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2013 Ford Taurus: First Drive Page 3

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And in addition to all the impressive safety equipment that the Taurus already includes—like electronic stability control, a full roster of airbags, MyKey, and an SOS Post-Crash Alert System, the Taurus offers an available blind-spot system with cross-traffic alert, as well as adaptive cruise control with collision warning and brake support (which gives audible and visual warnings, and primes the braking system, if you're closing in on slower or stopped traffic).

SHO: Performance without the constant reminders

We really walked away impressed with the Taurus SHO. In short, it's the sort of sophisticated touring sedan that you could drive rapidly for hundreds of miles a day, enjoying both the Interstates and the 'blue roads,' without a lot of fatigue. It's not a high-involvement car, but that feels like the point: The Taurus SHO has the capability to tenaciously take on a twisty road, and be quite rewarding; it just doesn't remind you of that the other 95 percent of the time, with more noise or vibration, when you'd rather go in comfort.

We also liked the new front-end look most in the Taurus SHO; standard Taurus models get a grille with thin horizontal chrome bars, while the SHO gets a blacked-out metal-mesh grille and lower airdam.

Then comes price. Pricing starts at $27,395, but you'll have to pass the $30k barrier to get MyFord Touch, and to take advantage of all that's offered, you might want the Limited. The entry price for the SHO is $39,995, including destination, and a well-optioned SHO can still land well above $45k—as was ours. That's about the same price as a Volvo S80 T6 AWD, or within a few grand of the starting price for a number of sport sedans like the BMW 5-Series, Mercedes-Benz E Class, and Audi A6. The Taurus Limited we drove totaled $41,230.

Hemi or EcoBoost?

The SHO's natural competitor, we think, is the Chrysler 300C. Would we rather take a Chrysler 300C or a Taurus SHO? They're about the same price, both with all-wheel drive. And really, it's a hard call, depending on where you are in life; the Chrysler is more straightforward, brash, and edgy, while it's hard to argue with the way the Ford soothes, satisfies, and eats up the miles.

We wish we could say that the collection of changes Ford has given the Taurus for 2013 give it lots more universal appeal, but all said, we're not sure they do. As much as the SHO might hit the mark for a narrow profile of 'comfort-oriented enthusiast,' these two Taurus sedans we drove will still turn away a lot of potential buyers because of their prices, their fuel-economy ratings, or—most likely—their still-oddly-packaged interior.

With the introduction of the four-cylinder EcoBoost Taurus later in the model year, Ford will have its best chance to recast the Taurus for a different kind of shopper; we hope to update you later this year about whether that's the case.

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Comments (7)
  1. "20 mpg over an entire day and more than 250 miles of driving"

    Ford has no bragging rights here that's for sure. I'm beting the the 2.0 Ecoboost won't be much better because of AWD and the mass it has to hawl around. Ask those whom thought the Ecoboost Ford F150 would give them better MPG's than the 5.0 V8. In real life driving they are neck and neck in the MPG dept.

  2. Absolutely ridiculous Ford of North America foists that hideous lump of dung on us while the Australians have their sensational Falcon.

  3. Again, wide center consoles, front buckets. Why not have a front bench and a shifter on the column. All that other jazz just wastes space. My wife's 2012 Charger is roomier and better looking. Also, wish it had a bench/column shift option.

  4. ask yourself this.. how can someone be protected by setting in the center of the front bench seat? in a age of technology, where would you put your Ipod/Cell phone with no Center storage unit? How would you ajust your seat configuration without disrupting your front passengers seating position with a Benchseat?

    Anyway this car just look terible... Wheels look sooooo small for the car

  5. You guys are all haters. This car is great. Sure it needs a few things like better colors for the interior and really nice chrome wheels for the SHO, and more room for a car that has it, but is not using it, but this car is awesome. The SHO I have gets near 29 mpg with 365 hp and AWD. The technology is great and it looks great. Looks like its on steroids. Need more colors to choose from than the current colors on the exterior. Where is Royal blue or dark blue with dark browns and beiges and tans in the interior? I drove a Limited for a rental before I bought the SHO and it was silver with tan and beige interior, which did not match for me, and ALL the interiors come with a grey dashboard. What? Need more dark brown dashes. B+

  6. Considering that is only rated at 17 city and 25 hwy, 20 isn't too bad for something that is over 2 tons. I liked the open and roomy cabin on the 500 and have always felt claustrophobic in the Taurus. Ford squandered a lot of room in the redesign.

  7. This review really hits the mark for me. I've been attracted enough to go into Ford showrooms when I've purchased new cars twice in the past 4 years. But I've walked away from Ford dealers twice solely because of legroom (once each time for Taurus, Fusion). I'm no giant: I weigh 180lbs, 6 feet tall, not unlike many others. I find great leg room in Hyundai, BMW, Mercedes. But in Ford, Honda,etc., it's atrocious. These designs are so successfully focused on the front grille and the instrument stack, yet fail cuz the cars feel like sardine cans. I wish it had an option to increase legroom, which matters much more to me than MyFord Touch. Tech bling rapidly ages into so yesterday; solid build, fit & finish, and comfort gets my $$$'s.

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