The Ford Taurus was once the automaker's flagship model, but as times have changed, the full-size sedan has struggled to fit into a segment that's shifted toward luxury and technology. The 2018 Ford Taurus offers a good amount of room for five, an enormous trunk, and two engine choices.
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2018 Ford Taurus Overview
What's New for 2018
The 2018 Taurus carries over mostly unchanged from last year’s model.
Choosing Your Ford Taurus
There are two engines to choose from with the Taurus. The base motor is a 3.5-liter V6 that's good for 288 horsepower and 254 pound-feet of torque. The engine is paired to a six-speed automatic transmission with Sport Mode and sends the power down to the front wheels. All-wheel drive is available for models with the base 3.5-liter V6. Then there's a 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 that pumps out 365 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque. All-wheel drive is standard with that engine option, as is a six-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters.
Fuel economy isn't great for the Taurus, which is to be expected with a full-size sedan. The base 3.5-liter V6 is capable of getting 18 miles per gallon in the city and 27 mpg on the highway with front-wheel drive. On the flip side, the least efficient powertrain is the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 with all-wheel drive, which is only capable of getting 16 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway.
Interior space is one of the Taurus' more notable features, as the full-size sedan features 102.2 cubic feet of passenger volume and a spacious cargo capacity of 20.1 cubic feet. The Taurus also has a good mix of available safety features, including: adaptive cruise control and forward collision warning with brake support, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, lane keeping assist, and a reverse sensing system.
The 2018 Taurus is available in four trims:
The base SE trim starts at $28,470 (prices include the $875 destination fee). The model comes with the 3.5-liter V6 engine and front-wheel drive as standard. The Tauros SE features 18-inch wheels, LED taillights, body-color door handles, dual chrome exhaust tips, and power-folding exterior mirrors. On the inside, the sedan features single zone climate control, power windows, a rearview camera, a remote keyless entry system, Ford's Sync infotainment system, and cloth seats. There are no available packages for the SE trim.
The SEL trim starts at $30,900 and adds a few convenience features over the base SE trim. The SEL trim is powered by the standard 3.5-liter V6 engine, but can be fitted with all-wheel drive as a $1,850 option. On the outside, the SEL adds LED supplemental park lamps, heated exterior mirrors, and a perimeter alarm. The interior gets a few more touches, including: SiriusXM Radio, dual-zone automatic temperature control, a compass, an outside temperature readout, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. Available packages for the SEL trim include the 201A ($1,050) that adds Sync 3, an 8.0-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, two smart-charging USB ports, enhanced voice recognition communications, and intelligent access with push-button start. Other noteworthy standalone options for the trim include a power moonroof ($995) and a rear spoiler ($275).
Moving up to the Limited trim raises the Taurus’ price to $37,980. The trim features the base 3.5-liter V6 and adds a grille with body-color bars and chrome inserts, automatic high beams, and an auto-dimming driver’s side exterior mirror as standard. The interior features 10-way power front seats, heated and cooled front seats, heated rear seats, ambient lighting, door-sill scuff plates, intelligent access with push-button start, power-adjustable pedals with memory, a power-tilt and telescoping steering wheel, a heated steering wheel, a universal garage door opener, and Sync 3. The Driver Assist package ($1,995) adds adaptive cruise control and forward collision warning with brake support, lane keeping assist, lane departure warning, and active park assist.
The SHO is the range-topping Taurus trim and is priced at $43,645. The 3.5-liter V6 EcoBoost engine and all-wheel drive are standard on this trim, as is a sport-tuned suspension. The exterior of the sedan adds a dual exhaust system with chrome tips, a piano black mesh grille, high-intensity discharge (HID) headlights, piano black exterior mirrors, and a rear decklid spoiler as standard. The interior of the sedan features “SHO” graphics on the front seats, aluminum pedal covers, “SHO” branded floor mats, and a top-grain leather-wrapped steering wheel. Available packages for the trim include the Driver Assist Package ($1,995) and the SHO Performance Package ($1,300). The latter brings a plethora of performance-oriented parts to the sedan, including: performance brake pads, a recalibrated electric power steering system, sportier suspension components, a 3.16 final drive ratio, performance summer tires, larger rotors, an Alcantara-wrapped steering wheel, a tire inflator and sealant kit, and a convenient cooling pack.
