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Well I recently went on a trip to Tampa, Florida looking to relocate to that area. My current place of employment would only allow me 2 days off so I was crunched for time. I originally called Expedia to setup my hotel, flight and rental car and asked for a Lincoln Town Car as my rental since I would need a car with a lot of room so it could be a rolling office for me as I went from interview to interview. Well Expedia wanted to charge me 150 a day for a Town Car so I decided to do it on my own. Hertz offered me 60 bucks a day for the Town Car but when I arrived they wanted my Social for a background check and then they told me that my Social didn’t match and to take a cab… needless to say I was infuriated I walked over to National and they gave me a car no problem, and what did they give me? A 2013 Ford Taurus SEL.
So in the 2 days of having this car this is my review. The model I had was a FWD SEL V6 in Ingot Silver with the 18 inch wheels. Features on the inside were pretty basic:
-Black Cloth Seating
-Dual 6 way power seats with manual recline
-Power mirrors with blind spot mirrors
-6 speaker sound system with SYNC
-6 Speed automatic with SST (non-paddle shifters)
-Fake Aluminum trim on the dash
-Remote Start
After pricing out on Ford’s website this vehicle had an MSRP of $29,095.
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Performance:
The new updated 3.5 V6 really has some get up and go. Specs of the new V6 are 288 HP and 254 lb.-ft. Acceleration was very strong and compared to my 2004 LS V6 a lot more powerful even though being a much larger car. The 6 speed automatic was extremely smooth shifting through gears though it seemed like it could not make up its mind at times and would be in the wrong gear. Every once and a while I would switch it to SST mode and see the car in 3rd gear or 4th gear at very low speeds. A simple reprogramming a sport/economy mode for the transmission would be better for a car like this I think. This car revs LOW, on the highway I was cruising around 80 mph and the engine would be revving around 2,000, very nice. Ride quality was decent; in fact it was extremely reminiscent of my 1999 Mercury Sable LS Premium that I used to own. On the highway it would be smooth and comfortable but going over speed bumps and other bumps in the road at low speeds can be a bit harsh. Interior noise levels were mostly quiet with some slight road noise at higher speeds, on par with my 2004 Lincoln LS. Average fuel economy was 23 MPG according to the computer and the instant fuel economy would sometimes jump into the 30s on the highway with the highest I saw was 38 mpg, though I am not sure how accurate the instant fuel economy was.

Interior:
Interior materials in this car are very nice and upscale. I enjoy that pretty much every single surface including the center console is soft to the touch and has some give on it. This vehicle did not have a push button start and thus the ignition was located where the button would be and as a result that you can see here:
the keys dangle right where my knee was and it was quite annoying. For non push button start vehicles I think the ignition should be located somewhere else to prevent this. Also reports about the interior feeling small are true though a bit exaggerated. The front certainly does feel small due to the center console being so wide, if it was just a tad bit skinnier I think it would be better, I for one enjoy it being high up because the shifter is in line with where the center console is so when you have your arm on the arm rest you hand lands comfortably on the shifter very nice touch. My LS and my 99 Sable were similar with lining up the floor shifter like that. Other vehicles I have driven such as a 2006 Altima do not line up the shifter is much lower so it feels awkward to me. The rear seat is actually quite roomy however it can give a feeling of smallness due to the very high belt line this car has and since this car had a dark interior that did not help. My biggest complaint on this car is the rear ward visibility, it is HORRIBLE. This car did not have backup sensors or a rear view camera so parking this car was actually extremely difficult. I had issues parallel parking in down town Tampa and had to have my friend get out and direct me.
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Technology:
While this car didn’t have MyFord Touch it did have the 2 LCD screens though a lot smaller than the MFT ones. The system works great and was very responsive. The car did have Sync but for whatever reason I was not able to sync it up with my HTC Evo 3D, my phone was not able to detect the car and the car was not able to detect my phone, and yes the blue tooth was on and scanning just like the instructions said, perhaps it was disabled by National? Who knows. The display on the base radio however did have a very nice display and was easy to read it also produced some very nice sound for a base system.
View attachment 3283

Exterior:
Just like everyone has said, this is a LARGE car, it’s quite shocking to see this car in person from the outside and to see how high up the rear belt line is. Overall though the design is very nice, I really like the new LED rear lighting and the new updated grille, it gives the car an athletic look. I would however really like to see the rear belt line lowered. One nice feature about the trunk though is that there is a strap to pull it down if you are too short to reach it when it is open. This car did have the capless fuel filler and I must say it is a very nice touch and makes filling up easier. This car was equipped with a remote starter but it did not work as well, I am wondering if National disable this, it would have really been nice to use in the hot Florida weather.
View attachment 3282

Overall:
I think this is a very solid car for what it does, there were some small annoyances but they are easily correctable. I would have to say performance and interior quality are definitely this car’s strong parts. Weaknesses are the cramped feeling interior along with very poor visibility out the rear especially if you don’t have the backup camera or parking sensors. Pricing can get a bit steep too, for a car that is nearly $30,000 in price I would expect a bit more in terms of options.
 

