3/4 Front Glamour 2014 Ford Taurus

Expert's Rating

4.5Excellent

MPG 18 City / 27 Highway
The Ford Taurus is a well-built sedan with lots of technology, but faces stiff full-size competition.

Introduction

A nameplate with a quarter-century of history, the Taurus carries the tradition of providing comfortable accommodation for five people on a long-distance cruise. These days, however, it has evolved into a machine that's technologically advanced, thanks to a wide range of advanced features.

Competitors are more athletic, but few are as spacious and feature-laden as the Taurus.

What's New

For 2014, there are only minor trim and package changes.

Interior/Exterior

While still handsome, the Taurus' design has been outpaced by competitors since the launch of the current version for 2010; a facelift last year didn't accomplish enough. Nevertheless, the true Taurus story is inside, where passengers are treated to vast space. The driver will appreciate a nice interior that's well-built, but the illogical placement of controls on versions with MyFord Touch are maddening. Further, an overly wide center console cramps the driving position -- the last thing anyone expects in such a large car.

Under the Hood

The Taurus boasts a diverse range of powertrains. SE, SEL and Limited cars get the 3.5-liter V6 with 288 horsepower as standard, with front-wheel drive or available all-wheel drive. Optional on front-wheel drive cars is a 2-liter Ecoboost four-cylinder turbo with 240 horsepower. It's less potent, but allows the Taurus to get 32 mpg on the highway -- 3 more than the V6. For performance, the 3.5-liter Ecoboost V6 with 365 horsepower is found exclusively on the SHO with all-wheel drive. A six-speed automatic is standard for all models.

Performance

The 2-liter Ecoboost engine gets 22 mpg city and 32 mpg highway, but these ratings drop with the V6 to 19/29 with front-wheel drive and 18/26 with all-wheel drive. The high-output SHO gets just 17/25.

The Taurus is a big sedan and feels like it. While comfortable to ride in and take long distance trips on straight highways, the suspension is too soft to be responsive. Even the SHO, with the upgraded suspension and brakes is far from a sports sedan -- more of a sleeper with a big engine in it. The pick of the bunch is probably a version with the 2-liter Ecoboost, thanks to its superior fuel economy.

Which Style To Buy?

2014 Ford Taurus
Starting price
$21,633
Shopper Popularity
12%

2014 Ford Taurus SE

Recommended for: Buyers looking for a spacious sedan.

The SE comes well-equipped even though it's the base Taurus model. It comes standard with a 288-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 and a six-speed automatic transmission that sends power to the front wheels. Amenities include the usual power features, a six-way power driver's seat and automatic headlamps. The 2-liter EcoBoost engine with 240 horsepower and better fuel economy is optional.

2014 Ford Taurus
Starting price
$25,521
Shopper Popularity
41%

2014 Ford Taurus SEL

Most Popular
Recommended for: A full-size sedan with more features.

SEL treats buyers to more standard and available equipment including dual-zone automatic climate control, remote vehicle start, the SYNC voice recognition system and satellite radio. Equipment Group 201A adds the MyFord Touch system with touch-sensitive controls and expanded voice recognition capabilities, a backup camera with rear parking sensors, power adjustable pedals and a 7-speaker audio system. V6 cars can be equipped with all-wheel drive. Other options include navigation with Sirius TravelLink, 20-inch alloy wheels, a power sunroof and heated leather seats.

2014 Ford Taurus
Starting price
$28,661
Shopper Popularity
28%

2014 Ford Taurus Limited

Recommended for: A luxurious full-size sedan at a mainstream price.

The Limited is the most luxurious Taurus -- heated and cooled front seats, leather upholstery and wood trim are among the upscale features. Equipment Group 301A includes adjustable pedals with memory settings, auto-dimming mirrors, HD radio, heated steering wheel, heated rear seats, blind-spot monitoring system, cross-traffic alert and a power rear sunshade. Also available is navigation with Sirius TravelLink, a power sunroof, adaptive cruise control, multicontour active front seats, all-wheel drive and the Ecoboost engine.

2014 Ford Taurus
Starting price
$34,002
Shopper Popularity
19%

2014 Ford Taurus SHO

Recommended for: A quick and powerful sedan with a vast interior.

The SHO gets performance upgrades that make it the full-charging performance sedan of the Taurus line. SHOs get a special treatment with a blacked-out grille and unique trim. The big news is a 3.5-liter Ecoboost V6 that produces 365 horsepower, and all-wheel drive. The SHO Performance Package provides a variety of enhanced features.

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