NEW FOR 2009:

– New footwell reinforcements, pressurized door crash sensors and redesigned interior door panels for improved crash protection
– New SOS Post-Crash Alert system

An all-new model for 2008, the Ford Taurus X enters 2009 almost unchanged, save for some enhancements to its crash protection. The new SOS Post-Crash Alert system automatically flashes the turn signal lamps and beeps the horn following an emergency to alert others to the vehicle’s location.

Previously known as the Freestyle, the Taurus X is based on the platform that underpins the Taurus sedan. It includes three rows of seats in six- or seven-passenger configuration.

The Taurus X uses a 3.5-litre Duratec V6 engine, mated to a six-speed automatic transmission that’s also found in the Ford Edge. Trim levels are the SEL and Limited; both base in front-wheel but can be optioned to an all-wheel system that uses an electro-mechanical central coupler to send up to 100 per cent of torque to either axle when needed.

Features on the SEL include 17-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control, keyless entry with SecuriCode keypad system, tire pressure monitoring system, eight-way power driver and four-way power passenger seats, fold-flat front passenger seat, second-row 40/40 bucket seats, third-row fold-in-floor 50/50 split bench seat, auto-dimming rearview mirror, six-CD/MP3 stereo with auxiliary input and Sirius satellite radio, floor mats, front overhead console with conversation mirror, illuminated entry, auto up/down front windows, second- and third-row reading lights, cruise control, wheel-mounted audio controls, tilt wheel, chrome exhaust tips, fog lamps, reverse sensing system, power-adjustable pedals, heated mirrors, roof side rails, automatic headlamps, and anti-theft alarm system.

The Limited adds 18-inch alloy wheels, leather-trimmed seats, vinyl third-row seats, heated front seats, premium six-CD/MP3 sound system, Sync, power sunroof, garage door opener, driver’s side memory, chrome-accented door handles and mirrors, power liftgate.

Both models can be optioned with seven-passenger seating, rear-seat DVD entertainment system and navigation system, while the SEL can be optioned with leather-trimmed seats, Sync, power liftgate and sunroof.

Roomy and comfortable for first- and second-row passengers, with "Command" stadium-style seating, the Taurus X gets more cramped in the third row, with small, hard seats. Fold all the seats, and it turns into a small van that will handle long, narrow loads that might be beyond some pickup trucks. It should be an interesting battle for market supremacy between the Taurus X and the all-new, similarly-configured and almost identically-priced Ford Flex.

Connect with