Before progressing onward with yet another car, it is time to stop and reflect on the first few weeks of The Ford Project. Last week, leaving a seventh grade production of The Sound of Music in the Lakota District, I went out to my car. I pushed “unlock”, or so I thought. I actually pushed the emergency button, so it started beeping incessantly. But, oddly enough, the beeping car wasn’t the one I was standing beside. My beeping car was across the parking lot, but looked similar. I had tried to get into the wrong car! Then, as luck would have it, the car that was not mine started beeping too, like I was breaking into it. So there I was, in the dark parking lot, with two beeping cars, only one of which was mine—and beeping is an understatement, they were WAILING. Right then I thought, I should never have more than one child at a time. It was stressful and I couldn’t do anything to stop it. So, I had better put some kind of marker on Lebanon Ford‘s vehicles or I’d never make it to week 17. A flag? A sticker? A neon sign! But back to the Taurus—which is hard to miss in any parking lot.
This car is different. NO, it’s not the Taurus SHO, so stop asking, but it’s still more than worthy of your attention. We are going to call this car the “Practical Mid-Life Crisis.” Depending on your age, feel free to insert another time of life, such as the “Quarter-Life crisis.” At 34,000, this car is deceptively affordable, but still offers all the pizzazz of that sports car you really want. It’s justifiable to a spouse who isn’t all for the sports car idea, or even to yourself because it is practical, useful, and convenient. Who needs a Corvette when you can have this much trunk space without anyone knowing?
Okay, I have to admit, when I heard “Taurus”, I thought about a 90’s big boat-like turquoise situation that even my grandma wouldn’t consider driving. That is so far from the sporty-white car that sped up on the first day. With a black interior and cute stitched seats, the ignition slot on the dashboard rather than at an angle on the wheel, and a slanted dashboard, this was unlike any of my previous cars. Like the best Ford seats so far, I was immediately cocooned when I sat in the bucket seat. My back was supported, and the sides wrapped around my sides a bit. For Justin it wasn’t quite as comfortable, as his head literally scraped the top of the car where the moon roof begins. But, he admits, the sporty suspension that grips the road and the sports car-like handling was worth slouching down for.
We drove the Taurus to interview Jen Freed in College Hill for April’s Ford Life feature. Her neighborhood was antique and classy, just a street or so over from Hollywood Avenue. After the interviews, Jen and her boyfriend Johnny jumped in for a Ford Taurus review. We covered just about everything from the leather seats, to the camera that appears on the rearview mirror when you back up. Jen was impressed, so much so that she was ready to flip us the keys to her beloved Explorer for the Taurus on the spot. Even Johnny, a die-hard Chevy guy who is in love with his souped-up Camero sitting aggressively in the garage, was dancing behind the Taurus trying out the back up camera. Needless to say, Johnny’s Chevy allegiance was tested. Results are pending.
Though the Taurus is sporty enough to fulfill your mid-life crisis cravings, is it also family friendly? Ehh, err, it’s so so. There is, however, a sliding shade that goes up on the back window with just the push of a button, so a sleeping baby would be all set in the backseat. But there are drawbacks. When Justin and I picked up my mother for a night out to dinner, I volunteered to squeeze into the backseat. It’s really not the leg room that’s the issue—the front seat can move up to accommodate any legs—it’s the eye level. If you are medium height or taller, you are looking at the edges of the roof, not out the window. You can’t see out the front, as the windshield’s sporty look makes it already narrow even from the front seat. So while the front of the car is cruising in comfort, the back feels a little like waiting to get let out of a box. Speaking of waiting in a box…
Don’t try this at home folks. While the car is quick and sporty, the trunk is deceptively large. You could fit $200 worth the groceries, a large chair, a really small couch, or … a six foot five inch captive!
We all are told around age sixteen that men are always five years behind women maturity-wise, but I didn’t really believe it until Day 7. We were unloading groceries like perfectly normal people when Justin spotted a little handle inside the trunk that had a man sprinting away from the truck. He quickly put two and two together, and realized that it was an escape function: if a person ever got stuck or put in the trunk, they could let themselves out. He had to try it. See Justin in the trunk video.
Reason #409 to buy a Taurus: You’ll never get kidnapped in your own trunk.
The Car that Puts You First
One of the first things a driver will notice when they sit in the driver’s seat is that all of the meters…odometer, speedometer, etc. are located down in these little holes. It looks like a skee-ball game. You look down a tunnel to see how fast you are going, so your passenger never knows. No more criticizing. The down side is that sometimes even you forget to look down the tunnel to check your speed, which seems to creep up more quickly than other cars thanks to the smooth feel.
So, while the backseat (and the trunk!) aren’t meant for people, the front two seats, the ride, and the appearance will fulfill even your most ambitious mid-life crisis desires.
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