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Motoring: Mixed reviews in the stars for new Ford Taurus


Nauman Farooq | Interrobang | Sports | January 16th, 2012



Ladies and gentleman, what you are looking at here is the Ford Taurus SHO. This is the top-ofthe- line version of what was once the best-selling car in North America. But times have changed, and the Taurus has grown in size and shrunk in popularity.

Why, you ask?

Mainly due to its high price tag, the new Taurus is not as common as it once used to be, and the SHO version, which starts at $48,199, is now playing in the premium league.

Is it any good? Does this Taurus SHO offer premium levels of luxury and thrills? Let's find out.

From a styling point of view, I have to say this is an attractive car. It is big and imposing, so if you want to make an impression upon arrival, it will do that quite well. On the road, I noticed many heads swiveling and looking at this car. I liked that.

I also liked its massive 20-inch wheels, which are just the right size for a car this huge (it's nearly 17 feet long).

What is not as convincing for a car this huge is the amount of space in the interior. Get in it, and the high centre console, which is also very wide, dominates the interior of this car. It just feels like there could have been a whole lot more space, if only the interior had been better designed.

Space in the rear seats is plenty, so anyone back there won't complain. What the driver and front passenger won't complain about is a lack of toys. In the loaded model, you'll get a touchscreen navigation system, a wonderful THX sound system and air conditioned/heated seats. It's very luxuriously appointed, but why did they skip the power-operated steering column in this? That feature can be had on the Lincoln MKS, the sister car to the Taurus. It doesn't make sense to me.

The other thing that doesn't make sense to me is its powertrain. Yes it's quite impressive, just like all of Ford's Ecoboost motors. It is a 3.5-litre, twin-turbo V6 that produces 365 hp and 350 lb/ft of torque. That sounds fine, but it is essentially the same motor you can get in a Ford Flex crossover, not to mention a whole host of other Ford products. I wish Ford had done some special tweaking to this motor for the Taurus SHO to make it much more powerful, so it could compete more squarely with the likes of the Dodge Charger R/T. Ford would say the engine was tweaked for efficiency. Really? I averaged 13.2 litres/100km in my week, and while that is not bad, it is not what I can call efficient.

Plus, I think Ford is forgetting what the Taurus SHO once stood for. I'll remind them: it was about performance. The original Taurus SHO was born because Ford had a high-performance, Yamahadesigned engine available to them and needed a place to put it. It was thus a truly great sports sedan. The new SHO is born because someone in Ford's marketing team decided it was time to revive an old badge.

So while the new SHO is decently quick off the line, it is not an inspiring car to drive quickly, especially through the twisties. While it has all-wheel drive, it weighs a lot (4,368 pounds) and when you couple that with its numb responses, this SHO is not going to win many Driver's Choice awards.

On a positive note, the six-speed automatic gearbox is pretty smooth, and it does offer steering wheel-mounted shifters, which offers an enthusiast some degree of fun.

So, how am I going to sum up the current Taurus SHO? I like the looks, but the interior could have offered more space, and while it is a comfortable car to cover distances in, it is not as fuel-efficient as it should have been and neither is it as much fun as it should have been. It is also very expensive. So it is not a car I would recommend, but it is far from the worst car you can buy for this kind of money. So if this car appeals to you, it is understandable.
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