1990 Ford Taurus

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chicagotribune.com
The top selling car in the Chicago market appropriately is also a carthat`s built here-the Ford Taurus.

The car was introduced on Dec. 26, 1985, a novel date to launch a newcar, to say the least.

What followed is legendary. Taurus was a huge success and demand has been strong since day one. One reason is that the car is found in a variety offleets such as rental companies.

About the only two complaints with the car have been that it could use alarger engine than the 3-liter V-6 being offered and that it could useantilock brakes.

For 1990, the two sore points are now strong points. A 3.8-liter V-6 isoptional ($555) as are antilock brakes ($985) on all four wheels. A very good car just got better.

Not only is a larger engine now available, but the 3.8`s mileage also isnearly the same as that of the 3-liter V-6. The 3.8 is rated at 19 miles pergallon city/28 m.p.g. highway and the 3-liter is rated at 20/29. The 3.8 also is peppier than the 3 and much quieter.

It`s nice to enjoy improved performance moving from the light or down the ramp onto the expressway, but with antilock brakes you can bring the powerunder control when you need to stop-regardless of the road surface.

We test drove the 1990 Taurus LX four-door sedan and found a few othergoodies that show Ford has been paying attention to consumers. A sign andarrow on the dash advise motorists that the fuel filler door is on the rightside of the car; that warns you before pulling up to the wrong pump.

If you need to lift the hood, there`s no fumbling. A yellow plasticopener under the hood shows you that a flip to the left unlocks the hood foreasy opening. Small, but appreciated touch.

Dual cupholders under the center armrest offer a convenient place to rest the coffee or soft drink.

Now 5 model years old, Taurus has aged gracefully. Interior room is still above average. The rear seat holds adults upright and not prone to fit theirheads. Seat backs are tilted rearward and the fronts of the seat bottoms aretilted upward, just the right position to allow occupants to lean back andbring their legs toward them to ensure ample head and leg room.

Families will appreciate the spacious trunk to handle groceries orluggage.

Though little items, we appreciate such features as the floor-mountedfoot brake rather than the pull handle brake that robs interior room and thedigital fuel gauge that gives more immediacy to stopping for a fill when only three green squares remain lit.

Taurus provides room, comfort, quiet, above average performance, goodmileage and the safety and security of antilock brakes. But it`s not flawless.Those who thought the 3.8 would relieve the front-end heaviness you feel inthe wheel will find some of that weighty feeling remains. And the Taurussuspension isn`t made for the sports car enthusiast. You`ll have some bodylean and sway in turns and corners.

The LX sta rts at $16,180. Our test car also added a package that ran$4,027 and included the 3.8, antilock brakes, 4-speed automatic overdrive,cruise control, AM-FM stereo with cassette, rear window defroster, speedsensitive power steering, air conditioning, power seats and leather-wrappedwheel. With such extra goodies as leather seats, a JBL sound system upgrade,styled road wheels, clear-coat paint and a $455 freight charge, the stickercame in at $21,415.



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