Highlight: For the 2013 model year, Ford will offer an EcoBoost 4-cylinder engine, which will produce approximately 31-mpg on the highway. This is a first for the fullsize sedan.
Test vehicle’s MSRP: $41,135 (Base Limited Model Front-Wheel Drive starts at $33,895)
Seating Capacity: 5
Standard Safety Features: air bags (front, curtain and side); a rollover sensor; ABS; a curve control system slows the vehicle down when taking corners too fast; electronic stability control system; a tire pressure monitoring system; and Ford’s SOS Crash Alert System
Standard Equipment (Limited): 19-inch wheels; automatic headlights; cap-less fuel filler door; 10-way power front seats; leather perforated seats; memory driver’s seat; an automatic dual zone climate control system; a rearview camera; a remote start system; dual exhaust chrome exhaust tips; LED tail lights; and MyFord Touch 8-inch smartphone-like system
Standard Audio: 6-speaker AM/FM/CD Player/6-month subscription to satellite radio
Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty: 3 years or 36,000 miles
Powertrain Warranty: 5 years or 60,000 miles
Bluetooth Compatibility: Yes
Standard Engine/Horsepower: 3.5-liter, 6-cylinder/288-hp
Recommended Fuel: Regular Unleaded
Standard Fuel Mileage: 18-city/26-hwy
What’s New: The 2013 Ford Taurus received a slight refresh for the 2013 model year. Also for the 2013 Ford adds its signature EcoBoost 4-cylinder engine to this fullsize sedan. The brand’s signature fuel efficient engine is expected to achieve up to 31-mpg of highway driving on a tank of gas. With the exception of the performance-oriented model, the 4-cylinder engine will be available on every Taurus.
Outside the vehicle, the Taurus now adds heated outside mirrors with an auto-dimming feature, a decklid spoiler for the high-performance SHO model, 20-inch wheels are now available on some trims and new active grille shutters improve fuel-efficiency.
Inside the cabin, Taurus made the following modifications, enhancing the driving experience. The engineers incorporated an electric assist steering system, new front seat cushions, a larger master cylinder to improve brake-stopping and a heated steering wheel to name a few.
In the upscale Limited model we reviewed, our Taurus was also outfitted with such features as an adjustable gas/brake pedals with a memory program, an auto-dimming driver’s exterior mirror, HD radio, ventilated front seats, a power tilt/telescopic steering wheel, an active (parallel) park assist system for parallel parking, a premium Sony audio system, automatic high-beam/low-beam headlights, a rear window power sunshade, heated rear seats, a voice-activated navigation system and a radar cruise control/collision system. Yes, our Taurus had many features that one would expect in vehicles that cost nearly twice as much this mass produced family sedan.
Cons: Like most folks, we’re not a fan of Ford’s complex MyFord Touchscreen system, which has everything from the audio system to the ventilated seat control tied into the system. We’ve been asking for knobs and controls again. And, after numerous consumer complaints, knobs are going to be added into the next-generation MyFord system.
Moreover, the front seating area seemed somewhat cramped compared to its competitors due to the in-your face instrument panel design. Furthermore, the vehicle lacks an oversize panoramic sunroof, although a standard size sunroof is an available feature.
Lastly, we hate that we haven’t had an opportunity to experience the 4-cylinder Ecoboost engine. Like with the Chevy Impala 4-cylinder we drove recently, we are wondering if such an engine will be adequate to pull around this vehicle. As a side note, Toyota offers a 4-cylinder hybrid.
Verdict: So far this year, the Taurus is the number two sales volume leader in the segment, with the restyled Avalon being right on its heels. For now, the Impala remains number one in the segment. Overall, the refreshed 2013 Taurus continues to make this large car very competitive, even when up against such new players in this segment, as the 2014 Chevy Impala and the 2014 Kia Cadenza. Moreover, Ford and Chevy are the only vehicles in the segment to offer high-performance models. Ford offer the SHO model, while Chevy will reintroduce
the Impala SS model later, which will based off of a different platform than the current 2014 Impala.
With everything said, the big body Ford Taurus still provides a roomy interior, a comfortable ride, loads of technology despite the hiccups of the MyTouch System and a fresh exterior design that will draw buyers to the vehicle.
And, if the $41,135 price tag of the Limited we reviewed is a little too steep for your pocketbook buyers can opt for base SE model, which has a starting price of $27,495.
Competition: (2014) Chevy Impala LTZ, Chrysler 300 Limited, Hyundai Azera; (2014) Kia Cadenza, Nissan Maxima SV and Toyota Avalon Limited
Jeff Fortson is an auto analyst and editor of a car-buying website for women and minorities. To learn more about his popular car-buying workshop and/or to price a new-vehicle, drive on over to JeffCars.com. Follow him twitter/JeffCars.