By on May 4, 2016

2016 Ford Taurus Limited

Well, Ford, I’ve gotta hand it to you. You did it, something that TTAC readers probably thought unlikely, improbable, maybe even downright impossible. I’m about to type some words that most of you never expected me to say.

I found a Ford that I don’t like. Its name? Taurus Limited. And we had a wretched week together.

I know, I know. I’m as surprised as you are. In fact, when I first got behind the wheel of the 2016 Ford Taurus Limited at Memphis International Airport last week, I texted Mark Stevenson and said, “I already love it.”

2016 Ford Taurus Limited front seat

And it was true! The car was attractive in all black. The 3.5-liter V6 seemed powerful enough to spin the front wheels on command. I had comfortable leather seating, SYNC 3, and a deep, resonant sound system. The steering wheel felt comfortable, with classy (fake?) wood trim on top. Visibility was decent. The A pillars were a little obstructive, but nothing to seriously complain about. And it only costs $32,585 (including a whopping $2,750 of dealer cash on the hood) as optioned!

What’s not to love, right?

2016 Ford Taurus Review back seat

The back seat was big enough for two large adults (and one small child in the middle, thanks to the stupid hump in the middle). Plenty of comfort back here, too. Nice, tasteful ambient lighting in the door handles. Seemed like a nice place to spend a few hundred miles, if need be. The Taurus was more than adequate in the rear seating department.

2016 Ford Taurus Limited trunk

Not only would a drive to Disney World be practical on the inside, I could have easily fit a whole Disney vacation for my family of four in the cargo area, too. The trunk was vast enough to swallow multiple large suitcases, making my ever familiar red 27-inch suitcase look downright Lilliputian in the back.

My rental only had 1,000 miles on the clock, so everything was like new, too. Everything about the car looked and felt premium to the touch.

“I don’t get why people don’t like this car,” I said to myself as I headed out of the airport toward my Beale Street hotel. “It’s great!”

Well, it would have been great if I didn’t have to drive the damn thing. Unfortunately, I did.

My first complaint is with the Spotify app in SYNC 3. I couldn’t select each song, only playlists. The app crashed about every 45-60 seconds, so as with the Escape rental I had a few months ago, it was best just to select USB as the source and manage my Spotify from my iPhone 6S+. But I can live with that minor complaint. The worst, however, was yet to come.

The V6 that seemed powerful enough in the parking garage felt weak and underpowered as I attempted to merge onto the highway — and I really don’t understand why. The same motor powers my 2013 Ford Flex at home, and I’ve never felt a lack of available power there. Perhaps I had greater expectations of the motor in the Taurus, because it’s a sedan that’s supposed to compete with the Impala V6 and Pentastar-powered Charger/300. I’ll sum it up thusly: it doesn’t match up, at least not in the powertrain department. I know that Ford claims 288 horsepower for this motor, but it sure doesn’t feel like it. In real life, it feels like an 8-second 0-60 car.

My second disappointment followed quickly. The suspension became bizarrely wishy-washy on the entrance ramp, giving me the sort of rocking and rolling motion that one experiences on a cruise ship. The combination of the soft suspension and the absolutely feckless stock tires provided a complete lack of confidence in any cornering situation. It wasn’t helped by the steering, either.

The steering feedback provided by that pretty steering wheel is best described as anesthetized. I knew that the front wheels were doing something, because the car actually turned, but I might as well have sat behind the wheel of a low-cost Gran Turismo 3 simulator setup. The wheel could be turned several degrees in either direction before the Taurus accepted direction. It reminded me of when I tell my son to get dressed for school in the morning, and five minutes later he’s still sitting around in his underwear watching Disney XD. The Taurus is a lot like that.

This would be all be manageable except for that the car is so damn heavy that the braking suffers badly, too. You plow past your desired cornering apexes in turns, and then you keep going because trail braking is useless, resulting in terminal understeer. I’m not talking about high performance driving here, people. I’m talking about turning onto the highway. It’s dreadful.

And I know that I have waxed poetic about the MKS and SHO in the past, but maybe it was the combination of all the above failures that made me appreciate the driver’s seat claustrophobia of the Taurus. The center console truly is much, much too large and invasive, even for my 5-foot-9 self.

Fuel economy for the week was bizarrely poor, too. I observed a combined 19.8 miles per gallon over four days. I suppose that’s to be expected, however, with a wheezing V6 and over 4,000 pounds of car to move. I can’t imagine how dreadful this car would be with the “upgraded” 2.0-liter EcoBoost motor.

But, that being said, there’s something that could have fixed all the problems I had with my Taurus, and I found it in my home airport’s parking garage upon returning home.

2016 Ford Taurus SHO badge

Yes. YES. More power from the good EcoBoost motor, all-wheel drive, and an upgraded suspension. Isn’t that essentially what the new Continental is going to be? A new Taurus with more power and better suspension? So where does a 2017 Taurus fit into the Ford lineup? My guess is that it doesn’t. With a new, improved Fusion squeezing it from the bottom, and a Conti squeezing it from the top, the Taurus seems to be irrelevant, doomed to a fleet-and-police-only existence.

After my week with the Taurus, I can’t say that would be a bad thing. In a world that has an Impala, a Charger, and even a (shudder) Maxima, the Taurus continues to be a black eye for Ford.

I’m gonna say it for the millionth time: 5.0-liter Coyote and rear-wheel drive in this segment, Ford. Pretty please. Until you do that, you need to stop making a full-sized sedan. It’s not worthy of the Blue Oval.

[Images: © 2016 Bark M./The Truth About Cars]

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230 Comments on “2016 Ford Taurus Limited Rental Review...”


  • avatar
    VoGo

    I test drove a Taurus back-to-back with the Fusion. The Taurus drove a lot bigger, but offered no real advantage over the Fusion. No thanks.

    • 0 avatar

      Big car riding on a small Volvo platform.
      A huge boat- larger than the 300/Charger.
      Interior was cramped up front (overly bunkerized) for no good reason.
      MKS suffered from the same thing.
      That’s why Charger AWD and 300 AWD killed this monstrosity.

      What was even funnier was when they were trying to generate enthusiasm for the Ford Taurus SHO i’m the only car they could really pitted against was the 5.7 L V-8 in the Chrysler 300.

      Meanwhile Chrysler has the 6.1 L hemi .

      Please someone educate me :

      What is the average sit time for an SRT or Hellcat product on a dealer lot?

      Now tell me the average sit time for a Taurus or Lincoln MKS .

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        If you want to compare inventory duration with the Hellcat, then the GT350 is the right comparison, not a basic family sedan.

        The Charger outsells the Taurus, but the Impala beats them both.

        • 0 avatar
          danio3834

          “The Charger outsells the Taurus, but the Impala beats them both.”

          The Impala sales figures actually include 2 different models. The current Epsilon model you see on dealer lots and the W body Impala Limited which continues to be cranked out to fleets. GM doesn’t break out the numbers.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            Fair point. The bottom line for me is that the full size sedan market is small and declining. The vehicles out there reflect that reality – for the most part, their R&D and tooling investments are well depreciated by now.

      • 0 avatar
        NoID

        6.1L is dead, 6.4L is where it’s at. But not in this market for the 300 anymore. Sad face.

        • 0 avatar

          The 6.1 was the engine available when the SHO first was offered. 6.4 obviously replaced it.

          A Youtube video shows the 5.7-L vs. the SHO and the SHO beating it by a small amount – but they wouldn’t DARE put that piece of trash against an SRT.

          As for GT350 – I NEVER SAID ANYTHING ABOUT NO SILLY MUSTANG.

          A $50,000 car that’s prone to spinning out and injuring innocents is in no way comparable to a $70,000 V10 Lamborghini challenger with 4-doors.

          That’s right: I SAID IT.

          It’s more fun than driving a Lamborghini.

      • 0 avatar
        psarhjinian

        “Big car riding on a small Volvo platform.
        A huge boat- larger than the 300/Charger.
        Interior was cramped up front (overly bunkerized) for no good reason.”

