rental had 1,100 miles on the odometer when we picked it up. It looked like new, smelled like new, and the rear outboard three-point seatbelts had never been used, still clipped into the buckles from the factory. It had been five years since we had driven the Taurus, last made-over for the 2000 model year.
Compared to the competition, the 201-horsepower, 3.0-liter V6 under the hood is not a paragon of refinement or power, but it’s hooked up to a smooth-shifting four-speed automatic transmission that short-shifts to maximize fuel economy. After 400 miles of highway and city driving we averaged 25 mpg, which is impressive for a V6-powered midsize sedan.
Other impressive Ford Taurus traits are the steering, handling, and braking. Certainly, the 215/60R16 tires contributed to the car’s stable and secure feel. The Taurus corners well, provides quick steering response and good heft off-center, tracks perfectly on the highway, and stops reassuringly despite the rear drum brakes. But, it always feels heavy and ponderous, revealing its decade-old engineering. Still, given the Taurus’s value for the dollar, we only wished for an improvement in terms of brake pedal feel, and better ride quality.
Pounding over the mottled surfaces of Massachusetts roadways, the 2005 Ford Taurus rides stiffly – almost like a sports sedan. Plus, it feels heavier than it is, lacking the lightness that comes through the controls when driving a Honda Accord. Also, there’s a fair amount of wind and road noise making it into the cabin.
Despite these quibbles, the 2005 Ford Taurus is fine to drive. Not fun, mind you, just fine. Forgettable, in fact. But remember that forgettable experiences are such in equal parts due to both boredom and competence.