By on March 23, 2015

Wooten 017 (Custom)

The plan: to drive nine hundred and seventy-two miles between 8PM Friday night and 1AM Sunday morning. The purpose: for me and my music partner Patrick, familiar to my blog readers from our indefensible habit of trying to arrange, learn, and perform new songs in a two-hour window, to spend Saturday afternoon at Wooten Woods, a “Bass (pronounced “base”) and Nature Camp” sixty miles west of Nashville, TN, jamming with Victor Wooten. The loadout: two six-foot-two men, five guitars, two bass guitars, a Two-Rock Gain Master 35 amplifier, plus clothing and accessories. The available rental candidates: Chrysler 200, VW Passat, Ford Taurus.

Well, duh.

trunk1

I’d have chosen the Taurus on the basis of the trunk alone; even after the 2010-model-year restyling, Ford’s biggest sedan retained a truly impressive amount of trunk space. There are very few cars on the market where you can put guitar cases in as shown above, and that includes my old Lincoln Town Car. But the Taurus has more to offer than a spacious trunk. Nearly six years ago, I attended the press preview for this car and was impressed at how quiet and composed the Taurus was on the freeway. “Ninety-five percent of the Lincoln MKS experience for about sixty percent of the price” was my verdict. As a car with which to burn serious freeway mileage in a short amount of time, the Taurus truly excels.

The problem, if there was going to be one, would be in what has traditionally happened to the Taurus during the mid-cycle refresh. The 1986 Taurus impressed everybody from the buff books to the buyers with its materials and quality — but in 1992, Ford took a hatchet to the thing and cut costs everywhere from the dashboard to the deletion of the center rear armrest. The new-for-1996 model was stylish and expensive-looking, but Ford cut features just eighteen months after its introduction. (Halfway through 1996, Ford introduced the “Taurus G”, a bare-bones, low-price stopgap to get Taurus base prices under nineteen grand. I was a Ford salesman at the time and I suggested to customers that the Taurus G was the “choice of discriminating, or discriminated-against, gangsters.”) The 2000 Taurus was an even more egregiously poverty-spec approach to the 1996 platform, featuring drum brakes and interior fabric that would have shamed an ’82 Escort.

Wooten 019 (Custom)

The possibility was distinct, therefore, that when the teenaged Enterprise “manager” brought my 2015 Taurus Limited around I would find it to be a de-contented shadow of its former self. The fact that Ford has struggled to maintain sales volume for the model ever since 2011 did not reassure me on the subject.

Wooten 020 (Custom)

First impressions were good. The 2013 facelift was both minor and tasteful. As is always the case with Ford D-platform automobiles, I’m never really aware of just how large the Taurus is until it’s parked next to something else. It’s 202 inches long on a 112-inch wheelbase and it’s nearly 61 inches high against a width of 76 inches; closer to an S-Class than an E-class in the overall scheme of things. The odd proportions and high seating position are mostly to blame here. It’s just not shaped the same way that most sedans are.

Wooten 054 (Custom)

In creating this car from the bones of the old Five Hundred, Ford rolled the dice on a fashion-forward interior design that was rendered even more impressive by the mid-cycle refresh. No costs cut in here; to the contrary, everything from the center console to the door-mounted window switches feels distinctly premium and a clear cut above what Honda and Toyota have to offer in this price range. The difficulty is that the Taurus isn’t any more spacious than an Accord. To the contrary, the wide center console and sloping dashboard combine with the low roof to produce the distinct feeling that you, the driver, are being lowered into an extremely long and narrow cockpit. Like it’s an F-104 Starfighter or something. It definitely feels like you’re sitting on top of the Taurus, rather than in it, a feeling that is not helped by the relatively low beltline compared to the high-mounted seats. Very different from everything else in this class; the closest non-CUV analogy that comes to mind is the Rolls-Royce Ghost, which offers a similar ergonomic layout. One minor annoyance, shared with the rest of the Ford D-platform cars, is the Tetris-shaped footwell. I’m sure it’s very good for safety — these are cars that do remarkably well in crash tests — but it can be annoying because there are very few places to just rest one’s foot during long drives.

Wooten 055 (Custom)

As with Lincolns of recent memory, there’s the strange combination of a capacitance-touch center console and the pressure-touch MyFordTouch control screen. The Navigator I tested last year had pressure-switch buttons in place of the old capacitance pads so I’d look for the next Taurus to do the same. Not that there will be a “next Taurus” in the United States, mind you. [Note: We’ve heard that it’s on, then it’s off, then on again. Anyone from the Blue Oval care to chime in? -DK]

Wooten 057 (Custom)

The current generation of MyFordTouch is fast, accurate, and far superior to competing systems in my semi-unbiased opinion. It certainly handles phone integration better than my 2014 Accord does. The re configurable dashboard is nice but without the Track Apps you get in the Mustang it feels very neutered and workaday. The standard-equipment Limited stereo is adequate but not sparkling. There’s an optional Sony system, but if you want stellar sound in this vehicle you’ll need to get the version that says MKS on the trunk.

Wooten 051 (Custom)

The Taurus easily passes the sit-behind-myself test. It’s more spacious for rear-seat passengers than the people up front, because the center console doesn’t intrude. It’s probably very comfortable for criminals; one in six Taurus sales is a Police Interceptor.

Wooten 058 (Custom)

The 288-horsepower 3.5L Duratec is unspectacular but effective in this application and shifts from the 6-speed D-platform automatic are both quiet and unobtrusive. Choosing “S” enables limited and dilatory control of the transmission from a rocker switch on the shifter, but if you need to get ahead of traffic summoning the kickdown will blur the scenery in satisfactory fashion. There’s a two-liter EcoBoost available in the Limited for a little more money but it’s a ridiculous choice unless you’re obsessed with highway fuel economy. Not that you’d buy a Taurus for fuel economy, even with the two-liter. This car weighs over two tons and has the frontal area of an Imperial Star Destroyer. I observed 24.5 average MPG running 80mph through Kentucky and Tennessee and about 22 driving around town. My manual-transmission Accord coupe does better on both counts, as does the Avalon V6.

While handling and braking are both entirely acceptable in the modern Euro-influenced Ford fashion, where this Taurus truly shines is in long-distance driving. I’ve made the Columbus-to-Nashville trip two dozen times in the past four years in machinery ranging from my Porsche 993 to a Chrysler Town&Country, and this Taurus has the whole field beat for comfort and low fatigue. It’s exceptionally quiet, crosswinds don’t bother it, and it tracks exceptionally well on low-quality pavement. It’s easily equal or superior to the mid-luxury Japanese offerings in that respect. It’s much better than my Accord, most notably in the quality and quantity of interior noise.

The Friday night trip from Ohio to Tennessee seemed to fly by. The next day, Patrick and I spent seven hours in a variety of jam sessions. Victor took an interest in me and gave me three important pieces of feedback:

“That’s some good… singing.” (Referring to a song in which I both sang and played guitar.)

“Don’t leave your guitar cases on the table, it’s keeping people from eating their lunch.”

“Do you hear how loud your amp is? I shouldn’t have to tell you to turn down, man. Respect the other musicians.”

He also signed my Fodera YYS, to my immense delight. I think we’re still friends. At one point he nodded approvingly at a Wes-Montgomery-style octave line I played. I think that was because I had my amp turned really low and he wanted to encourage that behavior. I think I’m allowed to come back, although that’s because I negotiated the issue with Victor’s wife and not Victor himself. You have to know where your strengths lie in this world.

Leaving Wooten Woods at 8PM Ohio time, after a day of playing my heart out, didn’t exactly fill me with cheer. Yet the Taurus was a worthy companion on the way back. Few cars are less tiring to operate on long drives. No, it’s not fast and it’s not terribly modern in its packaging but compared to a car that can deserve both of those accolades (like, say, a BMW M4) I’d take this Taurus for a long trip in a heartbeat.