        It’s not that it’s a small platform, it’s the Ford just plain screwed this up. The prior D-Platform cars (Five Hundred, and the Five Hundred-rebadge Taurus) were very roomy.

        Ford managed to make it more cramped in just about every dimension in this iteration, going from class-leading to class-trailing. The Explorer has a similar issue: it’s beamier, heavier and bigger than the Flex, but curiously smaller inside.

  • avatar
    heavy handle

    This problem goes back 10 years to the Five Hundred. You had to correct the steering constantly, even on a straight flat road, which made it a terrible highway car.

    • 0 avatar

      I had one as a rental and I never noticed the floaty feel on the highway I actually kind of liked the car, more then any of the other Ford rentals I’ve had at least.

      • 0 avatar
        heavy handle

        I had one as a rental too. After a day of driving, I was beat: stiff neck, exhausted, etc.
        Thought about it the next day and realized that I had to make almost constant micro-corrections to the steering.
        Maybe that car was defective. It could that a whole lot of tolerances were off, or just it had a bad toe-in adjustment. My solution was to avoid Five Hundreds as rentals.
        Chargers and Passats are great highway cruisers, no reason to get a dud car when those two are almost always available.

    • 0 avatar
      here4aSammich

      My ’05 Five Hundred Limited runs me back and forth daily between Toledo and Detroit. Doesn’t get much flatter or straighter. 201k on the clock, I’ve never felt like I was constantly correcting the steering.

    • 0 avatar
      brn

      I’m dumbfounded by the review and claims such as this. I own a 2013 Taurus SEL. The 3.5L is an amazing engine that pulls onto freeways with great confidence. It hangs onto a curve flatter and better than “sporty” cars I’ve owned in the past. I manage 27mpg driving back and forth to work (low to mid 30’s on trips). It’s the best highway car I’ve ever driven. A real cruiser.

      I cross shopped it with the 2013 Fusion. The decision to purchase the Taurus was an easy one.

      It’s far from perfect and I can accept criticism where they are deserved (visibility, parking, etc), but these criticisms do not sound like the car I own.

  • avatar
    ToddAtlasF1

    All the power and traction of the SHO won’t fix that this car’s interior manages to look like a cave even when upholstered in a light cream material. It doesn’t need 365 hp as much as it needs some window glass.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    “combined 19.8 miles per gallon”

    That’s what I get with 90% in town driving on my M35 (very similar size and weight), but it’s got AWD and only five forward gears. So if you spent much time on the highway at all, that’s pretty poor.

    • 0 avatar
      Nick 2012

      Wow. I get a bit better than that in a octo-box Hemi Charger.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      Yeah…

      My MkT Ecoboost gets better than 19.8. That’s garbage for a FWD sedan.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Maybe there’s something wrong with his particular example, or he was stomping it everywhere?

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          Given Bark’s experience driving on tracks, plus the way he phrased his thoughts about the car’s handling, I’d believe so.

        • 0 avatar
          ponchoman49

          Quote: My rental only had 1,000 miles on the clock, so everything was like new, too. Everything about the car looked and felt premium to the touch.

          Did you guys catch this part? That is a very green car and one that hasn’t learned and adapted to any particular driving style. In the Taurus’s defense my buddy has a 2014 black Limited just like this car but with AWD and 19″ tires and averages about the same or better despite the AWD, heavier weight, larger tires and snappier 3.39 final drive ratio. He also has over 100K miles on his car now with lots of highway driving. It’s for sure not slow but it does run out of steam a little on the high end with all the weight. Note that this FWD rental uses a more highway friendly 2.77 final drive so off the line power will be weaker even when broke in.

    • 0 avatar
      tylermattikow

      I rented an AWD Taurus limited a couple months back. I thought the handling and suspension were great and the power was decent. Possibly the AWD helps the handling feel. However I thought the interior felt pretty cramped for such a large car and I also got 19.8 MPG which I thought wasn’t very good considering that was over 400 miles pure highway using cruise control. All in all it was perfectly nice car, but it’s got to be tough to purchase over a Fusion.

    • 0 avatar
      jacob_coulter

      My Lexus LS430 beats that fuel economy with a V8. And it’s also bigger and heavier. You would think over a decade of engineering they could do better.

      It wouldn’t be a deal breaker and I would rather have better performance than fuel economy on a car like this, but still.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        I will forever regret not buying a mint-condition 2006 Lexus LS430 in 2011 that had 36,000 miles on it and was owned by a 70 year old couple for the measly sum of $22,000 (the Lexus “store” had offered them $20,000 on a trade).

        Used car values on everything from trucks to luxury cars were really in the tank back then.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          Mmm the 06 got the cleaned up styling, which did away with the ovoid-Avalon looks the 01-05 had. Did it have the Ultimate Package?!

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            No. It was the base model, but literally like brand new.

            The LS460 doesn’t have as solid/ MB-S Class as a feel, IMO, as Lexus purposefully tried to lighten it and make it “more sporty.”

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Whoa whoa whoa, is someone preaching blasphemy about Saint Lexus LS?

          • 0 avatar
            jacob_coulter

            It was the 04-06 that got the cleaned up styling. It’s amazing how much a difference the subtle styling cues helped.

            But the 01-03 are incredible bargains in the used market.

            I’ve got 160k plus on my 2004, and it still feels like a bank vault. Incredibly reliable car. I plan to drive it into the ground.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I really REALLY hate the lamps front and rear on the 01-03 then. I wouldn’t buy one for that reason. The 04-06 got some neater wheel designs as well.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            The 430s drive very nicely, although they’re a bit too soft for my taste, and are some of the most durable cars in existence.

            I just wish they looked a little more up-to-date, especially inside, where the dash looked dated when the car came out in 2000.

            The 460 is much better in that respect. It’s slightly firmer in the suspension but, IMO as an owner, doesn’t feel any less solid. I think the 460’s suspension tuning is more S-Class-like than the 430, which is more like an American land yacht.

          • 0 avatar
            jacob_coulter

            I like the exterior styling of the LS460s better, but they really have a cheapness about them on the inside that seems out of place on a Flagship car.

            The 430s look dated now, but they feel more upscale in the materials they used. Almost like comparing an 80’s Benz to a late 90’s Benz.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    “5.0-liter Coyote and rear-wheel drive in this segment, Ford. Pretty please.”

    Don’t nobody got time for Grand Marquis!

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      Now, I would absolutely love it if Ford built a 200+ inch long, non-luxury, RWD, three-box sedan that offered the 2.7T and 5.0L (or 6.2L becuase I’m weird).

      However, this segment is dead and I don’t think Ford even has a suitable platform.

      The Lincoln Mustang makes way more sense in the realm of stuff Ford should do.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        I fully agree. It would sell as well as the SS and Caprice because it’d be almost exactly the same. Lincoln coupe is the way forward!

        • 0 avatar
          VoGo

          It would sell as well as the SS? Like an entire 200 units/month?

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Yes, which is why they don’t/shouldn’t bother.

          • 0 avatar
            nrd515

            They might sell them, if they advertised them! I have two friends who bought 300s, not knowing the SS even existed. To be honest, they probably would have still bought 300s, since they both get employee pricing, but the SS would have at least gotten a look.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        They’ll have a suitable platform eventually. Don’t expect a V8 though.

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          I really wouldn’t expect a V8. Once FCA drops the 5.7L and Genesis drops the 5.0L, I’m thinking SRT will be the only four door under $60K to offer a V8. So it isn’t like Ford would be in unique company.

          Still, I’d be quite surprised to see a larger RWD sedan under the Ford marquee. Even if in the future they have a possible platform for it.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I would expect one that is slightly larger than the current Fusion/MKZ. It may end up only having a Lincoln badge though. Hopefully it gets a Blue Oval as well.

