The Five Hundred is Ford's interpretation of the modern American sedan. Some of its styling cues may remind you of the Taurus, which for many years was the best-selling car in the United States. But Ford's new flagship is larger and more substantial and comes with much more standard equipment. The Five Hundred boasts a body structure and safety technology developed by Volvo and first used on Volvo's S80 luxury sedan and then for its highly acclaimed XC90 sport utility vehicle. Ford acquired the Swedish automaker famous for its passenger-protecting innovations in 1999. When it came time to develop the Five Hundred (and its upscale cousin, the Mercury Montego), Ford imported Volvo's best structural and safety engineers to work on the project. The Five Hundred is available with a choice of front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, the latter giving it more stable handling and better traction, particularly in inclement weather. Ford developed the Five Hundred as a successor to the Taurus and to compete with cars such as the brand new Chrysler 300, the venerable Toyota Avalon, and the aging Chevrolet Impala. The Five Hundred is larger, more modern and more upscale than the Taurus for just slightly more money. The Five Hundred's cabin offers the interior space of a full-size car. The driver sits relatively high, and the roomy front seats offer a commanding view of the road. Back-seat passengers will not complain about being cramped, either. The back seats fold down to increase cargo capacity. The Five Hundred's V6 engine delivers sufficient power for most buyers. The six-speed automatic transmission that comes standard helps the engine deliver responsive performance and good fuel economy. All-wheel-drive models come with a continually variable transmission that performs the same feat.