Equipping a 2015 Limited to the standard of our rental car would cost $32,230. For that money you get a reasonably complete equipment package including front seats that are both heated and cooled, but you really want a few options on top of that: the moonroof and the auto-dim driver’s mirror. Another few grand gets you the Sony stereo and laser cruise control but at that point you could also start thinking about a Lincoln MKS. Best to keep the sticker under $35k and shoot for a transaction price of thirty flat. At that price, this is a good car and a good value.

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159 Comments on “Rental Review: 2015 Ford Taurus Limited...”


  • avatar
    01 Deville

    How does it compare with the lacrosse you rented a while back, besides trunk space? And the reg non rental impala if you have driven one on a long stretch?
    Thanks.

    • 0 avatar
      PenguinBoy

      Also, how does this compare with the Charger and 300?

      They seem like natural competitors that would also work well for long trips.

      • 0 avatar
        ponchoman49

        The Charger/300 are superior in many ways to the Taurus starting with interior layout and spaciousness. The Chrysler 3.6/8 speed combo are more polished and get better highway mileage and the RWD handling are superior. The 300/Charger almost always come out ahead in any comparison to the Taurus I have seen

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    At 28k to 33k, which is what a new one of these costs, I’d rather have it, along with a new Chrysler 300 at a similar price, than the Dr. Evil, Honda Civic, mini-me sized Cadillac ATS (that costs more even with the asinine 2.5 liter Chevy Equinox 4 banger), the only slightly larger than ATS Cadillac CTS, which costs an even more asinine amount (ridiculous 45k to 58k) above and over either the Taurus or 300 (despite riding less luxuriously and more noisily than either, and being far more cramped than either), or the XTSpala (the tarted up Chevy Cadillac at 2x the Impala’s price).

    Plus, the Taurus and 300 are more solid/durable, in addition to being larger and more luxurious, and far more reliable, at 50% to 70% of the price, than the shrunken, hollow, CUEdisaster hobbit holes – that were designed for TLC’s “The Little Couple” that are the ATS or CTS.

    I’m greatly looking forward to the 65k to 80k joke of a vehicle that is the upcoming Cadillac CT6 (aka Long Wheel Base Cadillac CTS), which is either a Mercedes E Class OR a S Class Killer, depending on whom one asks on any given, random day (especially with the 2.0T pepper grinder or “massaged” 3.6 liter used in everything from the Equinox to just about every other POS non-bespoke GM badge job in-between vehicle) that will “incorporate advanced materials, state-of -the-art technology,” and other…blah blah blah whatever marketing speak mumble mumble.

    #FailGreatlyJohan&MelodyinSoHo

    • 0 avatar

      Blah, blah, blah, yourself.

      Seriously, DeadWeight, you’ve beat that dead horse to pieces. We get it. You hate the ATS, and Cadillac, vehemently. But we don’t need to hear about it at every opportunity and non-opportunity. It’s borderline trolling, at this point.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        You love the CTS so dearly that you believe that it warrants no defending, in your mind, Kyree, as it has a Cadillac emblem, which still obviously commands some form of irrational respect amongst your peers, whoever they may be (on Planet Zeta), and you love winding out both the 2.0T and metallic 3.6 in it (when it’s not in the service bay for repairs).

        • 0 avatar

          I’d love to see some examples of me winding on about Cadillac. I am in no way a Cadillac defender. I do think that the CTS is *mostly* competitive and would like to see the brand do well, but do not agree with Cadillac’s stratospheric pricing, and I said as much. Meanwhile, your unbridled hate for the ATS is bewildering.

          And exactly which peers are you talking about? None of my peers drives or aspires toward a Cadillac.

          • 0 avatar
            Toad

            How does every car review somehow get turned into a DeadWeight screed about the failures and faults of Cadillac?

            I don’t know if it is trolling, merely annoying, or a sign that somebody’s meds need adjusting. But it is getting old.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          The hate has become a bit predictable.

          • 0 avatar
            30-mile fetch

            Yeah, it’s unfortunately gotten to the point where I no longer read his posts. I used to enjoy his perspective, but when you’re internet-yelling at Kyree you know you’ve gone to far. Kyree’s one of the gentlemen around here.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I agree, too far. My suggestion to anyone is to find a new jug of hateorade every once and awhile. I’m critical of Cadillac’s numerous shortcomings but it hasn’t become a predictable meme.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            It’s not my fault that both Ford & Chrysler make better Cadillacs than Cadillac, that are more reliable, roomy, and comfortable – and at 1/2 the price.

            Blame not me, but Cadillac’s complete & total incompetence.

            The market has spoken.

        • 0 avatar
          mkirk

          Keep at it. This forum is boring without one of your type. I miss Bill from Buckhead and the long departed P71Silvy commentors. You just happen to be the first one I generally agree with.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            It’s a shame that so many seemingly otherwise intelligent people resort to the “troll!” knee-jerk response, instead of spending the time and energy to rationally refute that which they disagree with.

            Both the Taurus (and platform mate MKS) and 300 clearly have many of the attributes Cadillac buyers have long sought, despite SoHo Zohan’s efforts (thus far clearly failing) to turn Cadillac into a successful, profitable BMW, Mercedes and Audi competitor.

            As long as that’s the truth, and it is now, I will maintain that anyone who could have had a Taurus, 300, etc., that pays more – let alone significantly more (as in as much as 2x as much) for any current Cadillac sedan made, is a moron (if not a GM EMPLOYEE GETTING A FREE/HEAVILY DISCOUNTED CADILLAC).

          • 0 avatar
            heavy handle

            DW,

            Cadillacs have always been more expensive than Chevys, Fords and Chryslers. Arguably, they have never provided good value for money. Even in their glory days you could load-up an Oldsmobile for 2/3rds of the cost.

            I don’t understand how you don’t know this. Part of the appeal of a luxury car is to show the world that you’re not pinching pennies. Part of the appeal of a Ford/Chevy is to show the world that you are “an honest person who knows the value of a dollar.” It’s all appearances.

        • 0 avatar
          Sigivald

          If it helps, I think you might be a *little* over-concentrated on disliking Cadillac.

          And I *don’t like Cadillac*.

        • 0 avatar
          suspekt

          I would like it if Cadillac would do the following:
          – a wide body Duramax powered Escalade HD (and Tahoe/Yukon)
          – a wide body LT4 supercharged Escalade V (and Tahoe/Yukon)
          – for Escalade to become Cadillacs Denali nameplate
          – a Cadillac version of Chevy SS with 700hp/10spd w/AWD (preferably Gen2 CTS styling evolution)
          – a mid size SUV with 07-2013 Acura MDX/Ciel proportions/styling powered by said 700hp/AWD option

      • 0 avatar
        Mr. Orange

        Borderline trolling. Noooooo he is either deep deep in the cave or lurking ominously under the bridge. I think I may have seen him in the movie Trollhunter.

      • 0 avatar
        TMA1

        Does anyone remember this article from January?

        https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/comment-day-rtfm/

        This doesn’t qualify as pedantry, but it’s a hell of a lot more annoying.

    • 0 avatar
      heavy handle

      “the Taurus and 300 are more solid/durable”

      Solid? Maybe. Durable? They are all Big 3 cars. They are good for 10 years max, after which they are on borrowed time until something fails.

      Is there any logic behind your statement? Any reason to believe that one of these cars will outlast the others?

      Also, to state the obvious: the 300 and Taurus compete against the Impala, not the ATS. I realize that steering any comment into an ATS rant is your “brand positioning,” but still. I don’t think many customers hesitate between ole-skool Big 3 fullsizers and sub-compact premium offerings.

