2018 Ford Taurus

Performance


$27,690 MSRP
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2018 Ford Taurus Performance Review

Scorecard

Performance: 7.3

The 2018 Ford Taurus doesn’t have notable get up and go. It comes with a V6 engine that is generally lackluster, and the high-performance Taurus SHO is likewise slower than rivals. Handling is OK, but this car is more suited to being a cruising vehicle than a corner carver.

  • "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." -- Kelley Blue Book (2017)
  • "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 (2017)
  • "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

The Taurus comes standard with a 3.5-liter V6 engine that puts out 288 horsepower. It’s paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. This V6 has enough power for day-to-day driving, but it won’t impress you.

There is a more powerful engine in the Taurus SHO. It’s a 365-horsepower, twin-turbocharged (EcoBoost, in Ford’s parlance) 3.5-liter V6. This engine has much better acceleration and feels stronger than the base engine, but it still doesn’t have as much muscle as rivals’ performance-oriented trims.

With the base engine, the Taurus gets an EPA-estimated 18 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway. That’s a below-average rating, even for a large sedan. The Taurus SHO’s mileage is even worse. It gets just 16 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway.

  • "The standard V6 engine makes decent power, but make no mistake about it: This bulky cruiser is one of the slowest options in the full-size category." -- Edmunds
  • "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
  • "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." -- Autotrader (2015)

Handling and Braking

The Taurus delivers a cushioned ride and makes a great cruising vehicle for long trips. However, it definitely feels like a large car; it’s not that maneuverable, and you can feel the car’s weight around turns. The SHO model handles better, but it’s still less athletic than some rivals. Front-wheel drive is standard and all-wheel drive is available. AWD is standard in SHO models.

  • "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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