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excellent review, Andrew
very thorough!


Andrew L said:
...The 6 speed automatic was extremely smooth shifting through gears though it seemed like it could not make up its mind at times and would be in the wrong gear...

...though I am not sure how accurate the instant fuel economy was...

...For non push button start vehicles I think the ignition should be located somewhere else to prevent this...

...My biggest complaint on this car is the rear ward visibility, it is HORRIBLE. This car did not have backup sensors or a rear view camera so parking this car was actually extremely difficult. I had issues parallel parking in down town Tampa and had to have my friend get out and direct me.
a frequent question of mine: wonder if adaptive trannies always seem OFF the first few days that someone first drives them - until they umm "ADAPT" to that driver?

every see the MPG "gauge" on a BMW - those things swing like CRAZY => Ø on spirited acceleration!!

just a thought but
What if the made a key-within-a-key?
so after using a handful/keychain to start the car
the ignition key could separate into 2 parts leaving just a 'stub' to be able to get it out and snap back into the other half still on the keychain?

Wonder if "p||parking" is OK after getting used to the Taurus?
my little econobox has wide C-pillars and I usually p||park using mostly the wing mirrors;
the rearview mirror only being reliable if the vehicle behind me has a very tall hood or truck-van flat front
 

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Great review Andrew! I agree that the price is a little too steep for what it is. $22,000 for a base price for this car sounds a lot more reasonable. The thing I hate most about this car is its bloated rear. It seems like most D3 and D4 cars have bloated rears.
 

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excellent review, Andrew
very thorough!

every see the MPG "gauge" on a BMW - those things swing like CRAZY => Ø on spirited acceleration!!

Wonder if "p||parking" is OK after getting used to the Taurus?
my little econobox has wide C-pillars and I usually p||park using mostly the wing mirrors;
the rearview mirror only being reliable if the vehicle behind me has a very tall hood or truck-van flat front
Thanks 2b2!

Yep I have seen those, my friend had a 1993 BMW 525i that had one and it was all over the place when ever he drove.

Let me put it this way... I could not see the front of cars behind me I could only see the windshields the rear visibility is really really bad, you NEED to have a backup camera or sensors its just too high up in the rear.

Great review Andrew! I agree that the price is a little too steep for what it is. $22,000 for a base price for this car sounds a lot more reasonable. The thing I hate most about this car is its bloated rear. It seems like most D3 and D4 cars have bloated rears.
Thanks nruggiero! For nearly 30k I would expect Leather, Sunroof, and a push button start... **** a BASE Altima has push button start. The rear end of this car would be a million times better if it was just LOWER! It is way too high up!
 

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Thanks 2b2!


Let me put it this way... I could not see the front of cars behind me I could only see the windshields the rear visibility is really really bad, you NEED to have a backup camera or sensors its just too high up in the rear.



Thanks nruggiero! For nearly 30k I would expect Leather, Sunroof, and a push button start... **** a BASE Altima has push button start. The rear end of this car would be a million times better if it was just LOWER! It is way too high up!
Back up cameras (in the rear-view mirror or LCD screen) should be standard nowadays.
Altima is Fusion's competition. Push button start is cool, it's Nissan's advantage being standard, it gives a High-Tech impression. For a 2013 Fusion $30.5K you CAN get leather, sunroof, Park Assist, Rear View Camera, Navigation, Tech Package and whole lot more. You've gotta start with at least an SE with EB 1.6. The 2.5 4 SE is limited to cloth seats.....odd I think.
 

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Back up cameras (in the rear-view mirror or LCD screen) should be standard nowadays.
Altima is Fusion's competition. Push button start is cool, it's Nissan's advantage being standard, it gives a High-Tech impression. For a 2013 Fusion $30.5K you CAN get leather, sunroof, Park Assist, Rear View Camera, Navigation, Tech Package and whole lot more. You've gotta start with at least an SE with EB 1.6. The 2.5 4 SE is limited to cloth seats.....odd I think.
I know the Altima is competition for the Fusion, I am just making a point that a much cheaper car has push button start standard where a full size nearly 30k car from Ford does not have it standard
 
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