      • 0 avatar
        mikeg216

        You better to all those 20 year old crown vics and marquis and ford trucks I see all day long

        • 0 avatar
          heavy handle

          Haven’t seen many jellybean F150s in 5 years, and that was in Arizona where rust isn’t a factor.

          The only Crown Vics I still see are ex-police interceptors. They are definitely on borrowed time.

          Not saying you can’t keep these cars together with hard work and bailing wire. What I’m saying is that a 12 year old big 3 sedan usually has mismatched tires, aftermarket ball joints, worn-out shocks, useless brakes (because of cheap pads and rotors), and one or two dash warning lights always on. They still work but, realistically, any repair estimate over $500 sends them off to the junk yard.

          • 0 avatar
            mkirk

            Those F150s are all over Kentucky. Hell I saw a crew cab at like 10 grand on a dealer lot and it didn’t sit long.

          • 0 avatar
            Exfordtech

            I fail to see how ball joint replacement on 12 year old vehicles (or for that matter the need for shock absorbers in that time frame) is an indictment of the platform. They have their shortcomings, but durability, ease of service, and minimal repair cost is certainly not among them.

          • 0 avatar
            heavy handle

            Exfordtech,

            It’s not replacing ball joints per-se, it’s the slow transformation of a new Ford into something that’s more Autozone than Ford.

            In the words of my regular tech: “Chinese cars are already here. People buy American, European or Japanese cars and turn them into Chinese cars when the warranty runs out.”

      • 0 avatar
        ponchoman49

        Speaking of the current Impala I found it to out Taurus the Taurus in just about every way. It’s quicker, better on fuel with GM’s 3.6, has more front seat space without that asinine landing strip center console, has a larger trunk opening, nicer interior ambiance and materials and a generally better looking external appearance than the tall clunky awkward looking Ford.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

        10 years, max? How is it back there in the 1970s? Im surprised youre able to access the internet in that time period. Go buy yourself a case of Billy Beer and think about it.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Sorry, but this has become trolling, and you should knock it off. It’s gone too far for a few months now. Every single review of anything from a Versa to a pickup truck turns into an ATS bash session.

      The Taurus is a 202-inch full-size sedan designed for ride comfort, interior style, and quiet. The ATS is a compact sedan intended to handle like a sport coupe while being a smidge more practical. Not a single person interested in either car would be interested in the other.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        That’s your opinion, and it’s highly subjective.

        You also have some sort of preference/subjective like of pretty much anything Cadillac based on what you’ve posted in the past.

        Finally, maybe the 33k to 52k ATS & the Taurus are unlikely to be cross-shopped given the subcompact interior room of the ATS, but it’s no stretch to think many people having a chance to sample the Taurus would prefer it over a Cadillac CTS or XTSpala (especially given the savings).

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          Fortunately, we have a free enough market for cars that if someone would rather have a Taurus or MKS than a CTS or XTS… they can buy one.

          Sales figures suggest that the XTS is the only one of the four that anyone really wants.

        • 0 avatar
          ponchoman49

          My friend and I drove the current Taurus just like in this review but considerably more expensive and the new style Impala and hands down preferred the Impala!

          • 0 avatar
            Mandalorian

            The ATS is a 21st century Cimarron. The reason it hasn’t gotten the backlash its Daddy did is because the bar is set pretty low for Cadillac now compared to when the origional Cimarron rolled of the line.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            The bar was pretty low for Cadillac by the 80s. The reason IMO this doesn’t get the instant Cimmaron hate from MSM is because it technically is on its own platform and shares little with its C-B-C counterparts outside of I think the motor. I can’t walk into a lowly Chevrolet dealer and get 75% of an ATS for 50% of the price as the Chevrolet Cavalobolt.

        • 0 avatar

          I like spirited debate, but your shtick has become a bit like Michigan State fans who can’t say a sentence without mentioning the team in Ann Arbor.

          I’m a master of digression myself but Cadillacs are not the topic of this thread. You have a lot to contribute here but this Cadillac OCD is turning you into a caricature of yourself.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            I have to be honest & strive to be objective.

            I really, truly despise the current crop of Cadillac vehicles, their ask price, their bought-and-paid for press accolades (especially the ATS & CTS), and this current executives, to the point that I may too frequently voice such sentiments.

          • 0 avatar

            We get it, we know. We’ve all known for months.

            Now, can you manage to provide an opinion without it always finding its way back to Cadillac? Or do you just not have any opinions that don’t involve Cadillac.

            Cadillac should be proud it is the measurement to which all cars are applied with DW.

  • avatar
    319583076

    “Don’t leave your guitar cases on the table, it’s keeping people from eating their lunch.”

    “Do you hear how loud your amp is? I shouldn’t have to tell you to turn down, man. Respect the other musicians.”

    Ladies and Gentlemen, Jack Baruth!

  • avatar
    TrailerTrash

    Again, I am a big fan of the MKS. I still stand by opinion way back in 2009 there was no better value at the 40 to 50K price range…nothing. For what I got on my fully loaded 3.5 ecobbost MKS…there was nothing close. Not within 10 grand. I believe my final price for the fully loaded was 48.
    I always have wished Ford left the older Fivehundred look for the Taurus. The MKS deserved its own distinctive look and engines.
    I understand your wanting to give a us a rental review, but I wish folks would understand the inherent unfairness of comparing an aged design to those recently introduced to the market.
    The MKS and Taurus had to have been on the drawing board since 2005. The Toyota Avalon was a recent release.
    ” I observed 24.5 average MPG running 80mph through Kentucky and Tennessee and about 22 driving around town. My manual-transmission Accord coupe does better on both counts, as does the Avalon V6.”
    24.5 is pretty damn good considering you likely had the trunk full and buddies in the back seat. And 22 around town is awesome, considering everything.

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      Yeah, but … if you’re buying a car today, or this year, you’re … buying a car on the market now.

      The Taurus is an old design with a recent refresh, and the Avalon is sparkly new, sure.

      But the Taurus is *still competing with the Avalon*; the review is about what the cars are like now, now about who releases the best New Cars when they’re Brand New, eh?

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

        Or, like my parents, you bought it in 2012 and you know the car well enough to appreciate its virtues. Our family isnt the only one who made this choice, and Im sure other people’s opinion mightve been swayed by the dated, pre-refresh 300, which also has “gun slit” windows, it just gets away with it by being rather square instead of “aero” like the Taurus.

        Ford didnt build a current (late ’00s) Avalon or Impala/Lucurne compeditor out of the Five Hundred’s bones, it built something better. It went for bad ass, but in a Taurus way. Its familiar but wasnt dated until every one else re-upped, now THEY can talk about being ahead of the curve for a while. Yes, compeditors leapfrog eachother, thats how it works.

        The Avalon has style now, its no the fat early 2000s Camry anymore. Impala no longer looks like a 2012 reincarnation of a 1998 Lumina. Right where you left it, at Enterprise.

        The problem is, Ford is trying to fumble the ball now that it’s their turn. A Fusion out classes a Malibu, and the Impala is better. So, Ford’s time to shine with a stretched Fusion… if they don’t unscrew the lightbulb instead.

  • avatar
    ajla

    I dont like the Taurus because I have a difficult time ever feeling comfortable in it.

    I think that The handful of people still interested in a sedan that’s over 200 inches long aren’t very interested in an interior that is a “long and narrow cockpit”.

    That center console really wrecks the whole thing for me.

    • 0 avatar
      bomberpete

      I agree. If it fits you, great but to me the Fusion SE is a much more comfortable car to actually sit in than a Taurus.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      This, pretty much. The interior space is appalling for such a large car. My car is smaller in all dimensions and has more space in all of them. It’s just bad execution. The S80 is on the same platform and doesn’t have this issue. Nor did the prior 06-08 Taurus/Sable – they were huge inside.

