The Taurus is one of the longest sedans on the market, at nearly 203 inches long. It's wide, too, and its long overhangs and rather long roofline all serve to amplify the impression.
A few years ago, Ford gave the Taurus a lower-profile look; while it might have been controversial for its practicality, most found it stylish, both in its swept-back profile and for its bold details. Now for 2013, Ford has redone most of those details, while the roofline remains the same. With new lower-body aero work and an all-new grille—a more mature one that fits right in above the front end of the 2013 Ford Fusion—plus new crisp new LED-outline taillamps and a great set of new wheel designs, it's a somewhat sportier appearance from most angles. SHO models take it even further, with a new front-end look; in place of the standard Taurus' grille with thin horizontal chrome bars, the SHO gets a blacked-out metal-mesh grille and lower airdam.
Much of the Taurus' side profile carries over, with its rising side creases and crisp detailing. The rear fenders are most interesting, with sculpted shoulders and firm, straight character lines playing off each other in a way no Taurus has ever seen.
From the front seats, the Taurus feels almost like a personal-luxury car--as if it were a luxury coupe like a modern Thunderbird rather than a sedan. There are focused, defined areas for the driver and front passenger, with a wrap-around instrument panel design and a low, wide center console that firmly splits the driver and passenger sides (and actually, taking up a lot of space). Faux-wood and chrome trim combine with good fit and finish to give it an upscale look and feel that's generally in sync with its price tag.
Ford says that it benchmarked the interior of the Audi A6 for fit and finish, adding cloth-wrapped pillars and all-new switchgear. While it's clear the interior of the 2013 isn't a clean-slate redesign—it continues with the same sweeping-down center stack and tall center console—the Taurus looks to have been nipped, tucked, and upgraded throughout, and based on Ford's other recent products we expect a substantially upgraded look and feel to the materials.