$20,830 – $22,980 MSRP
$19,400 – $21,127 Invoice
20 / 27 MPG City/Hwy
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The Taurus is now down to two trim levels-SE and SEL. A new color, Tungsten Clearcoat Metallic, joins the exterior paint palette for 2006, while a flexible-fuel version, which burns either regular gasoline or E85 (an ethanol/gasoline blend), is available for fleet versions.
The Taurus has been around for more than 20 years, and it's easy to forget what a splash this car made when it first appeared in 1985. The Japanese automotive assault was in full swing, with models like the then-new Toyota Camry introducing American buyers to levels of functional design and build quality thought to be unobtainable by American automakersand then the Ford Taurus came along. In place of the straight chrome-laden lines and glitzy interiors typical of American cars, the Taurus featured a European-inspired bulbous shape and a roomy interior that emphasized form over function. Front-wheel drive and responsive handling rounded out the package. The latest crop of small front-wheel-drive cars at that time that were introduced from GM and Chrysler couldn't compare to the Taurus' advanced design, and the contemporary Japanese cars couldn't match it on interior space. The Taurus single-handedly changed the American automotive market.
Fast-forward 10 years. A 1996 redesign featured rounded styling, highlighted by an ovoid rear window. Sales took a nosedive, and Ford rushed to give the Taurus a conservative makeover, a look it has retained ever since. The Taurus is in the autumn of its years, due soon to be retired (available only for fleet customers) and replaced by the 2006 Fusion.
The 2006 Taurus is available in SE and SEL trims; all have power windows, locks and mirrors, air conditioning, cruise control, remote keyless entry and an AM/FM stereo with a cassette deck. SEL models add alloy wheels, a CD player, auto-dimming rearview windows, power driver's seat, and wood interior trim. Options include leather seats, anti-lock brakes, side air bags, and a moonroof. Power comes from a 3.0L V-6. An older 2-valve cam-in-block design, the engine puts out 153 hp and 186 lb.-ft. of torque and drives the front wheels through a 4-speed automatic transmission.
The Taurus faces 19 other competitors in the Midsize Conventional segment, where interior space, quality, and reliability are of prime importance. In a segment this large, differentiation is key, and the competition is fierce.
According to the J.D. Power and Associates Sales Report,SM the segment leader for 2005 was the Toyota Camry with 376,803 sales, followed by the Honda Accord (369,293 units sold), Nissan Altima (255,371), and Chevrolet Malibu (245,861). The Taurus ranked fifth in sales for calendar year 2005, with 196,919 units sold. Other top sellers in the segment include the Hyundai Sonata, Pontiac G6, Buick LaCrosse, Subaru Legacy and Outback, and Chrysler Sebring Sedan and Convertible.
|SE (100A)||4 speed automatic||$20,830||153-hp / 3.0L 6-cyl||20/27|
|SEL (200A)||4 speed automatic||$22,980||153-hp / 3.0L 6-cyl||20/27|