With the introduction of the new Fusion, the Ford Taurus is winding down: for 2006, the wagon is gone, as is the optional 200 hp Duratec V6 engine, although a Flex Fuel Engine can be added as an option. The only other change is Tungsten Silver Metallic exterior colour instead of Dark Show Grey Metallic.

The Taurus sedan comes in two trim lines, SE and SEL, with a 153 hp 3.0-litre Vulcan V6 engine and four-speed automatic transmission.

The SE includes six-passenger seating, power mirrors, power locks with keyless entry, 16-inch steel wheels, variable intermittent wipers, manual air conditioning, AM/FM cassette stereo, power windows, anti-theft system and cruise control.

The SEL adds five-passenger seating, anti-lock brakes, body-colour heated mirrors with puddle lights, rear spoiler, keyless entry keypad, 16-inch aluminum wheels, perimeter alarm, CD player, auto-dimming mirror, garage door opener, power moonroof, power driver’s seat, 60/40 folding rear seat, and interior wood trim.

The Taurus is transportation for the masses: it won’t get your blood pumping, but it’s roomy, it’ll hold six people, and it’s comfortable. The optional V6 was smoother than the base engine, but it was an expensive option. The Taurus’ suspension tends to transmit a lot of road noise, and fit and finish isn’t always up to the standards of most other new Ford products. On the plus side, all the controls are very simple and straightforward, and while it feels like a rental car, it’ll get the job done.