Friday, March 16, 2012
2013 Ford Taurus test drive review. They don't make 'em like they used to
In 1986 alone, Ford sold more than 200,000 Tauruses. Over the years, it became one of the most successful selling vehicles in history. But it wasn’t perfect. The Taurus was always a good value for the money, but it wasn’t exactly a state-of-the-art luxury cruiser for most of its run. And remember the ovoid 1996-1999 version? Hideous.
Today, many of Ford’s bread and butter sedan sales come from the Fusion, which a bit smaller and less expensive than the Taurus, but also a nice car. New Taurus sales hover in the 65,000-a-year range, which is less than a third of those huge 1986 numbers. But those who do choose the current Taurus are rewarded with an upscale, almost Lincoln-like experience.
The Taurus is a big car—on the outside. You might not catch the full effect in pictures, but when you stand next to one, you definitely notice it. A Crown Vic might be longer, but when you compare one to this Taurus, it doesn’t have the same girth. That quarter panel between the wheel well and the c-pillar is just flat-out huge. 20-inch wheels don’t even seem big on it. Standard 17's look downright dinky.
Of course, the Taurus weighs close to 4,000-lbs, so 288-hp might not be enough to make some people happy. That’s where the new Taurus SHO comes in. And for 2013, most of the big changes can be found on this model.
The SHO features a 365-hp, 3.5-liter V6 with Ford’s twin-turbo “EcoBoost” technology. And compared to the non-turbocharged engine, you feel a big difference. I mean a seriously big difference. It takes the Taurus from being a nice car that an older man might want to a genuine performance contender that a young guy might aspire to. It wakes this car up immensely.
Also for 2013, non-SHO models will be available with an economy-minded 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder, which is a major option addition to the Taurus lineup. More information on that power plant will surface closer the introduction date later this summer.
The slideshow below has 2013 Taurus pictures from a variety of sources. Of course, some of them are from the ride and drive in which I was fortunate enough to participate in San Diego. There are also pictures that I took at the Detroit and Kansas City Auto Shows. And then, I figured you might appreciate some decent photography, so I’m including a few beauty shots from Ford’s media department.