Auto Review: Taurus embraces the latest tech

By Bill Heald - ReminderNews
Featured Article - posted Wed., Aug. 29, 2012
- Contributed Photo

There’s a great thing about having a well-known name when you’re a particular model of car: people are familiar with the nameplate, and know generally what to expect when they see a new version. The downside of this is when you have a sedan like the Ford Taurus (that’s been with us since the mid ’80s), a lot of potential customers won’t necessarily associate such a grand old name with the latest in contemporary automotive engineering. But Ford has a done a good job at making sure prospective buyers might recognize the name, yet realize the car is loaded with the latest technology. It also has the same kind of dramatic styling found on the latest members of the Ford family, making it as visually striking as it is innovative. In fact, so proud is the company of the advanced systems on the car that they call it Ford’s “smartest sedan.”

The new Taurus is powered by a choice of two engines: a 3.5 V6 with 288 horsepower or a 2-liter Turbocharged EcoBoost Inline Four with 240 ponies. We tested the Limited V6, which is the most common engine choice and gives you the option of having your Taurus with either Front-Wheel or All-Wheel Drive (EcoBoost models are Front-Drive only). A six-speed automatic transmission is on board, with a manual mode you access through the stick-style shifter. Overall, the V6 proved to be no hot rod, but very satisfactory (especially given the extra traction delivered by the AWD system) and smooth in response. The transmission was an excellent fit, and the drivetrain suited the car quite well in this application. The Taurus displayed no wallowing tendencies, as with some of the big sedans of the past, and instead countered with a good, firm ride and solid control.

The only real complaint is a turning radius that seems a bit long, although the car is still reasonably maneuverable. There is a full compliment of the latest in Ford high-tech safety features present, including Ford’s Curve Control (that works in concert with the ABS brakes to help correct excessive speed in corner entry) and their optional Blind Spot Information System. Our tester also had Ford’s Active Parking Assist, to help keep those sharp new lines from getting creased during parking misadventures.

The Taurus interior is (like the exterior) extensively redesigned, and both front and rear seats are quite spacious, even though they can feel less so than previous Taurus generations thanks to the smaller windows (dictated by the new styling). The rear seats, in fact, have a bit less headroom than before due to the more aggressive roofline, but it’s still a comfortable place on long trips. The instrumentation is heavy on My Ford Touch’s touchscreen interface (along with their wireless Sync System), which is either techno bliss or a distracting mess, depending on your personal control proclivities.

The 2013 Ford Taurus Limited AWD V6 is EPA-rated 17 MPG city/25 highway and has a base price of $34,850. With extensive options, our sticker came to $41,230.          



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