      • 0 avatar
        bryanska

        I think the right car can really nail the segment. The 300 is a perfect car for the segment because it doesn’t mess with the formula. Furthermore, the formula for “a good full size sedan” is pretty unique among all the automotive segments. So it’s going to be a viable segment, albeit small.

        The 300 has been selling mid-50k units per year for 2013-2016 (on pace for 2016) so the age of the platform isn’t killing sales. The 300 platform is the gold standard for the full size segment and has a thoroughly modern ride. Put simply, when you want a full-size non-luxury sedan the 300 is the one to get. Mostly because it doesn’t mess with the formula.

  • avatar
    RS

    “stupid hump in rear seat” = AWD option

    And yes, that console is painfully wide. Makes it a feel like a tight midsize or compact car. Visibility isn’t that good either. It feels nothing like the previous generation Taurus from the inside.

    I’m so over automatic ‘sticks’ on consoles as well – especially in cars that don’t offer a manual transmission. Move automatic selectors back to the column or use a knob. I now prefer the knob designs.

    It’s also no secret that the 3.5L offers the power of a V6 with the MPG of a V8.

    This poorly designed car can’t go away fast enough.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      “AWD option”

      I feel like even the FWD version would have the hump, if only because they wouldn’t want unique tooling.

      • 0 avatar
        RS

        Yes, FWD will have the AWD hump because they don’t have the volume for unique tooling. They probably run the exhaust pipe through it as well.

        • 0 avatar
          Drzhivago138

          And even FWD-only cars (seem to) have a slight hump, if only to add rigidity.

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            I have a question for the B&B. Not having driven a vehicle with the ‘knob’ transmission selector. Just how would you be able to ‘rock’ a vehicle equipped with one out of snow, etc?

            Seems to me like a recipe for disaster.

  • avatar
    ajla

    The SHO is a decent performing car, especially once the big incentives started rolling in. I thought the 3.5EB sounded like a food processor, but that likely could have been largely fixed with some aftermarket stuff.

    However, that center console was a deal breaker. If crossfit Bark wasn’t comfortable, increasingly out-of-shape ajla never had a chance.

    And, like you said, with the Fusion below (especially now that a V6 is available) and Continental above, along with a rapidly shrinking large car segment, it is hard to imagine there is future here.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      No ones buying fullsize because there are no fullsize sedans anymore.
      You have midsize then hefty midsize, the interior room is the same on both, but the heft midsize gets the sheet metal pushed out a few inches and the door panels thickened an equal amount.

      The Maxima is a perfect example of this, the thing has hips, I mean how the hell does that count on making the car fullsize?

      The front seat room on this car would have been unacceptable on a compact car just 25 years ago. Look at a 1st gen S10 blazer that interior is a castle compared to this.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        There are no full sized sedans anymore because people stopped buying them.

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        “…but the heft midsize gets the sheet metal pushed out a few inches…”

        The Maxima is one inch wider than the Altima. The Impala is the same width as the Malibu. Yes, the Taurus is 3″ wider than the Fusion.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    I rode in one of these, and if you think the Camaro is a bunker on wheels, wait until you ride in this! If the Camaro was available as a four-door… this is it!

    That’s too bad, too, for if ever a Ford deserved the “Galaxie 500” name, this car on looks alone earned it. The Fusion should have been the Taurus, which is a stupid name from the get-go. I have always hated it.

    I REALLY wanted to like this model, but no. Although not a Ford fan, I don’t hate them, but this car is a no-no.

    To think that GM makes all the mistakes, take a good look at the blue oval…

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    So bizarre that the Fusion became what the Taurus was supposed to be. In any case, the Taurus has become Ford’s Maxima. Except it doesn’t have the styling chops to justify existing next to the Fusion. Actually, the Fusion looks more high class than the Taurus.

    Large sedans in general are in trouble. Truthfully the Taurus’ biggest threat isn’t the Fusion or the Continental- it’s the Edge.

    • 0 avatar
      duffman13

      > Large sedans in general are in trouble. Truthfully the Taurus’ biggest threat isn’t the Fusion or the Continental- it’s the Edge.

      This right here. Mid-size crossovers offer all the benefits of a full-size car like leg room and width, with the added bonus of head room, visibility, hatch storage, and superior ground clearance. The only thing they give up is a fungible amount of fuel economy and a couple grand on initial purchase price.

  • avatar
    david42

    We test drove one of these several years ago. Merging onto the highway was terrifying–it was like a car from another era. We cut short the test drive.

    We bought a Genesis instead (back when those were comparably priced). That turned out to be a bad decision for plenty of other reasons, but at least it could get out of its own way–quite quickly, too.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      What happened with the Genesis? We have some foamy mouths here who declare it superior to Lexus, and a “real” luxury car and won’t admit to it having any faults.

      • 0 avatar
        PeriSoft

        Corey, I’m not one of those mouths but I’m impressed with H’s new generation stuff, enough to drive a Sonata. I’m pretty sure the foameys are talking about the 2015+ Genesis, which is worlds away from the previous version.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          That’s possible, it could be regarding the new one. But I have been around here a while (2012, 2013?) and they were praising it to high heaven then as well.

          I was in a new Sonata rental recently and it was utter crap, IMO. The trim and suspension were both terrible.

          • 0 avatar
            PeriSoft

            “I was in a new Sonata rental recently and it was utter crap, IMO. The trim and suspension were both terrible.”

            There was a discussion about this a few days ago; it seems that the rental Sonata is a different beast from the one you buy and drive off in. Mine’s at 30k now and the trim is perfect and solid; it’s like an S-Class compared to a similarly-priced Subaru. I drove it in Florida last week and it was quiet at 90mph while getting 30mpg.

            The suspension isn’t as refined as the Fusion’s, but it’s not crap by any means.

            Out of curiosity, what were your grips with the trim? To me that’s one of the more impressive parts of the Sonata’s execution.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Sloppy trim bits – they didn’t really line up well. Overall cheap feeling fabric on the seats which was tan, and already reflecting stains and wear. Door panels meh.

          • 0 avatar
            tylermattikow

            Rented a Sonata last year and thought the same.

      • 0 avatar
        david42

        It was a 1st-generation Genesis, and we experienced the well-known flaws: terrible suspension (the test drive was on smooth roads, but our town has terrible potholes) and barely-functional electronics. The display screen–which controlled nav, stereo, and back-up camera–would freeze roughly 10% of the times we turned on the car. There was no fix; I learned from the forums that “they all do that.”

        And it developed an obnoxious rattle inside the headliner.

        And the leather upholstery got worn and loose very quickly.

        And the dealer service department was amateurish–we dealt with them a lot because of the electronic problems (plus frequent oil changes–every 3k on a nominal luxury car!)… and they usually left some sort of grease stain on the headliner or upholstery.

        Oh, and there was the time the steering wheel froze in the lowest position.

        After a year, we traded it for a new BMW 328i (E90). We really enjoyed the Hyundai’s spaciousness, but were thrilled to be rid of it.

      • 0 avatar
        Sigivald

        The earliest owner’s manual I can find is 2010, but it says a 7,500 mile interval for oil changes.

        I think your dealer was trying to screw you over, or just incompetent.

  • avatar
    VoGo

    Let me get this straight:
    – Bark hates on a Ford
    – Jack is married
    – BTSR shills for soulless econoboxes from Hyundai and VW

    If I read that DW and Melody Lee are engaged, I will have seen everything.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Jack is married?! I missed that one. I knew those other two things.

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        It was in the Church basement last Sunday. You were SUPPOSED to bring your famous deviled eggs – what happened?

        Actually, the news is buried in Jack’s autocross piece yesterday.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          I don’t read any other auto news besides here! He married Danger Girl, presumably. I am more likely to bring pasta salad than deviled eggs.

          And I make a mean pasta salad.

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            Yes Jack Baruth is married to Danger Girl. I’m anticipating an Anime Series coming to Netflix based on their exploits with Jack’s son playing the part of a sidekick who is being raised to become the patriarch of the next generation.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Good for him, maybe this one is the right one.

