Shopping for a new Ford Taurus?
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It's not the most space-efficient family car, nor is it the cheapest large sedan anymore--but the 2011 Ford Taurus has tech and safety features to impress even luxury-car drivers.
Back in 2009, Ford resuscitated the dormant Taurus nameplate, but applied it to the old Five Hundred sedan. In 2010, the same platform was thoroughly reworked into the crisper, more angular design that rolls into the 2011 model year with relatively few changes. It's a competitor to the likes of the Buick LaCrosse, Honda Accord and even the Toyota Avalon, but the Taurus stands out for its cutting-edge features as well as for the sporty SHO model.
For families needing the most room for the dollar, the Taurus should be a fit--but it's a more snug one than in some large sedans. It has good head and leg room, but it's the finishing touches that can cramp the space for taller drivers and make it more difficult to load kids and car seats in back. In the front, the firm buckets are split by a wide center console that trims away at knee room, the same way the sunroof can cut down on head space. The back seat itself has the right stuff, but it's no longer as easy to get into, or out of, as the old Five Hundred. The door openings and the low roofline make it less functional in that way, and they also limit visibility to the rear, too.
Where the Taurus excels is in safety. Great crash-test scores are one thing, but Ford's chosen the Taurus as its safety flagship, too. Curtain airbags and stability control are just the beginning: the Taurus also offers MyKey, which allows parents to pre-set speed limits, stereo volumes and other functions before handing over the keys. There are options for blind-spot monitors, adaptive cruise control, and a rearview camera, which we recommend to nearly all family-car buyers--especially those Taurus buyers who have trouble with that rearward view.