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  1. #1
    fc
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    This Ford Taurus is sweet!

    Ha, I'm not kidding. This car just came to our laps testing for carreview.com. A Taurus??? But hey, this is actually the old Ford Freestyle. It's been updated and renamed to the Taurus X.

    Let me just say that this is the best US made cars that I have ever driven. Everything about it has surprised me. This crossover configuration is nice too. Not quite an SUV, not quite a van or a wagon. It's all the best things of those cars blended into one.

    The engine, the electronics, the seats, the handling, noise level are all awesome. Look for my review in Carreview.com. The only issue is reliability and resale value. Oh, and this car is decent at $27k but I just noticed my tester is $37k!

    Anyone else try or consider this car?

    fc
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    Nice attempt but the reliability scares me and it still looks too van-like. I'm sure it will appeal to some. Does it come with AWD as an option? What is the ground clearance?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flyer
    Nice attempt but the reliability scares me and it still looks too van-like. I'm sure it will appeal to some. Does it come with AWD as an option? What is the ground clearance?
    Why does reliability scare you? You must read consumer reports, one of the most biased publications in existance. I've had a blazer w/ 160,000 mi, an expedition w/ 200,000 mi, and an escort w/ 185,000 miles. All reliable and I can prove it!

  4. #4
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    We looked at the Taurus X before we bought our 07 Expedition. I never thought I'd own a Ford until we test drove it. Yeah, the reliabilty shouldn't be an issue anymore.

    It's the ultimate mountain bike hauler.

    tk

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    biggee- you must know a lot about every consumer out there. While your vehicles may be fine, a much larger percentage than average, have a lot of problems. My personal experience of owning and knowing others who own Ford, Chrysler, Dodge, Chevy, Honda, Toyota, Audi, BMS, etc gives me all the info I need concerning reliability.

    Reliability is an average of problems per so many hundred or thousand or simply a set number of vehicles that can be compared to each other. Not all Ford Freestyles will have problems and some will possibly last $150K without major issues but I'm more willing to bet on other vehicles with my money.

    Consumer Reports may be a decent guide actually. I certainly don't think they are the MOST biased. I don't read it much anymore- I have lived, observed, inquired long enough to know for myself.

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    I'd like to know more about actual/tested gas mileage, ground clearance, weight, AWD options, and all that before considering a vehicle. Then I'll wait ayear or two to see what "teething" problems and recalls come up. Heck, I'll even go and talk to some service managers at a couple of dealerships to find out what problems they are consistently seeing. I'll talk to people I know who own it. I'll read their model/brand forums too. The forums can be an invaluable source of info. That's sort of how I go about bringing a vehicle into my shortlist (or excluding it).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flyer
    biggee- you must know a lot about every consumer out there. While your vehicles may be fine, a much larger percentage than average, have a lot of problems. My personal experience of owning and knowing others who own Ford, Chrysler, Dodge, Chevy, Honda, Toyota, Audi, BMS, etc gives me all the info I need concerning reliability.

    Reliability is an average of problems per so many hundred or thousand or simply a set number of vehicles that can be compared to each other. Not all Ford Freestyles will have problems and some will possibly last $150K without major issues but I'm more willing to bet on other vehicles with my money.

    Consumer Reports may be a decent guide actually. I certainly don't think they are the MOST biased. I don't read it much anymore- I have lived, observed, inquired long enough to know for myself.
    Hey man, it's my opinion. I myself drive a Nissan. I get confused when people bash American cars for their reliability and not the Germans.

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    My Dad has one for a company car and pretty reliable as of now... Ride feels nice, it is full time 4 wheel drive. I drove it recently and I thought it had loose steering and I didn't really like the feel of it. I think my dad averages around 22-24 mpg (He does mostly highway driving, and that what the computer said). I would get a toyota.

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    I think you misunderstand me- I was only saying that the reliability I know of (regarding the Freestale in the past) has been pretty bad. I have no problem with American vehicles now- the overall reliability has been improving significantly.

    The European vehicle relaibility has in fact been dropping but damn, those Audis handle well and have some sweet interiors

    I currently own a Subaru but have owned Fords and Chryslers, as well as Hondas and Nissans. I like review like this done by these guys since they appeal to an audience like us (outdoors-minded and active). This is why I asked the questions abour AWD and clearance. I like the interior and the quietness of it.

    Not bashing American at all- I have usually been a staunch buyer of Japanese vehicles lately but I'm willing to open my eyes and buy American as long as it suits my needs, even if I give up some theoretical/statistical reliability.

  10. #10
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    I just purchased an Ice Blue Taurus X Limited FWD in February 2008, a couple months ago. It's a superb car that's a hidden gem. I don't think Ford is advertising it as it looks too much like a wagon to entice buyers. The boxy new Flex CUV coming this summer will get over the image problem. It's based on the same D3 platform and otherwise very close to the Taurus X in features and size.

    Oddly, Consumer reports recently gave the Taurus X a top rating and recommended buy over the Toyota Highlander and other cars. They found it has the best safety and top reliability, and an excellent car in many other ways. Nevertheless, to cover me and all the expensive tech gadgets I got in the car, I got me a 100,000 mile bumper to bumper warranty for $1500. Also, Car and Driver also gave the Taurus X a thumbs up on handling.

    The mileage is officially rated at 16/24 city/hwy for the Taurus X FWD. I get average gas mileage as high as 28 MPG driving on flat highways at 65 MPH, and 25 MPG driving on rolling hills at 70 MPH. (This is averaging over a couple hours or driving) In the city, the mileage can go as low as 0 stopped at a light. I see more like 16-19 MPG average depending on how much starts and stops I'm doing. But the T-X goes from 0-60 MPH in 7.7 seconds with its 263 HP engine.

    Ford says the ground clearance is only 5.1”. I took a ruler around under the car. Most of the car has over 8” of ground clearance. But the exhaust system brings it down to around 7” along the center of the car. Worse, the engine exhaust manifold dips a little and comes to a little over 6” right under the engine. I suppose fully loaded and with some bouncing, it could drop to 5” at that point under the engine. However, I’ve had no problems getting over rough bumps and deep ruts on dirt roads at mountain biking parks with my Sable Wagon with less clearance. So I suspect the Taurus X will be much better and even less of an issue.