          • 0 avatar
            Zackman

            Even Warren Beatty eventually grew up, married and settled down…

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        Jack has been dropping hints about it for quite awhile.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          I actually said this before I read the older motocross Porsche article where he just flat out said it. I had it opened in a tab, don’t always read them in order of publishing.

          (Or in the case of VW articles, not at all anymore.)

  • avatar
    gtemnykh

    I posted this in a recent VW article, but I just got back from 2 days worth of business-related road tripping in a ’16 Passat SE 1.8TSI and I gotta say, it is simply sublime for eating up highway miles with a ton of room for people and passengers. Final tally for fuel economy floored me: adaptive cruise set to 76mph for hundreds of miles on end, car’s computer read 40.0, hand calculations pegged it at 37.9 mpg. Amazing for something this large, this comfortable, and that peppy. Hands down my favorite rental ever. I can’t think of any way that this Taurus is better, at all. Maybe a bit more trunk room?

    I was impressed enough to jump online to look at prices. LISTED prices of $22k for SEs with the moonroof/adaptive cruise/heated pleather seats all day long. That strikes me as a fantastic deal, for a car that looks/drives like something more in the $35k sphere (IMO).

    • 0 avatar
      Nick 2012

      Wow – a rental with adaptive cruise? Where do they rent such things? The last 3 times I’ve reserved a ‘full size’ car, I’ve been stuck with middling SUVs (Tuscon, Forester, Santa Fe Limited).

    • 0 avatar
      PeriSoft

      I was impressed with the Passat’s highway chops when I rented one shortly before buying my Sonata, and it was super quiet, but at the time they were five grand more than the Sonata and even then woefully out of date in terms of tech. And they were styled by the guy who designs the inside/outside circulation button silhouettes.

    • 0 avatar
      Acd

      Consider going used and you can find 14’s and 15’s with low miles in the $17k area; an S is even less money at $18k new and $13k used. Fallout from the TDI emissions software debacle has helped to push down the prices of all Passats.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        I really question the interior longevity of current VW products. I feel like they’re gonna be ratty pretty quickly.

        • 0 avatar
          Nick 2012

          As do I. Based on my mom’s 2011 TDI and a few high-mileage Golf/Jetta/Beetles owned since college by coworkers, VW learned nothing from the B5 Passat.

        • 0 avatar
          gtemnykh

          This is very true Corey. The keyfob’s nice feeling rubber cover on the buttons already had some nail depression marks (on a car with 8k miles!). Likewise the fantastically soft feeling cover on the steering wheel made me question what it’d look like after 5 years, let alone 7 or 10. But man, for a 3 year 50k mile ownership time frame, it is a awesome car, it’d probably by my top pick in the class, and I’m the most Euro-averse guy you’ll likely encounter.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            *Except Lada.

            ;)

          • 0 avatar
            30-mile fetch

            Eh, my 2010 is six years old and the interior looks nearly new. No delamination of interior buttons, no discoloration, no broken or loose trim. My fob is showing the same signs of stress but mine has 75K on it. The difference is probably not being an indifferent long-nailed owner who stabs like a fishing heron at the fob and window switches. I’ve seen plenty of ex-rental and lease vehicles from numerous manufacturers with the plastic coating sheared away from switchgear and the push button ignition by such creatures.

            I’m more worried about the longevity of the 1.8 TSI.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            The current, American version VW Passat is an enigma wrapped in a conundrum trapped within a riddle.

            I’ve rarely witnessed such widely varying opinions regarding what is, essentially, a volume segment, plain vanilla, CamCord competitor.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            30-mile fetch has the most reliable of all VWs: an Mk5 product with the 2.5L and 5-speed manual.

            The interior holds up pretty well on those cars. Sometimes the headliner falls, but that doesn’t happen to every Mk5.

          • 0 avatar
            30-mile fetch

            It’s true, mine is the bestest of the best and inference to other VW models is done at your own risk. However, the Passat’s interior materials felt nearly identical to those in my Sportwagen, so perhaps they will be as long lived.

            Deadweight, the Passat seems to have multiple personalities depending on year and trim level. I tried a base 2012 S with the 5-cylinder and was not impressed. It felt really bland and monotone inside, as if VW were actively punishing you for skipping the SE. The pop from the motor could not compete with what you’d find in an Accord, Altima, or Sonata. Now, the upper trim levels and later model years get some nicer trim inside that livens it up considerably and the 1.8TSI is a far better match for the size and price of the car.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            I strongly disliked my 2 drives of the MuricaPassat and think Accord, Camry, Fusion, Malibu, and 6 are all better cars. The caveat is that both cars I drove were relatively basic 2.5 SE versions.

            Pros: Nice controlled ride, cavernous back seat, initially nice interior materials.

            Cons: Really, really bad steering feel (like early EPS BMWs), seats well below VW typical standard, mediocre automatic transmission, lousy fuel economy with the 2.5, questionable interior (and other) durability, ugly styling.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          Headliner will fall. Headlights/foglights will often fail. Electrical gremlins will appear. Engine will become full of cooked on oil. Service position will be assumed.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            “Service position will be assumed”

            This. VAG should just install a service wallet light.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            Hence my “3 year 50k mile” caveat. Buy heavily discounted new, drive while under warranty, unload (not sure how much of a bath you’d take in the process). In the meantime, enjoy the fantastic driving experience. I simply cannot reiterate how enamored I was with how comfortable and easy it was to drive for 7+ hours straight. It’s a definite step up from the 2012 Camry SE that I’m used to in just about every measurable way. But with the Camry, we simply assume it will keep plugging along for tens of thousands of miles with only consumables needing to be replaced, to 200k+ miles. I do like the fact that the Passat uses a regular 6 speed automatic, borrowed from Aisin if I understand correctly.

          • 0 avatar
            derekson

            The Passat is a transverse engined car built on the same platform as the Mk VI Golf and Jetta.

            Service position is a longitudinal Audi platform thing.

    • 0 avatar
      tedward

      It’s that engine man. My last experience with the newer passat was dominated by the 1.8t. Driving it against the accord 2.4 and then my own SportWagen 2.5 on the way home (BIL car shopping), it simply walked both of them while feeling faster than it was and being as smooth as the Honda 2.4. The concept is a great one, but probably only works for vw because they’ve been selling so many models with the 2.0t for so long.

      The rest of the passat isn’t really to my taste. They have feature content and price now that the redesign and scandal happened together, but the styling seems a bit slab sided compared to other options. Mostly though, it’s just so damn big, along with all the other mid sizers.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        Definitely.

        Passat went from being pretty mediocre in the MPG, power, and powertrain refinement department to damn near top of the class in one fell swoop. Add to that the loading up with features (heated seats, sunroof, 18 inch alloys, adaptive cruise) with heavy post-Diesel-gate discounts and it’s become massively more attractive in the very competitive midsize field. I’ve had a Fusion SE 1.6EB and some decent options as a rental as well, and it in no way measured up to the Passat, aside from sound insulation perhaps.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    We’re supposed to be shocked because Mark found a single Ford model he doesn’t like.

    Okay.

    The pro-Ford bias on TTAC has been longstanding, widespread and overt.

    And it’s just unwarranted based on the quality, reliability, pricing & performance of most of Ford’s vehicles.

    Ford’s money-making and revenue generating nucleus is and has been the F Series franchise, assisted now by their CUVs (as is the case with any automaker in the era of CUV “anything sells”), and the Transit (which admittedly was a very smart move by Ford HQ as they saw and exploited a void in the US market).

    Escape, Fiesta, Edge and Focus are all very cheaply finished with poor reliability (in terms of reliability, CR puts Ford into the bottom quartile of all makes/models; then there’s the awful transmission issues as well as other major component issues).

    Explorer, Escape & Edge (in addition to being cheap and unreliable), Flex, and Expedition are all insanely high priced based on what consumer gets for their money versus competition, with Ford and its dealer network literally pricing many of their vehicles as if Ford is some sort of premium European brand.

