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2010 Ford Taurus SHO – Click above for high-res image gallery

There's seemingly no end to the lists and awards that can be dolled out to (sometimes questionably) deserving cars and trucks at the end of the year. Take, for instance, the Urban Automobile of the Year Award by On Wheels Media. This is the 14th year in a row the award has been passed out, and this year top billing goes to the 2010 Ford Taurus SHO.

Athletic, upscale, class-leading, confident, engaging and impressive are all words that seem befitting of an award winner, and you'll find all of them in the press release after the break describing the new SHO. But wait – there's more! We have a second Urban AOTY, this one on the green side of the coin. With the latest Toyota Prius and Honda Insight obvious choices for such an award, Ford is surely happy to see that its 2010 Fusion Hybrid – the most fuel efficient midsize sedan in America at 41 city, 36 highway – earned the trophy, giving the Blue Oval a total sweep of the ceremony.

So, what qualifies a vehicle to be an Urban Automobile of the Year, anyway? Glad you asked. According to Randi Payton, president and publisher of On Wheels Media, "The Urban Automobiles of the Year resonate with the majority of new car buyers who live in urban and suburban areas. The vehicles chosen are cost and fuel-efficient and have performance and safety characteristics relevant to consumers in metropolitan areas." So, there you have it.

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[Source: Ford]


Ford Taurus SHO & Fusion Hybrid Named 2010 Urban Autos of the Year

The Ford Taurus SHO America's smartest full-size sedan has been named '2010 Urban Car of the Year' by On Wheels Media and an independent panel of 15 automotive journalists

The Ford Fusion Hybrid America's most fuel-efficient mid-size sedan has been named '2010 Urban Green Vehicle of the Year' by On Wheels Media, the fifth award for Fusion in recent months

The awards will be presented during the 14th Annual Urban Wheel Awards taking place in Detroit on January 12, 2010

The Ford Fusion Hybrid America's most fuel-efficient mid-size sedan has been named '2010 Urban Green Vehicle of the Year' by On Wheels Media, the fifth award for Fusion in recent months
The awards will be presented during the 14th Annual Urban Wheel Awards taking place in Detroit on January 12, 2010

DEARBORN, Mich., Dec. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- This week, editors of On Wheels Media announced that the 2010 Ford Taurus SHO has been voted "Urban Car of the Year" and the 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid has been named "Urban Green Vehicle of the Year," a category-first for the annual awards show.

"The all-new Ford Taurus not only squashes its competition in road dynamics and style, but it may very well bring formerly passionate customers back to a nameplate that was once all the rage, but in recent years had become the definition of dull." said Kelley Blue Book's Beth Lear VanderYacht, who was also one of the 15 judges.

With its athletic, upscale design, the 2010 Ford Taurus SHO combines class-leading technologies with confident, engaging driving dynamics. It features an impressive set of standard and available technologies that add convenience, connectivity, safety and value for customers, such as Blind Spot Information System (BLIS®) with Cross Traffic Alert, MyKey(TM) parental programmability, Ford SYNC® and Voice-Activated Navigation with SIRIUS Travel Link(TM).

According to Ford multicultural marketing manager Crystal Worthem, this award is continued evidence of the wide ranging appeal of this all-new vehicle from Ford.

"The Taurus SHO is creating a tremendous amount of buzz within the urban market," she said.

"Since the launch of Taurus in August, we saw it outshine the competition, including the imports and we continue to see evidence of its appeal when it comes to showroom traffic," said Worthem. "Not only have sales for Taurus been strong, up 54 percent in November alone, but 60 percent of Taurus SHO customers are new to the Ford brand creating a huge amount of buzz within the urban market."

Finalists for the 2010 "Urban Car of the Year" included the Buick LaCrosse and Suzuki Kizashi.

2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid "Urban Green Vehicle of the Year"

There's also good news for environmentally-conscious automotive consumers. In addition to the award presented to the 2010 Taurus, the panelists have named the Fusion Hybrid as the "Urban Green Vehicle of the Year." 2010 represents the first year that the "Urban Green Vehicle of the Year" award will be presented to a manufacturer. "All three of the nominees are great cars, but while two of them are slightly improved versions of what they've been all along, the Fusion carries the hybrid class forward with new innovations and a significant improvement in efficiency and operation," said freelance reviewer Chris Jackson.

Ford Hybrid Marketing Manager David Finnegan says winning the award demonstrates Ford's versatility as a hybrid manufacturer.

"We are continuing to expand our portfolio to offer consumers a wider range of alternatives," said Finnegan. "Not only do we have the most fuel-efficient SUV on the planet with the Ford Escape Hybrid but we also are committed to being a leader in the car segment. The 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid provides 41 mpg in city driving and 36 mpg on the highway, making it North America's most fuel-efficient midsize sedan."

