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SAFETY | 9 out of 10
Top Safety Pick
Five stars side; five stars side pole
Torque Vectoring Control becomes standard on all Taurus models; it can selectively apply one of the front brakes to help mitigate understeer when accelerating and turning
The Ford Taurus has always had a reputation for safety and good scores on its crash tests, and the 2014 model continues the tradition. It's largely a carryover model, but Ford added a number of new electronic safety systems to the Taurus last year that keep it at the front of the pack.
Software in the vehicle control system called Curve Control monitors whether a driver has entered a curve or an on-ramp too quickly, and backs off the acceleration if necessary to keep the car in line. Adaptive cruise control is still mostly found in high-end sedans, along with collision warning and brake support. Blind-spot warnings are quickly proliferating, but cross-traffic alert is less common--and the MyKey monitoring system remains unique to Ford. Both parents and fleet managers appreciate the ability to know what a driver is doing and, in the case of new drivers, the ability to limit radio volume and otherwise stack the cards for safer driving. The Taurus also has a post-crash alert system, called SOS, that unlocks all the doors, turns on the hazard flashers, and sounds the horn after any event in which airbags deploy.
The Ford Taurus was an IIHS Top Safety Pick for 2013, with the top "Good" rating on all tests. But the insurance Institute for Highway Safety hasn't yet put the Taurus through its new Small Front Overlap crash test, which tripped up a few well-rated cars since it was instituted in 2011. As for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the 2013 Taurus was rated five out of five stars for overall safety, frontal, and side crash tests, and four stars for rollover safety. There's no reason to think the 2014 scores would be any different.
From the driver's seat, the Taurus loses safety points for its poor rear visibility, due to the low roofline, high beltline, and slit-like rear window. The optional rearview camera system helps with this, at a cost.
The 2014 Ford Taurus offers an impressive array of safety options and does well on crash tests