    The Mustang is a segment leader relative to its competitors, the Fusion is segment competitive, and the F Series owns the pickup space.

    FoMoCo is and will continue to be the F Series & Mustang in terms of segment competitive or dominant vehicles.

    Much of the rest of the lineup is overpriced, unreliable garbage with ridiculous pricing.

    No matter – Bark, Jack (though he’s less obvious about it) & Mark S (with a shiny, new Fiesta) are all clearly Blue Oval Loyalists, so the Ford Love-In will continue unabated (Michael Karesh had a huge Ford Boner when he wrote here also).

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      Mark isn’t a Ford loyalist. He bought the Fiesta because he likes small cars with manual transmissions and got a screaming deal.

      Also, despite what you say, Ford is competitive in every segment besides full-size car. I’m not saying they have the best vehicle in each category, but they are at least competitive in every segment.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      Meh. The Powershift is the hottest of garbage, Dennis Leary is VERY annoying, the EB V6s sound kind of lame, and they won’t build a Lincoln Mustang.

      Other than that, Ford is okay. Any brand out there has its issues, I don’t think Ford’s are worse than anyone else’s.

    • 0 avatar
      tedward

      Hold on now. Ford has some serious car game with the focus, escape, mustang and fusion, and it’s a-ok for them to lean on the f series so long as they don’t Marchionne the rest of their offerings as a result. Any competitive issues ford has with those cars arise from the timing of their release schedule vs their competitors (the focus being a half generation behind the golf for example). You can’t take that as a brand indictment when they are strong enough for positions to be switched on the back half of that same product cycle.

      I do have serious reservations about their management of the new generation drivetrain technology, and with their qc on the whole. I’ve used it as an example before but my other BIL’s escape has had over 10 recalls and there are lots of rattles and trim pieces coming off. The car is never abused so there’s no reason for the flaws. I think a lot of these issues can’t be addressed until those components go through a complete next generation redesign (fewer dash parts for instance).

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        My biggest doubts with Ford fall on Fields running the company instead of Mullaly. His plans could work very well, or they could end up with PAG like failures again.

  • avatar
    madman2k

    We are thinking about getting an Explorer in about a year.

    I want one with the 4WD option and was considering this V6. The power numbers sound like it would be fine but the car will be driven up and down mountains in Arizona and Colorado fairly often, and loaded down with people and stuff most of the time too.

    Now this review has me wondering if that V6 would be too overworked.

    Would the 3.5EB in the explorer really be worth the price premium for a family hauler vehicle? We are not used to muscle cars or anything, but I want to keep this vehicle for about 10 years and don’t want to ruin the engine early.

    A CX-9 might be on the table too, but the wife and I both like the look of the new Explorers and I like the equipment it comes with in XLT trim plus the $1600 package of tech goodies.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      The Explorer is not a good “value” any way you slice it, and not really a great car for the money either.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      Get the Flex Ecoboost instead. It’s better in every way except for ground clearance and “looking like a Land Rover”. People seem to love the Explorer though. My neighborhood is full of them.

      If you have you eyes set on an Explorer, the 3.5TT is worth it.

      • 0 avatar
        madman2k

        She likes the look of the Flex, I don’t. Then again, she’d be the one driving it most of the time.

        I did like the first-gen Flex better than this one, so we might consider a lightly used first-gen.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          Used Flexes are sometimes too expensive. Especially in Ecoboost form. That’s why I ended up with a MkT. It doesn’t look as nice, but it’s nicer on the inside and the CPO warranty is much better.

          The Explorer is a good vehicle, I just like the Flex better.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            The MKBball beats both.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            It does. But many people don’t like it’s looks. Still, the CPO versions are some of the best used deals out there.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            “But many people don’t like it’s look”

            Body/custom shops exist, evidently this is lost on people.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            My wife is home today, and she says, “Buy a used MkT. You will get over what it looks like once you drive it and get the salesman to take at least another $5000 off the price.”

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      FLEX FLEX FLEX FLEX FLEX

    • 0 avatar
      Nick 2012

      DURANGO DURANGO DURANGO.

      Heavier duty, Hemi availability, and the only Dodge that is recommended by Consumer reports.

      • 0 avatar
        madman2k

        That could be an option. I don’t think I’d like to spring for the Hemi though, isn’t it only available top trims?

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          I do not support the Durango, as after two years or so they get quite ratty and overall have a “threadbare” appearance. Wouldn’t trust them for long term kid abuse and longevity of trim. Nor will it have good resale, if FCA in current format even exists when you go to get rid of it.

          Mechanically, yeah they’re probably fine.

          • 0 avatar
            Nick 2012

            I’ve ridden in a coworkers 2012 Durango, and it felt tight and the interior looked good even with 2 teenage kids (this was only to lunch). Personally, my 2011 Caravan shows almost no wear aside from a small crack in the drivers seat after 70k pretty rough family miles.

          • 0 avatar

            Yeah I know people with 2011’s that still look fine inside and out with over 100k. I think Coreys is showing that “I hated my parents 90’s Chrysler products so now I hate FCA too” bias.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I think they’re a poorly run company with a lame duck product offering for the most part, which has been bailed out by the government and mergers more than once, and is set to do so again in the near future.

            They had crap products in the ’70s.
            Same in the ’80s.
            Same in the ’90s.
            Same in the ’00s.

            Yes their vans were a good idea – and as long as you didn’t get any Mitsubishi parts, transmissions, engines, or air conditioners you’d likely be okay. But oh well, ignore the rust.

            The last desirable car they made was in 1991, and it said Fifth Avenue on it.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            “and as long as you didn’t get any Mitsubishi parts, transmissions, engines, or air conditioners you’d likely be okay.”

            Huh? I assume you’re talking about the 3.0L V6. Aside from valve stem seals that caused oil burning, those are tough as nails motors. Haven’t heard of too many other mitsu-made accessories having too terrible of reputations either. The Ultradrive (mopar, nothing to do with Mitsubishi) transmissions said motors are attached to? Maybe less so, but not quite as crappy as most people assume if maintained with the correct transmission fluid.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Don’t forget the 3.0, in addition to burning oil, suffered from vapor lock.

            I always thought the AC compressors they used were from Mitsu as well (does not apply to trucks).

          • 0 avatar

            True the 3.0 was fine my family has owned 3 or 4 of them never an issue. II’m always surprised by the hate on the internet because of my preinternet experiences. It is true that the 2.6 mitsu had head gasket issues but not horrible. The old 3 speed FWD transmissions were fine too. Ultradive were pretty bad I didn’t own one but my parents had one that died at 36k in a square New Yorker (1992 I think) Oddly thou my aunt had an early ultradrive that some how lived until 150k miles (dealer serviced from new) when my sister got into an accident with it. Mopar is a mixed bad kind of like buying GM if you pick the right combo of parts they are a good deal that run forever if not your cruising down the highway in a U body. (for the most part other then a few foibles here in there their trucks are pretty good.)

          • 0 avatar
            ponchoman49

            Agreed about the garbage Mitubishi engines during the 80’s and early 90’s. Both the 2.6 and 3.0 V6 were by far the most worked on engines ever in our last service garage at our old used car dealership during the 90’s and early 00’s. One guy even carried around a spare 2.6 in his 1984 Caravan already having replaced two engines prior and that was with less than 100k miles!

        • 0 avatar
          Nick 2012

          Yes, but with all the incentives, a ~$40-42k new transaction price is possible, putting it squarely within Ecoboost Explorer range.

    • 0 avatar
      Felis Concolor

      As one who lives at high altitude, I’d say grab a Flex before they’re all gone; the force-fed models are outstanding in the mountains and quite popular along the Front Range area. Having towed an unbraked single axle trailer over Monarch Pass during last month’s snowstorm, I can attest to the D4’s sure footed nature as we rolled past the occasional GTO, Trailblazer or Outback piled into the shoulders and guardrails along its length.

