Ford Taurus Review:
At Ford the blocky, old-fashioned rear-wheel-drive behemoths, such as
the LTD, were hopelessly out of date. Enter the original “jelly bean”
Taurus, which debuted on Christmas Day 1985, and it was a blockbuster
for Ford, literally.
In the mid nineties the
company revamped the car, but it didn’t play nearly as well as the
original. By the 2000’s the old Taurus was filling rental fleets, so the
name was retired, and the Five Hundred debuted. “Yawn,” went the buyers,
so Ford’s management renamed it the Taurus, and sales still stayed flat.
Well, it’s a different
story today. The new Taurus features an aggressive, exciting look,
inside and out, based partially on the European Fords. We will be seeing
some of the smaller cars from across the pond soon, so the company wants
to prepare us for that look.
To address complaints
about the anemic standard 3.0-liter engine, the new car features a
3.5-liter Duratec V6 with a generous 263 horsepower and 249 lb.-ft. of
torque. With two tons of metal to move, that’s sufficient. My White
Platinum Tri-Coat tester flew along easily, and shifted smoothly through
a standard six-speed automatic with paddle shifters on the steering
This engine delivers
decent EPA numbers of 18 City, 27 Highway. I averaged 21.0 mpg, pretty
nice MPG numbers for a car that’s nearly 17 feet long. The EPA gives the
Taurus a better than average Air Pollution score of 7 and a Greenhouse
Gas score of 5, that’s average.
The all-new interior
delivers the sportiness of a Mustang and the luxury of a Lincoln, with
fine quality materials. Like GM, Ford finally offers an interior that’s
competitive with the Japanese and European midsize sedans.
twin-hooded instrument panel is a long, sloping console that runs in an
unbroken line from dash top down between the front seats. It reminds me
of early 1960’s T-Birds, with shiny elements adorning the matte-finished
flow. Everything looks and feels substantial, and well thought-out.
Start at the SE level
and you’ll get a nice assortment of features, some of which would have
been unavailable or optional on the old ’86 model. Or, step up to the
SEL, like my test car, or the Limited with more luxury content.
For the true midsize
sedan enthusiast, the SHO model returns, this time with a
twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V6. It delivers a V8-level 365 horsepower and
350 lb.-ft. of torque, but with V6-level fuel economy, 17 City and 25
Highway. You’ll be seeing a lot more of Ford’s high-tech EcoBoost
engines in the future.
The new Taurus offers
some remarkable new technology. Like many new Fords, it has the EasyFuel
capless fuel system, just open the fuel door and fill, and close the
door, and your done. No gas cap. More significantly, the new Taurus uses
Adaptive Cruise Control with radar to set your cruising speed,
automatically adjusting it to maintain a safe distance between you, and
the car in front.
You can order Collision
Warning with Brake Support, which uses a radar sensor to detect moving
vehicles ahead and warns you visually and audibly when slower moving
traffic is detected. Blind Spot monitoring, Cross Traffic Alert and
Forward Collision Warning also use technology to warn the driver of
other cars to prevent collisions.
keyless entry, and Ford’s famous SecuriCode keypad, where you enter a
five-digit combination on a touch panel to open the door.
One very interesting
new family-friendly feature is MyKey. Before you present Junior with his
own car key to the Taurus, you can program in settings just for him.
For example, the audio
system stays silent until the seatbelts are buckled. None of the
electronic safety features can be turned off. You can set a top speed of
80 mph, the low fuel warning comes on earlier, and you can even set a
top audio volume level. Won’t he or she be surprised!
Fords SYNC® system
gives you control of your communications and entertainment options with
voice commands, along with 911 Assist™ for emergencies, Vehicle Health
Report and other GPS-based features. SYNC connects to MP3 players, iPods,
memory sticks and PDAs.
Keeping your eyes on
the road and using voice commands is a safety feature, but it’s easy to
get distracted with so much to do in the Taurus. Better to set the iPod
for shuffle and take the car out for a nice drive in the country. The
chassis is well sorted out for very enjoyable road feedback and control.
Prices start at $25,995
for the SE, including shipping charges. The SEL is $27,995, the Limited
is $31,995 and the mighty SHO starts at $37,995. With plentiful options
at all levels, those are only starting points. My SEL model came to a
total MSRP price of $32,385 with a just few extras.
By Steve Schaefer ©
AutoWire.Net - San Francisco
The Bottom Line:
The 2010 Taurus line up of cars finally can be part of a shopping
list against upscale sports sedans from Acura, Volvo, and even the
German trio of Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz. Now is the time to test
drive a Ford Taurus and see firsthand, just how nice they are today.
Review provided by: Tony Leopardo © AutoWire.Net
“Tony the Car Guy”
is an automotive writer, editor and publisher in the San Francisco Bay
Area. If you have a question or comment for Tony send it to
TonyLeo@pacbell.net or visit AutoWire.Net at
And remember: “ You Are
what you Drive ”
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Column Name: Now is the
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Topic: The 2010 Ford
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Series #: 2010 - 05
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