People are quick to hate the oval generation of Taurus and I’m not saying it’s undeserved, but I can respect it for at least being mechanically competent and somewhat competitive at the time. The generation that succeeded it though. God do I. Hate. This. Car.

I can say that at least they brought the design up to conventional standards, but that’s about all I can say. This is one of the most anonymous cars ever designed, but not in a respectable way. In the way that you can tell the designers phoned it in after they un-catfished the face and raised the tail. All the conventional styling cues are there: overly-aggressive headlights, completely unnecessary vents on the bumper, smooth, egg-like profile, but that’s it. There is not an ounce of passion anywhere in this car. If it were a flavor, it would be flour. However what enrages me about this car is not so much the exterior, it’s everything under it.

How the fuck can this be considered anywhere near competitive when you have world-class cars like the Camry and the Accord breathing down your neck. Yeah you could get a Duratec V6 at the time but no one actually ordered it. So what most of these turds are stuck with is one of the most miserable engines of all time, the infamous Vulcan. This engine has one pace: leisurely and loud. Sure you get a little nugget of torque to get you off the line but that’s it. Need more speed? Keep your foot at half-throttle to get a whining groaaaaan. Still need more speed? Put your foot hard down and get a *clunk* followed by a painful howl. However you’re still moving at the same pace, so you wonder if the transmission is slipping. I can assure you it’s not, that’s just the magic of the Vulcan.

The ride and handling are just awful. I’m pretty sure the steering is just connected to a giant marshmallow. There’s no feel of anything at any degree the wheel is turned at. The handling is totally up to the car’s mood. If you drive at the pace of your grandmother and take slow, wide, sweeping turns the car is content. If you attempt anything faster and catch the car off-guard you’re greeted with the roll of a sinking ship and eventually plowing understeer. However you would think this would make the car a comfortable cruiser, right? Wrong! It rides like an Explorer of the same generation, so the front end is sprung stiffer than the rear end so you get a brittle ride up front and a light *thump* at rear. The structural rigidity is just adequate. It’s not going to jiggle all over the road but bumps generate a decent amount of reverberation that can get concerning.

Oh yeah, and on top of all this you get a car that spits out front suspension parts like a grinder, a transmission that’s probably going to puke it’s guts out around 100k, coil packs that disintegrate, and an interior that will randomly start popping out panels after a while.

I’m a Ford fan and I cannot defend this apathetic turd.