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2010 Ford Taurus Preview


2010 Ford Taurus

2010 Ford Taurus

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Back when Granadas, LTDs and Fairmonts were Ford's mainstay sedans, the 1986 Ford Taurus was a breakthrough car. In its day, nothing else looked or performed like it.

With a few notable exceptions (such as the excellent Taurus SHO editions), it's been downhill for the Taurus ever since. Unforgivably, Ford management worked the bull hard until it nearly died. Short-term profits were more important than car's best-of-breed style or performance. Inevitably, the Taurus became an also-ran car.

While not a lousy car in its current form, the 2008-2009 Taurus didn't revive sales. For 2010, Ford decided to do something drastically different. The all-new full-size 2010 Taurus is it. With the exception of on the auto show circuit, expect to see it in dealers this summer at a price that matches the outgoing car, $25,995.

The larger, all-new design is decidedly upscale. Thankfully the design team eschewed the outgoing Taurus's giant VW Passat roofline. There's not a hint of the dowdy old style to be found. Ford's marketing people hope that the new Taurus will become the flagship for the brand. This is a tall order given the car's current reputation as a rental fleet pariah and/or a retiree's final vehicular purchase.

It looks like the new Taurus is up to the task with its sculpted hood and sleeker lines. The front fenders are pronounced and the roof is lowered, giving the sedan a sportier stance. Our only quibble is with the grille. The 2010 Fusion and 2009 F-150 both feature prominent three-bar grilles, but the new Taurus's seems to be confused. With a broad upper chrome bar and three dissimilar painted bars below, the 2010 Taurus grille and wrap-around headlights look good, but they simply don't match the other cars in the Ford line. Standard wheels are 17-inch, and 20-inch rims are optional. The new designs fill the sculpted wheel wells and work well with the raised shoulder line of the rear fenders.

Inside, a forward-leaning center stack clearly makes the 2010 Ford Taurus a five-seater. There will be no front bench seats or column shifters available for this car (we hope fleet car purchasing agents aren't crying too hard). New production techniques have yielded better looking and richer feeling dash and door coverings. As evidenced in recently introduced models, Ford knows how to craft high-quality and visually pleasing interiors. Panel gaps and materials appear on par with luxury cars.

Even though the Taurus is a full-size car, the amount of passenger room is still surprising. The adjective "huge" comes to mind. The trunk, thanks to the high profile of the rear fenders and the tall deck, is likewise enormous. Back in the days of drive-in movies, it would have been easy to fit three stow-aways back there with room for beer and chips.

The 2010 Ford Taurus should have the moves to match its trimmer more athletic looks. The mechanicals are based on the Lincoln MKS, a car we've driven and liked. The standard engine is the proven Duratec 3.5-liter V-6, generating an estimated 263 horsepower and 249 foot-pounds of torque. Along with earning ULEV-II emissions certification front-wheel-drive Taurus (all-wheel drive is optional) is expected to deliver unsurpassed highway fuel economy in the class, but Ford hasn't yet released mpg estimates. Plan also calls for the availability of Ford’s turbocharged and direct-injected 3.5-liter V-6 to become available after the car goes on sale. In the MKS, the boosted engine produces 340 horsepower. Perhaps this foreshadows the return of the SHO (Super High Output)?


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Comments (8)
  1. "Totally Consumed"

    At an estimated highway MPG at 22, I think I'll pass. You'd think Ford would have learned by now the mpg matters these days. If they haven't figured that out yet, they deserve to go under.
     
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  2. "bs"

    the current taurus gets 28 mpg on the highway and with their direct injected engine. it says it is improved by 20%. so 22mpg sounds like bull shit by someone who doesnt know what they are talking about
     
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  3. "Loser"

    22mpg hwy is for the Ecoboost AWD Flex, which is the same mpg as the non Ecoboost AWD Flex.
    Way to go Totally Consumed, confusing a twin turbo AWD CUV with a sedan. Need glasses?
     
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  4. "Out of the Park!"

    Looks like Ford has hit this one out of the park. Over the wall, grand-slam home run out of the park. I have had 3 bimmers over the past 20 years (all bought pre-owned), and never gave FoMoCo much of a thought. As my trusty 14 year old 525i is about to expire, I've been perusing the marketplace thinking about a family-oriented replacement (I'm a married daddy now, so space is at a premium!). Since Bangle has totally crapped on BMW's designs for the last 7 years, I will not be getting another BMW (to say nothing about the outrageous cost of even a used 7-series). Thus, I am a man without a marque.
    Enter the 2010 Ford Taurus. When I first saw the pics for this car, I almost fell out of my seat. Ford has made a car - a driver's car - that looks like it came from the best design houses in Europe (while avoiding the notorious Bangle Butt). No Taurus ever got my blood moving (except maybe the SHO), but the 2010 might be the best looking Ford I have ever seen. Ford should be credited with not only not taking any gummint bailout money, but by reinvigorating the very soul of their company with this outstanding design. If the driving experience and quality matches the photos, this car will be a winner for Ford. The advertised price is almost unfair to the competition. As for the MPG, I would expect the highway mileage to come in at close to 30. The Duratec engine could easily be retuned for variable-cylinder management for even better MPG. It is also a pretty bullet-proof V6 (my sister had one in a Countour and never had any problems). Way to go Ford! It may have taken 20 years, but you have restored my faith that American car makers can be passionate in their approach to a four door sedan. Can't wait for a test drive!
     
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  5. "Different Duratec"

    The Duratec engine in this Ford is a different engine that the engine in your Contour. I worked on the 3.5L Engine for several years. Take heart that the new engine benchmarked the Nissan VQ, which is one of the finest.
     
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  6. "5 seater?"

    Well, with no column shifter and no "bench" seat, I guess I have to go with GM, because I need 6 seats at times. Too bad, Ford still isn't making a CAR I can use. Good grief, I have a 1999 Taurus that seats 8. And I don't want no stinkin' SUV or crossover or whatever--simply a car that seats 6. Even if I didn't need to seat 6, I'd rather dump the space-filling center console to have the front feel roomier. Come on Ford, a floor shifter on a front wheel drive, automatic vehicle is just plain stupid.
     
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  7. "wow"

    I just saw this car today at the auto show in DC. I was shocked, so were many show goers that were just standing there watching the car go around. The details in the design were evident. The crease that runs the full length and pops up again on the rear fender is eye catching. Pictures, as good as they look, don't do it justice.
     
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  8. "Bob"

    Ford does it again! Their cars are rated in the top 10 by Consumer Reports in comparison with Honda and Toyota, and this car shows their crisp styling and quality. They are the only company in the Big 3 that doesn't need a bailout and this car shows why. I have owned Fords for years and will always buy them. My last one (1999 Crown Vic) had 130,000 on the odometer when I traded it in and was problem free. I bought a 2008 Lincoln MKZ, a great car that has not been back to the dealership for any warranty work in almost a year and it has over 11,000 miles on the odometer. Buy American, and buy FORD!!
     
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