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New Car/Review

1997 Ford Taurus G

by John Heilig


SEE ALSO: Ford Buyer's Guide


ENGINE:            3.0-liter V-6
HORSEPOWER/TORQUE: 145hp @ 5,250 rpm/170ft-lb @ 3,250 rpm
TRANSMISSION:      Four-speed automatic
FUEL ECONOMY:      20 mpg city, 29 mpg highway, 26.7 mpg test
WHEELBASE:         108.5 in.
OVERALL LENGTH:    197.5 in.
OVERALL HEIGHT:    55.1 in.
OVERALL WIDTH:     73.0 in.
CURB WEIGHT:       3,326 lbs 
FUEL CAPACITY:     16.0 gal.
LUGGAGE CAPACITY:  15.8 cu. ft.
TIRES:             P205/65R15
INSTRUMENTS:       Speedometer, tachometer, fuel level, 
                   water temperature, digital clock.
EQUIPMENT:         Power windows, power door locks, 
                   power mirrors, air conditioner, 
                   AM-FM stereo radio with cassette, 
                   anti-lock braking, dual air bags.
STICKER PRICE:     $19,005

Taurus set the world on its heels when it was first introduced in December 1985 and repeated the act two years ago. For the last five years Taurus has been the best-selling car in the United States. Other pretenders to the crown will put a lot of caveats on that crown, but Ford still sells more Tauruses than any other manufacturer sells of any other vehicles.

All this is after a redesign that was drastic. As time goes on, the "drastic" new Taurus is beginning to look normal and the first edition Taurus, which was also considered drastic in its time, is beginning to look tame.

As you know the new Taurus is composed of oval themes. There's an overall oval profile to the car, an oval rear window and an oval pod in the center of the dash that holds the sound system and HVAC controls. Most of everything else about the Taurus is relatively normal.

The G model we drove is powered by the base 3.0-liter V-6 engine that develops 145 horsepower. You can get a 24-valve version of the 3.0-liter engine that puts out 200 horsepower and the 3.4-liter SHO V-8 engine that pumps out a whopping 235 horses. All engines come with four-speed automatic transmissions and are front-wheel drive, just in case you haven't been paying attention.

The drivetrain is extremely quiet, which I found impressive in a s and soda cans, and also for storing stuff. I saw the console when Ford first introduced the Taurus but this is the first time I've had a chance to use it.

There are also storage nets on the driver and passenger doors and a reasonable glove box.

One of the problems with the new Taurus when it first came out was that the price was higher. However, this car had a sticker price that is lower than the average sale price of new cars these days. And you still get an excellent automobile with a lot of features. So why pay more?