In addition to smart technology, the 2010 Fusion Hybrid offers a variety of advanced safety features. The vehicle received a "Top Safety Pick" rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and delivers segment-exclusive safety and driver-aid technologies, such as Ford SYNC(TM) with 911 Assist and Blind Spot Information System with Cross Traffic Alert.

Further enhancing its "green" image, the Fusion Hybrid features sustainable interior materials including seats that are made from eco-friendly fabric and filled with soy-based seat foam.

Randi Payton, president and publisher of On Wheels Media said, "The Urban Automobiles of the Year resonate with the majority of new car buyers who live in urban and suburban areas. The vehicles chosen are cost and fuel-efficient and have performance and safety characteristics relevant to consumers in metropolitan areas.

Awards will be presented at the Urban Wheel Awards event at the Sound Board Theater, located in the Motor City Hotel and Casino in Detroit on Tuesday, January 12, 2010.

About Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 200,000 employees and about 90 plants worldwide, the company's automotive brands include Ford, Lincoln, Mercury and Volvo. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford's products, please visit www.ford.com.

On Wheels Media, Inc.

On Wheels Media, Inc. is a multi-media communications company that produces consumer-oriented print and digital publications, web sites, broadcast media, and events. Publications include the all-new DECISIVE Magazine, A comprehensive multi-media platform for multicultural consumers. It also produces African-Americans On Wheels and Latinos On Wheels magazines, which are distributed in more than 100 newspapers throughout the United States and have a combined readership of 8 million. The company also produces consumer events and launched the first automotive magazine Web site, www.onwheelsinc.com in 1995. Visit www.onwheelsinc.com for more information and to sign up for your complimentary digital subscription.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Urban Car of the Year... for a year that isn't here yet. Ok so there is also a green urban award also, I suppose that one makes some sense. As much as I like the SHO and Ford in general, this seems like one of those industry awards like first grade in school where every kid gets a feel good award for something.

      However, wouldn't it be an amazing automobile world if the SHO Ford were its standard or maybe base model for that line. Or if Ford would do a Mercury version SHO. Maybe SHO running gear with Lincoln grade interior.

      • 5 Years Ago
      Even as a fan of the SHO, it's pretty obvious to me that it's hardly an ideal /city/ car. It's too damn big for that.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Then I guess the BMW 7 series and Mercedes S class and Audi A8 are to big for urban environments also?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Most SUVs actually have a pretty small footprint. Outside of the mileage they make great city cars.

        A 2004 Explorer will park anywhere a Camry will.

        A 2004 Grand Cherokee has the footprint of a Corolla.
        • 5 Years Ago
        That's the first thing that came to my mind. It's a nice car but hardly the ideal urban car since it's so big.

        Of course you have to remember a couple years ago a lot of city people drove suvs for some puzzling reason so while it makes finding parking more of a pain than a smaller car it isn't as bad as what came before it at fitting into those tiny spaces.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I know my had a 2003 Lincoln Navigator and he drove it just fine, his previous car being a Lexus RX300, and the Navigator had better turning radius too than the Lexus and got up to 22 mpg on the freeway! My friend who's dad owns a 2010 F-250 diesel says it also has a really good turning radius too, better than lots of smaller cars. SUV's and trucks really aren't a big deal but I agree people should only need them if they have a larger family and tow and haul lots of things or maybe need to go off-road a bit, which is why my dad got the Navigator, there are more practical daily drivers out there if you don't need the extra power and weight.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Suburban car of the year...yes. Urban...no It's a good car, but the Transit Connect comes to mind more than this for a vehicle that's well suited to navigating busy metro areas.

      One of the requirements should be ease of parallel parking. For full size cars like the Taurus, you need to sound the boat whistle and use a tugboat to shoehorn into some spots. ;)
        • 5 Years Ago
        Another good reason to select the SHO is Active Park Assist where the car steers itself into a parallel parking spot for you... no problem! Plus, its another Ford Exclusive!!!
      • 5 Years Ago
      I live in a city. I drive something that dwarfs a Taurus and haven't had a problem with urban usage. In the U.S. urban doesn't mean 7 foot wide cobblestone streets. "Urban car" means something you wouldn't expect to see on a farm. Since a Taurus or Fusion won't be found with a cultivator or hay wagon behind them, I would say they will make fine urban transportation.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I don't know about you, but here in DC, we have plenty of side streets that are one lane or barely two lane, with available curb space often barely large enough to fit a small car. On these side streets, my GTI can probably fit into 50% more spaces than a Taurus, and a Smart Car (dumpy as they may be) can probably fit into twice as many.

