2013 Ford Taurus Review

Refreshed Taurus rises in the rankings, but doesn’t look the part

2013 Ford Taurus Review

The first Ford Taurus showed up in 1985 (as a 1986 model) and proved to be an instant success. In one year, Ford sold over 200,000 examples of the car, and by 1989 that number had surpassed one million units. Ford had not seen this kind of success for a car since the Mustang debuted in 1964.

FAST FACTS

1. A new base 3.5L V6 engine delivers 25 hp more power for a new total of 288, while fuel economy rises one mpg in the city and two on the highway for total of 19/29.

2. Available luxury goodies include a heated steering wheel, keyless access with a push button ignition, a backup camera, adaptive cruse control and a rear power sunshade.

3. Curve Control and Torque Vectoring systems help improve corner .

4. A 2.0L 4-cylinder EcoBoost engine, available later this year, will deliver 240 hp and 270 lb-ft of torque with a 31 mpg highway rating.

5. 2013 models start from $26,600 and $39,200 for the SHO.

The Taurus sent a wake-up call to the North American automotive industry, spurring Chevrolet and Chrysler to hit back with answers to the Taurus — although none came close to beating its initial success.

Last year, Ford sold just over 63,000 Taurus models in America. While not a bad sales figure, it’s still far from the car’s early sales.

To recapture customer attention, Ford revamped the Taurus for the 2013 model-year, but will it be enough to shoot up Taurus sales to the level it once enjoyed?

NEW LOOK MORE INSIDE THAN OUT

From a distance, the 2013 Ford Taurus doesn’t look much different from the 2012 model. You’ll be hard pressed to distinguish between last year’s SE, SEL and Limited models and the 2013 versions. The new SHO does, however, stand out from the previous car thanks to its new nose and stunning 20-inch wheels.

Subtle as they many be, there are styling changes; like the wider front grille and a lower fascia. Around the side, you will find folding rear-view mirrors and perhaps even the optional 18-, 19- or 20-inch wheels (the base SE model has 17-inch wheels standard). While at the rear, you’ll find LED tail lights and dual exhaust pipes.

2013 Ford Taurus Limited interior

The bulk of Ford’s updates, however, are to the interior. Here you’ll find higher quality materials than the previous Taurus and a completely revised dashboard. Gone are the old twist knobs and raised buttons, replaced by a clean and simple flat panel in the center of the dashboard that has soft touch buttons.

The system is similar to the current Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX. It’s not to everyone’s liking and there has to be some worry that the Baby Boomer and older generations won’t warm to the technology as quickly as a Gen Y would. Still, it gives the interior a cleaner, more up-class look.

2013 Ford Taurus myford touch

The (optional) touch screen infotainment system looks good but has the same drawback as any other. It’s feature-packed, but all touch-screen systems show finger smudges and are hard to keep clean.

Otherwise, the interior is a pleasant, particularly because it’s quiet. Ford spent a lot of time and effort to make the Taurus quieter than the competition with thicker glass and more sound insulation. According to Ford, the new Taurus is quieter than the Toyota Avalon and the Nissan Maxima, and after driving the car we’re not arguing.

Interior space is unchanged from 2012, which is fine, especially given the generous 20.1 cubic-foot luggage capacity in the trunk.

SOLID POWER AND MPG IMPROVEMENTS FOR STANDARD V6

2013 Ford Taurus Front Black

Engine options are also updated for 2013 with the addition of a 2.0-liter Ecoboost, which will be available later this year and an improved base V6 ready for launch. The top-of-the-line 3.5-liter twin-turbo Ecoboost V6 in the SHO remains the same with 365 horsepower and 350 ft-lbs of torque. Rather than serving as an entry-level engine, the four-cylinder it will actually cost $1,000 more than the base V6, though it wasn’t available for testing during our test trip.

The base V6 is vastly improved with twin independent-variable camshaft timing (Ti-VCT). Thanks to its variable cams, this motor now produces 25 horsepower more than last year’s car, to a total of 288-hp. Maximum torque is now 254 lb-ft at 4000 rpm. Peak numbers aside, there’s bags more power in the mid-range rpms which makes highway passing a breeze.

Power is fed to either the front wheels or to an all-wheel drive system through a six-speed automatic gearbox, which might be very smooth, but it seems Ford is behind the curve with much of the competition moving to eight-speed gearboxes.

2013 Ford Taurus Rear

Ford says, despite lacking a few extra cogs, this new Taurus is still more efficient than most of its competition, averaging 19 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway. Not bad for a vehicle that is 16.9-feet long and weighs 4,000 lbs.

Remarkably, the much more powerful Taurus SHO can deliver the same fuel economy, provided you don’t lean too hard on the gas.

