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What Are Your Thoughts on the Return of the Taurus/Sable?

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  • I've had my 2007 Ford Five Hundred SEL for almost two months now as a company car. I thought I'd share my thoughts with this board.

    My likes:

    1) Excellent space and comfort, love the trunk.
    2) Feels safe due to its size
    3) Pretty good gas mileage

    My dislikes:
    1) Very bland design
    2) Interior design is way behind its competitors... just way too plain.
    3) Lack of power. Although it is barely adequate, I can feel the engine struggling especially going up the hilly areas in my neighborhood.

    Although my comments are nothing new to this board, I thought I'd throw out my two cents. This is my third Ford vehicle since my company only provides Fords. I also do quite a bit of traveling and have rented many different makes and models. For a company vehicle, the Five Hundred is above-average compared to the other company vehicles out there... such as the Taurus and the Escape.

    However, I am very disappointed at how much Ford lags behind the imports as well as GM in overall interior and exterior design. Ford just can't seem to get their act together it seems. For example, I have rented both the Hyundai Azera and the Sonata. I have to say I was quite floored with how nice the interiors were. I really liked the Azera in particular. If given a choice between that and the Five Hundred, I would take the Azera in a heartbeat. I can't understand how a company such as Hyundai can improve by leaps and bounds while Ford is just stagnating it seems. I'm pulling for the Big 2.5 to regain success in the US market, however it seems only GM is really making any progress. I had recently rented a Saturn Aura XE and was very impressed with both the interior and exterior design. I also was impressed with the Chrysler 300 that I rented some time ago as well as the Pontiac G6.

    Why is it that Chrysler and particularly GM of late have been stepping up their game while Ford continues to flounder. My point is that the Five Hundred is an OK product, but it will not stop Ford from this uncontrollable slide they are experiencing. It is just unbelievably frustrating how incompetent Ford comes across. I was always pulling for Ford because I hate to see people lose their jobs due to management's mistakes, but when I see some of the things they do, I feel Ford deserves to go belly up. I just hope that my company will eventually provide other makes and models besides Fords.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,415
    You apparently are confused by the term "badge engineering." BE is when you take a car and change the grill, talilights, and other minor details, and then slap another brand and model name on it (e.g., 500 and Montego). The Avalon and Camry share some of the same architecture, though the Avalon is definitely a bigger, roomier, more powerful car than Camry. Heck, the Fusion and Edge share architecture too...anyone see badge engineering there? ;)

    Badge engineering is lame, unless it is done like the Astra, where in one country it is a Vauxall or an Opel, and in another it is marketed as a Saturn. Sharing architecture on the other hand us just good business and good design,

    BTW, the resale argument is kind of fluffy. You pay less for the 500 and you get less for it when you trade. You pay more for an Avalon and get more for it on trade. However, for similarly equipped cars, the amount of money laid out over three to five years is very similar when either is sold.

    Just depends on what you want. Some people mught prefer to tie up less money in their ride, but ultimately, there isn't much difference in the dollars you actually lose over time. Lots of people forget that because they pay more for a Toyota to begin with, that they HAVE to get more on trade in, just to more or less even things out with the Ford.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    What statement does driving Ford Taurus make?
    1. Traveling salesman in a company car.
    2. Lost tourist driving a rental car.

    What statement does driving Ford Focus make?
    1. Poor student who could not afford a Civic.

    What statement does driving Ford Crown Vic make?
    1. Under cover cop / homicide detective.

    What statement does driving Lincoln Town Car make?
    1. On your way to airport to pick up your next customer.

    What statement does driving a Mercury Grand Marquis make?
    1. On your way to Florida for winter.

    What statement does driving a Ford 500 make?
    1. Love those rebates.


    HeHe - those are really good, and fairly accurate too, IMO. I do disagree on Hyundai and Kia having a better rep -I have purchased and driven both, and Hyundai may have surpassed Ford's rep now, but not Kia. They are cousins, I know, but there is a huge difference, - Kia is like the Yugo division of Hyundai, and I refuse to represent Kias anymore. Never had one that didn't have the Check Engine light come on.

    Anyway, keep in mind that I drive a Lexus when I counter-point with these....

    What statement does driving a Yaris make:
    1. Really worried about future gas prices
    2. Want the cheapest best car I can buy.

    What statement does driving a Camry make:
    1. Could care less about style, just want good car.

    What statement does driving an Avalon make:
    1. I like the Crown Vic - but prefer foreign cars.

    What statement does driving a Corolla make:
    1. I like ugly cars, and I'm young and poor.

    What statement does driving a Hyundai Accent make:
    1. Single woman's first new car she could afford.

