2014 Ford Taurus: New Car Review
The 2014 Ford Taurus has us thinking about Ford's decision to revive the Taurus name back in 2007. It's been more than half a decade since then, and the Taurus still hasn't regained the beloved status it once enjoyed among the American public. In fact, despite a complete redesign in 2010, Taurus sales have sagged in recent years while the rest of the car market has surged.
That's too bad, because the 2014 Taurus is actually a pretty good car. It's smooth and quiet on the road, like a big sedan should be, and its sleek dashboard can be outfitted with the cutting-edge MyFord Touch infotainment system. Plus, there's a ridiculously fast EcoBoost twin-turbo V6 in the high-performance SHO model. In short, the Taurus has a lot to offer.
What's New for 2014?
The Taurus can be equipped with a lane-keeping system that alerts you if you're drifting and can even correct your course. Otherwise, 2014 brings only minor equipment adjustments.
What We Like
Supple, quiet ride; ample cargo volume; loaded with available tech; perfect crash-test scores
What We Don't
Snug front-seat space; surprisingly cramped backseat
The 2014 Taurus comes standard with a 3.5-liter V6 that generates 288 horsepower. Fuel economy is rated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) at 19 miles per gallon city/29 mpg highway with front-wheel drive. The available all-wheel-drive system drops those figures to 18 mpg city/26 mpg hwy.
Optional on front-wheel-drive Taurus models is a 2-liter 240-hp 4-cylinder turbocharged EcoBoost engine that checks in at an impressive 22 mpg city/32 mpg hwy, according to EPA.
The all-wheel-drive SHO boasts a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter 365-hp EcoBoost V6 that returns 17 mpg city/25 mpg hwy, a respectable showing for such a powerful car.
Standard Features & Options
The Taurus is offered in SE, SEL, Limited and SHO trim levels.
The SE ($27,495) offers standard features such as 17-inch alloy wheels, a tilt-telescopic steering wheel, rear-seat climate vents, a 6-way power driver seat (with manual recline and lumbar) and a CD stereo system with an auxiliary audio input.
The SEL ($29,795) adds items such as 18-in wheels, heated mirrors with puddle lamps, dual-zone automatic climate control, the SYNC voice-command system, a power-adjustable steering wheel with wood and leather trim, remote ignition and satellite radio.
The Limited ($34,995) turns on the charm with keyless entry/ignition, leather upholstery, heated and cooled front seats, rear parking sensors, a rearview camera and the MyFord Touch infotainment system with an 8-in color LCD touchscreen and driver-configurable gauges.
The SHO ($40,695) comes standard with a sport-tuned suspension, the twin-turbo EcoBoost V6, xenon headlights, dual exhausts, special sport upholstery, power-adjustable pedals and steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters. A Performance package is available that tacks on various pieces of track-ready hardware, including upgraded brake pads and 20-in wheels with high-performance tires.
Options, depending on trim level, include 20-in wheels, a Sony audio system, a self-parking system, adaptive cruise control and the EcoBoost 4-cylinder engine (front-wheel-drive models only).
The 2014 Taurus features anti-lock disc brakes and has a full complement of side- and front-impact airbags. Other standard safety features include electronic stability control, rollover sensors and a post-crash alert system. Optional safety systems include adaptive cruise control, collision warning with automatic braking, blind spot monitoring and a cross-traffic alert system.
In government crash tests, the Taurus came up aces, receiving a perfect 5-star rating in frontal, side and overall crash-worthiness.
Behind the Wheel
In general, the 2014 Taurus is a remarkably comfortable vehicle, especially when loaded with extras like heated and cooled leather seats. Unfortunately, the gigantic, albeit stylish, center console cuts into long-distance driving comfort by curtailing knee room and making front passengers feel like they're sitting in a spaceship.
Out on the road, the Taurus exhibits respectable handling poise for such a large sedan, particularly the SHO with its sport-tuned suspension. But a smooth, quiet ride is the real point of cars like this, and every Taurus delivers on this front. Under the hood, the standard V6 is just fine, though once you've tried the SHO model's EcoBoost V6, you might not want to go back. As for the EcoBoost 4-cylinder, its fuel economy may be impressive, but we've found that it sometimes struggles to move this Taurus model's considerable mass with authority.
Other Cars to Consider
Chrysler 300 -- Perhaps the closest competitor for the Taurus, the Chrysler 300 offers a similar model range (mainstream trim levels complemented by a performance package) and is priced similarly, too.
Toyota Avalon -- The sleek Avalon is surprisingly fun to drive, and it's available as a hyper-efficient Hybrid.
The SHO is good fun, but for everyday driving, luxury and value, your best bet is the Limited trim with the high-tech MyFord Touch system.