2018 Ford Taurus

2018 Ford Taurus Review

The Taurus' lack of discernable strengths makes it less compelling than rival sedans.
author
by Cameron Rogers
Edmunds Editor

Seemingly designed to conquer the nation's endless stretches of highway, large sedans place a premium on passenger room and comfort. The 2018 Ford Taurus is a competent member of this class, but its hefty weight and dated cabin make rivals generally more appealing.

Naturally, the Taurus offers ample leg- and headroom throughout. It also boasts one of the largest trunks in this class. The Taurus' composed ride transports passengers in comfort, whether you're navigating broken city streets or cruising on the open road. It might seem like the Taurus is the ultimate road trip vehicle, with plenty of space and storage for four passengers and luggage.

However, pretty much any vehicle in this class will do the same thing, and in a more upscale fashion. While it has received numerous improvements over the years, this generation of the Taurus has been on sale since 2010. Even with the addition of the Sync 3 infotainment interface, the cabin looks plain compared to newer competitors. It feels clumsy and bulky when you're driving around tight turns, and unless you're considering the high-performance SHO model, the V6 is lethargic. It simply isn't powerful enough to move this chunky sedan with authority.

Overall, we think the 2018 Ford Taurus will adequately meet your needs. But if you shop around, you'll likely find that the Taurus' large sedan rivals are more compelling overall.



what's new

The turbocharged four-cylinder engine has been axed for 2018, and power-adjustable pedals are no longer included in Equipment Group 201A. Otherwise, the Ford Taurus is unchanged.

we recommend

The SE's low base price is undeniably attractive, but its skimpy list of standard features is unlikely to impress prospective buyers. The SEL is priced just a bit higher, and we think its added features — including dual-zone climate control, rear parking sensors and satellite radio — are worth the upgrade. If it were our money, we'd also check the box for Equipment Group 201A, which replaces the minuscule central display screen with an 8-inch touchscreen and the excellent Sync 3 system. Leather upholstery is also available, paired with heated front seats.




trim levels & features

The 2018 Ford Taurus is a large, five-passenger sedan sold in four trim levels. The base SE is modestly equipped, which is why buyers looking for 21st-century tech should strongly consider the next level SEL. It counts rear parking sensors, dual-zone climate control and an auto-dimming rearview mirror among its upgrades. The Limited is significantly more expensive, as it comes with items that are optional for the SEL, plus additional luxury features. The SHO is a different beast entirely, marrying most of the Limited's features with a high-performance V6 and sport suspension.

For power, the SE relies on a 3.5-liter V6 engine (288 horsepower, 254 pound-feet of torque) paired to a six-speed automatic transmission. Standard features include 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, an exterior keyless-access keypad, six-way power-adjustable front seats (with manual recline and lumbar adjustment), 60/40-split folding rear seatbacks, a driver information display, a rearview camera, Sync voice controls, Bluetooth, a 4.2-inch central display, and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player and two USB ports.

Stepping up to the SEL adds LED daytime running lights, body-color heated mirrors with puddle lamps, rear parking sensors, remote engine start, dual-zone automatic climate control, upgraded cloth upholstery and interior trim, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and satellite radio (the latter is optional on the SE). Leather upholstery paired with heated front seats is available as a stand-alone option.

The SEL can also be had with the Equipment Group 201A options package, which adds keyless entry and ignition, an additional center speaker for the audio system and the Sync 3 infotainment system, which includes an 8-inch touchscreen and smartphone integration via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The more luxurious Taurus Limited gets you all the Equipment Group 201A items, plus 19-inch alloy wheels, automatic high-beam control, automatic wipers, an auto-dimming driver-side mirror, power-adjustable pedals, leather upholstery, heated and ventilated 10-way power front seats, driver-seat memory settings, heated second-row seats, a power-adjustable heated steering wheel, ambient interior lighting, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, and a premium Sony audio system with HD radio.

Limited models can also be had with the Driver Assist options package, which includes adaptive cruise control, an automated parallel parking system, a forward collision warning system, and lane departure warning and intervention. Stand-alone options for both SEL and Limited include 20-inch alloy wheels, a sunroof, a rear spoiler and a navigation system.

The sporty SHO starts with most of the Limited's standard equipment and adds all-wheel drive, a turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 engine (365 horsepower, 350 pound-feet of torque), a sport-tuned suspension, exclusive 20-inch wheels, xenon headlights, black exterior trim, a rear spoiler, dual exhaust tips, unique leather upholstery and interior trim, and steering wheel-mounted shift paddles.

Most Limited options are also available for the SHO, along with a SHO Performance package that adds a revised final-drive ratio for quicker acceleration, summer performance tires, stiffer suspension tuning, upgraded brake pads, special steering tuning, an enhanced stability control system with a Track mode, and simulated suede trim on the steering wheel.



Driving

The Taurus is a big, heavy sedan, and it feels considerably bulky when navigating tight turns. The standard V6 engine makes decent power, but make no mistake about it: This bulky cruiser is one of the slowest options in the full-size category.

Comfort

The Taurus makes up for its lack of outright performance with long-distance cruising abilities. Its smooth ride quality and hushed cabin make it an ideal place to roll away the miles.

Interior

Head- and legroom are abundant, though the small windows and thick pillars somehow make the interior feel more cramped than it really is. Materials quality isn't up to the standards of newer rivals.

Utility

With 20.1 cubic feet of storage space, the Taurus' trunk is larger than those of just about every other competitor. The 60/40-split rear seats fold down to increase maximum cargo capacity.

Technology

The standard 4.2-inch central display is basic and cheap-looking. It's worth it to upgrade to the 8-inch touchscreen and its Sync 3 operating system. Sync 3 is intuitive, easy to use and includes Apple CarPlay/Android Auto functionality. It's a huge improvement over the previous MyFord Touch interface.

edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.