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#2

in 2011 Affordable Large Cars

Avg. Price Paid: $13,901 - $18,711
Original MSRP: $25,420 - $33,870
MPG: 18 City / 28 Hwy
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2011 Ford Taurus Performance

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

The 2011 Ford Taurus performs well for a large sedan, with strong acceleration, sure-footed handling and good fuel economy despite its tremendous curb weight. Reviewers say it will easily meet the needs of most families. A high-performance SHO edition, which wins a great deal of praise for its enthusiast-level performance, is reviewed separately.

  • "This Taurus doesn't seem to us to have been conceived as a thrill ride; viewed as a built-for-family-comfort-and-not-for-frolic sedan, the company need not apologize." -- Car and Driver
  • "Although the Taurus is large, it doesn't feel especially so, at least until you try to park it. But on the road, its size is never an issue." -- Road and Track
  • "The car's actual performance abilities seem almost incidental to what is, for all intents and purposes, a luxury cruiser -- an epic road-trip sedan. Like most of its potential competition, the Taurus is a machine that coddles occupants with vast equipment levels and a luxurious ride, not a sports sedan." -- Autoblog

Acceleration and Power

The standard engine on every version of the 2011 Ford Taurus except the high-performance SHO is a 3.5-liter V6, making 263 horsepower. Reviewers say it's a good match for the Taurus’s 4,000-pound curb weight. The engine is mated to, a six-speed automatic that can be shifted manually with steering-wheel mounted paddles. Reviewers say the transmission is one of the best on the market. The EPA rates the Ford Taurus at 18 miles per gallon in the city (17 with AWD) and 28 mpg on highways (25 with AWD).

  • "The standard V6 engine provides acceptable power to move this large sedan." -- Edmunds
  • "My test car suffered from a ticklish accelerator pedal but otherwise purred on the highway, without ever suggesting it was interested in anything athletic." -- Fortune
  • "We found off-the-line and mid-range acceleration to be perfectly adequate and drama-free, with crisp, well-timed shifts." -- Autoblog
  • "Mass is never an asset in the 0-to-60-mph game, but Ford's corporate 3.5-liter, DOHC 24-valve V-6 (263 horsepower, 249 pound-feet of torque) and six-speed automatic conspire to get the Taurus moving respectably: to 60 mph in 7.0 seconds and through the quarter-mile in 15.4 seconds at 92 mph." -- Car and Driver
  • "Where previous 6-speeds in cars like the 2009 Ford Flex, 2008 Ford Taurus X and 2008 Ford Edge endlessly hunted for gears, were slow to kick down and were just extremely annoying to use, this new version always seems to be in the right gear, kicks down immediately and is virtually undetectable in its smoothness. Add to that the honest-to-god manual override and its steering wheel-mounted paddles that are standard on SEL and Limited trims and Ford suddenly offers one of the best slushboxes in the business." -- Jalopnik

Handling and Braking

The 2011 Ford Taurus handles well for its large size, but is not the equal of most European sport sedans.  Reviewers say its ride strikes a careful balance between gentle and crisp, but most wouldn't call it sporty.  The available all-wheel drive adds wet-weather grip. The anti-lock brakes perform predictably, earning little praise or complaints from test drivers.

  • "In terms of handling, both Taurus models are stable and secure, though the lack of steering feel and a beefy curb weight prevent the car from being particularly involving to drive." -- Edmunds
  • "That weight doesn't rear its bloated head in day-to-day cornering...there's virtually no body roll, while steering is direct and reasonably weighted, if completely absent of feel." -- Jalopnik
  • "The latest Taurus doesn't inspire comparisons with any Eurosedans...the trade-offs for exceptionally smooth ride quality are what's-your-hurry responses and progressive understeer." -- Car and Driver
  • "On the highway, the Taurus has a quiet ride and a light steering effort." -- Road and Track
  • "We encountered some pretty wretched weather on our evaluation drive, with strong rain and serious crosswinds. Under these inhospitable conditions, the Taurus tracked well, understeered safely and predictably when the radius of a corner tightened up on us a bit more than expected, and the four-wheel disc brakes with traction and stability control reined everything in agreeably without terribly spongy pedal feel." -- Autoblog
  • "Also pleasant in standard form, non-SHO Taurus models handle most curves with confidence that belies their large exterior size. … A small turning radius helps in close-quarters maneuvering." -- Consumer Guide

Next Steps: 2011 Ford Taurus

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