Ford Taurus X

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Ford Taurus X
08 Ford Taurus X Limited.jpg
Overview
Manufacturer Ford Motor Company
Also called Ford Freestyle
Production 2004–2009
Assembly Chicago Assembly
(Chicago, Illinois, United States)
Body and chassis
Class full-size Crossover
Body style 5-door Crossover
Layout Front engine, front-wheel drive / four-wheel drive
Related Ford Five Hundred/Taurus
Mercury Montego/Sable
Chronology
Predecessor Ford Taurus wagon
Successor Ford Flex

The Ford Taurus X was a 6- or 7-passenger full-size crossover SUV [1] that was produced by Ford Motor Company in the United States. It was originally introduced in 2004 as the Ford Freestyle, before being renamed Taurus X for the 2008 model year. In Ford's lineup, it replaced the Ford Taurus station wagon. The Taurus X ended production on February 27, 2009, as it was slotted between the Flex (with which it competed directly) and the upcoming fifth generation Explorer starting 2011 sales year. It was sold in the United States and Canada, as well as South Korea and the U.S. territories of Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Guam. The vehicle was assembled at Chicago Assembly.

History[edit]

2005–07 Ford Freestyle
2008–09 Ford Taurus X

The Freestyle was previewed at the 2003 Detroit Auto Show with a Freestyle Concept before entering production for the 2005 model year. The vehicle was originally going to be called the Ford CrossTrainer, but had been renamed the Freestyle by the time the concept was released, due to Ford adopting an ill-fated naming scheme in which all Ford-branded passenger cars except the Mustang and Thunderbird would have a name start with the letter "F".[2]

The vehicle used the Ford D3 platform, which it shared with the Ford Five Hundred, Mercury Montego, and various Volvos including the XC90. Although it shared its platform with the XC90, the two vehicles were significantly different. The Freestyle had three rows of seats with seating for seven, like many large SUVs (e.g. Ford Explorer, Ford Expedition) and minivans. The Freestyle featured what Ford describes as "command seating," seating with a higher H-point, to increase driver visibility and ease of entry and exit. Power came from a 3.0 L (181 cu in) Duratec V6, with an output of 203 hp (151 kW) at 5750 rpm.[3]

The Freestyle, along with the Five Hundred, Mercury Montego, and the Ford Escape Hybrid, were the first American Ford vehicles to use a continuously variable transmission (CVT). The Five Hundred and Montego used a belt type CVT, while the Escape Hybrid used a CVT transaxle that utilized a planetary gearset controlled by the electric generator, similar to the Toyota Prius. All Freestyles were equipped with the CVT, but only all-wheel drive (AWD) Five Hundred and Montego models used the CVT (FWD versions used an Aisin F21++ six speed automatic). To Ford's surprise, 55% of buyers selected the Haldex Traction-equipped all-wheel drive model rather than the expected 40%. However, initial Freestyle sales were below Ford's original projections, though sales were showing steady improvement. Some buyers selected the Freestyle as an crossover alternative to the best selling truck-based Ford Explorer.

The Freestyle was nominated for the North American Truck of the Year award for 2005 (second behind Escape Hybrid).

Although sales were initially respectable, the Freestyle was renamed the Taurus X when a facelifted model was unveiled at the 2007 Chicago Auto Show as a 2008 model, alongside its siblings the Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable, re-badged, restyled versions of the Five Hundred and Montego, respectively. Ford CEO Alan Mulally said that Ford's scheme to make all its cars names start with the letter F was a bad move, as it made Ford's new cars easily forgettable.

The Taurus X featured a grill with three horizontal, chrome bars with center mounted blue oval. At the time, the Taurus X also offered an Eddie Bauer trim-line, similar to that of the Ford Explorer. The Taurus X had an updated powertrain, which included the discontinuation of the CVT transmission as well as the 3.0 L V6 in favor of the newly developed six-speed 6F automatic as well as the all-new 3.5 L Duratec 35 V6 which put out 263 hp (196 kW) at 6250 rpm.[4] The vehicle also received new power options, including power-folding second-row seats and a power lift gate.

While the renaming of the Five Hundred as the more consumer-familiar Taurus did boost sales of that model, sales of the Taurus X plummeted, although this was partially due to the automotive industry crisis of 2008–10, of which Ford was relatively healthy from compared to fellow Detroit "Big Three" automakers General Motors and Chrysler, as well as a general decline in sales of SUVs and SUV-like crossovers. After 2009, the Ford Flex replaced the Freestyle as a full size CUV. The Flex also replaced the Ford Freestar minivan simultaneously.

Models[edit]

SE: Offered only from 2004–06, it included basic features such as an AM/FM stereo with single-disc CD/MP3 player and four speakers, keyless entry, and steel wheels with hubcaps.

SEL: Offered from 2004–09, the SEL model had the features of the SE plus the option of leather seating, rear DVD, and an AM/FM stereo with a six-disc CD/MP3 changer and seven premium Audiophile speakers. It also offered optional 2nd-row captain's chairs and a standard 3rd-row bench. It also had 17" tires with alloy wheels. The option of two-tone exterior paint was offered. After it was restyled as the Taurus X, Ford Sync and Bluetooth became options.

Eddie Bauer Edition: Following the other SUV's in Ford's lineup, the EB Edition included two-tone unique leather seating, standard Ford Sync, and standard Pueblo Gold Metallic two-tone exterior paint. It was only offered for 2008.

Limited: Offered from 2004–09, the Limited model had all the features of the SEL plus standard leather seating, seven speakers, and standard 2nd-row captain's chairs. It also offered monotone paint. It had 18" tires and wheels.

Yearly American sales[edit]

Calendar Year Total American sales
2004 8,509
2005 76,739
2006[5] 58,602
2007 Freestyle:23,765 Taurus X:18,345
2008[6] 23,112
2009[7] 6,106

References[edit]

External links[edit]