      • 0 avatar
        ponchoman49

        And it’s ironic with all of DW’s carping about how small and cramped the ATS and CTS are inside that he conveniently doesn’t mention what an interior disaster the current Taurus/MKS is!I honestly have more front seat space in my buddies 2013 Elantra than the current Taurus!

    • 0 avatar
      brn

      People complain a lot about the interior room of the Taurus. I wonder if those people are just looking at the specs or are actually driving the vehicle.

      I cross shopped a 2013 Fusion and 2013 Taurus (among other vehicles). The Fusion was an impressive vehicle, with a much more luxurious ride than I expected. Quite possibly the best redesign Ford ever did.

      The Fusion redesign learned a lot from the Taurus. However, being the big brother, Taurus materials are better. The base motor is smooth, quiet and powerful. The ride is incredible. The handling is better than you would expect. Set the seats the way Ford intended and it feels very big inside.

      With the incentives, the Taurus gives you a lot more car for your dollar than the Fusion. Where the Taurus falls short is rear visibility and the touch button on the console (you do get used to them).

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

        Youre exactly right. People read one comment on how the Taurus console is wider in the 2010+ compared to the 08-09, and suddenly a Smart car is SO ROOMY compared to the “disaster” Taurus. Sure, and it gets 8 mpg and costs $80k. What? Thats not true? Sure it is! I just typed it and you read it! Its the gospel according to the internets.

        Have any of you who are making such comments actually been in one? Or, are you just repeating $h!t you read online, adding outlandish comparisons to try to look like an expert?

        • 0 avatar
          SC5door

          I’m heavily involved in the build of these cars. I’ve sat AND driven more of these than anyone on these boards combined.

          Look at how thick the doors are when you open one next time, and how wide that console is. It does not give the impression or feeling of being spacious. I’ve never been comfortable in one.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            The plus side of the equation is that the Taurus is a very safe car (as safe as any equivalent grade Volvo, but that shouldn’t be surprising since they are actually more similar in safety engineering than most people realize)

            I’ll commend Ford for safety/crash testing with a few notable exceptions (rear end collisions on Panthers, etc.). Ford upped their crash worthiness game dramatically over the last 6 years or so.

          • 0 avatar
            tonycd

            I sat and test drove both the Ford and Lincoln versions of this car when it first came out. I was the target market and I was a serious shopper.

            My reaction was that I was favorably surprised by the ride, handling and powerplant, loved the styling of the (since overhauled) gauges, but found the console’s incessant and unpadded contact with my right leg to be a deal-breaker. And it was/is especially inexcusable in a car the size of a Sherman tank. Lord only knows what they were thinking when they designed it.

        • 0 avatar
          Drzhivago138

          Proportionately, a Smart car probably is roomier.

          • 0 avatar
            JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

            I dont know how else to say this, we’ve had four adults in the car, three of the four are “heavy set”, with my aunt being over 300 lbs. We drove the car all day, nobody had an issue with room. I was the smallest passenger at 185 lbs, the rest are easily over 200 lbs.

            Im sure if youre used to another car, and you ocasionally sit in one, it does not give the impression of vast space that the exterior dimensions would suggest, but it is overstating it to call it crampt. The “feeling” of being confined isnt a bad thing when you think of it as cozy.

            My brothet actually got some pipe insulation and zip tied the parking brake handle of his hated Altima that his wife picked out. That is a smaller car, and my brother is rather tall, so its not unexpected, but he would call it crampt.

            He hasnt had a problem with the console of the Taurus when he drove it.
            I went somewhere in the car the other day and I looked down and there was several inches between my leg and the console, plenty of space and my legs dont hit it. Im 5`11″, about 195 ish. I almost grabbed my phone to take a picture, but Id figured you would suspect I staged it to save face. I really dont understand everyone’s issue. My limbs are not abnormally long or short. Im practicly the definition for a “healthy average early 30s American male” as far as size goes.

            The only thing I can think of is not taking the time to properly adjust the seat to be comfortable. I do and I can drive it for hours, which is a rarity for me due to my back-related disability. One reason I put LX seats in my 95 Taurus was due to them being more adjustable and supportive (including adjustable lumbar), Im kinda big on seat comfort lol

  • avatar
    Nick 2012

    A lightly-used Ecoboosted MKS always strikes me as a great value. I saw one on the drive in this AM, and they look almost regal in dark colors.

    http://www.carmax.com/enus/view-car/default.html?id=10769646&AVi=0&No=0&Rp=R&D=90&zip=60453&sY=2013-2015&ASTc=MKS&Q=6bebd528-10a1-41e2-837a-520f3ede4f09&Ep=search:results:results%20page

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Agree on the dark colors for the MKS. In light colors, there are too many panel lines outside (which collect dirt, by the way). Also, needs dark wood on interior. The light pine effect or aluminum both look silly.

  • avatar
    mikeg216

    A loaded off lease Taurus sho, is the best used car value. Being inside the cockpit of one of these when you launch it to 60+ is 5 seconds is quite impressive

  • avatar
    danio3834

    I liked the SHO when they were introduced for the nice thrust, and the nice interior in spite of the center console. The car has some unique character. In the end I prefer the V8 Charger for it’s slightly better thrust, handling and styling. The ability to engage in juvenile burnouts and power slides is a bonus too.

    • 0 avatar
      zamoti

      I actually x-shopped a SHO and a Challenger and drove them back to back at a giant used lot. I really liked the Taurus for the interior comfort and appointments, I felt that the seats had taken some of the old Volvo magic and would have loved a cooled seat. The SHO felt very grown up and although the styling can be said to be quite plain, I still enjoy how under the radar it looks (even if rather large). The interior I felt was a bit small given the size of the thing but there is plenty of room inside; it just isn’t proportional with how much you’d think there is from the outside. The auto-only mandate is a bit of a bummer however.
      In contrast the Challenger with a 6MT was, as noted, lent itself to bad behavior and I was admonished several times by the sales guy for hitting the rev limiter. Though the actual 0-60 times aren’t that different, the SHO felt muted and far softer while the Charger felt more on-boil and willing though the redline with the Hemi is a bit low for my taste.
      I didn’t buy either of them just because I’m a horrible cheapskate but they were both looking around $24k for well appointed models. If I had purchased one, it would have been the Challenger, but only because it came with the 6MT. The Ford was far more comfortable and practical and likely the better choice.
      Ended up with a 545i 6MT for $12k and all the repairs that I can fit into a weekend.

    • 0 avatar
      mikeg216

      I too like the charger but my insurance would go up due to my zip code and I’d get racially profiled by the police and I don’t have time for that

    • 0 avatar
      tresmonos

      How I wish they would have namedthat motor ‘twin force.’ I helped launch that SHO. I was awestruck by it as a FCG.

  • avatar

    Me, I’d rather have the Avalon. But I understand the Taurus. It does nothing to excite me (even in SHO guise), but it is a handsome, comfortable, insulated sedan, and if you buy it pre-owned, it’s quite the bargain. Its unusual seating position—which you addressed—makes it feel quite safe and I’ve seen it assuage buyers who otherwise would consider some kind of crossover. Really, if it were more efficient with its interior space, it would be a formidable entry in the full-sized sedan arena.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      The new Avalon is a hollowed out, plastic-y, shadow of its former shelf, which is probably why you love it so (just as you covet Cadillac’s crap offerings).

      At least the Avalon has rear seat leg room for anyone taller than 5’7″ tall, though.

      • 0 avatar

        I’m done arguing with you, Deadweight. I am not a Cadillac defender and I don’t know where you got that impression, but if that’s what you need to tell your deluded self, you go for it. I’ll just keep your warped reality in mind the next time I have to read one of your unsolicited ATS reviews.

