The first-generation Axiom hit the market in 2002. It was a mid-size SUV that featured a body-on-frame design with a spacious interior. The Axiom had both rear-wheel and four-wheel drive and had a towing capacity of up to 4,500 pounds. Its rugged design and powerful engine made it a popular choice among drivers who needed a versatile and capable SUV. One of the most notable features of the first-generation Isuzu Axiom was its distinctive styling (via Edmunds).
It had a unique and edgy design that set it apart from other mid-sized SUVs. The Axiom also had a comfortable and well-equipped interior, with plenty of room for up to five passengers. It also had a V6 engine with plenty of power for both on-road and off-road driving. Overall, the first-generation Axiom was a capable SUV that offered a unique and stylish alternative to other mid-sized SUVs of its time. But styles change, and the Axiom hasn’t held up to consumers’ preferences of the day.
The Contour SVT is a high-performance sedan that hit the market in 1998. It was part of the Ford SVT (Special Vehicle Team) line of vehicles designed to offer a more powerful and sporty driving experience. The Contour SVT featured a 2.5-liter V6 engine that produced 195 horsepower and 165 lb.-ft of torque, along with a sport-tuned suspension and upgraded brakes. One of the most significant features of the Ford Contour SVT was its handling (via Motor Trend).
It had a well-balanced chassis that allowed for nimble and responsive handling on both city streets and winding roads. The sport-tuned suspension provided a firm yet comfortable ride, and the upgraded brakes provided excellent stopping power. Additionally, the Contour SVT had a stylish and aerodynamic design that gave it a sleek and modern appearance. The Contour SVT was a high-performance sedan that offered a fun and exciting driving experience, making it a favorite among car enthusiasts. But performance advancements have kind of left it in the dust as a used car, making this once-popular car a tough sell nowadays.
The third generation of the Taurus SHO hit the market in 1999 with a powerful V8 under the hood. With its powerful Yamaha V8 engine, the Taurus SHO was able to deliver impressive speed and acceleration. Very few drivers realized that there was indeed a V8 version of the Taurus that hit the market during a transition decade for Ford (via Auto Trader).
The car also featured a sport-tuned suspension and larger brakes, which made it more agile and responsive on the road. In addition, the Taurus SHO boasted a stylish exterior design with unique wheels and a distinctive grille. Overall, the Ford Taurus SHO was a formidable competitor in the sports sedan category and a testament to Ford’s commitment to performance and innovation. Although the SHO had a V8 engine, most of the car remained the same, from the exterior to the interior. Ford did not update a majority of the Taurus SHO to differentiate it from the standard model. However, like the Contour SVT, it just doesn’t really hold up well against the speedy performance cars of 2023, making it yet another tough sell.