    The Taurus X has an excellent AWD as an option, but I don't need it in CA and went with the FWD for a little better gas mileage.

    Even best is the SYNC system and more integrated electronics and sensors than an AWACS plane. I got the Navigation, Satellite Radio, rear DVD, and other options. For example, driving along my youngest daughter can watch cartoons on the DVD listening to wireless Channel B. My teen daughter is streaming her phone music via Bluetooth to the car and back to wireless headphone Channel A. I'm listening to Satellite Radio up front. And all this can be easily set up by voice commands. The kids in back can control the front or back sound with a remote, and I can control the front and rear via the Nav panel.

    I put all my music on a Flash Drive and plug it into the USB port. It's automatically indexed and I can ask for any song by title or artist and the success rate is very high. I can also voice dial the phone numbers that are automatically downloaded from my phone via Bluetooth.

    The safety on the Taurus X is the best in the world. It was only one of a couple CUVs (such as Volvo) to get the IIHS top safety awards. It has pretension seat belts, side air curtains, six air bags altogether, stability control systems, rollover sensors, SPACE cabin integrity, .....

    There's way more than I can mention now. Go to the Taurus X web site and the multimedia site where you can see crash videos and analysis. I'm doing a longer report and pictures later. First I want to get six bike racks on the car to match the six large passengers it can carry.
    It's not slow, it's doing more MTB time.

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    Ford power steering used to be a bit loose and vague. I have liked everything BigLarry said- except for ground clearance. I'm glad to see them upping their game in reliability and safety. The ground clearance still is something they should address- by some minor redesign, I bet they could get another two inches out of it and it would not grind out on some of these Colorado forest service roads. Most are okay but a few have some big dips and rocks and trenches that form. The Forester just about makes it with its approx 8" clearance and nothing really sticking out underneath. When it is fully loaded, I bet that clearance drop an inch and I have to take it easy and really work the angles to save my underbody. Once I let my GF drive it up and she crunched the bottom on a spot I always clear- she was immediately banned from driving it offroad again.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flyer
    Ford power steering used to be a bit loose and vague. I have liked everything BigLarry said- except for ground clearance. I'm glad to see them upping their game in reliability and safety. The ground clearance still is something they should address- by some minor redesign, I bet they could get another two inches out of it and it would not grind out on some of these Colorado forest service roads. Most are okay but a few have some big dips and rocks and trenches that form. The Forester just about makes it with its approx 8" clearance and nothing really sticking out underneath. When it is fully loaded, I bet that clearance drop an inch and I have to take it easy and really work the angles to save my underbody. Once I let my GF drive it up and she crunched the bottom on a spot I always clear- she was immediately banned from driving it offroad again.
    I would say the power steering allows a very easy touch, but wouldn't call it vague. Ford has gone to a new type of combined electrical/hybrid power steering in the Taurus X to help with fuel economy. It could be the feel was fixed too.

    Ford has got a new president, Alan Mullaly, who's busy putting the fire to Ford's progress and business. The Taurus X family car is likely to be taken over this summer by the Flex, which looks like a maxi-Mini Cooper and based on the same platform. The Taurus X will likely stay around a couple more years to fit people who don't like the mini-box look of the Flex that's otherwise very much the same car.

    For your needs, Ford is redesigning the Explorer to a unibody car frame rather than it's truck body on frame (BOF) to be more car like, and then take over the Taurus X slot in the fleet. At that point, it's likely to get the ground clearance you seek, so you may want to wait until then. Rumor is this new Taurus X/Explorer morph will be available in about 2 years.

    Also by then Ford will have it's new "EcoBoost" engine available across their fleet. By using a combination of direct fuel injection into the cylinder (like a diesel) and turbo charging they can get 15-20% more gas mileage on all cars with no sacrifice in power or responsiveness. So a 25 MPG car can become close to a 30 MPG car with no power penalty. The new EcoBoost engine has a very flat torque curve versus RPM due to their twin turbo system, even more flat than a normal engine.
    It's not slow, it's doing more MTB time.

  13. #13
    fc
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigLarry
    ...
    The Taurus X has an excellent AWD as an option, but I don't need it in CA and went with the FWD for a little better gas mileage.

    Even best is the SYNC system and more integrated electronics and sensors than an AWACS plane. I got the Navigation, Satellite Radio, rear DVD, and other options. For example, driving along my youngest daughter can watch cartoons on the DVD listening to wireless Channel B. My teen daughter is streaming her phone music via Bluetooth to the car and back to wireless headphone Channel A. I'm listening to Satellite Radio up front. And all this can be easily set up by voice commands. The kids in back can control the front or back sound with a remote, and I can control the front and rear via the Nav panel.
    ..
    Nice Larry.

    Yes, I tried the Microsoft Sync. It is amazing! I plugged in my Ipod and it worked. No manual and I figured it out.

    I used the voice commands and that worked too.

    I didn't have a bluetooth phone or other devices but I'm sure that's no problem either.

    fc
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    These lean and scary days are forcing some major changes. I hate to see Detroit in such trouble but on the bright side, it has will will spur innovation in addition to cost savings. I'll keep my Forester for at least two more years (well, I say that now) and will keep an eye on all the new hybrids and more efficient and spacious vehicles that will come out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flyer
    Nice attempt but the reliability scares me and it still looks too van-like. I'm sure it will appeal to some. Does it come with AWD as an option? What is the ground clearance?
    I hate the American relability bs. I drive a Jeep and have had zero problems after 5 years 70k miles - if you look at consumer reports my Liberty apparently sucks. Face it America has bad marketing vs. Japan the cars have equal reliability these days!

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    I think Ford makes some of the best cars for the buck. How does the Taurus compare with the Explorer? My buddy has an explorer and beats the S#$T out of it and the thing runs well (with 110k miles in 5 years). I think the Explorer is an outstanding vehicle. I am not familiar with thsi new Taurus. Im use to the sedan and wagon versions of the past. Good luck with the car - im sure its great.

  17. #17
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    I told myself I would never buy a American car unless I had too. More finacially secure now and all my vehicles are American. Cash for used American - many good buys out there and the reliablity gap is not as great as the resale gap between the Japanese and American cars IMHO.

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    I have a 2000 Dodge Dakota with 150,000 miles and still runs like brand new. After 9 years of owning it (got it in 99) the only thing I've done to it is replace the water pump. Not too bad.