        • 0 avatar
          Mr. Orange

          This another sign of a troll. You feed them and they become attached and start to follow you around. You think you can go out but you can’t enjoy anytime outside due to their horrendous stench that burns your nose and eyes. Its a putrid scent that would cause a biological WMD scare if the thing were to appear in a densely populated area. It will eat the paint off of metal, dissolve living material into dead goob.

          It the kind that scares the Center for Disease Control into getting governors to declare Marshall Law because its the only way to deal with it. Its the kind of stench that the military only see using nuclear weapons as a means to solve it. Its the kind that God gives his hands up on cleaning up and will just recreate the world all over again as the way to rid himself of it.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            WAAAAAAH!!!!! TROLL!!!!! MEAN THINGS SAID ABOUT CLACK-I-LAC!!!

            Look, anytime a large, comfortable, solid boulevard cruiser at around 30k new is spoken of in a review, I’m going to HAMMER the inarguable point home that people buying econobox sized Cadillacs for much more, or similarly sized rebadged Chevys (XTS) for much more, are the dumbest money out there.

            Deal with it.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Let the hate flow through you.

          • 0 avatar
            mike978

            DW _ I agree with a lot of what you say about Cadillac. However the idea of having a compact car sized model around $30K is not unique to Cadillac, all the “luxury” brands do it.

          • 0 avatar
            Mr. Orange

            Its not the Cadillacs. They are where they are for a reason. They’re far game and deservingly so.

            Kyree isn’t Cadillac. My mood is such at the moment to find your response towards him is rather unbecoming of DeadWeight. The DeadWeight I know lambasts Cadillac for not giving out coupons for Depends and Ensure with each purchase. Not for ridiculing an innocent commentator on this site for stating something utterly devoid of GM nevertheless your arch nemesis Cadillac. It sorta feels like its beneath you. I think your starting to lose your touch like Mike Myer after The Love Guru. I really think you should double down on Cadillac imo.

            Call it constructive criticism.

  • avatar

    I’m gonna be using Enterprise for a road trip later on this week. I’ve never had one of these. Was it a FCAR or a PCAR with them?

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      PCAR.

    • 0 avatar
      Astigmatism

      For future reference, not that it’ll help you this week, I’ve managed to snag a Taurus Limited numerous times from the Emerald Select Aisle at National, and argued my way in on an FCAR reservation. It really is a great highway cruiser – my default choice when I rent in California.

      • 0 avatar

        Thanks y’all.

        • 0 avatar

          I did end up renting one of these last week for a round-trip from Dayton to Denver. It’s an incredible highway car. The ride was quiet and composed. The interior quality was way higher than the reviews of this car suggest. The cooled seats were a revelation. Eight hour+ stints at 80-plus were no problem. The sound system was abysmal. The driver’s side footwell is like putting your feet in a 11X14-inch baking dish for eight hours at a time. The tires (Goodyear RS-A) absolutely roared over certain surfaces. This is truly one of those “hit-em where they ain’t” type values as a lightly-used car.

    • 0 avatar
      mkirk

      Lucky you. My last rental was a damn 12 passenger Transit.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        Haha well at least it’s modern! I had a 15 passenger Econoline last year, I kid you not. That was “interesting,” and I didn’t really care about the 12 mpg I got since I wasn’t the one paying for it.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    Good review. I personally could never do a car like this… it’s just too damn big. The point about driver fatigue is key though. Part of why I enjoy commuting in my Civic more than my Z.

    Speaking of the 200 though, WHERE IS THAT DUAL 200 REVIEW YOU AND DEREK DID??? It’s been months!!!

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    Compared to the Five Hundred, that is one incredibly cramped rear seat. Wow…

    I’m still stunned at how Ford managed to make the least roomy car in it’s class (and one that’s less roomy than many in the next class down) out of the bones of the most roomy cars ever made, all while making the exterior bigger.

    It’s a miracle of interior packaging. Just not a “miracle” in the traditional sense of the word.

  • avatar
    slance66

    In my never ending search for a replacement for my 328xi, I recently looked at a few used MKS. You can get low mileage models with the Ecoboost twin turbo v6 for under 30k. Still with leftover factory warranty and CPO. If it wasn’t so damned long it would be a worthy contender. Alas, unless I want to relocate the 2nd refrigerator in my garage (I don’t), I’m limited to about 195 inches.

  • avatar
    david42

    I’d like to hear Jack’s thoughts on Taurus vs. Avalon. That’s a more relevant comparison than an Accord.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      I’ll see if I can get my hands on one.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      They need to offer AWD in the Avalon.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      Not Jack, but I have had both recently as rentals. I prefer the Avalon. Mostly because I can see out of it, and it is much roomier inside. The Toyota V6 really is a gem. The Ford drives better overall though. The Avalon is more of a boat.

      I was very impressed by the fact that I had a rental Taurus Limited with *60K* on it, and it was nearly indistinguishable from new.

      I guess I would sum it up that I agree that the Taurus is a great highway cruiser, but in urban areas the visibility out of the Avalon wins, and the Avalon is much better for carting passengers around in.

      All that said, I don’t see any reason to buy either one over a midsizer. But I would buy an entry-premium car over any of the mid-sizers too, so take that for what it is worth. I don’t need the space. I had another SilverCar A4 this weekend in San Francisco, I see no need for anything bigger. It took myself and 3 clients out to lunch in fine style.

  • avatar
    RS

    The Taurus sales woes can be traced to that ridiculously confining front seat/cockpit layout. The pillbox style window’s don’t help either. Styling should compliment and work with ergonomics, not ruin them.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      The fact that the Fusion exists is probably the biggest detriment the Taurus. Similar accommodations for less money.

      • 0 avatar
        RS

        Even the latest Fusion has the ‘too wide’ console and confining ergos compared to earlier versions. The Flex is a better choice than the Taurus, but again, styling errors prevent that from selling as well as it should.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    I’m told these handle excellently at high speeds with the AWD package, but I’ve never personally driven one. Having driven its cousin/predecessor, the P2 S80, it amazes me Ford took such a well laid out, driver friendly platform, and allowed Calvin to relieve himself all over it when designing the Taurus (and I’m not even referring to Volvo vs Ford materials and platform bits). Seems as if these were made for fleet, where some details can be overlooked.

    • 0 avatar
      TrailerTrash

      The Ford AWD…hmmmm.

      The AWD is THE issue I have with My MKS. I often felt it slip or slide sideways in initial snow falls. When I needed it, it responded slowly.
      Nowadays, there is a bothersome downshift “CLUNK” noise that Ford has stubbornly insisted is “within spec” and will not address. This is very irritating for a 50K car just driving around the neighborhood.
      They did, however, finally agree to extend my extended warranty another 2 years for this issue.
      But the more I read about this clunk and the over-all slow reacting Ford AWD system, the more I do not trust it.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Thanks. I hang out at a Volvo shop, so I routinely run into the early 850 AWD and P2 Volvo AWD models (mostly V70 Cross Countries). The good news is, the models can still be driven when certain parts of the AWD fail (there is some kind of shaft linkage to the rear wheels which somehow becomes uncoupled or something to this effect). I can’t speak to your slipping in snow, but I can tell you the AWD P2s also clunk at higher mileage which I always assumed as a symptom of age/use. I’m not an AWD guy myself in any capacity, but the voodoo these transverse motors/transaxles have to do to turn the rear wheels tells me not to go near one and just buy the FWD model.

        • 0 avatar
          TrailerTrash

          exactly…just get the FWD.

          However, the great 3.5 with ecoboost is not available without the AWD. This is the reason I got it. I had to.
          I guess I can live with the clunk…but telling me it is within specs on what they use as their premium luxo is poor.
          I have been advised this is a Ford version of the Volvo/Haldex AWD. Not sure if other cars have this issue or it is just A Ford design.

