The Taurus refreshed for 2013, is similar to the top of the heap Ford family sedans coming from past years, like Galaxie 500, the LTD, huge, quiet and comfortable with respectable amount of power and relaxed driving dynamics. The interiors are with plush materials bordering on luxury, but Ford is not ready to name it as a luxury car though the price of Taurus has soared up to $40, 000.
Luxury sedans are the forte of Lincoln if you look at the family tree of the carmaker. However, you find lots of luxury features here. The SEL test car with all wheel drive is priced at $35,240 and count the amenities. Power adjustable leather seats with heat in the front, auto power windows, dual-zone climate control, keyless start, AM/FM/CD audio, satellite radio, ambient lighting, power adjustable pedals, rearview camera, tilting and telescopic steering column, latest MyFord Touch secondary control and Voice-controlled Sync connection, adaptive cruise control, cross traffic alert and blind spot warning control. There is an added new feature in the Taurus, which assists in the self-parking, but was not available in our test mare.
The equipment discarded belongs to optional picks, but all these culminate into a serene and rich driving environment where the occupants are pampered with. Even daily commuting looks pleasant and not to say a cross-country ride. The car is quite pleasant to live in and drive but should not be mistaken as stimulating. The Taurus is aesthetically refined but not athletically refined unless the subject is the SHO. The SEL trim is meant for family driving in the mainstream, and is tuned to creamy riding experience. The task is accomplished with considerable amount of body rolling and bumpy up and down jolts on uneven roads while removing the passengers from the real-life state of the uneven pavements. But it also makes the cornering a highly patient task, with understeer and deliberate transient response.
An electric assisted new power steering has been added to the Taurus’ old school dynamics. With 2.8 locks to lock turns, it is lifeless and numb but quick. Braking is nothing to boast about, and the skidpad figures read 0.84g with the ZMichelin Primacy MXM4 all season tires surrounding 19-inch wheels. However, the 182-feet stop from 70-0mph is inexcusable for a family sedan.
Unlike the other sedans in the competition, namely Nissan Maxima, Toyota Avalon and Hyundai Azura, you get several engine choices in the Taurus. The 2.0 Liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine which we found in the test car, a 3.5 Liter EcoBoost V-6 engine, which is unique for the SHO trim and a 3.5 Liter naturally aspirated V-6, that comes as standard engine for Taurus, and has been updated with variable timing on all overhead cams for the year 2013. The 3.5 Liter produces 288hp and 254lb-ft and gains about 25 horses due to the upgrade and 5 pounds of torque. There is an impressive increase in the fuel economy with 2mpg on the highway as per EPA. While the highway has gone up to 26mpg, the city remains 18. In our observation, we achieved 21mpg.