The 2014 Ford Taurus carries over its SE, SEL, Limited, and SHO trim levels from prior years, with prices up only incrementally from last year.
The lowest SE model still offers a number of standard features not found in mid-size sedans, which help justify a base price that starts most of the way up the mid-size range. Air conditioning and cruise control are pretty standard, but a six-speaker sound system and power driver's seat won't be found on base mid-size sedans.
Moving up to the SEL, perhaps the most popular trim level, the 2014 Taurus gains the Sync voice-command system that provides connectivity for Bluetooth and USB devices, satellite radio, automatic climate control, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.
The top-of-the-luxury-line Limited model lays on the leather upholstery and ambient lighting inside, 19-inch alloy wheels, keyless ignition, MyFord Touch, parking sensors, and even a garage-door opener. The Taurus SHO, of course, comes with a more powerful turbocharged V-6 engine, a sportier suspension, a number of appearance improvements, and everything in the Limited package--plus HID xenon headlamps and accents like suede inserts for the sport seats.
If you opt for MyFord Touch, you get a higher-spec Sony sound system in a center stack that uses capacitive (touch-sensitive) controls that need only to be touched, not turned or pushed. Ford has learned from its mistakes in other models, though: The hazard-light switch is now a real button. And the company said in June 2013 it would add conventional radio volume and tuning buttons to future iterations of MyFord Touch, trying to strike a middle ground between tech-forwardness and passenger preferences. The MyFord Touch system also provides displays with user-configurable data displays in the instrument cluster.
Then there's the 2014 Ford Taurus option list, including a number of items that you might expect to see on German sport sedans. From muticontour seats with active motion, a pushbutton start, and a heated steering wheel, they range through tech goodies like automatic high beams, a rearview camera for reversing, and rain-sensing wipers. There's a sunroof, and even a power rear sunshade. The technology highlight is Ford's Intuitive Park Assist system, which really is easy to use--and is rated far better than the similar system used in Lexus sedans.
The Ford Taurus, however, has never been a cheap car, and the 2014 model follows its predecessors in climbing the price ladder quickly. A basic 2014 Taurus SE starts at $27,495, but you have to spend more than $30K to get MyFord Touch, and the Taurus Limited can go over $40K if you have a heavy hand on the options list. The Taurus SHO starts at $40K, but add options to that one and you'll cross $45K--at which point you might start looking at European sedans after all.