  19. #19
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    Just like bicycles, you may think a product is American or Japanese but be horribly wrong. Most vehicles these days are built from components from all over the world and assembled wherever it ends up being cheapest when labor, transportation of the finished vehicle, and government taxes are factored in.

    My wife and I currently have a Lexus ES330 and a Nissan Quest. The Lexus for the most part is assembled in Japan, but has componentry from all over Asia, and some parts from the Middle East and Canada. The Nissan is built in the USA with parts from Europe, Asia, Canada, the US, Mexico, Brazil, etc.

    The country of origin on the vehicle ID labels only denote the final assembly point. Are they both Japanese cars? It depends on how you look at it.

    In my experience with these vehicles and others we have had, the stuff assembled in Japan is of the highest quality, and the stuff assembled here in the US is lowly crap. From my experience, in my opinion the unionized laborforce in the auto assembly industry just does not care about quality.

    The Quest is the last Nissan I will ever own due to the poor assembly quality. I would purchase another Lexus provided it is truly assembled in Japan.

  20. #20
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    Get a couple cars over the 500k mile mark, then you can talk reliable.

  21. #21
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    Woah! That thing is the Giant Reign-X of stationwagons!

    I never apologize. I'm sorry, but that's just the way I am.

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    Just get me to 100K with no breakdowns and then to 150 with maybe a battery and water pump replacement. After 100K, I'll get a new car and the old one can be a backup or be given to a friend in need.

    I have no need or desire to run a car past that but the key is 100K with no breakdowns. In the past 10 years, none of my Japanese vehicles have broken down while two Dodges and two Fords have- before 50K. Not saying things are not improving; just relating my own experience. I have not owned a European car unless you count my dad's Opel Kapitan or Sunbeam Talbot from back in the day

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by biggee72
    Why does reliability scare you? You must read consumer reports, one of the most biased publications in existance. I've had a blazer w/ 160,000 mi, an expedition w/ 200,000 mi, and an escort w/ 185,000 miles. All reliable and I can prove it!
    I am a consumer reports readers, they are not biased but the populations they poll have the bias. Whihc of course does maybe show a bias that they do not redesign their sample scheme.

    Regardless, they rank the reliability if the Taurus X, aka Freestyle, as being pretty darn reliable, a good design. etc.. the only bad aspect they note is resell value and MPG.

    One other thing, I think I read the Taurus X is being cut at the end of this year.

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    I have a 70' Cuda convertible 250K miles on the original motor. Anyone wanna try and beat that? Runs very well all things considered.

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    Let's focus now on this Freestyle and francois' reviews. I just like the fact that the perspective is from an active lifestyle. Handling, cargo space, clearance, mileage, wind noise- these are things I like to read about; not how many freaking cup holders there are or how nice the DVD player is or how stylish the alloy rims are. I am so tired of those regular magazine reviews that target the couch-wrestling suburbanite. Ooh, is that stereotyping? My bad

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raymo853
    I am a consumer reports readers, they are not biased but the populations they poll have the bias. Whihc of course does maybe show a bias that they do not redesign their sample scheme.

    Regardless, they rank the reliability if the Taurus X, aka Freestyle, as being pretty darn reliable, a good design. etc.. the only bad aspect they note is resell value and MPG.

    One other thing, I think I read the Taurus X is being cut at the end of this year.
    Consumer Reports reliability conclusions are based on reader surveys. In theory, a car needs repair or not, and it's divided by category - engine, transmission, electrical, etc.. So the users would have to lie. It's possible that one could forget problems, or not report them if they really like the car. So some bias may exist, but I don't think it's major. CR's reports tend to match other independent surveys such as JD Powers.

    In any case, Consumer Reports bases the Taurus X reliability on the 2007 Freestyle, the predecessor. Of all 17 categories they survey, the Freestyle was shown as top in reliability in each, except merely average in Audio and Body Hardware reliability.

    There was a significant change with the Taurus X to the 3.5 L engine and from the CVT to the 6-speed transmission. But both of these are well-developed power systems used in many Ford and GM cars with a very good history of their own. That's why I suspect CR allowed the previous Freestyle data to be used. They weren't so generous with the newly redesigned Toyota Highlander, which lost a recommendation due to lack of reliability data.

    The MPG isn't horrible, but rather just below average. I get 25-28 MPG on the freeway, which is just fine for a large family CUV. In city driving, the mileage really drops, to 16 MPG or so. Looking at the message center's average MPG indicator, it's frustrating to see it slowly drop while waiting at any light, or quickly drop when accelerating from a light. As such, I now turn off my engine on any long stop light, accelerate a bit slower, and coast into stop lights. It helps maybe 1 or 2 MPG in the city. Overall, it gets 19 MPG or more, same as my old Sable wagon, which isn't bad, just not good. In the next couple years, Ford will deploy EcoBoost (direct cylinder fuel injection and turbo charging) that will add 15-20% to gas mileage, or around 23 to 24 MPG average and 30-35 MPG highway for the same car and power. And then this efficient engine can be made hybrid too! Ford has a bright future.

    Ford vehicles do have a much greater depreciation than others, and not a great car to have for three years (unless a lease). This lack of resale value is in part due to bias and in part due to the bad reliability in Ford's past history. All surveys are showing Ford has made dramatic gains in reliability over the last two years, and this attitude may change. Nevertheless, I only bought the Taurus X knowing I'll likely hold onto it for 15 years, like I did with my last excellent Ford - the Merkur Scorpio.

    No official word is out yet on the fate of the Taurus X. It's more the lack of word. Every time Ford CEO Alan Mullaly talks about the Taurus line or their CUV line up, the Taurus X is not mentioned any more. No advertising is being spent on it. Ford is only selling about 2500 T-X a month. The new boxy Ford Flex due this summer is based on the same platform, has the same market, and about the same size and has the same features. But the Flex lacks the wagon-like stigma. The fate of the excellent Taurus X is not looking bright. Rumor in Ford circles is that the Taurus X will continue for the 2009 year, but likely morph with the Ford Explorer as it turns from a truck into a unibody car design like the Taurus X by 2010. Maybe they can improve the ground clearance and tow weight by then too.
    It's not slow, it's doing more MTB time.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by francois
    ...I didn't have a bluetooth phone or other devices but I'm sure that's no problem either.

    fc
    Huh!? Just when I was beginning to think you were really a closet geek, you turn out to indeed be a web forum Luddite!

