Midsize SUV; Built in USA
  • 4-door wagon
  • transverse front-engine/front- or 4-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $11,500 – $19,000*


2008 Ford Taurus X Front


2008 Ford Taurus X Rear


2008 Ford Taurus X Interior


2008 Ford Taurus X Profile

Pros:
  • Passenger and cargo room
  • Ride
Cons:
  • Engine noise
  • Interior materials
  • Maneuverability

Often overlooked, the Taurus X combines the virtues of a midsize SUV with the tidier dimensions of a midsize station wagon. Taurus X earns our praise as a pleasant and comfortable family wagon with class-competitive power, roomy accommodations, vast cargo space, and relatively nimble handling. A crude-sounding engine and cheap-looking interior trim are our only major complaints.

Overview

Taurus X was the new name for Ford’s Freestyle crossover sport-utility vehicle, relaunched for the 2008 season. Along with the name change, this SUV got freshened styling and more power. All models had a revised front-end appearance and suspension for 2008. Taurus X was essentially a seven-passenger wagon version of the Ford Taurus (formerly Five Hundred) sedan. Although the Taurus sedan ranked as a large car and Ford called the Taurus X “full-size,” it was actually a midsize model, competing in a class that included the GMC Acadia, Honda Pilot, and Mazda CX-9.

Front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive models were available in SEL, Eddie Bauer, and Limited trim levels. The sole powertrain teamed a 263-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 engine with a six-speed automatic transmission. These replaced a 203-horsepower 3.0 V6 and a continuously variable transmission (CVT), used for the Freestyle wagon.

Seating for six was standard, with second-row buckets that could flip and fold with one touch. A second-row bench could be installed instead for seven-passenger capacity. Standard antilock brakes and traction control were joined for 2008 by an antiskid system. Front side airbags and curtain side airbags also were standard. Eddie Bauer and Limited models had 18-inch tires versus 17-inch for the SEL edition. A navigation system and DVD entertainment were optional. Also available was Ford’s Sync, a voice-activated interface for cell phones and digital music players.

Yearly Updates

2009 Taurus X
Modifications were minor for the 2009 Taurus X, including a newly available SOS Post-Crash Alert system, which could flash the turn-signal lamps and honk the horn to alert first responders to the vehicle’s location.

Engines

transverse front-engine/front- or 4-wheel drive

All Taurus X models are powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine driving through a six-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive have been offered.

dohc V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.5/213
Engine HP 263
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 249
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed automatic

15/22

17.4

Road Test

Much improved in performance compared to the departed Freestyle, the Taurus X moves briskly from a stop and has more than sufficient passing and merging reserves. Some testers have found the transmission slow to downshift for best response.

Fuel economy is less appealing. A test front-drive model averaged 18.3 mpg in city/highway driving. An AWD Taurus X averaged 16.5 mpg under similar conditions. Regular-grade gasoline is used.

Taurus X rides much like the sedan that shares its name: Firm, but comfortable and compliant over larger bumps. Highway-speed composure is excellent.

Handling isn’t an unqualified strong point. Taurus X is arguably more car than truck, but some testers don’t find it especially nimble. Still, this wagon benefits from sporty, direct steering. Though it corners confidently, the Taurus X suffers noticeable body lean in turns. In addition, a bulky turning radius hampers close-quarters maneuverability. Brakes feel strong, but pedal action is a bit heavy and wooden. Simulated panic stops induced moderate nosedive.

Wind noise is kept well in check, but road noise elevates as speeds climb. The cabin is otherwise serene, though a coarse engine note intrudes during acceleration.

Clear and simple gauges are easy to read, but audio and climate controls comprise many look-alike buttons. Electronic displays can be hard to read, and all are set too low for easiest use. The available navigation system suffers from a slightly undersized dashboard screen and could be more intuitive. Navigation absorbs most audio adjustments but does not complicate them. Some testers have noted that stalks for wipers and turn signals are too far from the steering wheel.

Cabin assembly is mostly top-notch, but materials disappoint. Hard plastics dominate the interior, with precious few soft or padded surfaces to be found.

Despite its car-like stance, Taurus X’s low dashtop and tall windows combine for a take-charge driving feel. Front-seat headroom and legroom are both six-footer ample, but some testers would have preferred more rearward seat travel. Once situated, the seats are comfortably supportive, with the high positioning a boon for entry and exit. Visibility is generally good, though the view to rear corners is hindered by thick roof pillars.

Large rear doors afford easy entry and exit to the roomy second row’s comfortable chair-height seats. Taller passengers may feel short-changed in head clearance beneath intrusions from the sunroof housing/DVD combo. Available fore/aft sliding second-row buckets allow favoring either leg space or cargo room. Second-row seats fold and tumble for good access to the third row, which some call surprisingly spacious for adults, while others declare it adequate at best. All agree that the bottom cushion is too low for long-distance comfort.

Cargo space is abundant. All rear seats fold flat. The wide load deck stretches to 9.5 feet with the right-front seatback folded down. The third-row seat converts more easily than most, disappearing into a floorwell that provides handy storage. Useful console and dash-top bins swallow plenty of small items.

Ratings

Model Tested: 2009 Taurus X SEL w/AWD

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.

Performance

Acceleration - 6
60%
Fuel Economy - 5
50%
Ride Quality - 7
70%
Steering/Handling - 5
50%
Quietness - 6
60%

Accommodations

Controls/Materials - 6
60%
Room/Comfort Front - 9
90%
Room/Comfort Rear - 8
80%
Cargo Room - 9
90%

Other

Value - 7
70%

Total: 68

Specifications

4-door wagon
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
112.9 200.3 74.9 67.6
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
85.5 19.0 7.0
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
39.4 39.7 40.8 40.4
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 2008 Taurus X 4-door wagon

NHTSA

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
100%
Front Passenger Injury - 5
100%

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
100%
Rear Passenger Injury - 5
100%

HLDI

(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision N/A
Injury N/A
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

Seat
Description: The heated seat(s) may stop working due to a break in the heater mat wiring. (2008)
Transmission leak
Description: Transmission fluid may leak at from the power take-off unit on all-wheel-drive models. (2008-09)
Wheels
Description: Some early production vehicles make a squeaking, grunting, popping sound from the outside front wheel when cornering due to rubbing jounce bumpers on the struts. (2008)
Electrical problem
Description: On vehicles with the SYNC system, the USB port, the voice commands for the phone book work and the steering wheel switches may quit working requiring reflashing the accessories module. (2008-09)

Recall History

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.

Pricing

Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.