    What statement does driving an Elantra make:
    1. It's a rental.

    What statement does driving a Sonata make:
    1. It's a better rental

    What statement does driving an Azera make:
    1. No, really, it has leather! Honest!

    What statement does driving a Kia Amanti make:
    1. I'm an Avalon wannabe, but I cost less than a Yaris.

    Nobody is putting more cars into rental fleets right now than Hyundai..... They're good cars, but in a Chevy kind of way. Rough, tough and plain.
  • bristol2bristol2 Posts: 736
    'People by cars not only for their utility/transportation value, but also for the statement it makes about them.

    Not smart people.'

    Bill Gates is not smart because he drives a top of the line Lexus not a Corolla?

    Vehicle image is not soley a narcissistic thing. Many people in sales need a vehicle that suggests to potential clients that they are successful.
    Any lawyer who drives a yaris would not be the guy I want representing me.
    If the CEO of my company shows up in a Civic, I'm not sure that suggests success.

    Vehicle image is more complex than 'I don't waste money on cars and that makes me smart'. For the folks that are not taking food off the table or missing out on owning their own home, what does it matter if they want to drive something that they feel reflects an image?
  • w9cww9cw Posts: 888
    Let's face it, image, and overinflated egos, are what sell many of the high line makes, and many SUVs here in the good old USA. Manufacturers love it, as they make substantially larger profits supplying what egocentrics "think" they need.

    That being said I just bought a 2001 Sable LS Premium with 36,000 miles on the clock for my daughter who's in graduate school for $6,000. The car was never a rental, but was owned by "the proverbial old lady" since original purchase. A good find . . .

    The Taurus and Sable are tremendous buys on the used market for the informed buyer, unconcerned about image, but very poor buys on the new market due to historically horrendous depreciation. Ford's marketing needs some serious help, and the first step would be to bring ALL of the European Fords to the USA ASAP. Renaming the Five Hundred and its Mercury counterpart, the Taurus/Sable respectively, is not one of Ford's more brilliant marketing moves.

    Nothing wrong with Hyundai . . . I bought a 2006 Elantra for my wife in December 2005, and it's had absolutely no issues since purchase. The same can't be said about the last Honda Accord I owned, or for that matter, the last Camry I owned. Both had more warranty claims in the first six months of ownership than the Elantra in over a year (zero). The largest problem Hyundai has in this country is marketing perception, not the quality of their product. The ONLY person I have to impress is myself, I could care less of what others think.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    And yes, image does matter.

    Not to those who believe in VALUE.


    That's one opinion, but it's not necessarily the only one. I happen to think both can exist. They aren't mutually exclusive.
  • gteegtee Posts: 179
    Some people on this forum claim that style and image don’t matter, and that VALUE is king. Fine that is valid argument. What I claim is that Ford 500 is not a great value, and for sure it has no style or image. I am sure that most people here know that Ford 500 is based on the Volvo S80, the so called D3 platform. Well what is a D3 platform? According to web:

    “Ford's D3 platform is slightly different from Volvo's original P2. For example, D3 features steel suspension arms, rather than aluminum, and other material cost-saving measures.”

    This means that Ford 500/Taurus is based on a cost reduced platform which was introduced in 1999 (8 years old now) on a car that did not sell all that well and was not really known for any good attribute other then safety. I mean nobody claimed that Volvo S80 was a driver’s car. The best that can be said about Volvo S80 was that is was a safe car.

    Now Ford takes that platform and applies “cost-saving” measures to it. What does cost saving measures mean? Steel was used instead of Aluminum for suspension, lower strength steel was used for the body, less brackets and reinforcements in the body. I don’t know exactly what was changed, but I do know that when manufacturer tries to save money, they cut corners.

    The funny thing is that the new Volvo S80 no longer uses this platform. It is based on a new platform:

    “The new S80 is based on the EUCD platform which was mainly developed by Volvo itself, also used for vehicles including Ford's S-MAX and Galaxy large MPVs”

    The next problem with the “Value” question is the power train used in Ford 500. The 3.0l engine is weak, but its durable and reliable. The problem is with the transmission. Some of the cars came with CVT transmissions. FORD STOPED MAKING THEM. This “strange” transmission was only used on Ford 500 / Freestyle for 4 years, and then it was discontinued. I don’t know what the durability of this transmission is, but I know that it costs a fortune to replace if it fails. This means that if this transmission fails, the car is worth ZERO. It would cost more to replace the transmission then the car is worth.

    So where is the VALUE in having that car that will be worth nothing if transmission fails? Where is the VALUE in driving a car based on cheapened 8 year old technology? Where is the VALUE in driving a car with no style or power? You want VALUE, buy a 2001 Sable for $6000.