    I guess that explains all your SS bikes.

    (J/K)
    It's not slow, it's doing more MTB time.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigLarry
    Huh!? Just when I was beginning to think you were really a closet geek, you turn out to indeed be a web forum Luddite!

    I guess that explains all your SS bikes.

    (J/K)
    I put two high end cell phones in the laundry this year. So as punishment, I'm on a $29 phone right now.

    I like your Flash drive idea, full of mp3s. That is brilliant and MS Sync will read it. Does it display all the song info too?

    fc
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  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by francois
    I put two high end cell phones in the laundry this year. So as punishment, I'm on a $29 phone right now.

    I like your Flash drive idea, full of mp3s. That is brilliant and MS Sync will read it. Does it display all the song info too?

    fc
    And warranty repair can tell if it got dunked by a sensor inside, as I found after my 3 yo girl tossed one in the toilet like kids do. Now I get insurance on my kid's cell phones for any such disaster- only $6/month (regardless of cell phone price), and so far I get more than my money back.

    Yes, SYNC reads all my song titles, albums, folders, artists etc. on my Flash Drive. I can search tracks by any of those methods. The 4 GB Flash Drive is $30, smaller than my thumb, but holds everything fine. I used plain old Windows Media Player 11 to rip and store automatically as MP3 @ 192 Kb/s. I ripped 70 CD albums in about 1.5 hours with my two CD readers ripping in parallel, about as fast as I could load them every 30 seconds.


    The Taurus X heir-apparent, the Ford Flex is now being positioned more to trend-setters without children than families, who'll find it anyway. "The agent of change? Ford's new marketing chief, Jim Farley."

    Ford's new CEO Alan Mullaly (hired last year from Boeing aircraft) recently hired Jim Farley (a cousin of the famous SNL comedian) away from Toyota as VP of Marketing to head up Ford's marketing instead. Farley's grandfather was a Ford dealer, so it's in his blood anyway. There's excellent leadership from the outside now on top of Ford, relinquished by the Ford family themselves in order to survive. And it seems to be showing well any many ways. Ford just dropped Jaguar and Land Rover to focus on getting Ford's own line going, including making Lincoln into a global luxury line with new vehicles. Mullaly recently said in response to a reporter's question that he wants Ford to partner most with Ford (???) - that is Ford of Europe who's been making some fantastic good-selling cars lately. He just reorganized Ford to join the two divisions with the good Euro designers having a strong position. The cute little Fiesta/Verve import coming in 2009 for the 2010 model year is just a start. If they pull this off, these will be some executives who truly earn their big $$$.
    Last edited by BigLarry; 03-31-2008 at 12:47 PM.
    It's not slow, it's doing more MTB time.

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    I did not know that the Taurus name is on a SUV/ Van. 18 MPG EPA combined, ouch!

    Don't feel that bad, because the Taurus Car is only getting 19 MPG EPA combined. The car has so much more potential, but I'm sure it is engineered with a lot of inefficiency and needs to drop a dress size and loose some weight.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Killroy
    I did not know that the Taurus name is on a SUV/ Van. 18 MPG EPA combined, ouch!

    Don't feel that bad, because the Taurus Car is only getting 19 MPG EPA combined. The car has so much more potential, but I'm sure it is engineered with a lot of inefficiency and needs to drop a dress size and loose some weight.
    First, the Taurus X FWD (Front Wheel Drive) gets a better 16/24 city/highway MPG, or 19 MPG combined. (The AWD gets 18 combined) This is using the newer EPA MPG estimates that's ~2 MPG lower than the older numbers and supposedly fits real driving. In fact, I regularly get 25-28 MPG in highway driving between 65 and 70 MPH, much higher than they rate.

    The Taurus X is about 4200 lbs, or 800 lbs lighter than the Saturn Outlook / GM Acadia at 5000 lbs. So I was disappointed when the T-X didn't get any better mileage than the Outlook, also at 16/24 MPG. However, they both have a similar 260 HP engine. And at the higher weight, the Outlook accelerates slower as expected. So Ford should have stayed with a lower power engine to have similar acceleration but better mileage like in the Freestyle. But customers complained about wanting more power.

    Again, Ford is doing better and coming up with the EcoBoost and other techniques to get much better gas mileage in the future.
    It's not slow, it's doing more MTB time.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigLarry
    First, the Taurus X FWD (Front Wheel Drive) gets a better 16/24 city/highway MPG, or 19 MPG combined. (The AWD gets 18 combined) This is using the newer EPA MPG estimates that's ~2 MPG lower than the older numbers and supposedly fits real driving. In fact, I regularly get 25-28 MPG in highway driving between 65 and 70 MPH, much higher than they rate.

    The Taurus X is about 4200 lbs, or 800 lbs lighter than the Saturn Outlook / GM Acadia at 5000 lbs. So I was disappointed when the T-X didn't get any better mileage than the Outlook, also at 16/24 MPG. However, they both have a similar 260 HP engine. And at the higher weight, the Outlook accelerates slower as expected. So Ford should have stayed with a lower power engine to have similar acceleration but better mileage like in the Freestyle. But customers complained about wanting more power.

    Again, Ford is doing better and coming up with the EcoBoost and other techniques to get much better gas mileage in the future.
    Good info as usual. Good choice on getting the 2wd for Norcal.

    One thing worth noting is this vehicle is very fast. It's a V6 that is as strong as many V8s I've tried. It's soo cool to drive since power and torque are readily available and the 6-speed auto flicks once or twice as needed.

    0-60 in 7.7 according to Car and Driver. This morning, I punched the gas briefly at 80 mph and it charged to infinity very quickly. 5 dudes with 5 bikes... the power should get you up the mountain. Shuttle runs!

    fc
    Last edited by fc; 03-31-2008 at 03:32 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by francois
    Good info as usual. Good choice on getting the 2wd for Norcal.

    One thing worth noting is this vehicle is very fast. It's a V6 that is as strong as many V8s I've tried. It's soo cool to drive since power and torque are readily available and the 6-speed auto flicks once or twice as needed.

