If you’re like me, when you think of the Ford Taurus you think of a spud on wheels—probably goldy-brown, and complete with a terrible trio of Grateful Dead bears stuck on the bumper. Don’t ask, I had a traumatic stretch of wonderfulboyfriends with highly questionable taste in high school. Regardless—Taurus=terrible and boring, right?
Well not necessarily, according to the guys over at Road & Track. You see, there are plenty of GREAT cars (on the used car market now, no less) that were built on SUPER boring platforms—and if you do your research just right—one of these awesome options could be yours.
Since it’s one of my most hated and terribly boring cars, let’s start with the Taurus. We can just ignore the third generation SHO (because its awful) but the second and even first generation (going back to 1989) versions are pretty damn sweet. SHO stands for “Super High Output,” and the first two (and most relevant) versions were in production from 89-91 and again from 1992-1995. For the sixth generation Taurus, Ford released another SHO version in 2010. It’s not nearly as radical as its predecessors, but it does get all-wheel drive, and a 3.5 L V6 that makes 365 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque—not bad for a “boring” former potato-mobile if you ask me.
Fiat has long had a reputation for unreliability. Hell, the letters F-I-A-T are jokingly said to stand for Fix It Again Tony. That reputation lead to their departure from the U.S. market roughly twenty-five years ago. In 2010 they returned with the reimagined Fiat 500. The reliability issue still stands (sadly) but theres one Fiat that is well worth it—the Fiat 500 Abarth. With a 1.4L turbocharged 4 banger it gets 160 hp and 170 lb-ft of torque, the little, tippy, top heavy car, is a freaking blast to drive and sounds –as Road & Track aptly puts it “like a chainsaw stuck in a garbage disposal,” and it truly is just awesome. Seriously. Awesome. Plus it comes standard with a manual transmission. Bonus!
Ok, we know. Honda Civics—they are the mascot for boring, right? Well—only sometimes. Meet the Honda Civic Si. Si stands for Sport Injected and this version has been in production since Honda announced the third generation Civic in 1996. The eighth and most current version gets a 2.0 L four-cylinder engine that makes 205 hp and 174 lb-ft of torque. Car and Driver calls it “the most fun-to-drive car Honda currently sells.” Oh and in case you have any doubts—Honda’s new Civic just won the North American Car of the Year at the 2016 Detroit Auto Show—so you know you’re getting Honda quality.
Digital media content producer/consultant & former CNN senior producer, now running CN'TRL : Cars, Tech, Real Estate & Luxury.