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Ford fans have a lot of great, discontinued cars to think about when they look at the history of Ford. The SVT Lightning is an example of this, but that’s just one of the more popular examples. For Taurus fans though, there was the Ford Taurus X, which was a good, short-lived SUV in Ford’s lineup.

The history of the Ford Taurus X 

As Consumer Reports said, the Taurus X was actually an upgraded version of another Ford SUV, the Freestyle. Both SUVs offered third-row seating, which meant that they were on the larger side as far as SUVs were concerned. The Taurus X however, offered, among many other things, a bigger and more powerful engine than the Freestyle did. 

On top of that, the Taurus X had a different, and arguably better, transmission system. As NADAguides said, the Freestyle had a CVT, while the Taurus X had a traditional automatic six-speed transmission that most drivers were very familiar with at the time. The Taurus X had two model years, the 2008 and the 2009 model years, and that should be a good hint at why it ultimately failed as a car.

What the Ford Taurus X offered

The upgraded engine that the Taurus X got was a 3.5-liter V6 that generated 263-hp. This improved the performance of the Taurus X over the Freestyle, but it hurt its fuel economy. Consumer Reports said that this engine only got 11 MPG in the city and 23 MPG on highways, for a combined 16 MPG. 

When Ford was designing the car, this low fuel economy probably didn’t feel important as the car’s performance was pretty good. Consumer Reports in fact, said that the Taurus X, “feels more like a sedan than an SUV.” In terms of acceleration, Consumer Reports gave the car a 4 out of 5 rating, and its handling also received a 4 out of 5 rating from Consumer Reports. 

Due to its size, however, it offered a lot of space for both passengers and for cargo. While legroom is more limited due to the Taurus X’s design, it has plenty of headroom. On top of that, the Taurus X offered plenty of cargo room when its seats were folded down. NADAguides said that, with both the second and third-row seats folded down, the Taurus X had 85.5 cu. ft. of cargo space.

The Taurus X had decent standard features for the time, too. NADAguides said that it came standard with electronic stability control and anti-lock brakes. Ford also offered early versions of its smart connectivity features. NADAguides says that, with the Ford SYNC option, Taurus X owners could use their cell phones hands-free.

Good reviews couldn’t save the Ford Taurus X

Consumer Reports didn’t give overall scores back when Ford released the Taurus X, but its review of the car was still positive. There were a lot of reasons for that, and that includes its safety scores. According to Consumer Reports, both the NHTSA and the IIHS gave the Taurus X a great score in terms of how it performed in their crash tests.

But, despite having a powerful engine, great safety scores, and a lot of room, the fuel economy of the Taurus X was just terrible. Consumer Reports gave it a 1 out of 5 rating for fuel economy, as the average owner had to pay $1,780 a year for gas. And since the Taurus X was released right next to and during the Great Recession, many people didn’t want to buy a gas guzzler. 

As a result, Ford discontinued the Taurus X and decided to build the Flex instead. Unfortunately for Ford, the Flex got discontinued eventually, too.