    0-60 in 7.7 according to Car and Driver. This morning, I punched the gas briefly at 80 mph and it charged to infinity very quickly. 5 dudes with 5 bikes... the power should get you up the mountain. Shuttle runs!

    fc
    And that's impressive? A lot of power is always cool I suppose, but it could still be made by much more "efficient" means, such as a smaller engine and a turbocharger, but in that case Ford would have to use higher quality parts to stand up to the heat and such, so they figure that people wouldn't pay a little more for a few better mpgs. You could easily do 260hp with a 1.8 or 2.0L turbo engine (like they do in europe all the time) and get better milege, such is one of the reasons that us manufacturers keep failing and losing money. While the US auto manufacturers are getting a lot better, I see one problem now being the sheer number of different models that they've made in the last 5 years as they've decided that no one wants their older innefficient un-crashworthy vehicles and they've seemed to have gone through a period with lots of different models in a short period of time. That's horrible for business. How many Jeeps have their been recently that look pretty much the same and do pretty much the same thing? (a lot). Even if US makers "get it", they've still shot themselves in the foot and have to deal with the effects. There's a lot of resistance to change, changing markets, and simply doing "what is necessary" within detroit, and that's been a huge barrier to them competing with the imports. An example of this is that just because people "say" they want something, doesn't mean they really want it, such as "more power", they just want "more power" with no negative side effects like milege. Automakers have done "more power" lots of times, but it hasn't always been sucessfull. Being able to see beyond this short-sighted marketing/design is what needs to happen/continue to happen.

    GM has had some interesting ones recently, like the Grand Prix, and how with a 3800 series engine and what is a seemingly "huge" car it makes 18-28mpg with the new standards, but if you look at the weight it's around 3400 if I remember correctly, which can be quite a bit less than some of the other "big" looking cars, it's FWD and does not have 300hp or whatever is the "norm" now. Due to this and a fairly aero design, it does pretty well and it isn't a micro-car. It could be a lot better, again either a smaller turbo engine or other means, but my point being that they can make this "big" car get pretty decent milege, far better than this taurus car, and the grand prix may even be bigger than the "taurus". This is not an example of stellar milege, just an example that they can do a lot better, but it's cost-benefit and such for the company, that said, I wouldn't consider the "taurus" given the info above on milege. Do better and then I might, but you can't sell a car just on "260hp" these days IMO.
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    Quote Originally Posted by francois
    This morning, I punched the gas briefly at 80 mph and it charged to infinity very quickly - almost as fast as the MPG meter went to zero.
    And so now you see why the EPA had to reduce the MPG so much for the "typical" driver, don't you? (Fixed it.)

    Power corrupts, doesn't it?

    Quote Originally Posted by francois
    5 dudes with 5 bikes... the power should get you up the mountain. Shuttle runs!
    Yessa! But I'm thinking maybe 4 dudes, 2 dudettes, and 6 bikes on a short shuttle run.

    I'm close to organizing a Henry Coe shuttle from HQ down Flat Frog, Middle Ridge, Domino, Grapevine, and maybe Anza to HH for the mere mortals, and any MTBRs who want to join. All the pleasure and none of the climb-out pain. Maybe 18 miles, only ~1500' of climb, and 3500' of descent, mostly on sweet singletrack. A few shuttle cars like this and we can handle lots of people. Yes I'm talking to you JeffH.
    It's not slow, it's doing more MTB time.

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    PSSSST: EcoBoost

    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem
    And that's impressive? A lot of power is always cool I suppose, but it could still be made by much more "efficient" means, such as a smaller engine and a turbocharger, but in that case Ford would have to use higher quality parts to stand up to the heat and such, so they figure that people wouldn't pay a little more for a few better mpgs. You could easily do 260hp with a 1.8 or 2.0L turbo engine (like they do in europe all the time) and get better milege, such is one of the reasons that us manufacturers keep failing and losing money. While the US auto manufacturers are getting a lot better, I see one problem now being the sheer number of different models that they've made in the last 5 years as they've decided that no one wants their older innefficient un-crashworthy vehicles and they've seemed to have gone through a period with lots of different models in a short period of time. That's horrible for business. How many Jeeps have their been recently that look pretty much the same and do pretty much the same thing? (a lot). Even if US makers "get it", they've still shot themselves in the foot and have to deal with the effects. There's a lot of resistance to change, changing markets, and simply doing "what is necessary" within detroit, and that's been a huge barrier to them competing with the imports. An example of this is that just because people "say" they want something, doesn't mean they really want it, such as "more power", they just want "more power" with no negative side effects like milege. Automakers have done "more power" lots of times, but it hasn't always been sucessfull. Being able to see beyond this short-sighted marketing/design is what needs to happen/continue to happen.

    GM has had some interesting ones recently, like the Grand Prix, and how with a 3800 series engine and what is a seemingly "huge" car it makes 18-28mpg with the new standards, but if you look at the weight it's around 3400 if I remember correctly, which can be quite a bit less than some of the other "big" looking cars, it's FWD and does not have 300hp or whatever is the "norm" now. Due to this and a fairly aero design, it does pretty well and it isn't a micro-car. It could be a lot better, again either a smaller turbo engine or other means, but my point being that they can make this "big" car get pretty decent milege, far better than this taurus car, and the grand prix may even be bigger than the "taurus". This is not an example of stellar milege, just an example that they can do a lot better, but it's cost-benefit and such for the company, that said, I wouldn't consider the "taurus" given the info above on milege. Do better and then I might, but you can't sell a car just on "260hp" these days IMO.
    Oh My! Thank you for finally speaking up!

    Ford's CEO just listened to your post and assigned his VP of Global Product Development, Derrick Kuzak to your task. He got a team together about your ideas and here's what he wants to tell you. You might have just saved Ford. Thank you again.
    (I'm goofing around - don't take me serious. However Ford is very serious.)

    <OBJECT height=355 width=425>
    <embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/jgilKUwMl2A&hl=en" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="355"></embed></OBJECT>


    The EcoBoost is a very unique way of Turbo Charging in that it allows quicker throttle response by direct injection of gas into the cylinders like a diesel. Thus you can control power immediately by direct fuel flow injection without any turbine lag. The dual turbine compressor allows full flat high torque over most all the RPM curve, except right near idle where you want it low for economy. You can get V8 power out of a V6, or V6 power out of an I4. Best of all, this technology can be used in combination with others like Ethanol or Hybrid or both for even better fuel economy. Ford is now looking to have this engine in most of their fleet within the next two years.