    The 1986 Ford Taurus was a revolutionary car based on a brand new platform with brand new style with brand new engine and transmission. It was not a 1980 Ford FAIRMONT with a new nose. (Which by the way is what the new 2008 Taurus is……………)
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Any lawyer who drives a yaris would not be the guy I want representing me.
    If the CEO of my company shows up in a Civic, I'm not sure that suggests success.


    Value oriented people hate this, and deny it, but it's reality. I'm one of those people for whom my ride must convey that I'm doing well, or my clients will run. Fact of life, like it or not.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,415
    Though that still represents "value." Your more expensive vehicle nets you more business and income. Driving a Kia Rio for you would be "penny wise, pound foolish." Further, there are tax benefits to larger vehicles in some professions, and so on.

    On the other hand, one could drive an Audi A8 (at $70,000) or a Bentley Flying Spur (at $170,000) and not see any payback for that extra $100,000. That choice is just personal preference, and how much extension of a personal appendage one thinks he needs to buy. ;)

    Another example: a guy can buy his daughter a Z4 or a Z8 to drive in college, but the guy who buys the Z4 is a bit more sensible. The parents who buy the 2001 loaded Sable for the kid are that much more sensible...and value oriented.
  • albookalbook Posts: 1,282
    And then, of course, there are those who'll pay even MORE for a Lexus, to basically get some gold lettering for the car name on the back of the vehicle.
    THey actually get a lot more comfort and technology in lexus than toyota, which is more than I can say for lincoln vs ford. But then again, the step from ford's short comings to toyota's refinement makes the step from toyo to lexus look miniscule.
  • albookalbook Posts: 1,282
    I actually LIKE the 500's looks. And the 300? I would've only got it for the Hemi . . but the trunk is a lot smaller, and it's a real PITA to look out of. Visibility is very poor.
    I would give up visibility (and I know that is a LLOT of itcompared to the huge 500 windows) for better quality build, features and luxury and style of the 300. SO looking at the 300 (not C, just touring) you actually are even, and if you do pay $500 less for your five hun. your buying a cheaper car-and I don't mean by monetary standards.
    Back to looks. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so lets step to common ground. The 300 has a fresh new look. THe Five (man is that stupid how they spell it!) hundred is very old in style, comparable to that of the first taurus. Not good. image isn't really that important, and getting your money's worth is the main stream, but true value is geting the most for your money. Why buy a dollar cheeseburger from Mcdonalds when for 50 cents more, you can get a value menu with fries and a softdrink? YOu'll end up spending another dollar on a burger somewhere else, 'cause your still hungry!
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Driving a Kia Rio for you would be "penny wise, pound foolish." Precisely. Besides, I've driven a Rio - the check engine light came on. :mad:

    On the other hand, one could drive an Audi A8 (at $70,000) or a Bentley Flying Spur (at $170,000) and not see any payback for that extra $100,000. That choice is just personal preference, and how much extension of a personal appendage one thinks he needs to buy

    The law of diminishing return applies here - In my case, the Lexus is just about the perfect car for my needs - it has the value proposition in the resale value, it has the image I need, without squandering money ( I actually don't have ) for a Bentley, which would only connote an obscene amount of ego in my case, not success.

    For my kids - an Oldsmobile will do - if they want an image car, they can work for it. As a student - struggling, poor and practical is the image they SHOULD have..... I actually get disgusted when I pass the high school parking lot and see it full of BMWs..... Those kids are clearly headed for USC (The University of Spoiled Children). :P
  • bristol2bristol2 Posts: 736
    For my kids - an Oldsmobile will do - if they want an image car, they can work for it.

    No kidding, you only get to worry about the image of the car you get to worry about making the payments on!
  • gteegtee Posts: 179
    So I think that we all agree that the image of the car is important to most people. If image was not important to people, then why would they buy SUV's instead of minivans for their families. I own both a Ford Expedition and a Honda Minivan. Trust me, the Honda minivan is a more practical vehicle for a family with kids. Its even bigger inside than a Ford and gets better gas millage, and yet I prefer to drive the SUV because of minivan image.

    But lets get back to discussing the name change from Ford 500 to Taurus. Does it change the image of this car? I don't think so. Ford needs to do something a lot more drastic than a name change to come back from the brink of bankruptcy.
  • Any lawyer who drives a yaris would not be the guy I want representing me.
    If the CEO of my company shows up in a Civic, I'm not sure that suggests success.