When the EcoBoost 4-cylinder arrives it will deliver 240 hp and 270 lb-ft of torque and an impressive 31 mpg on the highway.

All SHO models come equipped with all-wheel drive, which certainly makes driving feel more secure, especially in slippery road conditions.

HIGH-TECH DRIVING AIDS

To further help drivers navigate through twists and turns, Ford has fitted its latest curve control and torque vectoring devices to the Taurus. Curve control will slow the car down by as much as 10-mph if it feels the car is going too fast for the corner, and torque vectoring applies slight braking force to the inside front wheel when accelerating out of a corner, helping the car take a tighter, more precise line through the corner.

2013 Ford Taurus SHO

We like driver aids that work behind the scenes, keeping you safe. What we don’t like very much is the electronic power steering system – surprisingly, as its quite good in other Ford products. In the Taurus it lacks feel for what the front wheels are actually doing so more attention is required to figure out how much steering input is actually needed.

Prices for the 2013 Ford Taurus start at $26,600 for the SE model. The better-equipped SEL and Limited models are $28,800 and $33,000 respectively (add $1850 for all-wheel drive with both these models). The fast and surprisingly frugal SHO model is yours from $39,200.

THE VERDICT

An evolution of a car you’ve been able to buy from your local Ford dealer for the past two years, some of the improvements to the 2013 Taurus are more noticeable than others and buyers might not see all the updates as improvements.

2013 Ford Taurus Right Side

From a technical and performance point of view, this new Taurus is a step in the right direction. Adding improved driving dynamics, fuel economy and power it certainly has a leg up on the aged Maxima and Buick LaCrosse. SHO aside, the styling updates don’t shake the old-man design which will probably push some buyers toward Dodge and Chrysler‘s more youthful styling, or even the new Hyundai Azera.

Related Reading
2012 Hyundai Azera Review
2012 Dodge Charger R/T Review – Video
2011 Chrysler 300 Review
2011 Toyota Avalon Review
2010 Buick LaCrosse vs Lexus ES350
Nissan Maxima Review

« Back
SWEEPSTAKES – OFFICIAL RULES, TERMS AND CONDITIONS

AutoGuide.com’s Monthly Overlay Newsletter Signup – By subscribing to our email newsletter, Entrants are eligible to win one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card (value of $100.00 USD). One (1) winner will be chosen every month at random and contacted by VerticalScope Inc.’s staff. *Amazon.com is not a sponsor of this promotion. Except as required by law, Amazon.com Gift Cards ("GCs") cannot be transferred for value or redeemed for cash. GCs may be used only for purchases of eligible goods at Amazon.com or certain of its affiliated websites. For complete terms and conditions, see www.amazon.com/gc-legal. GCs are issued by ACI Gift Cards, Inc., a Washington corporation. All Amazon ®, ™ & © are IP of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. No expiration date or service fees.

1. NO PURCHASE OR PAYMENT OF ANY KIND IS NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN THIS SWEEPSTAKES. AGE/RESIDENCY RESTRICTIONS, VOID WHERE PROHIBITED.

2. PRIZE: One (1) Winner will be randomly selected every month to each receive: one (1) $100.00 Amazon.com Gift Card (the “Prize Supplier”). Total approximate retail value of all prizes is approximately $100.00 USD. Prizes are not transferable and no cash or prize substitution is allowed. Prize package is awarded "as is" with no warranty or guarantee, either express or implied.

3. ELIGIBILITY: From the time of entry through the final date of prize fulfillment, each contest entrant and selected entrant must be a permanent lawful citizen and resident residing in the 50 United States or the District of Columbia or in Canada, and be twenty one (21) years of age or older. VOID IN PUERTO RICO, THE U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS, IN ALL FOREIGN COUNTRIES OUTSIDE OF THE UNITED STATES, AND ALL OTHER U.S. TERRITORIES OR CANADA AND POSSESSIONS AND WHERE PROHIBITED OR RESTRICTED BY LAW. Employees, officers, directors, agents and representatives, of the Sponsor and the Prize Supplier and each of their respective parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising and promotion agencies, promotion partners and any entity involved in the development, production, implementation, administration or fulfillment of this Sweepstakes, and the immediate family members (e.g., spouse, mother, father, sister, brother, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece, grandparent, in-law, daughter and son, regardless of where they live) and persons living in the same household (whether or not related) of such individuals are not eligible to participate or win. Only one selected entrant per household. All decisions of the Sponsor with respect to this sweepstakes are final. The Sponsor shall have the right at any time to require proof of identity and failure to provide such proof may result in disqualification from the Sweepstakes.

4. ENTER BY INTERNET: You may enter this sweepstakes via the Internet by logging onto AutoGuide.com and subscribing to our email newsletter via the pop-up overlay.

