- Soft ride
- Comfortable front seats
- Good infotainment system option
- Big discounts available
- Rear seat is surprisingly small
- Subpar visibility
- Bland styling inside and out
- Mediocre fuel economy
- Dated feel overall
The 2018 Ford Taurus is Ford’s flagship, but only on paper. Rivals are more up-to-date in every way, so shop the competition.
Once the nameplate eponymous with American sedans, the 2018 Ford Taurus is now Detroit’s forgotten four-door. This full-size sedan, offered in SE, SEL, Limited, and SHO trim levels, features fewer engine options for 2018—its sixth model year since a refresh and its ninth since a clean-sheet redesign.
The Taurus earns a 4.8 out of 10 on our scale, a figure buoyed by the Taurus SHO’s strong performance but let down by poor interior packaging, bloated styling, and subpar safety figures. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
Ford offers two V-6 engines in the Taurus: a 3.5-liter rated at 288 horsepower standard on SE, SEL, and Limited trims, or a twin-turbo V-6 rated at 365 hp that’s paired to a firmer suspension and special steering tuning on the Taurus SHO. Gone is last year’s optional turbo-4. All-wheel drive is standard on the SHO and optional on SEL and Limited trims.
With its 112-inch wheelbase and nearly 203-inch overall length, the Taurus is hardly the lithe, lean sedan it once was. Today’s Taurus is a big boat four-door that rides softly and leans into corners when pushed hard. It’s precise, but hardly entertaining and clearly has been tuned for comfort. The Taurus SHO’s dedicated suspension tune overcomes its two-ton mass, even if it too stops short of sports-sedan precision.
The Taurus’ full-size exterior dimensions don’t translate into big sedan interior volume. Rear-seat accommodations suffer from a low roof line and leg room that actually trails the smaller Ford Fusion. Up front, the available multi-contour seats provide good long-distance comfort and the 20-cubic-foot trunk offers good room for luggage or golf bags.
Equipment levels are good, but not great for a full-size sedan. A rearview camera is included, but the diminutive 4.2-inch screen and six-speaker audio system are more budget grade than flagship sedan. A larger 8.0-inch touchscreen is available and it features the automaker’s easy-to-use Sync 3† infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
In terms of safety gear, the Taurus offers forward-collision warnings and adaptive cruise control as part of a pricey option package relegated to Limited and SHO variants only. Automatic emergency braking, a feature we consider essential, isn’t on the options list for Ford’s largest sedan. That’s a surprise given that the rivaling Toyota Avalon comes standard with all of that safety gear.