Pimp my ride, Stu edition...

So, my esteemed father-in-law had a little birthday surprise of his 60th birthday of his own: A Ford 500!

(Not his, obviously...)

He picked-up a 1 year old Limited model (leather, the works...) at Crossroads Ford in Indiana. It had only 10k miles on it, and I got to take a test drive yesterday.

It's a very well-executed car, and a great replacement for the Crown Victoria: Tremendous interior room, comfort, and driveability. The car stops, turns, and steers like a Euro sedan; driving it, I kept thinking "Volvo" or "Audi". I found the suspension tuning particularly impressive--not harsh at all, but very well controlled...bumps caused one well-damped motion. There was no float or wallow; the car went where it was pointed and changed directions better than it ought to given its size.

The only complaints I can level: No telescoping steering wheel (but, power-adjustable pedals, so that's minor), and general lack of grunt from the 3.0 V6. Reviewers have said the Taurus (the renamed 500) comes alive with the 3.5L big six, and I could definitely see that. However, provided the transmission doesn't hunt under load and the driver doesn't want to win any on-ramp contests, the car moves out just fine and maintains a smooth cruise on the expressway.

Stu, George, and I mused on the car's invisibility to consumers--it's a good car, and a great alternative to an SUV or minivan. The only things we decided were the anonymous styling and lack of good advertising. Perhaps with the bigger engine and more recognizable nameplate, the platform can prosper. Seems like it deserves it.

All-in-all, kudos to Stu for executing the "put up" in the "put up or shut up". Great car, great deal, and a welcome addition for the long road trips they'll be undertaking this year. :-)


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