As an idea, reinventing the Taurus and pushing it as the new flagship of Ford Motor Company is on par with an 90’s one hit wonder reuniting for another try at Billboard top 25. It’s risky, a classic disaster in the making unless you can actually pull it off. Ford took that gamble and competitors beware, they’ve got a brand new hit.
First Drive Verdict
A amazingly executed and revolutionary re-invention of the mainstream four-door sedan jammed with technology and refinement in a package you cannot find anywhere else. The automotive industry as a whole just got schooled.
- The best complement of driver oriented technology we’ve seen to date on any car
- A smooth and extremely isolated ride
- Although staying true to four-door sedan in size the Taurus drives like a mid-size
We could have liked more
- The console felt rock hard in some places, nerf-ball soft in others
- 263-horsepower does the job but isn’t quick
- Cockpit style interior sacrifices space for style and may cramp larger drivers
Check back Tuesday morning for our First Drive Review of the turbocharged 2010 Ford Taurus SHO
Forget everything you know about the Taurus
Forget everything you know about the Taurus. Family car, people mover, bland, boring; these adjectives do not apply to the new 2010 model. Out of the gate you get a sense this new Taurus is something different just by looking at it. A bold new face draws lines from the best selling Taurus of the mid-90’s while concurrently looking to the future much like the 2010 Fusion. The same goes for the interior. A classic two cockpit layout by design, the console is seriously modern.
It’s a staunch departure from the typical four-door sedan we’ve come to know. From the beginning Ford insists this was exactly the plan. They openly admit the previous Taurus and pretty much the entire full-size family sedan segment has been built and designed from the “we” standpoint. “We” will go for a ride. “We” will go for a road trip. It’s all been about catering to the family and not to the driver.
This viewpoint has changed with the new Taurus. Ford has taken a “me” approach- orienting the best features of the 2010 model around the driver. From the sleek exterior to the edgy interior, driving a 2010 Taurus won’t cast the “I’m driving a boring family car” blues on whoever steps behind the wheel.
Useful technology and features
Looking good is important but so is being attentive to the occupants. Ford again doesn’t let us down. There’s some serious technology lurking inside the 2010 Taurus- so much in fact, it’s impressive. Sure, you’ve got the expected options; navigation system, all-wheel-drive, and heated seats. Then you have Ford exclusive technology such as SYNC, MyKey, and Sirius Travel Link. The true surprises, options you would not find in any car of this class only serve as icing on the cake; adaptive cruise control, push button start, heated/cooled seats, adaptive front seating, collision warning, and blind-spot monitoring.
Ford went so far to elevate the Taurus they’ve only left one exclusive option for the Lincoln MKS, which shares platforms with the Taurus, automatic parking. Everything else you can get in the MKS is an option in the Taurus.
The Taurus is an extremely potent blend of really useful technologies. For example- during our drive in North Carolina last week we drove straight into a strong thunderstorm. Using Sirius Travel Link and its live radar map we were able to see exactly where the weather was headed and how long it would be until we saw clear skies again.
During our nearly six-hours behind the wheel of the 2010 we also very much appreciated Ford’s Adaptive Seating. The system uses a series of air bladders in the driver and passenger seat cushions to randomly shift your body ever so slightly as you cruise down the road. This keeps circulation flowing and puts a huge dent in the stiffness and discomfort one usually expects from a long drive.
Behind the wheel
So we’ve determined the Taurus looks hot and has all the right features. Stepping in for the trifecta – the Taurus handles great as well. We particularly noticed how composed and quiet it was. A quick jaunt down the road and you’ll most likely forget your driving a full-size, four-door sedan with a huge trunk. Body roll has been kept under control like a European sedan. Maybe our only gripe about the Taurus on the road would be it’s slow steering. Hustling around corners kept us busy cranking the wheel from side to side.
As mentioned above, heavy rain gave us a excellent test of the optional all-wheel-drive system. Even through deep puddles, sheets of rain, and flowing water the Taurus never lost composure- even under full-throttle. It dug in and went- no fuss, no mess.
Road noise is surprisingly limited thanks to extensive sound-deadening materials. Laminated glass, baffles in each pillar, and triple door seals are to thank. This just may be the first application of acoustic laminated glass in a “family” sedan.
This is without a doubt the Ford Taurus you’d never expect. Perhaps that’s because the bar has been lowered so much on what a “Taurus” should be it’s just surprising to find a car that has been executed so well. It’s sleek, sexy, and utterly destroys the Chrysler 300 and Chevrolet Impala in every way. Great features, a composed drive, and tons of style- the Taurus has them all. This may very well be the new benchmark for “family” full-size sedans. If it is, this segment has a very bright future despite a disappointing past, just like the Taurus. Rock on Ford- thanks for giving us another hit.
Get a good look
Check out our 50+ image gallery of the new 2010 Ford Taurus and Taurus SHO.
Engine: 3.5L Duratec V-6 (all-aluminum)
Power: 263-horsepower / 249 ft-lbs torque
Transmission: 6-speed automatic w/optional SelectShift steering-wheel paddle shifters
Drivetrain: FWD or AWD
Base MSRP: $25,995
Standard: FWD, MyKey, SecuriCode, Stability Control, 17″ wheels, EasyFuel
Base MSRP: $27,995
Standard: All SE features plus- SelectShift 6-speed automatic, 18″ wheels
Optional: AWD, SYNC, Reverse sensing system, ambient interior lighting, push button start, leather seats, moonroof, 19″ wheels
Base MSRP: $31,995
Standard: All SEL features plus- SYNC, heated memory seats, chrome accents, puddle lights, 10-way power drivers seat, leather wrapped steering-wheel, ambient interior lighting
Optional: AWD, navigation system w/10-gig hard drive, auto hi-beam headlights, rain-sensing wipers, Sirius TravelLink, Blind Spot warning with cross-traffic alert, heated/cooled front seats, power-adjustable pedals, rear power sunshade, rear-view camera
SYNC Music System
Adaptive Cruise Control with Collision Warning
Sirius Travel Link
Adaptive Front Seats
Blind Spot Monitor w/Cross Traffic alert
911 Assist (part of SYNC)
Easy Fuel Capless Filling
SecuriCode keyless entry
Later this summer (2009)