    BTW, I did a calculation of cost of fuel even at $5/gallon over the life of the car, and figured the ~$4K I could save on the heavily discounted Taurus-X today was good enough to make it not worth waiting for EcoBoost. And future cars with adavanced technology will likely be even more expensive. And the car isn't that bad in mileage. I can get probably over 20 MPG of combined communting MPG with very careful driving technique, and over 25 MPG on the highway. Compare to your typical SUV it replaces.
    Last edited by BigLarry; 03-31-2008 at 08:46 PM.
    It's not slow, it's doing more MTB time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigLarry
    <OBJECT height=355 width=425>
    <embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/jgilKUwMl2A&hl=en" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="355"></embed></OBJECT>
    I watched Fords EcoBoost presentation and I thing Ford should be put on the top of the Endangered Species List. Ford's approach to improving Fuel efficiency and meeting new CAFE standards are far to conservative. EcoBoost's claimed 2 to 5 MPG improvement are not aggressive enough.

    All the automakers know that increased electrification is the solution to high gas prices, fuel efficiency, better energy independence and emissions. Bob Lutz has received a lot of criticism for the EREV Chevy Volt, but I think that is exactly the direction GM should be going. Yes, Ford has PHEVs (like EREVs) on there "mid term solution" starting 2012. Ford needs to at least match the volts 2010 ETA, because in 2009 the Automotive X- Prize will have consumer vehicles racing--not hypermiling --at 100 MPGe across the US. The American auto industry has already lost a lot of market share to the Prius and Other Hybrids. Ford's EcoBoost presentation looks like their are going to be left behind even more. It's sad that Ford can not even beat the fuel economy of the Model-T a 100 years later.
    Last edited by Killroy; 03-31-2008 at 08:14 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Killroy
    I watched Fords EcoBoost presentation and I thing Ford should be put on the top of the Endangered Species List. Ford's approach to improving Fuel efficiency and meeting new CAFE standards are far to conservative. EcoBoost's claimed 2 to 5 MPG improvement are not aggressive enough.

    All the automakers know that increased electrification is the solution to high gas prices, fuel efficiency, better energy independence and emissions. Bob Lutz has received a lot of criticism for the EREV Chevy Volt, but I think that is exactly the direction GM should be going. The American auto industry has already lost a lot of market share to the Prius and Other Hybrids. Ford's EcoBoost presentation looks like their are going to be left behind even more. It's sad that Ford can not even beat the fuel economy of the Model-T a 100 years later.
    Sadly, Ford is already on the Endangered Species List. The new CEO Alan Mulally was air dropped from Boeing to try and lead them out of the jungle of Detroit thinking. There's already a lot of major changes going on and more will happen. They've sold Ford's soul (including their oval logo) to get a sufficient bank roll to fund the changes. But who knows if their rapid changes will be enough in the right way.

    The EcoBoost is simply a quick 2-year strategy for global fuel economy. And later on it can be used in combination with Hybrids, like the Hybrids Ford already has on cars like the Ford Escape, and will continue to develop further according to future plans if you believe Derrick. EcoBoost doesn't improve by 5 MPG, rather it improves mileage by 20% across the board: City, Highway, Trucking, SUVs, compact cars, every car, every truck, Hybrids, plug-in Hybrids, Ethanol based engines,... It's a 20% win in every corner, a great invention worth doing ASAP.

    The current Hybrid technology is only used by a few percent of ecological minded people because of it's higher cost. Electric cars are much less economical and it may be many years away before they're mainstream, maybe a decade or more, if ever. (Hydrogen Fuel Cell Hybrid may happen instead, for instance.) Ford's EcoBoost is a low cost universal, immediate solution among all cars, along the lines of going to diesel. But it can be done now universally with minimal effect and cost, and it is being done. So rather than the world wide improvement of a few percent seen by expensive Hybrids at their low rate of customer uptake, Ford EcoBoost can provide a far bigger impact much sooner at real cost savings to everyone.

    BTW, Hybrid technology gives great gains in the city. But Hybrid does not help you haul a trailer up a mountain, or a Semi-trailer truck haul freight across country on the highway. You need power a battery cannot provide, and hybrid provides no extra fuel savings in these scenarios. But EcoBoost can help across the board including these significant cases of fuel use, and do it everywhere now.

    And if a Hybrid car gets say 50 MPG average, EcoBoost will further increase that to 60 MPG. Ford is a little behind on Hybrid, but nevertheless in the game with offerings that are competitive.

    And Ford can beat the fuel economy of a Model T, if customers would just stop their silly excessive demands for more than it's 20 HP engine.
    It's not slow, it's doing more MTB time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigLarry


    The EcoBoost is a very unique way of Turbo Charging in that it allows quicker throttle response by direct injection of gas into the cylinders like a diesel. Thus you can control power immediately by direct fuel flow injection without any turbine lag. The dual turbine compressor allows full flat high torque over most all the RPM curve, except right near idle where you want it low for economy. You can get V8 power out of a V6, or V6 power out of an I4. Best of all, this technology can be used in combination with others like Ethanol or Hybrid or both for even better fuel economy. Ford is now looking to have this engine in most of their fleet within the next two years.
    .
    You realize this has been around for quite a while, the words "late in the game" come to mind here. VW has been making turbo-cars with fairly small displacement engines for quite a while (as well as selling them as audis). You're still thinking behind if you're thinking "V8 power out of a V6", a V6 will still suck way too much gas at idle or when a lot of power isn't required, hence a 2L 4cyl turbo. But, that is only one solution, and there are others, such as simply direct injection 4cyl engines without turbos, these can also be efficient and produce 250hp fairly easily, but once again one problem becomes the materials and designs to deal with this power. Drivetrain, engine, exhaust, etc, they all have to be able to withstand the stress of what you're describing. Does Ford have the know-how and ability to do it? I wouldn't bet on it at first, requirements for forged pistons or better materials to deal with the increased heat, intake manifold, exhaust being able to withstand the temps generated, cats in up-pipes, down-pipes, and so forth. The thing is, ford isn't exactly "first" with anything here, and they've had a LONG time to try. They won't be anywhere near the first to try direct injection, and I'm wondering about the turbo-thing if that will actually materialize, but again it's far from original.

