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#5

in 2009 Affordable Large Cars

Avg. Price Paid: $9,154 - $12,060
Original MSRP: $25,170 - $32,520
MPG: 18 City / 28 Hwy
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2009 Ford Taurus Performance

This performance review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.

The 2009 Ford Taurus is a comfortable highway cruiser. It doesn't pretend to be a car for driving enthusiasts. It is available with only one engine and one transmission, which are well-suited for everyday driving, but clearly not intended to beat out its competition in the sort of performance numbers that the automotive press likes to publish.

  • "Plenty of power in all speed ranges and very smooth shifts from the six-speed automatic." -- Detroit Free Press
  • "There's available all-wheel drive for those who need it, and the Taurus rides smoothly for a car at this price point. Even the gas mileage is good: At 28 highway mpg, the V6-powered front-wheel-drive Taurus is more fuel efficient than quite a few midsize family sedans despite its full-size status." -- Edmunds
  • "It's no hot rod despite the large, torquey 3.5 V6, but the Taurus feels strong and relaxed." -- Consumer Guide

Acceleration and Power

All 2009 Ford Tauruses have a 3.5-liter 24-valve Duratec V6 engine with 263 horsepower and a six-speed automatic transmission. The engine was new in 2008, and though it's still outclassed by other powerplants at this price point, reviewers say Ford's newest V6 gives the car enough power for most driving situations. The EPA rates the 2009 Ford Taurus at 18 miles per gallon in the city (17 with AWD) and 28 mpg on highways (24 with AWD).

  • "With its upsized V-6 engine (the 3.5-liter Duratec gets 263 horsepower, up from last year's 203), the Taurus moves smartly from stoplights and pulls confidently onto the freeway. Passing others requires just a modest step on the gas, and at 75 mph the car feels like it still has plenty of oomph left." -- Cars.com
  • "It's no hot rod despite the large, torquey 3.5 V6, but the Taurus feels strong and relaxed. The automatic transmission is a smooth operator but can be reluctant to downshift for passing. It also tends to "hunt" between gears in give-and-take traffic." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Though the Taurus' 3.5-liter V6 sounds strained at higher engine speeds, it gets the job done, pulling the Taurus around with adequate gusto." -- Edmunds
  • The new engines is "a vast improvement over the plodding 3.0-liter in the previous car." -- Detroit News
  • "The V6 left us yawning." -- Car and Driver

Handling and Braking

The 2009 Ford Taurus is tuned for comfortable cruising, with soft suspension settings and speed-sensitive assisted steering with a light feel. Some say that makes its handling too loose, but others say it suits its purpose well.

  • "Feels steady in sweeping turns, especially with AWD, but Taurus is too tall and heavy for real agility in tight low-speed corners, where moderate body lean prevails. Available AWD is a boon on wet and snowy roads." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The Taurus glides over bumps and rides smoothly. Its handling at highways speeds is excellent for a large sedan." -- Detroit News
  • Steering is "quick, with decent road feel." -- MSN
  • "On back roads, the Taurus feels a bit like a dinghy caught in a squall, and its long-travel, spongy brake pedal doesn't help its cause." -- Edmunds

Next Steps: 2009 Ford Taurus

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