After it hit the market for the 1986 model year, the Ford Taurus quickly became a sensation in America. This front-wheel-drive midsize family sedan looked like no other Ford before it and won over car shoppers with its comfortable and roomy cabin and affordable price.
Throughout its first decade of production, the Ford Taurus was consistently one of the best-selling cars in America. As the years wore on, however, the Taurus' popularity declined considerably due to stagnating design and more desirable competitors. Although Ford briefly killed the Taurus in late 2006, the company resurrected the Taurus moniker for 2008 when it renamed its revamped Five Hundred full-size sedan.
As a used car purchase, an older Taurus will likely work out fine, though in general there will be better midsize sedan choices available. The same could be said of a late-model Taurus and how it compares to other full-size sedans. The current Taurus, however, is significantly better thanks to some notable updates.
Current Ford Taurus
The Taurus is a large sedan cast in the traditional American mold. In other words, it's unabashedly squared off, sports more than a few chrome accents and provides a plush, quiet ride. The typical Taurus will be front-wheel drive with the base 3.5-liter V6, a solid engine that cranks out 290 horsepower. All-wheel drive is optional. Also optional is a turbocharged 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine that generates 240 hp and the best fuel economy in the large sedan segment. If performance is on your mind, Ford offers the Taurus SHO and its twin-turbo 3.5-liter V6 good for a healthy 365 hp and a sub-6-second 0-60 time. A six-speed automatic with manual shift control is the only available transmission for any Taurus.
The Taurus is offered in SE, SEL, Limited and SHO trims. Standard equipment highlights include alloy wheels, full power accessories, a power driver seat, a tilt-and-telescoping steering column and a six-speaker sound system. Higher trim levels add niceties like bigger wheels, the Sync and MyFord Touch electronics interfaces, a rearview camera, dual-zone automatic climate control, rear parking sensors, a power passenger seat and leather upholstery. Taurus options, depending on trim level, include a sunroof, adaptive cruise control, massaging front seats, a hard-drive-based navigation system (with HD radio) and a 12-speaker Sony-branded premium audio system.
In reviews, we've been pretty impressed by the current Taurus. The styling is distinctive, as is the cabin with its twin-cowl dashboard layout. On the road, the Taurus provides solid if unexciting driving dynamics and a comfortable, quiet ride. Performance ranges from ample with the base V6 to thrilling with the SHO's twin-turbocharged V6, which provides V8-like thrust at all speeds. Rear passenger space is a bit tighter than we'd expect from such a large car, but the trunk is a cargo-hauler's dream.
Read the most recent 2014 Ford Taurus review.
If you are looking for older years, visit our used Ford Taurus page.
For more on past Ford Taurus models, view our Ford Taurus history page.