    Also, if you're churning out vehicles that have the aerodynamics of a brick, as many manufacturers are recently (like mustangs, people are pulling 30mpg from corvettes these days!), it's kind of dumb to put all this technology in there only to have your efficiency kicked down a whole lot by poor aerodynamics. Aerodynamics has a lot to do with efficiency.

    The thing is that not every manufacturer has been making "monster size" vehicles forever, but Ford and a few others have, and now we FINALLY see them making some effort to actually improve them?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem
    You realize this has been around for quite a while, the words "late in the game" come to mind here. VW has been making turbo-cars with fairly small displacement engines for quite a while (as well as selling them as audis). You're still thinking behind if you're thinking "V8 power out of a V6", a V6 will still suck way too much gas at idle or when a lot of power isn't required, hence a 2L 4cyl turbo. But, that is only one solution, and there are others, such as simply direct injection 4cyl engines without turbos, these can also be efficient and produce 250hp fairly easily, but once again one problem becomes the materials and designs to deal with this power. Drivetrain, engine, exhaust, etc, they all have to be able to withstand the stress of what you're describing. Does Ford have the know-how and ability to do it? I wouldn't bet on it at first, requirements for forged pistons or better materials to deal with the increased heat, intake manifold, exhaust being able to withstand the temps generated, cats in up-pipes, down-pipes, and so forth. The thing is, ford isn't exactly "first" with anything here, and they've had a LONG time to try. They won't be anywhere near the first to try direct injection, and I'm wondering about the turbo-thing if that will actually materialize, but again it's far from original.

    Also, if you're churning out vehicles that have the aerodynamics of a brick, as many manufacturers are recently (like mustangs, people are pulling 30mpg from corvettes these days!), it's kind of dumb to put all this technology in there only to have your efficiency kicked down a whole lot by poor aerodynamics. Aerodynamics has a lot to do with efficiency.

    The thing is that not every manufacturer has been making "monster size" vehicles forever, but Ford and a few others have, and now we FINALLY see them making some effort to actually improve them?
    Another news item that just appeared from Ford's engineers on EcoBoost that addresses some of your comments.

    The above linked video also says that Turbo Charging isn't new and used heavily in Europe, with a lot of development by VW. It was also a big fad in the US when I was younger. But the problem was the boost only occurred at the higher RPMs where you had more HP anyway. So you got a spike of power at just one point on the acceleration and RPM curve.The turbines have become more refined over time to help boost at lower RPMs, but still not that great.

    My understanding is that Ford also took a second big step with the direct cylinder injection. This helps with rapid control of power, and additional vapor cooling of the compression for controlling pre-ignition. The torque curve becomes very high and very flat, even more so than a non-turbo engine, which helps overall performance greatly - more than peak HP improvement alone. This gas cylinder DI technology may also not be that "new". But the combination and refinement is somewhat unique, and it needs to be developed into a manufactureable technology which it appears Ford has done. The most significant point is that Ford is actually deploying the technology to half a million cars with this in the next few years. They must have solved the problems you mention. Or maybe we just want to make sure we all buy Ford's "extended warranty"?

    And next year the EcoBoost is due to appear on the Flex, the likely heir to the Taurus X. And since it now has a V6, it will go to an I4 with EcoBoost for the same performance.
    Last edited by BigLarry; 03-31-2008 at 09:27 PM.
    It's not slow, it's doing more MTB time.

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    too bad its a ford....

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    Overall, good comments.

    Quote Originally Posted by BigLarry
    The current Hybrid technology is only used by a few percent of ecological minded people because of it's higher cost. Electric cars are much less economical and it may be many years away before they're mainstream, maybe a decade or more, if ever.
    Toyota Prius sales are over a million. http://www.usatoday.com/money/autos/...ybrid-1m_N.htm

    Quote Originally Posted by BigLarry
    (Hydrogen Fuel Cell Hybrid may happen instead, for instance.) Ford's EcoBoost is a low cost universal, immediate solution among all cars, along the lines of going to diesel. But it can be done now universally with minimal effect and cost, and it is being done. So rather than the world wide improvement of a few percent seen by expensive Hybrids at their low rate of customer uptake, Ford EcoBoost can provide a far bigger impact much sooner at real cost savings to everyone.
    Extended Range Electric Vehicles (EREV or PHEV) are much more feasible on many aspects then hydrogen fuel cells.

    Quote Originally Posted by BigLarry
    BTW, Hybrid technology gives great gains in the city. But Hybrid does not help you haul a trailer up a mountain, or a Semi-trailer truck haul freight across country on the highway. You need power a battery cannot provide, and hybrid provides no extra fuel savings in these scenarios. But EcoBoost can help across the board including these significant cases of fuel use, and do it everywhere now.
    That's a common misconceptions. Hybrids are feasible for Semi trailers in highway driving too. The electric motor kicks in to prevent a fuel wasting down shift to high revs for hill climbing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Killroy
    Toyota Prius sales are over a million. http://www.usatoday.com/money/autos/...ybrid-1m_N.htm

    Extended Range Electric Vehicles (EREV or PHEV) are much more feasible on many aspects then hydrogen fuel cells.

    That's a common misconceptions. Hybrids are feasible for Semi trailers in highway driving too. The electric motor kicks in to prevent a fuel wasting down shift to high revs for hill climbing.
    All good points.

    1. That's a lot of Priuii! Didn't realize. But that's a million over 10 years. Ford is hoping to soon be delivering 0.5 million EcoBoost cars per year, and continue to grow rapidly from there. Ford currently sells only 2.4 million cars per year, so more than that needs licensing or a technology copy in other companies. Again, Hybrid and EcoBoost are not incompatible nor competing technologies. They can work together for multiplied performance.

    2. I tend to agree that fuel cells need a lot of work, So do good batteries, but there's more promise there. Either is many years away from mainstream.

    3. Hybrids see some small improvement on highway MPG, it's just not anywhere near the big improvements seen in city driving, which is what really justifies its higher cost.
    It's not slow, it's doing more MTB time.

