$17,781 - $27,445

2017 Ford Taurus Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2017 Ford Taurus was new.

Scorecard

Performance: 7.3

When it comes to performance, the 2017 Ford Taurus is more of a cuddly bear than a raging bull. Its two main engine options offer a modest amount of power, complemented by a ride that coddles you when cruising. However, tight turns and close quarters will serve to continuously remind you of its hulking size. Some spirited drivers will find the SHO model to be an acceptable compromise between a family-friendly sedan and a muscular ride.

  • Big and heavy? Yes. Slow? No. The 2017 Ford Taurus is no slouch with a standard 288-horsepower 3.5-liter V6. That's a lot of power, and the new Taurus has plenty of stomp to get you up that hill or merged onto the Interstate. It's no sports sedan and it won't slay a BMW 5 Series in the curves but getting up to speed is never a concern. It's not quite as quick with the optional 240-horsepower turbocharged 4-cylinder, but it's still quick enough and fuel economy jumps nicely to 20-mpg city and 29 mpg on the highway despite its antiquated 6-speed automatic transmission." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • On the road, the 2017 Ford Taurus fits the role of a large American sedan nicely. It is positively in its element on long road trips, where its smooth ride quality and hushed cabin make it an ideal place to roll away the miles. The singular exception, of course, is when that road winds itself up into a series of tight curves, whereupon the car's bulk can make it feel like a handful. The SHO model is a little more nimble than the standard Taurus, but its handling is still not on par with that of some comparably priced competitors." -- Edmunds
  • "Out on the road, the Taurus exhibits respectable handling poise for such a large sedan, particularly the SHO with its sport-tuned suspension. But a smooth, quiet ride is the real point of cars like this, and that's where every Taurus delivers." -- Autotrader (2015)

Acceleration and Power

Most 2017 Taurus models come with two engine choices: the standard 3.5-liter V6 or the optional turbocharged 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder. The base 288-horsepower V6 moves this large car a bit quicker than the 240-horsepower four-cylinder engine does, and a number of reviewers prefer its naturally aspirated demeanor over the smaller engine. The advantage of the four-cylinder engine is fuel efficiency: Its EPA rating of 20 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway surpasses the V6's below-average rating of 18 mpg in the city and 27 on the highway.

Both of these engines have an adequate amount of power for most daily driving situations. For shoppers looking for more meat in their sedan, Ford offers the SHO. This performance model boasts a 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine with a 365-horsepower rating. This twin-turbocharged engine puts more muscle into the Taurus, but it isn't quite up to snuff when it comes to V8-powered opponents like the Dodge Charger R/T and Chevrolet SS. Fuel economy for the SHO is rated at 16/24 mpg city/highway.

All engines are paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. The SHO model also features paddle shifters and a Sport mode.

  • "As far as what's under the hood goes, the standard V6 provides entirely acceptable performance for everyday driving. The available turbocharged four-cylinder engine's acceleration isn't that far off from the base V6's, and it offers slightly better fuel economy. Overall, though, we prefer the V6's more relaxed character. The SHO model's turbocharged V6 provides abundant, V8-like acceleration." -- Edmunds
  • "The 2.0-liter EcoBoost turbocharged engine offered in the 2016 Taurus is quite an impressive piece of work, cranking out 240 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque while returning an EPA estimated 29-mpg highway. It's a shame the 2.0-liter is offered only with front-wheel drive." -- Kelley Blue Book (2016)
  • Under the hood, the standard V6 is fine, though once you've tried the SHO model's EcoBoost V6, you might not want to go back. As for the EcoBoost 4-cylinder, its fuel economy may be impressive, but we've found that it sometimes struggles to move this Ford's considerable mass with authority." -- Autotrader (2015)

Handling and Braking

The 2017 Taurus comes standard with front-wheel drive. All-wheel drive is available in the SEL and Limited models and standard in the SHO model. The Taurus' soft suspension creates a relaxing highway cruise – though this relaxed handling combined with the Taurus' hulking mass can yield some unpleasant body lean. With its sport-tuned suspension, the SHO model is nimbler than its brethren, but it doesn't conclusively match the sporty handling of some rivals.

  • 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 (2016)
  • High tech allies such as Ford's Torque Vectoring and Curve Control help keep the Taurus bulk in check. By using very slight brake force applied at specific wheels, these systems help the Taurus round curves with assuredness." -- Kelley Blue Book (2014)
  • "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. From the center rear seating position, I had to grab the handles on either side of the car to catch myself and stay upright. This lack of support isn't just in the rear seat, but can also be sensed by the driver as a feeling of apprehension when cornering, plus an innate desire to brake midway through a corner just to gain a sense of sure footing. The brakes were a bit touchy, which I felt equally as a passenger." -- Cars.com (2014)

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