Fomoconews exclusive review:2010 Ford Taurus
The Ford Taurus nameplate has a long and storied career at Ford motor company. First appearing in the 1986 model year the original Taurus helped redefine the midsize sedan and brought Monumental sales for the Blue Oval. Things really got up and running with the second generation Taurus in 1992 and sales figures continued to grow especially for the SHO model which didn’t do that well when it first debuted but an all new automatic transmission helped it gain widespread popularity. It did so well in fact that Ford decided to redesign the car in 1996. Unfortunately the Ovaloid oddity that resulted was neither revolutionary nor popular and sales dropped before losing it’s number one spot to Toyota the following year in 1997. Ford tried to do a redesign that made the car look more conventional but the damage was done and the Taurus was discontinued in 2007.
Fast forward to 2008 when Alan Mually is appointed CEO of Ford motor company, His appointment came at a time when the “Way Forward” brought about by previous CEO Bill Ford was turning into the “Way Backward” and Ford was looking for a way to turn it all around. One of his first changes was to rename the failing Ford Five Hundred Taurus. The result saw a slight increase of sales but despite the 500 or so changes made to the car It still seemed lacking. Ford seemed to understand this feeling too and once again redesigned the Ford Taurus this time from the ground up with all new styling. Before I dive deep into this review I would like to take this time and thank the kind people over at Huntington Ford in Rochester Hills for their friendly service in providing the cars I drove for this review and a big thanks to our sales person Tom for his friendly service and patience when me and my friend Nathan were selecting the cars for this review. The Review will be split into two parts for easy navigation. One section will be for the Taurus SEL we tested and the last section will be for the SHO that we tested as well. Due to both cars being the same color the SHO Taurus will be used for most of the photographs in this review enjoy
Ford Taurus SEL
The first car me and my friend Nate tested. The SEL is the trim level that you can expect will make up the majority of Taurus sales. Our tester had metallic blue paint a reasonable MSRP of just over 34,000 dollars, and the 3.5 liter Duratec V6 which is good for 265 Horsepower and 250 ft lbs of torque. The interior of our SEL was well appointed with heated leather seats and plastics that are much better than the previous Gen Taurus. In addition the seats in the SEL were very supportive and the sitting position was good for both driver and passenger. Controls and switches were also simple and easy to operate. Sound quality from the stereo system was good and consistent though the difference in quality from the SHO’s surround sound system is not night and day. Driving the SEL around town, the suspension did a good job absorbing bumps and steering and throttle response were acceptable though the Duratec did sometimes feel a little too burdened with moving the weight of the car. Parking the SEL or any Taurus for that matter will take some practice due to rearward visibility being not that good but after going in and out a few parking spaces it’s not as hard as you might think.
Ford Taurus SHO
SHO (Super High Output). Those three letters symbolize that your Taurus is special That your Taurus is not just a grocery getting runabout but a grocery getting runabout that has no problem dealing with the likes of Audi BMW and Mercedes. SHO models (and their various Yamaha powerplants) have always had a storied if not slightly tarnished history within the Taurus line. From the First generation manual only models to the 1992 – 1996 SHO automatic which brought performance to much more consumers These cars were the transport of choice for enthusiasts that had a family to transport but still wanted to have fun on the weekends. Great concept at the time a light four door car, a strong for the time 220 horsepower V6 engine, and excellent road manners what could possibly go wrong. We all soon learned what could indeed go wrong when Ford rolled out the 1996 SHO. While it did finally make good on the promise of a Yamaha V8 it lost some of its bad boy image and was instead turned into “A Car for Young Business Executives.” With a high price tag, engine problems, and lower performance than the competition, the SHO saw its sales plummet until it was unceremoniously discontinued with little fanfare in 1999.
10 years have passed and I’m proud to say that the SHO tradition of performance is alive and well. Our test car (the same Light blue as our SEL test car) had a MSRP of just over 43,000 dollars when tacked with options and was a joy to drive. The SHO offers the new 3.5 liter Ecoboost engine which is good for a solid 365 horsepower and 350 lb ft of torque. Unfortunately M-59 had road construction and traffic so I could not go and stretch out the SHO’s legs but 0 to 60 sprints on lonely back roads were still plenty of fun for us. Our SHO also had the SHO performance package which included among other things Performance brake pads, a sport oriented power steering system and a revised final drive ratio. In automatic mode the twin turbochargers do need a moment to spool up but once they do. Acceleration was instantaneous and very quick. Interior materials and quality were very good with many textures feeling more upscale and easy to the touch. The SHO also offers the same idiot proof controls as the SEL model and then some with heated and cooled seats, A Sony surround sound system, and other goodies. The one exception to this though is the steering wheel mounted paddle shifters. While they do come easily to hand, Beginners to the system (such as this reviewer) will need a few minutes of seat time to acclimate with the correct shifting points, and in addition the paddles are not clearly marked so you will downshift instead of up shift once or twice before you get the hang of it. That minor annoyance aside The SHO was a pleasure to drive around town and despite the SHO’s firmer springs it still managed bumps and potholes with relative ease. Overall both were great to drive and even though they are not perfect they are worth a consideration for any car buyer looking for a full sized car
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