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Photos: 2008 Ford Taurus X

If you can stomach the exterior, the 2008 Ford Taurus X presents a practical solution for hauling people or cargo. Equipped with Sync and navigation, you get a good range of tech with some stand-out features.

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CNET Reviews staff
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Ford capitalizes on the Taurus name by building a crossover on the same platform as the sedan. The one pictured here has the Eddie Bauer trim level.
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The Taurus X uses Ford's three-bar grille, and a nose that's more sedan than SUV height. Vents below the bumper look like they should have been covered with something, but Ford chose to leave them as big, gaping holes.
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The Taurus X uses a 3.5-liter V-6, transversely mounted under the hood. It can either power just the front wheels, or all four, depending on which configuration you order.
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The real ugliness of the Taurus X is revealed in profile, where big wheel arches are exaggerated by a two-tone paint job. If you opt for the top trim level, you at least get a solid paint job to mask some of the hideousness. But the jutting C-pillar stands out regardless.
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This car is equipped with the privacy glass option, which tints the rear and rear side windows.
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The Taurus X has three rows of two seats each, a fairly practical arrangement for hauling people around.
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The rear seats cleverly fold up into the floor, while the middle row folds down, creating a big, flat load floor.
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Unlike the exterior, the interior looks reasonably nice. The car gets Ford's standard infotainment unit, plus audio and cruise controls on the steering wheel.
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The Taurus X handles a little bit better than an SUV. There is some play in the wheel, but it is minimal.
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Ford's navigation system doesn't have the most complete POI database available. It doesn't include all retail stores, although, along with grocers, it includes book stores.
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We like that you can enter a bunch of addresses, then press the optimize button, and the Taurus X will figure out the best route to all of them.
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Map resolution is sub-par in the Taurus X, but route guidance works fairly well.
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Particularly nice features of the navigation system are that it reads out the names of upcoming streets, and that you can adjust your route with this turn list on the fly, by hitting the Avoid buttons.
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Along with the audio buttons on the steering wheel, the Taurus X has a PTT button, which puts it in voice command mode.
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The disc changer can read MP3 CDs, but the interface can't show you a list of folders on a disc.
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Sirius satellite radio is available on the Taurus X. The interface isn't the clearest, and we had some difficulty figuring out how to find individual stations.
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An auxiliary input, for an iPod or other MP3 player, is mounted in the center console, next to a power point.
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We like these DSP controls, which let you quickly focus the audio around the cabin.
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The driver gets ultimate control over the DVD system, with the ability to lock down the rear controls.
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We like the DVD unit in this car. It mounts to the roof and has controls on either side of the screen.

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