Ford’s largest sedan has a heritage reaching back three decades, when the Taurus bowed as a curvaceous midsize model. Fully redesigned for 2010, having grown to full-size dimensions, the Taurus competes against a handful of comparable sedans, including the Chevrolet Impala and Chrysler 300. In addition to family sedans, the Taurus lineup continues to include the more potent SHO.

Pricing and Equipment

Starting at $27,110 (plus destination charge) for an SE sedan, the Taurus also comes in SEL ($29,540) and Limited ($34,460) trim levels, along with the performance-packed SHO model.

  • The standard engine is a 3.5-liter V6 that produces 290 horsepower.
  • A turbocharged 2-liter four-cylinder developing 237 horsepower is optional and adds $995 to the price. The turbo four gets an EPA estimate of 22/32 mpg (city/highway).
  • Topping the powertrain list is the turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 that unleashes 365 horsepower to propel the performance-oriented Taurus SHO. Front-drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is available (standard on SHO).

Our test drive focuses on the midgrade SEL with standard equipment that includes: a 290-horsepower V6, rearview camera; Sync with MyFord and a 4.2-inch screen; dual-zone automatic air conditioning; power front seats; SiriusXM satellite radio; reverse sensors; perimeter alarm; and 18-inch aluminum wheels.

All-wheel drive is optional on SEL and Limited models with the V6.

Performance Pros

Ford Taurus
  • Road manners are impressive, but the heavy feel makes the Taurus less engaging than a lighter midsize sedan would be.
  • Taurus has a firmer ride than other big sedans, but it’s comfortable and remains smooth even as the body leans noticeably through quick curves or corners. This big sedan seldom encounters a truly troublesome road imperfection.
  • Precise electric power steering delivers good feedback. A Taurus handles like a smaller sedan, even dealing effectively with twisty two-lane roads.

Performance Cons

  • Simply because of its weight and heft, a Taurus feels big and heavy when underway—even more so with all-wheel drive.
  • Large wheels tend to impede ride quality.
  • The V6 isn’t quite as refined as it might be, but at lower speeds, it delivers sufficient energy to pass or merge handily. At highway velocities, response is steady and refined, but rather tame. The more efficient turbo four performs almost on the level of the V6.

Interior Pros

  • Materials and finishes suggest an upscale, near-luxury vehicle.
  • Seats are firm and highly supportive, yet amply cushioned for long-term comfort.
  • Cabin is snug, but well-trimmed and luxurious.

Interior Cons

  • Rear legroom is less than expected and headroom also falls short, though the trunk is huge.
  • Wide console takes up a lot of space, making the cabin feel smaller.

The Most Pleasant Surprise

Big cars and joyful driving don’t often mix, but the Taurus, despite its deficiencies, isn’t devoid of pleasure. Furthermore, excellent safety ratings include a five-star overall score from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The Least Pleasant Surprise

How an automobile with dimensions like a Taurus, weighing more than two tons, can be cramped in the back is a mystery. Unfortunately, it’s a mystery that keeps coming up for cars of all sorts.

The Bottom Line

Ford Taurus

In any form, today’s Taurus isn’t as efficient as it once was, no longer capable of truly sharp moves. Although it excels in ride comfort, size and weight take a toll on performance and road manners. With its tauter suspension, an SHO corners well and remains calm when pushed, but it can’t really be called a sport sedan.