With the majority of the Taurus’ competition focusing on luxury and tech, the full-size sedan’s remedying quality is its sportiness. The SHO is the one we’d go with, and the SHO Performance Package is worth springing for. Unfortunately, going with the SHO Performance Package locks you out of choosing the Driver Assist Package, which brings some much-needed tech to the sedan. At roughly $45,000, our Taurus isn’t exactly cheap, but the result is a well-equipped sedan that delivers a decent amount of performance.
2018 Ford Taurus Review
The 2018 Ford Taurus has changed little since it first hit dealer showrooms nine years ago. It still has a smooth ride, comfortable front seats, and a long list of standard features. But those good points are outweighed by a dated big-on-the-outside, small-on-the-inside design, mediocre fuel economy, and poor visibility.
Pricing for the 2018 Taurus starts at $28,470 for a base SE and rises to $48,025 for an SHO finished in optional White Platinum and equipped with a moonroof, navigation, and the Driver Assist Package. All models are equipped with a six-speed automatic mated to a 3.5-liter V6, although twin turbos are bolted to the one under the SHO's hood. The SE is front-wheel drive only, SEL and Limited trims are offered in either front- or all-wheel drive, while all-wheel drive is standard on the SHO.
The Taurus SE comes equipped with the usual power features plus a pair of power front seats, a 4.2-inch screen, Bluetooth connectivity, and a rearview camera. We'd skip both it and the SEL and head for the Limited and its standard dual-zone automatic climate control, satellite radio, leather-wrapped steering wheel, park assist, the option of all-wheel drive, keyless push-button start, automatic high beams, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, leather seats (cooled up front, heated all around), 20-inch alloy wheels, Sony speakers, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability, and access to a number of advanced safety features.
Here's how we'd build it:
- Model: 2018 Ford Taurus Limited
- Engine: 3.5-liter V6
- Output: 288 hp / 254 lb-ft
- Transmission:Six-speed automatic
- Drivetrain: Front-wheel drive
- MPG: 18 City / 27 Hwy
- Options: Ruby Red Metallic ($395), Driver Assist Package ($1,995, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, lane keeping assist, active park assist), Power moonroof ($995).
- Base Price:$37,980 (including the $875 destination charge)
- Best Value Price:$41,365
The Taurus delivers a soft, plush ride that handles large bumps and road irregularities well, with nicely-weighted steering that offers acceptable feedback. In addition, the V6 works well with the six-speed automatic and offers good off-the-line performance.
However, body lean in corners is noticeable; its body structure – once shared with Volvo – is over two decades old. Already below average for a big sedan, fuel economy is hampered even further by all-wheel drive. In addition, while the Taurus bests the Charger in initial acceleration, it runs out of steam more quickly.
The Taurus' interior is nicely put together with wide, supportive front seats and a roomy 20.1 cubic feet of storage space in the trunk.
But the goodness stops there as, aside from its bulbous, outdated design, the Taurus manages to be big on the outside and small on the inside. Ford accomplishes this feat with a wide center console, deep dashboard, and low, restrictive roofline that offers scant headroom and poor visibility for front seat occupants, as well as a confining space for rear seat passengers.
The Best and Worst Things
The Taurus stands out for its comfortable front seats and soft ride, but we can't get over its small interior, dated looks, and mediocre fuel economy.
Right For? Wrong For?
Empty nesters uncomfortable with stylish, taught-handling sedans might want to add the Taurus to their consideration list.
Families in the market for a Ford sedan would be better off considering the more affordable, smaller-on-the-outside, bigger-on-the-inside Fusion.
The Bottom Line
Despite a smooth ride and comfy front seats, the Taurus' pedestrian styling, mediocre fuel economy, and tight interior place it near the bottom of its class.