$8,019 - $10,508

2012 Ford Taurus Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2012 Ford Taurus was new.


Performance: 8.1

The 2012 Ford Taurus performs well for a large sedan, with strong acceleration, sure-footed handling and good fuel economy despite its tremendous curb weight. Reviewers say it will easily meet the needs of most families.

  • "Rivals many premium sedans for hushed comfort. Both engines produce a refined note during acceleration and recede almost completely into the background while cruising." -- Consumer Guide 
  • "Whether cruising down the interstate or battling cross-town traffic on surface streets, the … Taurus remains unexpectedly quiet thanks to fine-tuned aerodynamics and strategically placed sound insulation." -- Edmunds 
  • "The … Ford Taurus drives with the supple feel expected of a full-size sedan while also delivering a reasonably engaging experience in the corners." -- Kelley Blue Book 
  • "Although the Taurus is large, it doesn't feel especially so, at least until you try to park it. But on the road, its size is never an issue." -- Road and Track
  • "The car's actual performance abilities seem almost incidental to what is, for all intents and purposes, a luxury cruiser - an epic road-trip sedan. Like most of its potential competition, the Taurus is a machine that coddles occupants with vast equipment levels and a luxurious ride, not a sports sedan." -- Autoblog

Acceleration and Power

The standard engine on every version of the 2012 Ford Taurus except the high-performance Taurus SHO is a 3.5-liter V6 that makes 263 horsepower. Reviewers say it's a good match for the Taurus’ 4,000-pound curb weight. The engine is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission that reviewers say is one of the best on the market. The EPA rates the Ford Taurus at 18/28 mpg city/highway with front-wheel drive and 17/26 mpg city/highway with all-wheel drive.

  • "The transmission occasionally hunts for the right gear on hilly roads, but shifting manually via the available steering-wheel paddles helps." -- Consumer Guide 
  • "The standard V6 engine provides decent acceleration for everyday driving." -- Edmunds 
  • "Accompanying the responsive handling is an energetic 3.5-liter V6 and standard six-speed automatic transmission that, besides an occasional abrupt shift, operates with a high level of sophistication." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "My test car suffered from a ticklish accelerator pedal but otherwise purred on the highway, without ever suggesting it was interested in anything athletic." -- Fortune
  • "We found off-the-line and mid-range acceleration to be perfectly adequate and drama-free, with crisp, well-timed shifts." -- Autoblog

Handling and Braking

The 2012 Ford Taurus handles well for its large size. Reviewers say its ride strikes a careful balance between gentle and crisp, but most wouldn't call it sporty. The available all-wheel drive adds wet-weather grip.

  • "With its standard 18-inch wheels, the SEL has a very smooth, composed ride with no apparent float or wallow. SEL and Limited with 19s suffer from a little bit of pattering over pavement seams and breaks." -- Consumer Guide 
  • "Handling feels stable and secure, though the lack of steering feel and its substantial proportions keep the car from feeling particularly sporty." -- Edmunds 
  • "The Taurus turns with an eagerness not always found in the full-size sedan world, giving it a welcome sense of agility." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "That weight doesn't rear its bloated head in day-to-day cornering. ... there's virtually no body roll, while steering is direct and reasonably weighted, if completely absent of feel." -- Jalopnik
  • "The latest Taurus doesn't inspire comparisons with any Eurosedans. ... the trade-offs for exceptionally smooth ride quality are what's-your-hurry responses and progressive understeer." -- Car and Driver
  • "On the highway, the Taurus has a quiet ride and a light steering effort." -- Road and Track

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