          Here is the problem. Ford will not own up to it and dealers cannot afford to begin looking if under warranty. Ford will NOT reimburse for work that shows or solves nothing. So the dealer just passes the buck back to you after Ford says live with it.
          I know…I had a Lincoln tech drive down and spent an hour with me. He just says he hears it…but is within spec.
          Everybody hears it…nobody want s to pay for the search to solve.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Bball is quite knowledgeable on newer Ford product having a Lincoln MkFlex himself, I wonder if he or his wife hear it. I recall him commenting to me once on the importance of changing some kind of I think differential fluid for the AWD system in order for it to work at its optimum.

          • 0 avatar
            SC5door

            Dealers are instructed now on Lincoln to repair cars without authorization. This is on the 14 and up cars that go through a separate Lincoln area in Chicago.

        • 0 avatar
          Sigivald

          “there is some kind of shaft linkage to the rear wheels which somehow becomes uncoupled or something to this effect”

          Viscous Coupling AWD; 95-5 torque balance to the front in normal use.

          Failed AWD makes them a FWD vehicle; IIRC the viscous coupling in the middle tended to fail in those generations, leaving the rear wheels un-powered.

          (See e.g. http://www.matthewsvolvosite.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=48417

          More modern ones use a Haldex system that’s sturdier.)

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Correct, this sounds in line with what I’ve heard around the shop. Thanks for the detailed link.

            However I’d take a broken Viscous Coupling AWD on my late model car over what I used to see. Back in the day the mid-90s Audis used to run through the lanes nearly always with announcements related to the AWD system or transmissions. Frequently these cars were one step from the junkyard at around the 10-12 year mark, avg miles in many cases. Evidently, like many German cars, they required meticulous maintenance and couldn’t take much abuse outside of their design parameters. These models also came out in the period before free scheduled maintenance and to a lesser extent, leasing being SOP for uber lux cars.

        • 0 avatar
          gtemnykh

          “there is some kind of shaft linkage to the rear wheels which somehow becomes uncoupled or something to this effect”

          I think most people that just want to keep driving the car without repairing it remove the driveshaft and they’re all set.

  • avatar
    Davekaybsc

    Had one of these as a rental in California not too long ago. Cooled seats definitely came in handy, and the seats were otherwise pretty comfortable, something that definitely CANNOT be said about the Avalon’s park benches. Also pretty quiet, and the touch controls, while not ideal, at least functioned properly.

    The one interior quality snafu that I noticed were the door pulls, kind of cheesy plastic that gave this car away as an older Ford design. Nothing egregious, just not up to the standard of newer Fords.

    One note of caution to those that may be considering a used MKS, the reliability record on those is pretty terrible. You’ll probably have better luck with a Taurus.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      “One note of caution to those that may be considering a used MKS, the reliability record on those is pretty terrible.”

      How so? I know I’ve been pushing CD3 Zephyr but I wasn’t aware of an MKS problem.

      • 0 avatar
        Davekaybsc

        Look around. Problems galore, and repair costs are generally high. True delta doesn’t have much data, but the ones they do have are as bad as any equivalent BMW or Mercedes.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        CR dings all ecoboost Ford/Lincolns – every single one.

        I know there’s a chance someone steps forth to income you/me how wrong I am, but to make matters simple, just grab CR’s latest annual vehicle buying guide and look at their reliability index, and view the subsystem breakdown by component for MYs 2012 (or whenever they broadly implemented ecoboost) through 2015. Engine reliability, minor and major, gets dinged with mostly full black circles (a couple half black ones).

        And before someone steps in to tell me they have had no problems in 72,000 miles with an ecoboost powered Ford/Lincoln – I believe you – CR’s data is statistical sampling, so it doesn’t preclude the possibility that some/many ecoboost motors will have few or even no issues (I own a vehicle with a CR solid black dot motor that’s been perfectly reliable, as in dead nuts, for 112,000 miles over 9 1/2 years).

        • 0 avatar
          319583076

          CRs scores would be much more meaningful if they provided means and standard deviations. Of course, most people have no clue what either of those things are – so we get colored circles in 5 patterns instead.

        • 0 avatar
          TrailerTrash

          dead…I have such a hard time disliking you because your picture is from one of my all time fav modern comedy films.
          BUT…I might be going out on a limb here…but CR has its own issues with me. And, again if I am not mistaken, their test and data is something wicked weak and slim on facts. Almost to the point of being useless.
          My refrigerator purchased because of their #1 recommendation required replacement and the ice maker was dissolving itself into the ice.
          The Goodyear Triple Treads I purchased for mu SUV had to be replaced before they were half worn due to their uneven wear and road noise. I then find from tire folks the tire was given a review in error from CR and was IN FACT a poor buy for this particular SUV.
          CR NEVER explains this detail.

          That was an awesome movie.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            They’re not infallible.

            Things such as the Pontiac Vibe/Toyota Matrix differential in reliability they claimed bothers me, b/c they were the same vehicle, as one example.

  • avatar
    Toad

    Maybe it does not photograph well but the center console looked awfully cheap in the posted photos. Ford had a bad habit of using matte black plastic dash/console surfaces in the past that made even Lincolns (notably the Continental) look like Ford picked through the parts bin.

    For $32k it seems that there are nicer looking interiors in competing cars.

  • avatar
    Nedmundo

    Great review, and I’m envious of anyone who embarks on jamming-oriented road trips. Haven’t done one of those in years. When I need to haul major gear, the Mazda 5 gets the call, but keeping the cases secure in a huge trunk is definitely better.

    Also, one more reason not to place instruments or cases on tables: they attract beer. One night, some dude left a PRS on a table near the “stage,” and my band’s lead vocalist managed to knock his mic stand, which knocked the table, and a pint spilled right onto the guitar. I think some went into the pickup cavities. Not pretty!

    The Taurus sounds like it’s better that I would expect and I like Fords generally, but for a large(ish) sedan around that price I’d probably go with a TLX.

  • avatar
    Whatnext

    I’m surprised you say “The Taurus easily passes the sit-behind-myself test”. The amount of legroom behind the front passenger seat in that photo looks ludicrously small. Less than a Jetta!

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      That’s the position that Patrick put the seat in so he could sleep on the way back… I always say that Patrick and I are the same height but in reality I’m slightly under 6’2″ thanks to having part of my right leg removed when I was sixteen (bike crash) and Patrick is closer to 6’3″ and probably has a fifty-inch chest. He’s like a human truck.

      The position of the driver’s seat is where I had it to operate the vehicle.

  • avatar
    PRNDLOL

    22mpg (or 10.7 L per 100Km) city?

    After all the advancements in fuel economy over the last 7 years I still can’t see this 4100 pound car with a 3.5L V6 doing better than 18mpg real world.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      It does at least as well as the 4 banger Cadillac ATS & CTS, aka the Standard Of The World.

      • 0 avatar
        bunkie

        Do you know the why Cadillac earned the sobriquet “Standard of the World”? It has an actual historical, fact-based origin (and it’s an interesting story as well).

        • 0 avatar

          I’ve long felt that “Standard of the World” was a play on words. Under Henry Leland, Cadillac was the first car company to use Johansson gauges (aka Jo blocks) in setting up their tooling. It was their use of standardized parts that allowed them to win the Dewar Award 1908 after disassembling three Cadillacs, mixing up the parts and then reassembling them to working order.

          • 0 avatar
            bunkie

            We have a winner! DW throws the term around quite a bit, I thought it deserved to have its history remembered.

            It represents the transition of motor cars from being, essentially, hand built, to being designed and built for repeatable manufacturing.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    The FiveHundred and pre-2010 Taurus were even greater miracles of packaging efficiency.

    If Ford dumps this vehicle it will be a sad day. I feel that there is still room in the American market for these types of vehicles. Much of the platform engineering is already done when you create a large CUV like the Explorer.

