Jones Ford Buckeye Compares 2008 Ford Taurus VS 2008 Dodge Charger Near Peoria, AZ

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2008 Ford Taurus

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2008 Dodge Charger

Safety Comparison

The Taurus has standard head airbag curtains for front and rear seats which act as a forgiving barrier between the driver and outboard passenger's upper bodies and the window and pillars. Combined with high-strength steel door beams and lower side airbags this system increases head protection in broadside collisions. Head airbags cost extra in the Charger.

The Taurus has standard four wheel antilock disc brakes for quicker stops and controlled steering ability, especially under poor traction conditions. Antilock brakes cost extra on the Dodge Charger.

The Taurus offers an optional Reverse Sensing System to help warn drivers about vehicles, pedestrians or other obstacles behind their vehicle. This collision warning system uses radar to detect obstacles behind the rear bumper. The Charger doesn’t offer a rear collision sensor.

Both the Taurus and the Charger have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, available all wheel drive and electronic stability systems to prevent skidding.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 38.5 MPH side impact tests on new cars. In this test, results indicate that the Taurus is safer than the Charger:



Front Seat


5 Stars

4 Stars

Head Injury Criteria



Thoracic Trauma



Pelvis Deceleration

53 G’s

56 G’s

Rear Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars

More stars indicate a better chance of avoiding serious injuries. Lower numbers indicate better actual numeric test results.

For its top level performance in frontal, side and rear impact tests, and its available AdvanceTrac®, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rates the Taurus as a “Top Pick for 2007,” a rating only granted to 39 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Charger was not a 2007 Top Pick.

Warranty Comparison

The Taurus comes with free roadside assistance for 5 years 60,000 miles. Ford will send help if you run out of gas, need a jump start, lock your keys in or need any assistance on the road. Dodge doesn’t give free roadside assistance for the Charger.

The Taurus’ 5 year corrosion warranty has no mileage limitations, but the corrosion warranty on the Charger runs out after 100,000 miles.

There are over 33 percent more Ford dealers than there are Dodge dealers, which makes it easier to get service under the Taurus’ warranty.

Reliability Comparison

The camshafts in the Taurus’ engine are driven by a hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs. The Charger SXT 3.5 SOHC V6’s camshafts are driven by a rubber belt which eventually needs to be replaced. If the Charger’s cam drive belt breaks the engine could be severely damaged when the pistons hit the opened valves.

For smoother operation, better efficiency and fewer moving parts, the Taurus has an overhead cam design, rather than the old pushrod design of some of the engines in the Charger.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Taurus third among midsize cars in their 2007 Initial Quality Study. The Charger isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2005 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Ford vehicles are better in initial quality than Dodge vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford 8th in initial quality. With 29 more problems per 100 vehicles, Dodge is ranked 27th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ surveys of the owners of three-year-old cars provide the long-term dependability statistics which show that Ford vehicles are more reliable than Dodge vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford 17th in reliability, above the industry average. With 15 more problems per 100 vehicles, Dodge is ranked 24th.

Engine Comparison

The Taurus’ 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 85 more horsepower (263 vs. 178) and 59 lbs.-ft. more torque (249 vs. 190) than the Charger SE’s standard 2.7 DOHC V6. The Taurus’ 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 13 more horsepower (263 vs. 250) than the Charger SXT’s standard 3.5 SOHC V6.

As tested in Consumer Reports the Ford Taurus is faster than the Charger 3.5 V6:



Zero to 60 MPH

7.9 sec

8.2 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

5.5 sec

5.7 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

88.5 MPH

88 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the Taurus gets better fuel mileage than the Charger:




2.7 V6/Auto


18 city/26 hwy

3.5 V6/Auto

18 city/28 hwy

17 city/24 hwy


3.5 V6/Auto

17 city/24 hwy

15 city/22 hwy

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Ford Taurus uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Charger 3.5 V6 and 5.7 V8 require mid-grade for maximum efficiency, which can cost 5 to 15 cents more per gallon.

The Taurus has 2 gallons more fuel capacity than the Charger SE/SXT RWD’s standard fuel tank (20 vs. 18 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Taurus has a gallon more fuel capacity than the Charger AWD/RT’s standard fuel tank (20 vs. 19 gallons).

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

The Taurus’ standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs standard on the Charger SE are solid, not vented.

The Taurus with its standard antilock brakes stops much shorter than the Charger with antilock brakes:



70 to 0 MPH

177 feet

187 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

125 feet

137 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels Comparison

The Taurus’ standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 60 series profile (height to width ratio) which provides a stiffer sidewall than the Charger’s standard 65 series tires.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The Taurus has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Taurus flat and controlled during cornering. The Charger’s standard suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Taurus is 1.6 inches wider in the front and 1.9 inches wider in the rear than on the Charger.

The Taurus Limited handles at .78 G’s, while the Charger R/T pulls only .77 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Taurus Limited goes through Motor Trend’s slalom faster than the Charger R/T (62.6 vs. 62 MPH).

Chassis Comparison

To almost totally eliminate engine vibration in the passenger area, the Taurus has liquid-filled engine mounts. The liquid helps further dampen engine harshness. The Charger uses conventional solid rubber engine mounts.

The design of the Ford Taurus amounts to more than styling. The Taurus has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .33 Cd. That is lower than the Charger (.33 to .345) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the Taurus get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space Comparison

The Taurus has 4.3 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Charger (108.3 vs. 104).

The Taurus has .9 inches more front headroom, 2.6 inches more rear headroom and 1 inch more rear legroom than the Charger.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The Taurus has a much larger trunk than the Charger (21.2 vs. 16.2 cubic feet).

Ergonomics Comparison

The Taurus offers a remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The Charger doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

When two different drivers share the Taurus Limited, the memory system makes it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position, foot pedal distance and outside mirror angle. The Charger doesn’t offer a memory system.

The Taurus’ driver’s power window opens or closes with one touch of the window control, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths. The Charger’s standard driver’s power window switch has to be held the entire time to close it fully.

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the exterior keypad. The Charger doesn’t offer an exterior keypad entry system.

The Taurus’ optional dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. The Charger SE doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

To help keep rear passengers entertained, the Taurus offers optional rear seat controls for the radio which can play a separate audio source. The Charger doesn’t offer rear seat audio controls.

With optional SYNC, the Taurus offers the driver hands free control of the your cell phone, audio system and navigation computer by simply speaking. The Charger doesn’t offer a voice control system.

Economic Advantages Comparison

The Taurus will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. Kiplinger’s estimates that the Taurus will retain a greater percentage of its original price after two and four years than the Charger.



Four Year

37% to 38%

34% to 36%

Two Year

53% to 54%

51% to 52%

The Taurus is less expensive to operate than the Charger because of its higher resale value. It also costs $190 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Taurus than the Charger, including $286 less for an alternator, $5 less for front struts, $138 less for a timing belt/chain and $95 less for a power steering pump.

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