CHICAGOAmong the vehicles displayed at the Chicago Auto Show this past week were several models suited to meet fleet needs.

2010 FORD TAURUS: Available this summer, the new 2010 Taurus will offer three trim levels: SE, SEL, and Limited. The five-passenger Taurus comes standard with Ford's proven Duratec 3.5l V-6 that develops 263 hp and is equipped with a choice of two new six-speed automatic transmissions. This includes an option of SelectShift that features racing-inspired shift control paddles mounted on the steering wheel. The SEL series comes outfitted with 18-inch painted aluminum wheels, heated exterior mirrors, supplemental park lamps, and chrome exhaust tips. The Limited series adds to the SEL appointments with standard leather seats, 19-inch chrome clad aluminum wheels, 10-way power driver and passenger seats, reverse sensing, and a sound system with SYNC. Luggage capacity is 20.1 cu. ft., and when properly equipped, the Taurus has a maximum towing capacity of 1,000 lbs.

2010 DODGE RAM HEAVY-DUTY: The 2010 Ram 3500, 4500 and 5500 Chassis Cabs further enhance Dodge's commercial truck lineup. Built on a proven frame and chassis, standard powerplant is a new-generation 5.7L HEMI V-8 with variable valve timing, and a 52-gallon standard fuel tank. Completing the package is a proven 6-speed Aisin automatic transmission. The optional 6.7L Cummins turbo diesel, optional on Ram 3500 models and standard on 4500 and 5500 models, generates 305 hp. All-new exterior styling includes new sheet metal, hood, grille, fascia, bumper, mirrors, and headlights. The all-new Crew Cab increases legroom six inches.

2010 FORD TRANSIT CONNECT: Introduced at last year's Chicago Auto Show for the American debut of the Transit Connect commercial vehicles, the Transit Connect is offered across Europe and launched this year in the U.S. The vehicle's maneuverability makes it ideal for urban use, according to Ford. The Transit Connect is powered by a standard, 2.0L four-cylinder engine connected to an automatic transmission. Cargo capacity is 143 cubic feet can accommodate loads up to 6.5 feet in length and 4.7 feet in width.

2009 NISSAN CUBE: Nissan introduces the '09 Cube, an aptly named box-on-wheels compact vehicle. The Cube is offered in three models: Cube 1.8, Cube 1.8 S, and Cube 1.8 SL. Cube is front-wheel drive and combines an advanced 122-hp 1.8L inline four-cylinder with a new-generation Nissan Xtronic continuously variable transmission. A 6-speed manual transmission with a new shift control system is available. The cockpit offers room for five, with a reclining 2nd row "soft style" theater-style bench seat, and "floating meter pod" instrument panel. The model will be available in the U.S. this spring.

Originally posted on Automotive Fleet