Fleet vehicle reviews

I’m enjoying my new job with a local flood commission, and I’ve decided to review our fleet from time-to-time.

First up in this unfortunate series, I present what might be one of the lower mileage 2008 Ford Five Hundred Taurus around, with only 46k on the clock. I wanted to come up with some witty summary of the car in the style of Regular Car Reviews, but I’m still numbed from the experience of driving it.

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Actually, it isn’t terrible. Wikipedia tells me it has a 263 hp, 3.5L duratec V-6. I can confirm that the car scoots along well when given the beans, but the snooze inducing shifting strategy of the transmission prefers you don’t. This is probably the softest riding car I’ve driven or ridden in since my grandmother sold her mid 80's LTD (fox body) in 1997. It goes around corner, I guess, if you really make it, but it certainly doesn’t want to. The seats are soft, comfy and have no bolstering at all, which are all the better to confirm the car really doesn’t want you doing anything interesting. It’s roomy, the materials you touch are fine, and the fit and finish seems okay. The trunk is there.

There is no design to speak of inside or out. The flip side of “not terrible,” is that there is also nothing particularly good about it. It just exists. If you needed four wheels and four seats, there are worse ways to do it so long as you didn’t pay much for it.

Why only 46k? Because this is our administrative car, used primarily for taking folks to the occasional out of town meeting or conference within easy driving distance. All of our other vehicles are trucks, and for good reason. It also lives at our off-site shop instead of in the office parking lot with the other trucks. Anyone wanting to use it has to make a trip to the shop a couple of blocks away first. No one does that. I only the drove it the last couple of days because the truck I usually use was taken in for maintenance.

I took it to go shopping for some shop supplies, I drove it to the shop, and I even drove it out to a field site (one of the ones that doesn’t require 4X4 and/or some ground clearance to get to).

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My reason for driving it to a site was to replace a lock. We’ll be putting a weather station at the site of this flood control pond, and we stopped by to see that none of the utility guys had marked anything underground we needed to care about. This site happens to be named for a Lord of the Rings character, and we had a little magic of our own yesterday when the old lock opened, but never again released the key from the lock cylinder. We wrapped the chain around and I came back out today. I’m not sure who put that old lock on the gate, but it isn’t ours. I’ll bring some bolt cutters with me next time I come out here.

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Where was I going with this? I don’t know, and this review is probably only slightly more memorable than driving it is.

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Have a dam picture for your time:

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