Ford Taurus Performance
The 2013 Ford Taurus is a competent performer. While it’s no sports sedan, most reviewers say it offers a smooth driving experience with good acceleration. For the 2013 model year, the Taurus’ base engine makes more horsepower, and there is a new four-cylinder EcoBoost engine available.
- "Overall, Taurus is quite hushed inside. Limited's 3.5-liter V6 is heard under heavy acceleration, but it sounds smooth and refined and is nearly silent at cruise. Wind noise is well squelched, but coarse-surface road-noise is apparent at a highway clip." -- Consumer Guide
- "On the road, the 2013 Ford Taurus offers a comfortable ride." -- Edmunds
Acceleration and Power
Standard on the 2013 Ford Taurus is a 3.5-liter V6 engine that makes 288 horsepower, which is 25 horsepower more than standard V6 engine in the 2012 model. Reviewers say that this engine is a good match for the Taurus. The engine is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission that gets mixed reviews. One test driver calls it smooth, but another reviewer says the transmission has trouble finding the right gear when the Taurus is rounding corners or traveling over hilly terrain. The EPA rates the Ford Taurus at 19/29 mpg city/highway with front-wheel drive and 18/26 mpg with all-wheel drive. These fuel economy ratings are slightly better than what the 2012 Taurus averages.
There’s also an optional turbocharged 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder EcoBoost engine that makes 240 horsepower. Reviewers haven’t tested it yet, and the EPA hasn’t released fuel economy ratings, but Ford says that the Taurus gets 32 mpg on the highway with the turbo four. If you crave a lot more horsepower, consider the Taurus SHO, which is reviewed separately.
- "In the hills outside Portland, Oregon, we found the V-6 engine plenty powerful. It's hard to tell whether the 25 hp bump makes a noticeable performance difference, but the revised engine is smooth and responsive across the rev range, and acceleration should be more than acceptable for the majority of Taurus customers." -- Automobile Magazine
- "The naturally aspirated 3.5-liter V6 is very refined, provides more than adequate power, and delivers good acceleration. The automatic transmission shifts smoothly and is well behaved overall." -- Consumer Guide
- "The standard six-speed automatic transmission needs grooming: It holds higher gears coming into corners, delaying needed downshifts until moments too late, and hunts through gears on hilly roads. Step into the gas to pass, and the transmission stair-steps down through multiple gears. A Sport mode does little to change the behavior." -- Cars.com
Handling and Braking
In general, test drivers often say that electric power steering systems don’t provide enough feedback, but that’s not necessarily the case with the 2013 Taurus’ new steering system. One reviewer says the Taurus has more steering feel than expected, while another comments that it’s precise and well-weighted. Other reviews of the Taurus’ handling are positive, with test drivers praising its ability to tackle corners like a smaller car. However, one auto writer says that the Taurus doesn’t handle as well as competing affordable large cars.
The Taurus earns reviewer praise for its strong brakes. Available all-wheel drive can improve its grip on slippery roads.
- "The new steering doesn't feel as numb and artificial as in some other cars with electric assist, although the overall level of feedback is minimal. Still, the steering is both responsive enough that we felt confident on snowy and icy back roads, and light enough that we had no trouble navigating through Portland's bustling downtown." -- Automobile Magazine
- "Taurus handles most curves with a confidence that belies the car's large exterior size. Steering is nicely weighted and accurate. Grip with all-wheel drive is excellent. Braking performance is strong with easily modulated pedal action. A small turning radius helps in close-quarters maneuvering." -- Consumer Guide
- "That said, there's no hiding the Taurus' hefty weight and grand dimensions. Where other large sedans drive and feel like smaller cars, the Taurus still exhibits some lumbering characteristics around corners." -- Edmunds