      I don’t know if Chapel Hills still has its ’14 in stock, but it featured the turbomotor, steel roof and mid row buckets with no fridge; might be a good deal.

      • 0 avatar
        madman2k

        It’ll be mostly used for trips between Phoenix and the Gallup area; not super high elevation but a lot of up and down mountains.

        But a couple times a year we’ll be going up to Durango, Silverton, etc.

        The 4WD is because the wife’s family lives on the reservation and the roads out there get really tough to traverse when it rains or snows. I’d like her to be able to make the trip home year-round without worrying about getting stuck.

        Last month we went through Denver and then west on I70 and cut down from Silverthorne area to Alamosa over some of those passes. It was very snowy and a lot colder than Oklahoma was when we left. Saw 14 degrees on the thermometer at the top. But it felt much warmer because of the high elevation and the bright sun.

        Yeah, a 4-runner might be an option. I sure love the look of those TRD PRO ones, but I don’t think they offer a third row in that one and it’s over budget and impractical.

        • 0 avatar
          Dan

          “… it’s over budget and impractical.”

          Consider the absolutely crazy resale values on these things and it’s likely cheaper to own than either the Mazda or the Ford you’re looking at. If you can live with the lack of power and aren’t too tall to fit in it you could do a whole lot worse.

    • 0 avatar
      cgjeep

      If you don’t mind something more truckish you can get a 4 Runner SR5 with the third row seat.

      • 0 avatar
        Dan

        The 4Runner is great for what it is but a mountain highway car it isn’t. It’s a dog even at sea level.

        • 0 avatar
          gtemnykh

          “It’s a dog even at sea level”

          It’s every bit as quick 0-60 as most mainstream V6 CUV competitors, 7.5 0-60 IIRC. The throttle mapping is just really “eco-minded,” which certainly makes it feel pretty lethargic unless you bury the throttle.

    • 0 avatar

      I have had several explorer rentals. In some the v6 seems fine in others it feels like crap, lower trims seem to feel worse some how, I wonder if they change the gearing and or throttle map on the limited. Also the higher trims I’ve driven were AWD vs FWD for the base models so maybe there is a gearing difference.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Now that the W-body has been replaced by the current Super Epsilon Impala, the Taurus is now the car for Americans who “purchase by the pound.” Go check new and CPO Taurus prices online, it is a “value” and that’s about all that can be said.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      Might as well just step up to the MKS used.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        Honestly bball, I could have replaced Taurus with “Ford D3 Platform Sedans.” Taurus SHO or MKS Ecobost – either one is a pretty good deal if you don’t want to spend much for a big sedan.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          When I was in the MKS at the auto show, I was climbing all over the backseat trying to determine if the gigantic third brake light on the rear windshield ceiling could be migrated or eliminated (run a strip of LEDs on the trunk). The brake light has got be occupying 25% of rear visibility, its just a big middle finger to both the driver and sensibility. I’m not sure the Taurus suffers from that particular malady.

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            Perhaps I’m the only one who smiles at 21 cubic ft of trunk space?

            I really miss big trunks – there I said it. I’m tired of big on the inside midsize sedans that only have 15 to 17 cubic foot trunks.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          Correct. That’s why I just go for the MKS instead. The price premium to go from Taurus to MKS used is virtually no existent. The SHO might actually have a price premium over the MKS Ecoboost.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Unless said CPO Taurus is going out for about 16ish at nine months old (15 wholesale + pack), W-Impala FTW.

  • avatar
    zip89105

    That’s disappointing. Makes me glad I bought a 2016 Fusion solely because they cost less. Ford is discontinuing this car, so many will be happy.

  • avatar
    bugmen0t

    I’m amazed that Ford manages to sell far more of these dogs as cop cars than Chevy sells the Aussie Caprice PPV. The Caprice has scads more room inside, and all the perf driving advantages of RWD. It’s essentially a stripped-down Chevy SS, with a lot more legroom.

    Even worse than the Taurus’ interior space is its rear visibility, is the rough equivalent of that of a WWI pillbox. In the snow. At night.

    I’m a tall guy, but thin. I once had the “pleasure” of sitting in the driver’s side of a fully-equipped police Taurus. The mobile data terminal was in the way of my right elbow. My left elbow sat uncomfortably high on the hard window sill. Were I 40lbs heavier, and wearing police gear, I’d be applying for a disability pension in six months, and going for a psych evaluation in six weeks. I’ve never been claustrophobic, but after sitting in that T, I get the idea.

    So I don’t understand how these little clown cars are outselling the Caprices – by a mile. Discounts can only explain part of the equation; perhaps group psychosis (or payola) on the part of fleet purchase managers the other half.

    But for police purposes, this is one dumb car, that should have been exactly as (un)popular as the lousy FWD Impala. Boooooo.

    • 0 avatar
      derekson

      I would guess that Ford is far more willing to cut deals since they have excess Taurus production, whereas GM has a limited desire to import volume from down under. GM is happy to sell some Caprice cruisers at whatever price they fetch, whereas Ford has reasons to chase volume.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        There are a number of reasons why the Taurus PI outsells the Caprice PPV. It’s made in the US. Ford has very good police support from the factory. The Taurus shares a bunch of parts with the very popular Explorer PI. It is priced better. It is available in AWD. The Ecoboost Taurus PI is faster than the Caprice PPV. There are more options on the Taurus. Police departments can get a Taurus quicker. Many departments have good relationships with Ford.

        Police Departments would be crazy to buy a Caprice PPV over a Taurus, or more likely, Explorer.

  • avatar

    You can buy these cheap, but why? No one wants them. I’ve never understood how such a ‘large’ car could be engineered to feel so cramped inside. The thing is like a center console on four wheels.

    Zero reason to choose this over a $3000-more MKS that is superior in every way.

    Also, the W-body Impala Classic is a better car than this Taurus. There. I said it.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      It because when they renamed it Taurus and performed the refresh, Ford thought that the “cockpit” design of the front seats would be where the market was going and younger people would like it and buy it. Then they never fixed it because they didn’t want to spend money on a product that no one really wanted.

      • 0 avatar
        tylermattikow

        To be fair, the 500 may have been mush more spacious and airy on the inside, but the Taurus redesign is much better looking from the outside at least.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          Do not agree. The 08-09 model was clean and European in nature, with lots of glass and nice lines.

          New one is Bunkertron 4000, has odd panel lines, and overall the design doesn’t make sense.

  • avatar
    FAHRVERGNUGEN

    Slow, form over function and floats like a cruise ship in a hurricane (or has occupants who use Hurry-Canes)?

    Funny; it doesn’t look like a Buick.

  • avatar
    dwford

    Way to kick an old girl when she’s down! Of course the poor Taurus has issues, it’s riding on an ancient hand me down chassis and even this version is 6 years old now. Have we figured out if we are even getting a next generation Taurus?

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      Ford has a history of keeping old full size cars around for a while. But I suspect that if it weren’t for fleet/PPV sales, Ford would put a fork in this Taurus.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I can’t help but look at the Taurus in its current form and conclude it ruined from the start. Just look at the P2 S80 on which this was based, and then look at it. Ford could have Xeroxed the S80, put a blue oval on it, and wouldn’t have done any worse and had a good chance of doing much better.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        They had a P2 S80 clone, they just dumped it after 09. I really think the 08 and 09 Taurus/Sable are good looking cars.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        It was ruined when they did the 2010 refresh to make it all sporty. The peak of non-luxury D3 sedans is the 08-09 Sable/Taurus.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          I guess “sporty” equals “completely malformed” in Dearborn.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Like I said in reply to Flybrian, Ford thought that the “cockpit” layout of the cabin would be a hit. Instead, it made everything worse.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            You could keep the cabin and still do without the exterior styling designed to rob you of driving sight.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            It all goes together in a harmony of claustrophobia.