5. SELECTION OF WINNER: One (1) Entrant will be selected by random selection who have subscribed to our email newsletter. The winner may be announced publicly on AutoGuide.com and will be contacted by VerticalScope Inc.’s staff. The winner will be required to provide a mailing address (that is not a P.O. box) to receive the prize which will be shipped free of charge.

6. ODDS OF WINNING: Odds of winning a prize are determined by the total number of eligible entries received.

7. RESTRICTIONS: The prize package consists of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card with an approximate value of $100.00 USD. If prize cannot be awarded due to circumstances beyond the control of the Sponsor or Prize Supplier, no substitute prize will be awarded due to the unique nature of the prize. Sponsor and Prize Supplier shall not be liable to the winner or any person claiming through winner for failure to supply the prize or any part thereof, by reason of any acts of God, any action(s), regulation(s), order(s) or request(s) by any governmental or quasi-governmental entity (whether or not the action(s), regulations(s), order(s) or request(s) prove(s) to be invalid), equipment failure, utility failure, internet failure, terrorist acts, threatened terrorist acts, air raid, blackout, act of public enemy, earthquake, war (declared or undeclared), fire, flood, epidemic, explosion, unusually severe weather, hurricane, embargo, labor dispute or strike (whether legal or illegal) labor or material shortage, transportation interruption of any kind, work slow-down, civil disturbance, insurrection, riot, or any other cause beyond Sponsor's or Prize Supplier's control (collectively, "Force Majeure Event"). Sponsor shall not be responsible for any cancellations, delays, diversions or substitutions or any act or omissions whatsoever by the performers/events, other transportation companies or any other persons providing any of these services and accommodations to passengers including any results thereof such as changes in services or accommodations necessitated by same.

8. CONDITIONS: By entering the Sweepstakes, entrants agree to be bound by the Official Rules, Terms and Conditions and that Sponsor has the irrevocable right to use in perpetuity entrants' names, user names, likenesses, photographs, voices, home mailing address, biographical and prize information, and entry materials, without notice to entrants and without compensation or obligation, in any and all media now or hereafter known throughout the world, in any manner whatsoever, to advertise and promote Sponsor, its products and services, the Sweepstakes, and for any other purpose except where prohibited by law. Entrant waives the right to assert as a cost of winning a prize any and all costs of verification and redemption or travel to redeem said prize and any liability which might arise from redeeming or seeking to redeem said prize. Sponsor is not responsible for fraudulent calls or emails made to entrants not by the Sponsor. If the Sweepstakes is not capable of running as planned by reason of damage by computer viruses, worms or bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical limitations or failures, any Force Majeure Event or any other cause which, in the sole opinion of Sponsor, could corrupt, compromise, undermine or otherwise affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity, viability or proper conduct of the Sweepstakes, Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole and absolute discretion, to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend all or any part of the Sweepstakes, and to select a winner from among all eligible entries received by Sponsor up until the time of such cancellation, termination, modification or suspension, as applicable. Sponsor reserves the right in its sole discretion to disqualify any individual that (i) tampers or attempts to tamper with the entry process or the operations of this Sweepstakes in any manner, (ii) violates the Official Rules, Terms and Conditions or (iii) acts in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner, or with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any other person. CAUTION: ANY ATTEMPT BY AN ENTRANT OR ANY OTHER INDIVIDUAL TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THIS SWEEPSTAKES IS A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS. SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, SPONSOR RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SEEK CIVIL AND/OR CRIMINAL PROSECUTION AND/OR DAMAGES FROM ANY SUCH PERSON TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW. Any expenses and receipt and use of the prize and federal, state and local taxes and fees applicable in connection with the prize awarded are the sole responsibility of the winner. An IRS Form 1099 will be issued in the name of the winner for the actual value of the prize received. This Sweepstakes is subject to all federal, state and local laws of the United States. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED. Sponsor, Prize Supplier, and their respective officers, directors, parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries and advertising and promotion agencies, employees, representatives and agents are not responsible for and shall not be liable for (i) any injuries, losses or damages of any kind caused by a prize resulting from acceptance, possession or usage of the prize, or (ii) printing, distribution or production errors. Sponsor or its affiliates may rescind any promotion found to contain such errors without liability at its or their sole discretion.

9. SPONSOR: The Sponsor of this contest is VerticalScope Inc. (the owner and operator of AutoGuide.com), 111 Peter Street, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario, M5V 2H1.

Subscribe to our email newsletter and automatically be entered to win.
*Restrictions apply. See offer for details

Get Breaking Automotive News, Reviews and Video in your Facebook Feed!

Already Liked