"They don't make 'em like they used to." For those who think this saying applies to cars, we present the 2017 Ford Taurus, a car that delivers the values of a traditional large American sedan: Comfortable ride, roomy interior and a trunk large enough to qualify for its own ZIP code. In a market flooded with small, high-tech, fuel-efficient cars, the Taurus has an old-school vibe that we're sure will resonate with some buyers. Unfortunately, the Taurus is beginning to show its age in ways that aren't so commendable. 2017 marks the eighth year of production for the current-generation Taurus, and there are other large sedans that do a better job with more fuel-efficient powertrains, better driving dynamics, newer technology and better cabin trim.
The Taurus offers two engine choices: A traditional 3.5-liter V6 producing 288 horsepower and 254 pound-feet of torque and a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder good for 240 hp and 270 lb-ft. V6 models offer all-wheel drive as an option; the four-cylinder is front-wheel drive only. EPA fuel economy estimates range from 23 mpg combined (20 city/29 highway) for the 2.0T, down to 19 mpg combined (17 city/24 highway) for the AWD V6.
Ford also offers a sporty version called the Taurus SHO, powered by a 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 that puts out 265 hp and 350 lb-ft and delivers it to all four wheels. Fuel economy is comparable to the non-turbo V6 AWD powertrain. The SHO turned a 5.8-second zero-to-60-mph run in Edmunds testing, which is slower than the high-performance versions of some of its competitors. The SHO is more agile than the regular Taurus on curvy roads, which feels bulky and ponderous in the turns, but again it's simply not up to the standards set by its newer rivals. We like the smooth, quiet ride best, which makes the Taurus a great car for long road trips.
The Taurus' cabin is starting to look dated. Although we like the dual-cowl design and the new Sync 3 touchscreen infotainment system, the poor-quality materials let it down. Space is the Ford Taurus' ace in the hole. There's plenty of stretch-out space for both front- and rear-seat occupants, though the high dash, thick pillars and small windows make the cabin feel more cramped and confined than it really is. They also limit visibility, which further hampers the driving experience. But the trunk is a wonder to behold: With 20.1 cubic feet of space, it's unlikely you can pack enough suitcases to fill it.
Ford offers the Taurus in four trim levels. The SE is the one you'll most likely find on a rental car lot, though it is equipped with all the basics; we prefer the additional creature comforts in the SEL. The leather-lined Limited broaches on luxury car status, especially when equipped with optional advanced driver aids, like adaptive cruise control and automated parking. Let Edmunds help find the perfect 2017 Ford Taurus for you.