2014 Ford Taurus Comfort & Quality

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Comfort & Quality

The 2014 Ford Taurus has the presence of a large sedan, but it lets down that impression if you're assigned to ride in the back seat. While three adults can fit into the space, they won't be happy--and the limited headroom and legroom in the rear seat remain the biggest drawback to the otherwise commendable Taurus sedan.

A remarkably wide center console and a wraparound instrument panel firmly divide the front area into driver and passenger zones. It really feels more like a touring coupe than an upright four-door sedan. The generously sized seats are comfortable and supportive for long trips, and the option of multi-contour seats gives added adjustability that's welcome for the oddly proportioned and achy alike.

The 2014 Ford Taurus is comfortable and well-made, but the tight rear seat is its biggest drawback

The culprit for the restricted rear-seat room is the low roofline that defined the 2010 restyling of the formerly tall, anonymous Taurus sedan. It's stylish from the outside, but it condemns rear-seat riders not only to cramped quarters but also minimal outward vision, with thick roof pillars and a slight rise in the beltline making the rear windows surprisingly small and slit-like. Getting in and out of the back seat is a challenge, too, with considerable ducking under the low roof needed.

If you're just two people with a lot of luggage, though, the Taurus will do you well. The trunk has more than 20 cubic feet of volume, substantial even for a full-size sedan, and you'll be hard-pressed to fill it completely.

The 2014 Taurus really delivers on refinement, one of its key virtues. It's well-built, the plastics and trim materials look good and feel substantial, and the ride is firm but largely comfortable and quiet. Last year's chassis retuning measures quieted the ride while cutting the impact and harshness of bad road surfaces, isolating passengers from what the wheels are doing.

On the topic of wheels, though, we strongly suggest that you avoid the optional 20-inch alloy wheels. Driving a Taurus Limited with that option, the ride felt more abrupt, bumps came through more harshly, and some of the smooth ride and refinement was lost--without any noticeable benefits in the handling or roadholding. The large wheels and tires may look good, but they may not be something you want to live with every day.

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