        • 0 avatar
          Featherston

          @ bball40dtw – I was traveling a lot to the Twin Cities for work in ’10 and ’11, and for whatever reasons many Sables and Tauruses of that vintage had found their way into the local cab fleet. I totally agree with you. The arching greenhouse was out of step with contemporary styling trends, and as a result the back seat was an airy, pleasant place to be. I’ve never been in one in non-abused, non-cab form, but my sense is that they are/were fine non-luxury sedans.

          Incidentally, Motor Trend clocked a non-SHO Taurus at 6.6 seconds for 0-60. Good to know that constitutes “wheezing” in the 21st century car reviewer’s mind.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            They are just nice cars that are pleasant places to be. Nothing flashy. Unfortunately, that didn’t sell.

    • 0 avatar
      SC5door

      You won’t be getting one.

      The current one will eventually phase out in “civilian” trim and will only be available as a police car.

  • avatar
    Commando

    I took delivery of my ’16 MKS last week which we know to be an expensive Taurus Limited.
    I’m surprised your Taurus underwhelmed you. I’ve driven upscale cars since the 60’s and have never hesitated to call one a terrible disappointment if that was what they were. I have to say my MKS (Elite w/Tech. Pkg.) was superior to the XTS, Equis, K900 and a couple of others.
    Is the Taurus REALLY that inferior?

  • avatar
    427Cobra

    I am an admitted Ford Fanboy. I have a 2k Super Duty V10, an ’08 Mercury Grand Marquis, and a ’13 Ford Edge Limited. My dad “had” a ’14 Taurus Limited. Same powertrain… 3.5L V6, 6 spd auto. It’s not a bad engine, it just feels overwhelmed in this heavy platform. I think a lot of it is the transmission/gearing. It just feels very sluggish. My neighbor has the same drivetrain in his ’15 Explorer, & also complains about it’s sluggishness. The tranny is obviously programmed for fuel economy… which it doesn’t really attain. The best I’ve ever done is 24-25 mpg. I get about 14 mpg around town. I think the problem is weight… it’s HEAVY… tho it does impart a comfortable ride. I would have LOVED to have seen the twin turbo 3.5L Ecoboost dropped into the Edge. Sigh. Prior to the Edge, I had an ’04 Saturn Vue V6… which I absolutely LOVED. That 3.5L Honda V6 was smooth as silk… had gobs of power… and got great fuel economy. The Vue was a much lighter platform, so the Vue felt very light on its feet. It was quick too… 7 sec 0-60. The downside was the cheap/plasticky interior & lack of acoustic insulation, but overall, is probably the best vehicle I’ve ever had. And I totally agree that the Fusion is far better than the Taurus. The Taurus feels like a poor interpretation/re-imagination of the Crown Vic. It looks huge on the outside, feels small on the inside. The visibility is lacking, and the drivetrain is sluggish. Now, back in the mid 90s, I had an ’87 Taurus. Great car… comfortable… roomy… good visibility… decent-enough power… good fuel economy… etc. Everything’s so heavily laden with electronics these days. Not sure if that is responsible for the weight gain in todays cars or not. I have found the electronics to be more of a distraction than an aid. My Edge Limited is LOADED. Every time I back out, I’ve got bells, bongs, & beeps going off all over the place. I guess I’m a freak… just give me a good stereo & manual air conditioning & I’m a happy camper.

  • avatar
    TrailerTrash

    Calm down everybody.
    The nonsense above makes me feel like I am watching CNN talk about Trump.

    The car IS OLD! And being so damned nicky picky and comparing it against all the newer builds, except the aged 300, without making sure folks understand this was introduced in 09 is being misleading.

    And that MPG just does not make sense. My 10 MKS with 3.5 ecoboost averages easily more, around 22 with premium.

    And the repeated and hated narrow console speak is nothin but urban legend. I see many, many loved luxury cars praised here at TTAC even though their center consoles look straight out of jets. Huge wide and chuck full of stupid switches.

    There is a reason for the size. You cannot have 19 cuft of trunk without it. So give it what it deserves.

    So at least try to be fair and even when talking about the car. Admit there is some Taurus hate here and is basically just hate.

    • 0 avatar

      Yes, everybody knows how much I hate Ford.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Your crimes against the Blue Oval are well documented.

      • 0 avatar
        TrailerTrash

        I wasn’t referring to you Bark on the hate.
        It is the B&B that were posting.
        You are NOT a Ford hater as you so write…yes, just the opposite.
        I was only thinking about your MPG part in my remarks.
        This part has me confused from my experience with the car.

    • 0 avatar
      RS

      We have a 08 Taurus AWD which we really like. It gets 16-18 MPG around town and about 23 on the HWY. 150K miles on it now.

      (Didn’t like the bill for replacing the water pump on the 3.5L – beware owners…)

      I prefer a Chrysler 300 over the current Taurus.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        You should stop complaining – if only because you weren’t stuck with the CVT + AWD from a year earlier, which would have grenaded long ago!

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        The water pump replacement is expensive. It likes to hang out in V6 valley.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          -Is the 3.5 a chain engine or belt?
          -How much does the water pump replacement cost? It’s always $~1500 anyway when you do it with the t-belt on other engines.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Chain. And I would expect $1200-$1800 for the water pump replacement. Ford doesn’t have a service schedule for it. Hopefully it doesn’t go bad or you spot it before it completely fails.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Thanks – just wondered. I’m not in a place to need another sedan at the moment.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            “How much does the water pump replacement cost?”

            I may have to give another sermon on this.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Wasn’t your sermon for GM vehicles? (As I would expect.)

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            No. He has a sermon about this. He was most displeased with the water pump being located in the Valley of V6. For it is a sacred valley and holy site that shall not be built upon. Our Lord and Savior 3800 may release a flood of biblical proportions onto the V6s of non-believers who design V6s with a water pump in His valley.

          • 0 avatar
            RS

            It’s Chain.

            The Water Pump requires 11.5 – 12 hours of shop time to replace on the Ford 3.5L.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            And so it is known.

            That’s almost a reason to avoid the 3.5. Why such idiotic placement? I expect better of modern Ford.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Like RS said, the problem is that it takes forever to replace. The plus side is that some people won’t ever replace it while other manufacturers have to replace the water pumps every 60k-75k miles.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I didn’t think there was such a thing as a never-replace water pump. They’re a wear item with moving bits and seals!

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Indeed Brother BBall, indeed.

            @corey

            “Why such idiotic placement?”

            I looked up a 3.5 Mustang’s book time to do a water pump and IIRC it was like 2 hours vs 11 of MKZ. My theory is the Mod motor was never intended for FWD use and its design is geared toward servicing RWD applications since that was its original use… prior to these CDx and Dx cars the only FWD application of Mod motor was the D186 derived Conti (95+). Unlike Old GM, Ford isn’t going to develop a V6 with FWD only intentions, they are going to take what they have and adapt it, which leads to 11 hour water pump scenarios.

            I wouldn’t be surprised if GM’s maintenance is equally idiotic in some cases on its FWD since the 3.6 was intended for RWD use as well.

    • 0 avatar
      bryanska

      But being old doesn’t have to be a problem. The 300 is perfectly modern even though it’s old. No full size sedan rides as well, it’s got every gadget known to the non-lux set, and has been selling fine since its introduction.

      The old Fusion platform got hella old, but it was a great car up until the end. Ditto the old Focus.

      Bottom line: the Taurus is a compromised design. High beltine, measurably tight elbow and hip room (for its segment, or maybe it’s just overall too narrow), and unless you get the MKS or the SHO there isn’t enough special to overcome its odd packaging.

      Luxury cars can be odd. You’re getting enough content to overcome oddness. But the Taurus, compared against the Lacrosse/300/Azera/Avalon, has just enough odd design choices to narrow its appeal. Not that I’d ever begrudge anyone the right to choose their own damn car, but if we’re strictly measuring the Taurus against full-size segment standards, it is an odd fit.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      “Admit there is some Taurus hate here and is basically just hate.”

      What incentive do we have to hate the Taurus just out of spite?