        Perhaps good for Urban Sprawl car of the year, where there might be garages or angled parking available.
        • 5 Years Ago
        means something you wouldn't expect to see on a farm: So practically all cars.

        What a lame award.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Kudos to Ford. They came from way behind. They refused government funds. They are even still carrying the great parasite (UAW). No one can say their products are uncompetitive any longer. Get used to it. Ford, you go get em! Technology is advancing and the competition is brutal. He who snoozes loses! Nay sayers go to hell.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Matt, I'll remind you that Nissan North America also got that money, $1.6 billion, from the Department of Energy. From Nissan North America's own website: http://www.nissanusa.com/leaf-electric-car/news-expanded.jsp?item=1#/car/intro

        "FRANKLIN, Tenn. (June 23, 2009) - Nissan North America, Inc. (NNA) today said it has been conditionally approved by the U.S. Department of Energy for a $1.6 billion loan to modify its Smyrna, Tenn., manufacturing plant to produce zero-emissions vehicles and state-of-the-art lithium-ion battery packs to power them."
        • 5 Years Ago
        I like how you posted facts to support your claims that Ford is using the money that they received under strict conditional terms to do something not outlined in those terms, oh wait, as usual you've provided no facts and are just perpetuating your stupid speculations. As I've said many times Matt, if you have such hard proof, then pelase, 1. provide it here, and 2. Write to the DOE, I'm sure they'd love to know that Ford is breaking the terms of the loan.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yeah...they refused Government funds if you ignore the $5.9 BILLION they took.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I could understand the case for the Fusion, even if it is warmed over Mazda mechanicals, for it's packaging, etc...

      The Taurus? I just don't see the appeal of this vehicle. A restyled 500 with WAY too much going on with that grille.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Do you people ever get tired of repeating the same old lies??

        Please tell me what "mechanicals" in the Fusion, are Mazda (which, up until this year, Ford owned the controlling stake in)??

        Lets see, the CD3 platform is a lengthened, widened, strengthened version of the Mazda 6 platform, which itself was based off of a European Ford midsize platform. The 4cyl engine in the Fusion is now a Ford. The V6 engine in the Ford and Mazda are Fords. The Aisin or Ford transmission are Aisin, or Ford. The AWD system is Ford.

        Hmmmm............... sure seems like a lot of Mazda in there.............. NOT !!!!

        BTW, the new Mazda 6 rides on the Fusion platform. Thus, the circle is complete.

        BTW2, you do realize that the only things that the new Taurus and the previous Taurus share, is the platform and the 3.5L V6............... right??? The body is All New. The interior is All New. The Ecoboost engine is All New. The suspension and calibration are mostly new in parts, and completely new in calibration. However, don't let the truth get in your way.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I just don't understand all the hoopla over a re-named Ford 500, it's not that the car is super ugly but it's still a 500. If Nissan were to put twin turbos in the Maxima or do a Altima SE-R with twin turbos, now that would be an awesome car to tear up the urban streets and do it with style.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The new Taurus makes my 8th Gen Accord look small.
        • 5 Years Ago
        And a 32 Duesenberg makes a 63 Galaxy 500 look like an MGTD
        • 5 Years Ago
        And a 63 Galaxy 500 makes the Taurus look the size of a VW bug.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Pretty hard to pick a car that's tops in both an urban and suburban area, no?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Haven't driven the new Taurus yet, but I like the look... Distinctly American imho. Hey, is anybody else having trouble with the galleries? I get half-way through and it won't work after that.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Silly award? Maybe! Others more deserving? Quite possibly! Overdoing it with awards? I kind of agree!

      But there is something going on here besides the remote possibly of Ford buying a few awards. What is important is that Ford vehicles have enough credibility with the public and with the award givers for them to give them out with confidence. They don't have to go with the old standbys anymore (Toyota, BMW etc.) They can name a D3 vehicle and have some confidence they won't be laughed at, and Ford currently gives them the best chance of having their awards accepted and their credibility maintained.

      Criticize the individual award choices if you must, but the truth is that Ford has gained tremendous credibility with the auto press, and it will continue to snowball in the same way Toyota got to the top of the heap.

      Ford's turn to be pushed towards the top step of the podium won't last forever, but I for one will be cheering them on while it lasts.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Completely agree. I do think the automotive press in general is way over-doing it with the Ford praise, but at least they deserve SOME recognition for great products AND actual business acumen (ahem, GM and Chrysler). It's going to be very interesting to see where this goes now that Ford has seemingly replaced Toyota as the do-no-wrong brand in the eyes of the media...and whether Ford can keep it up long enough to replace Toyota at the top of the U.S. sales charts.
      • 5 Years Ago
      A taurus as a better urban car eh? Alrighty then.
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