So what does the “Five Hundred” stand for, especially since it’s in words rather than numbers? Does it have a 5.0-litre engine? Nope. 500 horses maybe? What. Celebrating 500 years as a company? Unlikely. About the only “500” we came across is that the 2008 model has more than 500 changes compared to the 2005-2007 version, which wasn’t sold here anyway. And it was still called the Five Hundred even before the 500 changes, although they did tack on the “500” number on many models decades ago. But Ford already calls the 2008 model a “Taurus” in the United States, because that name is more recognisable there. Confused yet?
The new-for-2008 car itself is huge on the outside and even bigger on the inside. This is the first time ever that my jaw dropped just looking into the luggage trunk of a sedan! While the exterior is dull, even with the Edge grille, the interior is simple and yet, still very upscale. It looks like the Chevy Tahoe cabin, except without the cheap plastics. Indeed, Ford should be proud of this car’s interior, because the Edge interior is like a cheap plastic bucket compared to the padded confines of this cheaper near-luxury sedan, with more space too.
And a big “thank you” to Ford to dropping their former policy of one-day test drives. We whined about it enough, and now they give out cars for three days. Although we get the feeling that one those “leading” magazines finally convinced them to change for the better, instead of us.
Interesting factoid: The restyled Five Hundred sedan, which was first shown at the 2007 Detroit Auto Show has been renamed as the Taurus for the 2008 model year. The rebadging announcement was made at the 2007 Chicago Auto Show, and Ford employees hastily removed the badging from a Five Hundred on a rotating stand, and replaced it with Taurus badging.