Ford has been the brunt of jokes on their quality and reliability (ex. "F.O.R.D. stands for Fixed or Repaired Daily) but I strongly disagree. I previously owned a 2002 Explorer XLT (although since it had a sunroof and 3rd row seat, it didn't have XLT badge on it) which was superb.
After 5 years of ownership I decided I wanted a new car. I recently heard that Ford brought back the Taurus (and similar Mercury Sable). I didn't want a higher priced Sable, which is a dressed-up Taurus. But, I also didn't want a Taurus sedan, so I bought the Taurus X.
My Taurus X has almost all the options a limited model does (leather, sunroof, 3rd row seat, 2nd row captains chair, heated/cooled front seats) for $7,000 less! I had owned a 1988 Taurus wagon, and a 1990 Taurus sedan (both new). They treated me so well, and I loved the looks of the Taurus X.
Performance is excellent, the car has great pick-up, and the brakes are phenomenal. The only thing I wish my Taurus-X had was a backup sensor system, but the SEL doesn't offer that option.
In conclusion, the Taurus X has really been designed to show the public that Ford is not a bad car company, and they actually CAN make good, reliable and stylish cars that hold up against time.