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    I work in a Garage and a Freestyle came in with less than 15000 on it and it needed an alternator. Fortunately for the owner it was still under warantee and they just had to get back to the dealer. I've only seen a few others which just came in for tire work so I can't judge on the model as a whole. There is a general consensus among the guys at work that it you want a reliable car than buy Japanese. If you chose to call me a person who does not support American workers than so be it. I refuse to waste my money on cars that just can't compete in terms of quality and reliability. If you have managed to get a Ford, Chevy, or Dodge to over 150k with little to no problems I can assure you that you're the exception.
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    On another note Its hilarious that Ford had to change the name back to Taurus from 500 simply because buyers trusted a car named Taurus. Ford is sure Lucky that they have the blind owner loyalty here in America because I don't think anyone else would buy a car simply because of the name.
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    Quote Originally Posted by G-VegasMTBiker
    I work in a Garage and a Freestyle came in with less than 15000 on it and it needed an alternator. Fortunately for the owner it was still under warantee and they just had to get back to the dealer. I've only seen a few others which just came in for tire work so I can't judge on the model as a whole. There is a general consensus among the guys at work that it you want a reliable car than buy Japanese. If you chose to call me a person who does not support American workers than so be it. I refuse to waste my money on cars that just can't compete in terms of quality and reliability. If you have managed to get a Ford, Chevy, or Dodge to over 150k with little to no problems I can assure you that you're the exception.
    Well since you work in a shop than Im sure your aware that at anytime there are just as many (if not more) recalls on foreign vehicles as American. I listen to a mechanic on 710 WOR in NY every Sunday and he claims that there are actually more recalls for Nissans, Hondas etc.. now adays than American manufactures albeit most are probably bs.

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    Here's another 1,300,000 anecdotal data points

    Quote Originally Posted by G-VegasMTBiker
    I work in a Garage and a Freestyle came in with less than 15000 on it and it needed an alternator. Fortunately for the owner it was still under warantee and they just had to get back to the dealer. I've only seen a few others which just came in for tire work so I can't judge on the model as a whole. There is a general consensus among the guys at work that it you want a reliable car than buy Japanese. If you chose to call me a person who does not support American workers than so be it. I refuse to waste my money on cars that just can't compete in terms of quality and reliability. If you have managed to get a Ford, Chevy, or Dodge to over 150k with little to no problems I can assure you that you're the exception.
    Consumer Reports has 1,300,000 survey responses per year. This is enough data to make some fair statistics.

    In the first chart below, the Taurus X (AKA Freestyle) reliability is shown relative to other vehicles, including Japanese. (An Alternator is classified under Electrical, which the Freestyle is tops in reliability.) Note this is not the problem rate, but the relative reliability to the others. The Taurus X had poor initial reliability but is now near the top of the list in most all categories as problems were fixed. This is generally true for most of Ford's products over the last two or three years. Surprising everyone, Ford won the J.D. Power survey for quality last year.

    It will take years for Ford's major improvements to be shown a clear and permanent trend. And more years for consumer sentiment to realize the change.

    The lower chart shows the actual average problem rates among all cars, rather than relative. Reliability has been improving in for all cars across the board over the years, making it less a factor today than fuel economy and safety. For example, Ford gives me a bumper-to-bumper warranty on my T-X and all my gadgets for 6 years, 100,000 miles for only $1500 and still makes a lot of money on me.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    It's not slow, it's doing more MTB time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flyer
    Let's focus now on this Freestyle and francois' reviews. I just like the fact that the perspective is from an active lifestyle. Handling, cargo space, clearance, mileage, wind noise- these are things I like to read about; not how many freaking cup holders there are or how nice the DVD player is or how stylish the alloy rims are. I am so tired of those regular magazine reviews that target the couch-wrestling suburbanite. Ooh, is that stereotyping? My bad
    We changed from a 98 Outback (awesome car) to the 07 Freestyle Limited AWD back in Sept. Main reason for the Ford... the Outback's got smaller inside. I don't fit in the new ones. Plus we needed room for 6 folks now and then. The Freestyle has been good so far. The wife wanted bells whistles and other goodies. No DVD player though. I refuse to go there. Do the kids have a window? Use it. The Outback just had cassette and power windows. Ford also had a 0% finance thing going on. Can't beat that.
    So far the Freestyle has been good. Comfortable but more important... it holds my MTB crap. A bike fits inside nicely if needed if the front wheel is removed. I've only tried my big bike though. Roof rack is now the mode of bike transport. More room in the back for dogs than in the Outback.
    Its also got better cup holders than the pieces of junk the Outback had.
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    Quote Originally Posted by G-VegasMTBiker
    Toyota is sure Lucky that they have the blind owner loyalty here in America because I don't think anyone else would buy a car simply because of the name.


    There fix it for you, there is alot more kool-aid drinkers in the Toyota buyers pool.

  49. #49
    fc
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    Here's more photos btw.

    http://gallery.carreview.com/showgallery.php?cat=580

    And my 3 page review on the car is done. And get this, Big Larry wrote a 20 page review on it! We'll try and publish both this week.

    fc
    IPA will save America

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigLarry
    The above linked video also says that Turbo Charging isn't new and used heavily in Europe, with a lot of development by VW. It was also a big fad in the US when I was younger. But the problem was the boost only occurred at the higher RPMs where you had more HP anyway. So you got a spike of power at just one point on the acceleration and RPM curve.The turbines have become more refined over time to help boost at lower RPMs, but still not that great.
    I don't see what the problem is with that, you get better milege and more power when you need it. Best of both worlds. It's not a "spike of power" at one point on the accelleration and RPM curve, it's after one point where the turbine is turning at the speeds required to built up decent boost, which doesn't just exist at one point, but after one point.

    Unfortunately you are not quite correct though in terms of turbo response and RPM, there have been plenty of setups around that have gotten around those problems for years, with different size twin turbos, with twin-scroll turbos, roller-bearing turbos, wastegate adjustments, just making the components/engine with the right tuning of the backpressure/exhaust, and so forth.

    In actuality, that turbo lag is one of the reasons WHY your turbo engine can give you better MPG, if you're engaging the turbo all the time your milege WILL go down, when you pressurize air you have to ram a lot more fuel in there to remain stiometric. You're going to negate the efficiency advantage by making all that power "instantaneous". Once again, I think the US manufacturers (ford) are setting themselves up for failure. While you can get more efficiency from a turbo, you can also get much worse efficiency if you have a lead foot. My current one doesn't lag too bad at all, I can get good boost at 3K, and with 280-300hp from a 2.0L engine, relatively good gas milege from an AWD platform, it's clear that ford and others have a long way to go.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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