Pros People Room, SYNC, Versatility, Comfort, Looks
Cons MPG, Towing Capacity
Summary The Taurus X should be considered more of a wagon than a Crossover. I actually love the wagon-like look of the Taurus X over other SUVs and crossovers. In comparison to the Outlook and other cars, it had as much room but easier to maneuver.
The DVD player can be controlled with a remote that was missing from CNET's demo. It also has two wireless headphones (also missing from CNET's demo) that can be switched to speakers or one of two DVD channels indepently, so indeed three music channels can be playing at the same time. Since Fall 2007, they've come with the new Microsoft SYNC (also missing from CNET's demo) that allows one to integrate phones, MP3 players, and many other items, all with voice control and other simple interfaces.
All DVD controls can be controlled by the remote or the front panel. The front audio includes the MP3 USB interface, Cell phone interface including streaming via bluetooth, satellte radio, (HD radio on 2009 models), regular AM/FM radio and 6-CD changer. The touch screen can control all. Also, the rear seats can control all the features of the front panel with the remote. It's a slick system, especically with SYNC.
All three rows have excellent seats and room for my family of five that are all near 6' tall. The handling was very nice. Consumer Reports gave the Taurus X a recommended best buy in the December 2007 issue and Ford has had better than average reliabilty according to various statistics.
The Taurus X gets 16 City / 23 Hwy or 19 MPG average. This is about equal to other crossovers like the Acadia/Outlook and Toyota Highlander. But with the smaller weight, they should have done better. Nevertheless, in spite of the easier to handle smaller dimensions externally, I found the internal dimensions and passenger room were just as good or better than the larger Crossovers. The only downside is it only tows 2000 lbs versus 3500 lbs on most Crossovers. But I don't need it for towing anything other than a bike rack on the back, so I'm fine with it.
It's unfortuanate that Ford didn't provide a proper demo vehicle with all the best features included (SYNC, remote, wireless headphones,....) which would have greatly improved their review. It looks to be a total SNAFU to me.
Oh, and to counter CNET's ugly opinion, I consider the exterior wagon-like looks to be one of it's best features. Eye of the beholder.
Pros Great features and performance
Cons Styling needs more refinement
Summary We just had our 3 kid and this car has been a god send. The poweer features especially the power folding 2second row buckets are awesome. The rear entertainment system works great too. Good interior styling, and acceptable fuel economy for a vehicle this size 15/22 compares with Toyota Sienna at 16/21. http://www.toyota.com/sienna/specs.html
Great value for the money!
Pros Lots of room, car ride
Cons Downgrade from previous model
Summary This is not a new car. It is actually a Freestyle rebranded as a Tauras X for 08 (much the same as the Ford 500). Ford took a step back with the 08. I own a 05 Freestyle and love it. It has all the room of our previous Explorer and much better gas milage and a better ride. Ford gave up the CVT style transmission and went with a more standard 6 speed and bumped up the engine from 3.0 to 3.5L. All this accomplished was to drop the average gas milage about 3 miles per gallon. Stupid. Not to mention the revised "chromier" body styling. I think they messed up a good thing. Too bad, because the Freestyle was an excellent family vehicle alternative to a SUV or minivan.
Pros Lots of room, very very dependable when used hard and put away wet sort of speak. Not too big very good MPG Sync is very smooth. Very safe feeling at speed with heavy loads and towing a light load. After many miles it has never left me stranded.
Cons Two tone paint on everything except the top modle. No telescoping steering wheel. Not good if your six foot and above. shorter that and your fine. The O.E. tires wore out quickly but evenly.
Summary A great car that can't be killed by hard use. Its been "over loaded" many times and driven 212,300 miles as of this writing with nothing but regular maintenance! I did how ever up grade the front rotors to sloted and cross driled rotors to prevent pulsing in the brakes.(Cheap online parts) As I said this car takes a beating. And Yes I disagree with Brian its not "ugly" at all. Something this good is endearing because it does everthing you need and never lets you down! I depend on this SUV for work and can't be with out it. A friend has a Honda Element and was shocked to find out the hard way that it could only hold up to 600 pounds or so! He found out real fast that he had to sell it. I love this ford!
Pros Roomy, drives like a car, takes a beating, very safe and interior is stylish.
Cons Could get better gas mileage.
Summary I bought my Taurus X SEL used with 89,000 miles. I have driven it for about a year now and I absolutely love it. It's a shame that Ford doesn't make them anymore.