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#9

in Affordable Large Cars

MSRP: $26,780 - $39,980
Invoice: $24,705 - $36,882
MPG: 19 City / 29 Hwy
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Ford Taurus Performance

Most critics say the 2014 Ford Taurus has a smooth ride but uninspiring handling. They write that the base Taurus has a powerful engine, and that the Taurus SHO offers sharp handling and a potent turbocharged engine.

  • "Despite all these tweaks, the 2014 Ford Taurus is only average to drive. Like many of its rivals in the full-size sedan class, it is aimed more at comfort and style than driving fun." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "The Taurus is no 7 Series, but does deliver impressive ride comfort, a serene cabin and adept handling - not to mention impressive acceleration from both the V6 and turbocharged EcoBoost engines." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The Taurus SHO is the quickest, best-handling and most technology-packed member of Ford's full-size Taurus sedan family. It boasts a 365-horsepower twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V6 along with a sure-footed all-wheel-drive system and loads of luxury features." -- Left Lane News

Acceleration and Power

The 2014 Ford Taurus comes standard with a 288-horsepower, 3.5-liter V6 engine and a six-speed automatic transmission. So equipped, the Taurus gets an EPA-estimated 19/29 mpg city/highway, which is decent for a V6-powered affordable large car. A 240-horsepower, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine is optional, and the Taurus achieves its best fuel economy estimates with this engine, returning an EPA-estimated 22/32 mpg city/highway. Performance-oriented Taurus SHO models have a 365-horsepower, turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 engine, which is comparable power with what the V8-powered Chrysler 300 offers.

Most reviewers say that the standard V6 powertrain offers strong, refined acceleration, and that the six-speed automatic transmission shifts smoothly. Test drivers also like the power and fuel economy that the turbocharged four-cylinder model delivers. Despite comparable horsepower ratings, one critic writes that the Taurus SHO can’t quite match the acceleration of competitors like the V8-powered Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger. However, reviewers note that the Taurus SHO offers better fuel economy than those rivals.

  • "Unfortunately, the Taurus just didn't live up to the high driving standard set in our Challenge. When accelerating, there was quite a lag before the Limited's 3.5-liter V-6 engine's power really kicked in. It took more nursing than I would like to get smooth acceleration up to speed from a full stop." -- Cars.com
  • "The SHO's twin-turbo V6 offers acceleration that falls just short of its V8-powered competitors from Chrysler and Dodge, but it returns fuel economy that puts them to shame. ... Meanwhile, those looking for maximum fuel efficiency needn't settle for lackluster performance, as the available turbocharged four smoothly provides sufficient all-around thrust while earning high fuel economy numbers." -- Edmunds
  • "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 (2013)
  • "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 (2013)

Handling and Braking

Some critics say that the Taurus exhibits sloppy handling, especially in comparison with rival large cars. However, other reviewers think that the Taurus is fairly composed, with a comfortable ride and strong brakes. Test drivers also like the Taurus’ responsive steering, though a few note that it could offer more road feel. However, the Taurus’ optional all-wheel drive system earns praise for its reassuring grip in wet weather.

  • "Whereas many other large sedans drive and feel like smaller cars, the Taurus has a lumbering feel around turns that detracts from driver confidence." -- Edmunds
  • "The Taurus suffered a lot of lean in corners, which I noticed both as a driver and as a backseat passenger. In the back, I was thrown around on a twist and then a turn while the driver got up to speed approaching a highway on-ramp." -- Cars.com
  • "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 (2013 AWD)
  • "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 (2013)
Review Last Updated: 5/16/14

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