    I think I'd rather use a different metric to judge their success. But you can use what car they drive, if that's how you really feel. ;)
  • That's one opinion, but it's not necessarily the only one

    But it's the only right one. :P
  • The 300 has a fresh new look

    Which impressed me for a few months. But now it's kinda sickening to look at, actually.
  • IntelliChoice list the cost of 5 years of ownership of 2007 Ford 500 limited as $38,126 .

    Again from IntelliChoice the cost for 5 years of ownership of a 2007 Toyota Avalon XLS is: $37,711


    They're making one HECK of a lot of assumptions, aren't they?

    Why not look at the 2005 models? And then use what I actually paid in the calculation, instead of whatever they assumed?
  • gteegtee Posts: 179
    I don't know which assumptions they used, but when I look at my own experience with Ford Expedition, I can tell you that it was no great deal overall. Yes I paid way less for Expedition then I would have paid for Toyota Sequoia. But now when its time to trade it in for a new car, the Expedition is worth nothing. Its almost embarrassing to admit to a dealer that you have Expedition to trade. Nobody wants them. Again its this whole image issue. Ford just has a really bad image and many people just avoid Ford cars. They are truly afraid to buy them. A friend of mine has a Ford Explorer with 200k miles on it, and its still running. But when he goes to buy a new car he is looking for Toyota or Honda. I don't know how things got so bad for Ford.
  • Poor choice by Ford. 500 is a much better name than Taurus. I love the 500 dash, reminds me of '88 Audi 80 that I once owned. GM exterior designs remind me of my aunt. You know the one with too much cheap jewelry and dime store perfume and they're basically the same as 15 years ago with tweaking here and there. GM dashes must have been designed by Rubbermade, but have improved as of late. PS: the fix for GM brakes is called aftermarket parts.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,876
    ...fairly far afield here. Let's try to stick to opinions about the return of the names we all love or hate.

    If you're not a big fan, check out this carspace page:
    http://www.carspace.com/xcargrl
    for some rather humorous and musical videos. I quite like "the wreck of the Alan Mulally."

    MODERATOR
    Need help navigating? kirstie_h@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.
    Share your vehicle reviews

  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    I don't think there is anything wrong with the 500 name - but the Taurus name has 20 years of recognition going for it, like Camry does, Malibu and Impala do, Grand Prix do. There has been a move currently by all domestics to dump their heritage names and move to numbers, yet the Standard of the World, Toyota, keeps making Camrys. wonder why they don't rename the Camry the 400? Must be a reason....

    I would have prefered they name the Fusion the Taurus from the start - and keep the 500 name, but improve the looks of that car - but either way, the Taurus should live on. I'm glad it's back. I do think it'll help - may not be a grand slam, but it'll help.
  • albookalbook Posts: 1,282
    Which impressed me for a few months. But now it's kinda sickening to look at, actually.
    THe good thing about the 300 is that aside from being a GREAT looking car, it's stayed that way for about 4 years. Few cars sell that hot 4 years straight. That's fresh. and the Five hu- don't make me spell it!- stale and boring. I can't stand to look at that. Ii look at it on the street and say "what was ford thinking?! no one want's this! They want good looking!!!"
  • albookalbook Posts: 1,282
    This discussion is getting on my nerves. Let me put my $.02 in:
    Image means NOTHING. If it defines you, then you are SHALLOW!It's nice to have that Bimmer 5 (trust me!). And you should own a car you like, and like to look at. It's stupid to pay that much money for something you don't like. But-as Barn..whatever was saying earlier- THis is where people mke stupid investing mistakes. Spending all their money because they think they have to compete with the guy acrossed the street and his S-class. It's fine to want it 'cause you like it- but not 'cause everyone else has it. "If everyone else was jumping off a bridge..."
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    I understand where you are coming from - but you're in the philosophical side of your head, and in that sphere, you are right. Real world, however, your car defines you to others - at least until they get to know you. The old judging a book by the cover applies here - we shouldn't do it, but fact is, we do.

    Now, for a time, I owned an 05 Taurus, that I originally bought for my drug-addicted daughter. She, however, abused the car, abused the privilege, so I repossessed the car, smashed up front end and all, had it fixed, and I drove it from time to time. My business car is a Lexus - but under the heading of what you say, it should not matter what I drive to work.

    However, drove it to work one day - my staff laughed at me, they told me I looked like a Democrat in it - I had a client I took to lunch in it ask me if I was doing ok, because the car didn't fit me. Quit driving it to work after that.

    Drove it to Church Sunday. As I was getting out, a fellow parishioner came running over to me yelling, "Oh no, this is just not right, you can't be driving this"....etc...etc.

    Sold the damn thing. Kind of liked it too. Too bad.

    Real world is, the Taurus was too pedestrian for my reputation, evidently, and didn't work for me.

