2010 Taurus New Car Test Drive
The Ford Taurus is all-new for 2010. The 2010 Taurus is impressive, well-equipped and extremely competent, a charismatic full-size sedan that could establish Ford as America's premier auto manufacturer. The 2010 Ford Taurus comes with a Duratec V6, delivering a generous 263 horsepower and 249 pound-feet of torque.
Also redesigned is the high-performance 2010 Taurus SHO, with a twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V6 rated at a breathtaking 365 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque. The SHO, which stands for Super High Output, delivers enough power and cornering poise to leave pricier Audi and Lexus models coughing in the dust.
Dramatically different and advanced in comparison with the mildly pleasing previous version, the 2010 Taurus models offer brisk performance, precise and reassuring handling, lavish comfort, and a comprehensive occupant-safety package. The Taurus and Taurus SHO are the flagships of Ford's entire line. And since, at long last, sedans are once again outselling trucks nationally, Ford has every reason to be optimistic about the Taurus's role in Ford's future.
We found the Taurus to be a responsive, comfortable, and protective family sedan, whether in SE, SEL or Limited trim. But this car is far more than a dull, utilitarian appliance.
Ford refers to Taurus's world-car styling as emotive and bold. Its looks have magnetism and a sleekly contemporary appearance designed to win owners who take seriously how they appear to the outside world. Judged on price alone, this is no luxury car. Yet its visual impact will go a long way toward making its occupants feel very good about themselves. This is a car to be seen in.
In the case of the Taurus, great looks don't prevent preclude brainpower. The Taurus is packed with innovative technology and electronics, beneficial driver-assistance provisions, and safety packages that outstrip import sedans costing half again more. Among these packages are comprehensive warning systems programmed to warn of obstacles front, side and rear, a boon in crowded parking lots. A brilliant adaptive cruise control system lets the driver relax on the highway, while it automatically controls the gap to the car ahead. Beyond the new technology, impressive as it is, it will still be the car's over-the-road driving character that determines its ultimate worth.
We drove both the Taurus and Taurus SHO along a lengthy route of highways, then put in a demanding day in the twisty hill country of Tennessee. The Taurus proved an altogether exemplary world sedan, while the SHO was a full-bore, high-revving demon, taming difficult roads with racecar grace.
The 2010 Ford Taurus comes standard with a 3.5-liter V6, six-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive.
Taurus SE ($25,170) comes with cloth upholstery, air conditioning manually controlled with air filter, six-way driver seat, 60/40 split-folding rear seat, tilt/telescoping steering wheel with audio and cruise controls, AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio with six speakers, three auxiliary power points, message center with trip computer, programmable performance-limiting key, illuminated visor mirrors, power windows with driver one-touch up/down, black exterior mirrors, rear window defroster, capless fuel filler, chrome exhaust tips, halogen headlamps with automatic windshield wiper activation, remote keyless entry, keyless entry keypad, floor mats, 17-inch wheels.
Taurus SEL ($27,170) adds six-speed paddle shifters, body-color heated exterior mirrors, 18-inch wheels, Sirius Satellite Radio, message center with trip computer and compass, auto-dimming mirror, leather-wrapped shifter knob and steering wheel, anti-theft perimeter alarm. Taurus SEL AWD ($29,020) is equipped the same but includes all-wheel drive.
Taurus Limited ($31,170) upgrades with leather-trimmed seats with 10-way power in both front seats, driver seat memory, leather-wrapped steering wheel with wood inlay, woodgrain applique, SYNC hands-free communications and entertainment, 6CD changer, universal garage opener, global-open window controls, chrome mirrors and taillamps, ambient interior lighting, cargo net, mirror with microphone, reverse sensing system, 19-inch chromed aluminum wheels. Limited AWD ($33,020) adds all-wheel drive.
Options include voice-activated navigation with Sirius Travel Link ($1995), adaptive cruise control ($1195), leather-trimmed seats for SEL ($1395), multi-contoured front seats ($595), rear window power sunshade, auto high beam headlamps, rain-sensing wipers, power moonroof ($895), cargo organizer, remote start ($395), all-weather floor mats, 12-speaker Sony audio, adjustable pedals with memory. (All New Car Test Drive prices are Manufacturers Suggested Retail Prices and do not include destination charge.)
Taurus SHO ($37,170) features a 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V6, all-wheel drive, electric power-assist steering, sports suspension, high-intensity discharge headlamps, rear spoiler, 19-inch premium wheels, door-trim color matched to seats, SHO floor mats, push-button start, aluminum pedals, leather seats with Miko suede inserts, leather steering wheel with perforated insert. The SHO Performance Package ($995) includes performance brake pads, EPAS-calibrated steering, ECS Track Mode/True Off, 3.16 final drive ratio, 20-inch painted wheels with 245/45YR20 performance summer tires.
Safety features include dual front airbags, front-seat side-impact airbags, and canopy airbags, collision warning with brake support, blind spot information system with cross-traffic alert, tire-pressure monitoring system, electronic stability control, anti-lock brakes, SOS post-crash alert, traction control, reverse sensing system, anchors for child seats. All-wheel drive is available.