And Esquire's 2009 Car of the Year is … a Taurus?

Magazines are the last bastion of great writing, and they're fading fast. I saw my subscription to Men's Vogue turn into a subscription to Portfolio, which some months later went bust. Nonetheless I still subscribe to a handful: Popular Science, Popular Mechanics, Consumer Reports, Texas Monthly, GQ, Details, The Nation, and of course Esquire. Subscription departments send me deals too good to pass up; I think they think I'm a dentist's office.

At any rate, Esquire's July 2009 issue landed in my mailbox yesterday. Isreali model Bar Refaeli is naked on the cover, except for excerps of a new Stephen King short story written across her curves.

On page 50 is their choice for Car of the Year: The 2010 Ford Taurus SHO ("Super High Output").

SHO

The image above of the SHO comes from KickingTires.com. I couldn't help but notice that all four of their writers summarily panned the SHO at the Chicago Auto Show.

So what does Esquire see in the SHO?

For starters it's not just Esquire's writers. They wisely enlisted Dan Neil, the award-winning car writer for the LA Times and one of my favorite car writers. They write:

"The reason we care about the new Taurus can be boiled down to four words: Looks good, goes fast." They also mention its affordability ("a $38,000 American sedan that stacks up against the big-money German autobahn slayers"), its features ("push-button ignition, ambient lighting, blind-spot sensors, and seats that don't just hear and cool but massage") and power ("Ford's own 3.5-liter turbo V-6, dubbed Eco-Boost").

I see their points but think they could have strayed a bit from the big car makers, taken a chance on something a little more exciting- something, for instance, that didn't rely on an ICE.

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