    You may admire Donald Trump if he drove up in a 500, or a new renamed Taurus - think it was refreshing that he had gotten over himself - but it would actually be quite the joke. Just doesn't look right. And it's not just because I WANT to look prosperous, I HAVE to.

    Renaming the 500 the Taurus works for me. I may even buy one and get laughed at some more, just for fun.
  • has lots of cool style to it, check out that new grille and healamps, also... and this is really cool, look at the crome on the sides, between the front doors and the front wheel well. This sort of stuff you see in more expensive BMW's and Cadillacs. Very nice touch. I don't think the new taurus would get knocked for poor styling, even though the front is a bit love it or hate it, and thats not ignore me lol.

    Sucks that taurus has a bad image, this new one should not, unless ford ignores it to buyout its competition like back some time ago...

    I don't like the fact that mullaly drives a lexus, bad image decision.
  • Real world, however, your car defines you to others - at least until they get to know you.

    I prefer friends that want to get to know me. If they aren't willing to because of "image", then I simply consider that their loss.

    But then I've always been that way, and sort of a "rebel". Even went tie-less at a company that required coat and tie for several years. People were amazed that I pulled that one off . . actually, so am I.

    I look at things differently than a lot of people, I guess. When I see somebody in a nice suit and fancy car, I don't assume that they're successful. Instead, I wonder what they're trying to hide with all the fancy stuff. They remind me too much of fancy lawyers and scheisters.

    Then again, I live in a county where the local judge doesn't wear the traditional robe when he's on the bench. And I've seen guys show up in his courtroom in shorts and a T-shirt with a hunting vest over it. Without getting thrown out, I might add. Actually, he ended up on the jury. LOL.

    You may admire Donald Trump if he drove up in a 500, or a new renamed Taurus - think it was refreshing that he had gotten over himself - but it would actually be quite the joke. Just doesn't look right. And it's not just because I WANT to look prosperous, I HAVE to.

    I think of guys like Sam Walton (owner of Wal Mart). I believe he still drove his old beat-up F-150 pickup around even after he'd become rich. Or guys like billionaire investor Warren Buffet, who still lives in a modest home he had years ago.

    Anyway, back to the Taurus name . . I think it'll probably get more people to be AWARE of the vehicle . . . and that will probably at least get them to test drive it. And if they do, I think the vehicle sorta sells itself.

    PS: I should add one thing. It's not that I CAN'T afford to buy something like an Avalon. It's that I CHOOSE not to buy it. Both my salary and net worth are in the top 5% of the US when I checked a few months ago. So, while I don't consider myself "rich", I am extremely well-off.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Rebel? Or hippie?? Can't figure you out - clearly, you must be in California....

    Anyway, watch it with the Schiester comments, alright?? :surprise:

    So, Ross Perot drove an old Oldsmobile.
    Warren Buffet just sold his 00 Town Car.
    Sam Walton did drive his 79 F-150 until he could drive no more.

    I actually do admire these men for what they have accomplished - but a guy like you should disdain them for being moguls - fact of the matter is, they just are not car guys at all, and don't need an ego car. There is a point when you get rich enough, you don't give a crap anymore, I've been told.

    Wouldn't it be great if Warren and Ross would buy the new Taurus, and flaunt it? Could give it an image, do you think?
  • Rebel? Or hippie?? Can't figure you out - clearly, you must be in California....

    LOL . . you couldn't be more wrong. Actually, I'm in the oil business and I'm in Texas.

    but a guy like you should disdain them for being moguls - fact of the matter is, they just are not car guys at all, and don't need an ego car.

    I don't disdain them at all. But neither do I idolize them. However, I do think they have the right attitude about cars . . though a pickup's never really been what I wanted.

    Which I suppose is strange, since I like country/western, love to take pictures of the rodeo, and have a general dislike of any kind of "pop music" other than country.

    Most would probably say I'm a yuppie, though I hate that term. I don't thik I'm classifiable. LOL. Perhaps a "redneck yuppie". Ever heard the George Jones song "High-tech Redneck"? LOL.

    I actually live in an area where the people are typically older than I am . . the median age is closer to retirement age. It's outside of the local "yuppie planned development community". And I like it that way.

    I wouldn't want to live in a really small town, but not in a really big town, either. But I have to live near a big city because of my work. But at least I can live out AWAY from it, and away from the typical yuppie planned development communities. Eeee-yuck!
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Oil men I know don't drive Tauri - new or old Tauri - they drive Mercedes or Suburbans..... The Mercedes crowd I guess, wants to impress you, while the Suburban crowd just wants to be big as Texas. What DO you drive, barnie?
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