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.

Best Value

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

Performance

Ford Taurus

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.

Style

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?

Ford Taurus

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.