    • 0 avatar
      bunkie

      The 500 was a great example of “they hardly knew ye”. It was a big, comfortable, handsome, reasonably-priced car. In a different world (or at a different time), it would have sold well.

      • 0 avatar
        TrailerTrash

        This, IMHO, was Mulally’s WORST decision after coming and saving Ford.
        Love most of his work a manager and team leader…but once he promised everybody the Fivehundred was a mistake and then brought in this MKS down-market…I think he really Fugged up.
        Everybody that I knew that had a Fivehundred LOVED the car. I drove it and thought all it needed was more power. But otherwise it was all good.

    • 0 avatar
      nova73

      I don’t know what could replace my ’07 500 in the event it was wrecked. Ebay usually has fewer than 10 on sale nationwide, most with high mileage. Nothing comes close to the combination of interior and trunk space, decent handling, smooth ride, reliability and low repair costs. As much as I try to like the Taurus, the interior packaging and high beltline are deal killers.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    Here’s my take on the Ford Taurus: First of all, it should have been renamed “Galaxie 500”. It bears no family resemblance to the line of Taurus’ created in the 1980s – it’s a whole ‘nother class of vehicle.

    That being said, I really like the styling, but a co-worker owned one and when I got a chance to ride in it, I felt as if I was in a bunker. The cowl is so tall, the console so huge, and with the narrow side glass, I felt really cramped and would never own one, even though the ride was very nice. My Impala sure felt roomier and downright airy after that.

    However, the Taurus looks as if it would be a great car to eat up highway miles on a long trip!

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      The Chevy Impala and Ford Taurus (and MKS) are both honest cars in ways the Cadillac ImpaXTS can never approach (let the gnashing of teeth begin).

      • 0 avatar
        mikey

        There…it had to happen ! I agree with you on that one. I own the cheap LT 4 banger Impala, equipped with unheated “pleather” seats. I had a good look at an XTS the other day. I’m thinking “wow this what you get for another 40K” I’ll keep the Impala

        • 0 avatar
          whynotaztec

          mikey how do you like that impala? is the 4 cyl enough to move it ok?
          I sat in a Taurus at the auto show early on, that console is just obnoxious.
          I remember my 95 260hp impala felt pretty powerful. now this thing with 288hp is just unspectacular? is that just relative to the norm today or did ford somehow muck this up?

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      It has more in common with older Tauruses than youre giving it credit for. One example that I immidiately noticed is that when they changed the Five Hundred to Taurus, they returned the wiper controls to the turn signal stalk, as it has been in all previous Taurus ilterations. A friend owns a Five Hundred which has a very “import-like” setup with the wipers on the right side.

      The virtues of the old cars are present in the new one: good handling (for what is, what it costs, and what it competes with), good equipment for the price point, a ride that doesnt punish but isnt lazy or floaty, similar MPG to the old 3.0 OHV (parents average 28-29 highway in their 2012, exactly what their 97 Sable GS achieved, although being a smaller and less powerful car), excellent safety features and crash test performance, and grear egronomics.

      Many of the reasons why my parents like their 2012 are the same reasons why I like my 95.

      If your reason for changing the name is because of how different it is vs the Taurus of 1986-2007, the car you chose to name it after is far more different with the only exception of being the largest sedan in Ford’s line up at the time. Aside from that, the current Taurus is much more similar to previous Tauruses than it is to the old Galaxie.

      • 0 avatar
        Zackman

        I was referring to the size of the car to the old Taurus. The Fusion should have been the new Taurus because they’re basically the same size car. The new Taurus is much larger.

  • avatar
    mcarr

    The 24.5 mpg you saw on the hwy seems a bit low, considering that I see 25 mpg in my Chrysler T&C at 80 mph, and that’s right now on the crappy winter blend gas we have in MN. In the summer it’s 27-28 mpg. Pretty sure that it beats the Taurus in frontal area.

  • avatar
    PonchoIndian

    Would someone, ANYONE please get DW his meds today, or at least take the keyboard away from him.

    His unprovoked attack of Kyree instantly reduced his credibility and entertainment level to zero.

  • avatar
    JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

    Having owned a 92, 93, and my current 95 Taurus, Im afraid you are mistaken on the rear arm rest. I cant remember the 93 very well at this moment, but the 92 and 95 both had/have it for sure. The 95 is a GL. Ive also owned some first generation Tauruses, the only thing I can think of that is missing in the second generation is the awful faux wood grain that was forced upon the first gen at the last minute by marketing, much to the dismay of Team Taurus. Yes, the third and fourth gens were decontented, we had a 97 Sable and I noticed a few things it lacked compared to my first and second generations under hood lamp for one). Thats those dreaded “bean counters” trying to make the car a “better value” compared to its main rivals. Having owned a 98 Lumina, though, the contemporary (3rd gen) Taurus/Sable was better equipped. Many option packages included alloys on the base models, and all had standard power windowslocks and a standard tachometer the Lumina lacked (I upgraded mine with a Monte Carlo instrument cluster to correct that). Ive seen second gen Luminas with crank windows, and I believe to get alloys required going with the top LS trim.

    I also dont really agree with the console being that intrusive on the 2010+ models (my parents have a 2012 SEL). While it is larger (wider) than the old Five Hundred, Ive never felt compromised by it. My parents are not obese, but not exactly small people, and they dont have an issue with it either. I can see, I suppose, how some people might be bothered by it, but as long as theyve had it, no one who has ridden in or driven it has complained yet.

    I agree that noone would consider the car a “gas saver”, unless youre coming from a thirstier but less powerful Grand Marquis like my parents did. The Taurus is significantly more efficient especially considering how much more power it has. I realize it has a 6-speed instead of a 4-speed, but really, its churning a very similar RPM at highway speed vs the Grand Marquis (yes, their 2008 GM had a tach).

    When considering driving dynamics, mostly handling and braking, the Taurus is light years ahead of that Grand Marquis by every measurable sense. My mother hated the brakes on the Mercury, it was one of the reasons she was willing to get back under a car payment again (they swore the GM was to be the last car they financed). I asked her after owning the Taurus for a few months how she liked the brakes. “Theyre perfect, just perfect.” She later added that she had no regrets about letting me sell the Mercury, allowing them to buy the Taurus. “I dont miss it at all” she said one day as we saw a Grand Marquis parking near us.

    It also doesnt wallow and roll like a sail boat in a hurricane like the Mercury did. Youre able to take corners at a much higher speed and feel more confident doing so. The ride wont make you sea sick, either. Its performance in nasty weather (Southern thunderstorms and northern snow alike) is leaps and bounds better than the old Merc.

    I find the Taurus to have more usable leg room even with a center console the GM lacked. The reason is the taller seats. Sitting in the Mercury felt as though you were sitting on the floor…or rather on a pillow on the floor. That seating position killed my back when I drove or rode in it. I hated it. The deeper footwells in the Taurus are much better, it feels like sitting in a comfortable living room chair (albeit with more support), elevated off the floor just enough to keep you from that sinking, “on-the-floor” feeling the GM gave. That sorta seating position might work fine in a sports car, but its out of place and unwelcomed in a sedan intended for daily driving and road trips.

    61K miles as of yesterday and the Taurus has had 0 problems. It still feels as tight as a drum, no squeeks or rattles. The only defect Ive found so far is the strip of chrome on the shifter being scratched by my mom’s ring(s). Its ever so slightly peeling from that, but isnt noticable (yet) without a close inspection.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      Being that Taurus is Latin and ends in -us, I personally like to think the proper plural is Tauri, Jalopnik notwithstanding. It’s just more fun to say. Like Foci. Or Prii (yes, pree-eye).

