2016 Taurus New Car Test Drive
The Ford Taurus has a lot to offer in terms of comfort and refinement, but it's a dated design. The Taurus was last redesigned for the 2010 model year and restyled for 2013.
Not much has changed for 2016, apart from making a rearview camera standard on all models. The latest SYNC 3 connectivity technology comes on upper models, but lower trim levels retain SYNC with MyFord system.
Although the original Taurus of the late 1980s flaunted a rather radical design for its time, the current version is far different. Less efficient than more contemporary full-size sedans, and not as sharply styled, Taurus has barely kept pace with such rivals as the Chevrolet Impala, Hyundai Azera and Toyota Avalon. Fuel economy is mediocre.
However, the Taurus offers luxurious cabin amenities, with good-looking interior trim that feels substantial. Although the ride is firm, a Taurus is quiet and comfortable.
Three engines are available, all with a 6-speed automatic transmissions. All-wheel drive is optional on SEL and Limited trim levels with the V6; front-wheel drive is standard. Most models will come with the 3.5-liter V6, developing 288 horsepower and EPA-rated at 19/29 mpg City/Highway. The most fuel-efficient engine is the turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder, making 237 horsepower and EPA-rated at 22/32 mpg City/Highway, or 26 mpg Combined. All-wheel drive drops the estimate to 18/26 mpg.
Topping the performance spectrum, the Taurus SHO carries the highest-output engine: a turbocharged V6 that generates 365 horsepower, offered only with all-wheel drive. Though it doesn't engage the driver as directly as an authentic sports sedan, the SHO feels calm even when driven hard, and corners capably thanks to a tauter suspension. Gas mileage is EPA-rated at 17/25 mpg.
Taurus has a good safety reputation, though few active-safety features are available. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2016 Taurus five stars (out of five) for overall safety, side, and frontal crash tests, and four stars for rollover. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gives Taurus its top Good rating, though it hasn't been subjected to the new small-overlap test.
The 2016 Ford Taurus is offered in four trim levels; SE, SEL, Limited, and SHO. Taurus SE ($27,110) comes with V6 engine and front-wheel drive, cloth upholstery, rearview camera, power front seats, keyless entry, SYNC with MyFord, and 17-inch aluminum wheels.
Taurus SEL ($29,540) gets a leather-wrapped steering wheel, dual-zone automatic climate control, satellite radio, reverse sensing, and 18-inch wheels. SYNC 3 is optional. SEL AWD ($31,390) has all-wheel drive. The more fuel-efficient 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine is an option ($995).
Limited ($34,460) comes with leather upholstery, heated/cooled front seats, SYNC 3, power-adjustable pedals, pushbutton start, and 19-inch wheels. Limited AWD ($36,310) has all-wheel drive.
SHO AWD ($40,220) gets a more powerful turbocharged V6 engine, all-wheel drive, a sportier suspension, suede sport-seat inserts, and high-intensity headlights.
Standard safety features include Curve Control, which reduces power when the driver enters a turn too quickly. Blind-spot monitoring and cross-traffic alert are available for Limited.