Reviewers like the 2008 Ford Taurus for the quiet and comfort of the ride, though some quibble about the quality of interior components.
First, the bad: While Autoblog says that the "strong platform and rigid construction goes a long way in making the Taurus feel like a high quality car from behind the wheel," others find fault with what Ford has placed around the driver. MSN's reviewer finds the Taurus's 2008 dashboard uninspiring: "Drawn from the Ford Five Hundred, this dashboard seems a bit old-style, although controls are nicely arranged." Autoweek is harsher in its criticism, saying, "Too many bits and pieces make up the dash, and while the wood trim avoids the trap of warping it into shapes only a sculptor could love, it looks tacked on rather than integrated."
Similarly, ConsumerGuide says, "audio and climate controls comprise many look-alike buttons and sometimes hard-to-read electronic displays, all set too low for easiest use. The navigation system suffers from a slightly undersized dashboard screen and could be more intuitive." In addition, some reviewers report that "stalks for wipers, turn signals are still too far from the steering wheel." Cars.com doesn't like the center armrest, which they call "hard enough to dribble a basketball on" and knock Ford for the "overhead grab handles [that] still slam against the ceiling when you let go -- something most automakers addressed years ago with soft-shut handles."
The folks at Edmunds are easier to please, saying the 2008 Taurus has "a handsome and functional cabin with solid materials quality, plenty of storage areas and eight cupholders"--perhaps coffee proximity makes up for other design flaws.
But once they get past the cockpit and grab handles, reviewers are much more positive. All sources checked by TheCarConnection.com agree that in the 2008 Taurus, Ford offers a much quieter ride than before. Motor Trend credits "foam pellets expanded into the A-pillars and new sound-absorptive material, called Sonosorb, swathed throughout the cabin" for some of the noise reduction. MyRide says these changes "pay perceptible dividends compared to the Five Hundred, and the overall experience is one of refinement and quality." They're not sure with Ford's claim of "Lexus levels of quiet...but for a $30,000 sedan this is pretty darn good."
MSN notes that it is "even quieter than the 2007 Five Hundred," in part because "revised outside mirrors that produce less wind noise." They also credit the new engine mounts that mean "Engine vibration is isolated...and doesn't transmit readily to the passenger compartment," although they do warn that "the Taurus Limited's 18-inch tires" can cause a bit of noise "on rough pavement." Overall, however, reviewers are impressed with the quiet ride, and as Edmunds comments, "those who equate silence with quality should be pleased" with the 2008 Ford Taurus.
Another aspect most reviewers like is the raised seating in front. Automobile reports that it "provide[s] that commanding view of the road that SUV owners were always going on about." Autoblog positively gushes, saying, "the bottom cushion is so far from the ground that entering the vehicle is a matter of opening the door and sliding your butt to the right. Ford calls it Command Seating, and we dig it." In a fit of hyperbole, they claim, "the ceiling is so high you half expect to look up and see Michelangelo lying on his back doing a paint by numbers."
Perhaps Autoblog's reviewers are somewhat shorter than those at Edmunds, which likes the Command Seating in the 2008 Taurus but warns that it "puts taller drivers very close to the ceiling"--though MSN points out that with "nearly an inch more headroom in the front and back seats than a new Camry, this Taurus is welcoming for even tall passengers." Cars.com admires how the seating "affords a high driving position and makes getting in and out of the Taurus a breeze" and says the "eight-way power seat ... offered plenty of adjustment range for short or tall drivers."
As for the seats themselves, Cars.com deems them "well-padded, if a bit narrow," which contrasts Autoblog's assessment that "the seats themselves are closer in feel to those found in larger vehicles" and MyRide's comment that the "seats are big and comfy, perfectly suited to big American butts."
Leaving aside the inevitable question of whether the 2008 Taurus makes one's butt look big, TheCarConnection.com finds that the car gets kudos all around for interior space. Autoblog labels it "absolutely ginormous from the driver's seat...with headroom, legroom and width to spare for even the largest of hominids...there's space to spare in between the front seats." Automobile praises Ford for having "eliminated the cramped sedan feeling" of previous models and calls the 2008 Taurus "exceedingly spacious, with more interior room than a Chrysler 300 or a Toyota Avalon." Motor Trend finds the interior "cavernous," and Edmunds likes the fact that "Legroom is plentiful in both the front and rear."
For carrying groceries, luggage, or, as Motor Trend suggests, sporting equipment, there's "a whopping 21.2 cubic feet (think six golf bags) in the trunk proper, and a whole lot more if the split rear and front passenger seats are collapsed." MSN says of the Taurus, Ford’s trunk "makes the Camry's 15-cubic-foot trunk seem stingy"; perhaps more impressive, Edmunds points that the trunk is "bigger than the Crown Victoria" and that with the "60/40-split rear bench and front passenger seat fold[ed] flat...items up to 9 feet in length" can fit inside the 2008 Taurus. ConsumerGuide likes that the trunk "has a flat floor, usefully cubic shape, a large opening, and non invasive strut-type lid hinges...Small-item storage, however, is unexceptional."