      And the console is huge amd hip room is poor. We aren’t making stuff up. I have a friend with an MKS I should be seeing on Thursday. I’m tempted to bring along a tape measure and document its dimensions just to show how different it is from my Dodge or Cadillac.

      • 0 avatar
        TrailerTrash

        Do you need incentive to hate?
        Don’t think so.
        Being irrational is what people do.

        What’s with the hip room? So, other sports cars with sports seats that give that snug feeling get away with the hip room worry because…why?

        What Caddy would you be referring to? AS for your Dodge…I like the 300 and its twin. My onl issue with them is the floating I experienced driving them. That and the feeling I got looking out the sides.
        I loved the designs and the roominess, especially in the trunk.

        At the time I purchased my ’10 MKS, however, they did not offer the ecoboost power and the luxury in the MKS had a ton more stuff than any Chrysler product offered.
        There was no pan sunroof. No heated/cooled seats. No adaptive cruise and headlights. Hell…the list goes on.

        Wasn’t close.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      “The car IS OLD! And being so damned nicky picky and comparing it against all the newer builds”

      A sizeable chunk of the models released since 2010 has sucked just as much, if not more, than this. In fact it is the designs released prior to 2010 which are in may ways better: V6 gas motors! Buttons! Visibility! Front and rear bumpers! I wish the current crop would learn a thing or two from the “old” models.

  • avatar
    PriusV16

    Can’t say anything about how this thing drives, but from the outside, it looks like a super-sized Suzuki Kizashi.

  • avatar
    jacob_coulter

    It’s a sharp looking car, I do think Ford for the most part has been doing a good job in the styling department lately.

    Regarding the wood trim, either make it real or don’t do it at all. And if you absolutely have to make it fake, at least put just a small amount of trim instead of being the focal point with the entire dash.

  • avatar
    06V66speed

    Ah, yes. The reference to the “new” SHO. All hail the greatness of it (yaaaaawwwnn).

    Gimme that ’92 SHO with a 5-speed manual. Shoot, even a 1st gen. Cost you a helluva lot less than these newbies, too.

    That Yamaha-powered SHOs may have been worlds slower than their newer counterparts, I get it.

    But at least they had soul. And- oh yes, a manual transmission. Show me that in the “new” Faux SHO.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Ask Dal about the quality and reliability of his Yamaha SHO.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        I wouldn’t blame Yamaha. I think his engine was okay. I would put the blame squarely on the $hit hole known as Ford Atlanta Assembly Plant. And Ford beancounters. Can’t forget those a$$holes.

        • 0 avatar
          06V66speed

          +1, bball.

          I think the reliability issues on the Yamaha mills have been blown further and further out of proportion over the years, sans maybe the Yamaha V8’s on the third gens. The V8 mills deserve all of the criticism they can get. Lol

          Hell the new SHOs even *look* soulless. And please spare me the infamous “its a sleeper” line.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            The Yamaha V8 was not a bad idea. I am happy to blame Ford for the execution though. Look what they did to that Taurus in general.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            What was up with those Yamaha V8 SHOs? DN101 wasn’t a bad platform and yet the SHO sucked. I want to know why.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Camshafts liked to separate on the 3.4L SHO V8. I think it happened to almost 10% of the vehicles.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            But there are TWO camshafts on the 3.4 SHO, why couldn’t one act as a backup? Pfft.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            Although it is from Motortrend, here is fun piece where the V8 SHO gets beat up by the GP GTP.

            http://www.motortrend.com/news/american-car-faceoff/
            _————————
            Bonus: the 3800 Bonneville SE smoking a Concorde LXI (although the slower Chrysler won the overall test)

            http://www.motortrend.com/news/chrysler-concorde-lxi-vs-pontiac-bonneville-se/

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I love the GP GTP. And the Bonneville SSEi.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            SSEi, red with gold lace alloys! Yar.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            The Concorde won the test, but seven months later it sludged it’s engine and the transmission exploded.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I saw an LSS today on the way to the Consol! I think the driver was at least 105.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            What’s Consol?

            Yesterday I saw a 9-4x on the highway!
            Also a Volvo 185 (very old coupe)? Could have been a Saab. It said 185 on the grille.
            I also saw a Kaiser sedan in Easter egg blue.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            Hey, now. The LSS was intended from the get-go to attract a younger crop of buyers. The driver couldn’t have been older than 95.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          Oh! What are they building nowadays, if still existing?

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            Didn’t a Yamaha V8 make its way into the old Volvo XC90?

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            And in the S80 as well. The majority opinion on that one’s reliability was not good.

            But there are six V8 Volvo owners who defend it to the hilt, so of course they’re correct in reality.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Atlanta is gone. It’s next to the Atlanta’s airport and is supposed to be some mixed use retail/commercial Aerotroplis thing. Porsche has moved their US HQ there as well.

          • 0 avatar
            06V66speed

            28CL: cheap pot metal cam sprockets, among others. IIRC there is an aftermarket kit which offers beefed up cam sprockets. Plus that’s the generation by which Ford took away the manual (booooo).

            I suppose they thought the presence of a V8 took away the sting of a lack of manual.

            Vogo: I was also under the impression that Yamaha V8’s found their way into the older XC90’s, and was always curious how they’d hold up under the long haul.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @06V66speed

            Ah, so bean counters saving three cents a unit but dooming the finished product.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Yamaha, Ford, and Volvo all said that the Yamaha V8 in the XC90 wasn’t related to the SHO V8, which was based on the Ford Duratec engine. The engines share common dimensions, but it appears that people at least tried to build the XC90’s V8 properly.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        Yep, bball said it. My SHO was a collection of junkyard parts loosely arranged around an outstanding, anvil-reliable engine.

        Old-school Ford red paint that required a polish every six months because it faded so quickly: Check
        Every accessory on the engine dying at least once, most multiple times: Check
        Every power window and most of the power seat components in the car failing: Check
        Transmission eating itself: Check
        ’80s Ford leather, disintegrating despite all efforts at care: Check

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      The new SHO is really the Fusion Sport with the 2.7TT. You aren’t going to get a manual because Ford doesn’t think the manual will sell well. People that buy $37K Fusions are not the same people that buy Focus STs and Fiesta STs. They may be coming out of one of those cars, but the lack of a manual transmission isn’t going to bother them.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      Yea, the current SHO should be wearing a “500 XL” badge instead.

  • avatar
    Aquineas

    Sheesh that mileage is about what I get with my V8 Genesis.

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    The new 2017 Fusion Sport with the 2.7 Ecoboost will render this car irrelevant save outright trunk space. The Fusion is simply a better car period.

  • avatar

    Rented one of those last year. Horrible grinding brakes and no place to put my feet, which was hilarious for such a large car. Power seemed OK. Was it a flex-fuel car?

  • avatar
    Higheriq

    I have driven several regular-grade Tauruses and enjoyed them all. Every time I get out I’m left thinking that the SHO is even better? If I don’t generally like larger cars, but this would be at the top of my list if I were in the market.

  • avatar
    nrd515

    I drove what appears to be an identically equipped Taurus that a friend rented while his F150 was being repaired (Son fell asleep, sideswiped a parked car). It was better than I expected. It had at least “OK” power, not a rocket, but not horrible, it handled “OK” too. I didn’t notice anything good or bad about the brakes. The stereo, well, that’s one area of the review I couldn’t agree more with, it’s terrible. From my experience, FCA has the best interface of any entertainment system available, but I haven’t driven any high end cars over the last couple of years.

    He had the Taurus for about 2 weeks and said he wasn’t hating it when it was time for it to go back. That’s a lot better than the last car he rented, a Ford Escape. I agreed with him, it was just bad, in so many ways.

  • avatar
    Grey_ghost

    5.0-liter Coyote and rear-wheel drive in this segment, Ford. Pretty please. Until you do that, you need to stop making a full-sized sedan. It’s not worthy of the Blue Oval.

    They did in Australia. It was called Falcon. They’re stopping making the full-size rear wheel drive sedan in 4 months.


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