It should come as no surprise that the Taurus and its siblings perform well on crash tests. The platform was developed from the Volvo P2 architecture that provides the basis for the original S80, as well as the S60 and outgoing V70. The Taurus has just earned itself five-star ratings in all of the NHTSA's tests, and the IIHS recommends the Taurus as a Top Pick. Seeking to capitalize on that success, the advertising boffins have whipped up a new tagline: "Rated Safest Car In America." Our spines tingle with delight. Our write-in suggestion of "Saves Your Arse" apparently has gone unheeded.

The Ford Five Hundred was so under-promoted by Ford that we don't recall any tag line. No matter. Seeking a return on its investment, Ford has given the revamped Five Hundred the Taurus moniker and a raft of upgrades. The hope is that the Taurus name isn't totally bankrupt, even though the DN101-based last generation was allowed to die on the vine. The new 3.5 liter V6 helps out by not only bumping power, but the horrid NVH of the 3.0 liter has been replaced by a hearty growl, instantly making the car feel better. It's a roomy, well put together car that drives well, for a reasonable price, so perhaps buyers will find the safety scores a persuasive argument.

[Source: Auto News - sub. req'd]