- Spacious trunk
- Comfortable, roomy cabin
- Nimble handling
- Great braking performance
- Available SYNC interface
- No fun for enthusiasts here
- Yawn-worthy exterior, especially in the rear
- Disappointing fuel economy
The 2009 Ford Taurus still runs at the head of the class in terms of space, practicality, and safety features, but driving enthusiasts and those wanting to be seen should probably steer clear.
The Taurus you’ll find today at dealerships is not at all related to the bland rental-car fleet vehicle that was sold through 2007. Just so Ford could make it especially confusing, it seems, in a time when the company is changing names as haphazardly as an informer in a witness protection plan, the current Taurus originally went on sale in 2005 as the Ford Five Hundred. That new sedan shared running gear with the Volvo XC90 sport-utility vehicle (and the previous Volvo S80 big sedan), which explains the vast interior spaces inside the latest 2009 Ford Taurus.
Like last year's model, the 2009 Ford Taurus is offered in two flavors: a plain-vanilla SEL and the more upscale Limited. The driving experience is largely the same in either trim, which is unsurprising considering that both share a 263-horsepower V-6 engine, and a six-speed automatic transmission is standard. Don’t expect any driving excitement; the Taurus can be hustled through corners with surprising poise, but it does so with a sluggish, heavy steering feel and some body lean. Front-wheel drive is standard fare on the 2009 Ford Taurus, but Ford also offers an all-wheel-drive version of both trims.
The standard V-6 on the 2009 Ford Taurus provides strong, satisfying acceleration, even with a full load of passengers, and the automatic shifts up and down much more decisively—and more smoothly—than the GM’s six-speed automatic. But refinement is only acceptable, and real-world fuel economy is disappointing—considerably lower than the 18 mpg EPA city rating, in the experience of TheCarConnection.com editors.
Now for the strong positives—and there are plenty of them. The Ford Taurus offers a cavernous interior that, while somewhat drab in terms of styling, offers a seemingly limitless supply of storage space. Construction quality is also a plus for the 2009 Ford Taurus, as is the commanding view afforded by the high, comfortable bucket seats. Backseat legroom is vast, it's wide enough for three adults across, and unlike most other current mid-size sedans there’s adequate headroom for average adults. The interior layout, which is criticized by some for its lack of flair, is refreshingly simple to the editors of TheCarConnection.com. Don’t consider the Taurus if you want something flashy.
Ride quality is excellent, even when loaded with passengers and cargo. It’s not at all queasy or bouncy, just absorbent—and very quiet.
Among the Ford Taurus's best attributes is its commendable safety rating; not only does the 2009 Ford Taurus offer a comprehensive package of airbags and a highly crashworthy chassis, for 2009 Ford has also includes an electronic stability control and SOS-Post Crash Alert System as standard fare.