2012 Ford Taurus Performance
This performance review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.
The 2012 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. The Taurus SHO, which wins a great deal of praise for its enthusiast-level performance, is reviewed separately.
- "Rivals many premium sedans for hushed comfort. Both engines produce a refined note during acceleration and recede almost completely into the background while cruising." -- Consumer Guide
- "Whether cruising down the interstate or battling cross-town traffic on surface streets, the … Taurus remains unexpectedly quiet thanks to fine-tuned aerodynamics and strategically placed sound insulation." -- Edmunds
- "The … Ford Taurus drives with the supple feel expected of a full-size sedan while also delivering a reasonably engaging experience in the corners." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "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 2012 Ford Taurus except the high-performance Taurus SHO is a 3.5-liter V6 that makes 263 horsepower. Reviewers say it's a good match for the Taurus’ 4,000-pound curb weight. The engine is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission that reviewers say is one of the best on the market. The EPA rates the Ford Taurus at 18/28 mpg city/highway with front-wheel drive and 17/26 mpg city/highway with all-wheel drive.
- "The transmission occasionally hunts for the right gear on hilly roads, but shifting manually via the available steering-wheel paddles helps." -- Consumer Guide
- "The standard V6 engine provides decent acceleration for everyday driving." -- Edmunds
- "Accompanying the responsive handling is an energetic 3.5-liter V6 and standard six-speed automatic transmission that, besides an occasional abrupt shift, operates with a high level of sophistication." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "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
Handling and Braking
The 2012 Ford Taurus handles well for its large size. 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.
- "With its standard 18-inch wheels, the SEL has a very smooth, composed ride with no apparent float or wallow. SEL and Limited with 19s suffer from a little bit of pattering over pavement seams and breaks." -- Consumer Guide
- "Handling feels stable and secure, though the lack of steering feel and its substantial proportions keep the car from feeling particularly sporty." -- Edmunds
- "The Taurus turns with an eagerness not always found in the full-size sedan world, giving it a welcome sense of agility." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "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