      /grammar pedant

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      I’d like to see a picture of that ’95 armrest. Not only do I remember the armrest being missing — I had a ’95 demo — the whole armrest dilemma is explained in detail in pages 133-135 of Mary Walton’s Taurus book.

      Not to say that there isn’t a ’95 GL somewhere with a center armrest, but eliminating it was a major deal.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

        IMy 95 now has seats from a 1992 LX, but I still have the old seats (grey cloth, clean and not ripped, I couldnt bare to throw them away, so in the storage shed covered by garbage bags is where they rest now).

        Id be happy to dig the rear seatback out for a photo, but I dont know how to post it here (I dont think the site allows it). if you want, email me through the site and Ill be happy to send pictures of both the GL cloth and the LX leather,I both with rear armrest. Or, let me know how/where to send them. Ive selected the “Notify me” option on this post, so Ill know if/when you reply (I rarely do that).

        The leather on the LX seats has seen better days, but theyre quite comfortable (especially with the lumbar support on the front buckets).

        My neighbor’s 1997 Taurus GL lacks the armrest if I recall correctly. Its at my house now because Im replacing the radiator for her, so I can check it later to confirm.

    • 0 avatar
      iNeon

      Taurus G did not have power locks.

  • avatar
    friedclams

    I rented one 2 years ago in Michigan, Jack’s summary is dead-on. It had the soul of a 70s LTD (that’s a compliment) and was a pleasure on the highway with excellent brakes as well. Mine got better mileage, like 27-28. The cramped front seat and terrible MFT (of that older generation) were major turnoffs though. It was so close to being a winner.

    • 0 avatar
      bomberpete

      I agree: Taurus is a latter-day Galaxie or LTD.

      40-plus years ago, my father used to travel the Midwest frequently on business, racking up big miles in rental cars. His company was in Hertz #1 Club, which always meant Ford back then. Gas mileage aside, he came to believe that nothing was better than the big Fords for carrying people and their things for very long distances. And this was a man who mainly owned Buicks.

  • avatar
    wmba

    Along with many, many acquaintances, we have bought a couple hundred of these ground-pounders in both Ecoboost and regular trim for the municipal police force. Watching Sergeant Donut get out of one in his winter gear is a sight to behold. It’s like pouring a quart out of a pint pot. But if he performs well, and becomes Captain Donut, An Explorer version will be his, the taller version also with no room.

    These rental tests tell me little, a highway jaunt is not how most people use their cars on a daily basis. Like the Camry test, a highway trip and a flog around a race track is not how 99.9999% of owners use them.

    Highly entertaining to read, of course, but in relation to how I’d use any vehicle, not so useful.

    • 0 avatar
      Dan

      I like Jack’s review style. I don’t go on as many all day road trips as I’d like to but 1000 miles straight in a car hits on the small annoyances that commuting usually misses. You can squeeze into and put up with almost anything for 30 or 40 minutes.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        Some of us also love to drive and prefer it over flying. I need a car that can swallow the miles.

        Business travel has had me put 300 to 500 miles on my vehicle in a two or three day stretch on a roughly monthly basis. I’m fortunate that my daily commute is “walk out front door and walk a few hundred feet to my school.”

      • 0 avatar
        ihatetrees

        +1 to Jacks review style. Renting is the bomb for 1K trips, although I’m deferential to minivans for cargo capacity .
        I have an irrational dislike for Camry’s, courtesy of a winter white-knuckle drive of terror from Buffalo to east of Toronto. I should have punched my Canadian buddy over the condition of his tires.

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    This is the right idea. The Taurus isn’t the newest, fanciest, roomiest car on the market and probably isn’t anyone’s first choice. However with a big enough discount, it’s a pretty decent ride.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Despite the awkward styling and other cited issues with Taurus/MkTaurus I almost can like them in FWD trim, what puts me off is the platform’s deliberate fight against driving visibility.

  • avatar
    NoGoYo

    That long bit about decontenting…Ford seems like the only one of the Big Three that did that. The MN12 Thunderbird (not sure about the Cougar) got a worse interior in 1994 apparently and then an even worse one in 1996? I wouldn’t be surprised if the Crown Vic was decontented at some point in the 90s as well.

    • 0 avatar
      jhefner

      1996 also saw decontenting of the Japanese cars, including the Camery. Car prices had risen quite a bit over the years, and consumers did not like it.

      The big reason why Ford had to offer the Taurus G is that in designing the 1996-1999 Taurus, Ford had taken apart to the last nut and bolt a 1991 generation Camry; and implemented many of the quality details like triple door seals (as described in Mary Walton’s book.) Ford then raised the price as well

      But Toyota then zigged where Ford zagged, and decontented the 1996 Camry, lowering the price as well. Ford began loosing market share, and had to offer the G at a price point that met the Camry. Toyota continued to ride on the quality of their 1991 Camry, while the high price, high complaint count, and hideous interior and exterior styling of the 1996 Taurus caused a slide in market share that Ford never recovered from. Walton covers this in pages 342-343 and the postscript to her book.

      • 0 avatar
        NoGoYo

        Interesting.

        I just know that when it came out, the 1989 MN12 platform was expensive and high-featured, which seemed to be Ford’s MO in the late 80s/early 90s.

  • avatar
    sketch447

    “This car weighs over two tons and has the frontal area of an Imperial Star Destroyer”

    Now THAT’S good writing!! Great stuff.

  • avatar
    sketch447

    “This car weighs over two tons and has the frontal area of an Imperial Star Destroyer”

    Now THAT’S good writing!!

  • avatar
    tjh8402

    I had one of these as a rental out in Colorado and New Mexico. Spent most of one day on the road, driving from Durango, Co to Albuquerque, NM to drop a friend off at the airport, then from there to Chama, NM. Later that night drove from Chama to Alamosa, Co. The car was bloddy fantastic on the drive. Ride and seats were comfy, Satellite radio ensured plenty of tunes, the V6 was perfect in that application, and there’s just something so iconic and evocative about driving a full size American sedan around the roads and highways of the Rockies. Oh, I am 31 now, and was 29 at the time, so this isn’t nostalgia.

  • avatar
    CAMeyer

    I had one of these as a rental and drove it about 300 miles.

    It is like a Galaxy 500 on the outside, and a Fairlane on the inside. For some reason, the dashboard and console seem to take up an inordinate amount of interior space, leading me to feel claustrophobic. Also, maybe I’m too old school, but I found the instrument cluster distracting in the extreme. It’s almost as if they put an auxilliary video screen next to the speedo.

    I must say, though, it’s a great highway cruiser, with smooth power delivery.

    BTW, Forderas are the Cadillacs of electric basses. Just to be clear, I mean that in a good way.

    • 0 avatar
      mechaman

      There’s a magazine ‘Bass Tech’, that had an article on Fodera (I think, don’t have the issue with me) and their making a electric/acoustic contrabass for Anthony Jackson. Fascinating.

  • avatar
    swilliams41

    I remember renting one of these when they first came out in the current guise. It was a limited with the 18 or 19 inch wheels and leather. That example had the Sony audio and it was quite good. Ford Sync was there but that gen had no touch screen without NAV. I really enjoyed a road trip in that car, firm, quiet and better than I expected.

    Recently I rented a 2014 Limited and it was different, I swear the suspension is softer. This example bounded and heaved over dips, anyone know if Ford softened the suspension since the first year of this body style. BIG PLUS, the center console sides are PADDED. Makes resting the right leg against it easy. Every premium auto needs a PADDED center console. Hard plastic sucks.

  • avatar
    mechaman

    You had me at ‘Victor Wooten’!

  • avatar
    ericb91

    I’m a bass player, too! Cool. I’ve always wanted to go to Wooten Woods.

    I’m 6’2″ and have never been able to get entirely comfortable in the Taurus. Maybe if I spent a little more time in one, I could, but my impression has been that it leaves a lot to be desired.


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