I've just spent the day driving through the hills of North Carolina in a 2010 Ford Taurus. My ride was the model most likely to be the line's best-seller, the front-wheel-drive SEL. The manufacturer retail price for this example (the silver car) is $27,995. At this price, 18-aluminum wheels are standard, as are paddle shifters, four-wheel disc brakes, ABS, stability control, SecureCode keyless entry, and six airbags.
While the equipment list is what you'd expect from a new mainstream full-size car, walking slowly around the newest Ford reveals more than a robust equipment list offered at a competitive price.
A write-up is forthcoming, but until that gets published, take a look at these just-captured photos to see some more details on Ford's most important new vehicle for this year.
First, the detailing on the Taurus is well done. While I'm not generally a fan of fender vents, these give the Taurus character. And, by the way, they're not functional.
Strong detailing is seen in the front fascia. The 2010 Ford Taurus has presence. With the headlights on, the lower side markers (visible just in front of the left front wheel) give the car an upscale look. I'm not personally crazy about the grille, but it may grow on me.
From overhead, a look that is rarely seen, the sculpting in the hood stands out, as does the rounded tail section. The strong line that rises around the side windows accentuates how different the rooflines are between the 2010 and 2009 Taurus editions.
Open the hood and you'll find a 263-horsepower 3.5-liter V-6. The engine sits transversely, so one valve cover faces forward, the other toward the firewall. While not shown in this photo, the engine compartment is rubber sealed to seal in engine noise. A quiet car is a more refined car.
Why are you looking at the door jamb? Note that the exterior skin of the door extends down over the rocker panel. This design helps seal out road noise (note the multiple rubber seals), plus it also keeps the interior jamb free of dirt, snow and slush.
Look at the Taurus's door panel. The detail in this soft-touch section is very well done. Most of the panel looks to be hand-sewn. The illusion is convincing, because the panel is actually molded in a single piece. This panel is an excellent example of how far Ford interior designs have come. Note the faux stretch marks at the top left corner of this photo. It simulates the way genuine leather would look if pulled taut around a corner.