$16,156 - $25,058

2016 Ford Taurus Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2016 Ford Taurus was new.

Scorecard

Performance: 7.4

The 2016 Ford Taurus gets decent power from its base V6, auto journalists write, but most prefer the available turbocharged four-cylinder engine, which delivers comparable power and better fuel efficiency. They note that the Taurus delivers a smooth ride, though opinions differ about its handling. A few say the Taurus has composed handling, but several find it underwhelming and not as agile as some rivals.

  • "The Taurus SHO is the quickest, best-handling and most technology-packed member of Ford's full-size Taurus sedan family. It boasts a 365-horsepower twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V6 along with a sure-footed all-wheel-drive system and loads of luxury features." -- Left Lane News (2015)
  • Despite all these tweaks, the 2014 Ford Taurus is only average to drive. Like many of its rivals in the full-size sedan class, it is aimed more at comfort and style than driving fun." -- Automobile Magazine (2014)
  • "The Taurus is no 7 Series, but does deliver impressive ride comfort, a serene cabin and adept handling - not to mention impressive acceleration from both the V6 and turbocharged EcoBoost engines." -- Kelley Blue Book (2014)
  • "The naturally aspirated 3.5-liter V6 is very refined, provides more than adequate power, and delivers good acceleration. The automatic transmission shifts smoothly and is well behaved overall." -- Consumer Guide (2013)

Acceleration and Power

The 2016 Taurus comes standard with a 3.5-liter V6 engine that puts out 288 horsepower. A turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 240 horsepower is available, and the high-performance Taurus SHO features a turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 that puts out 365 horsepower. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard. When equipped with the base engine, the Taurus gets an EPA-estimated 18/27 mpg city/highway, which is poor for the class. With the four-cylinder engine, the Taurus returns 20/29 mpg.

The base V6 provides reasonable power, according to test drivers, but some complain about its lackluster acceleration. Most agree that the turbocharged four-cylinder delivers similar capabilities to the base V6 but with better fuel economy. Reviewers note that if you're concerned with performance, you'll want to opt for the SHO trim, as it provides as much power as some V8-powered class rivals.

  • Power from the base V6 is certainly adequate, while the optional turbocharged four-cylinder doesn't make significant power sacrifices to achieve improved fuel efficiency. The SHO's turbo V6 is the obvious choice for anyone with an appetite for performance, as it generates power on par with the 5.7-liter V8 offered in the Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger." -- Edmunds
  • "Ford's turbocharged 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine cranks out 240 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque (that's more torque than Ford's standard 3.5-liter V6), yet attains an impressive 32-mpg highway figure, all without turning this full-size sedan into a slug on the road." -- Kelley Blue Book (2015)
  • "Unfortunately, the Taurus just didn't live up to the high driving standard set in our Challenge. When accelerating, there was quite a lag before the Limited's 3.5-liter V-6 engine's power really kicked in. It took more nursing than I would like to get smooth acceleration up to speed from a full stop." -- Cars.com (2014)
  • "In the hills outside Portland, Oregon, we found the V-6 engine plenty powerful." -- Automobile Magazine (2013)

Handling and Braking

Front-wheel drive is standard with the Taurus. All-wheel drive is optional on V6-equipped models and standard on the performance-oriented Taurus SHO. Most test drivers agree that the Taurus provides a supple ride, but opinions are split about its handling. A few testers say it handles confidently for its size, but others argue that it feels cumbersome because of its size and exhibits too much body lean when cornering. They add that the Taurus SHO handles better than other trims but still falls short of matching some rivals' athleticism.

  • In many ways, the 2016 Ford Taurus is a throwback to an era when big sedans ruled the roadways. Its smooth ride quality and quiet cabin make it a pleasure to drive on long trips, while its commanding size gives it an imposing character at speed. On the other hand, the Taurus can feel unwieldy on tight roads, and it's less responsive to driver inputs than some rivals. The Taurus SHO is certainly sharper, but it, too, falls short of the athletic standard set by its price peers." -- Edmunds
  • "The Ford Taurus serves up a comfortable and quiet ride, and the handling is confident, if not exactly sporty." -- Kelley Blue Book (2015)
  • "The Taurus suffered a lot of lean in corners, which I noticed both as a driver and as a backseat passenger. In the back, I was thrown around on a twist and then a turn while the driver got up to speed approaching a highway on-ramp." -- Cars.com (2014)
  • "Taurus handles most curves with a confidence that belies the car's large exterior size. Steering is nicely weighted and accurate. Grip with all-wheel drive is excellent. Braking performance is strong with easily modulated pedal action. A small turning radius helps in close-quarters maneuvering." -- Consumer Guide (2013)

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