Long ago, Ford sold the Taurus. In 2006, it dropped the name and brought out the full-size Five Hundred sedan. Now in 2008, Ford’s changed the Five Hundred’s name to—Taurus.
Confused? There’s no need to be, since the new 2008 Ford Taurus represents what the old one did—an exceptional value in big sedans, if not a sporting one.
While reviewers agree that the 2008 Ford Taurus is different from both the original Taurus and the Ford Five Hundred, whether that change is for the better is definitely a matter of taste.
Fans of the new look include the reviewer at MSN, which says the 2008 Ford "looks dressed up on the outside, with eye-catching taillights and headlights and a grille reminiscent of the one on Ford's popular and smaller sedan, the Fusion." Several of the reviews read by TheCarConnection.com mention the similarity to the Fusion as well. Calling the Taurus's front fender chrome side vents "the tailfins of this decade," Car and Driver says the new styling makes the front of the car more "interesting" with "three-bar chrome grille and sexier rectangular headlamps." MSN enthuses about the Taurus Limited's "lots of chrome-colored touches, such as on the door handles."
Perhaps not as fond of all things shiny, MyRide is a somewhat less enthusiastic fan of the new look, but does say that the front-end styling "gives the Taurus a huge dose of character that the Five Hundred lacked." They mention the new taillight lenses and, yes, chrome door handles. Overall, they consider the profile of the 2008 Taurus to be the same as the Five Hundred, which they consider "a good thing since the Audi-inspired shape is clean, smooth and well proportioned."
Firmly ambivalent about the new look is Cars.com. They approve of Ford's new grille as a replacement for "the Five Hundred's forgettable mesh one," and they praise the headlights and fog lights as "crisper and less restrained than before"; however, unlike the folks at MyRide, they're not fans of the decision to keep "the Five Hundred's stodgy profile." They're also less than impressed with the clear lenses of the taillights, saying that change is "something a lot of automakers resort to when they need to spice things up...simpler red taillights seemed more fitting for a large family car."
Among the naysayers is AutoWeek, noting "the Ford electric-razor grille is nice, but the car still looks like an overinflated previous-generation Passat."