2012 Ford Taurus
Stylish design inside and out; roomy, luxurious interior; range of high-tech options; strong performance from SHO model
Most Taurus models are front-wheel drive standard; all-wheel drive is optional. Standard power comes from Ford's 263-horsepower, 3.5L V6, coupled with a 6-speed automatic transmission.
The Taurus is offered in three trim levels: SE, SEL, Limited and SHO. SEL models get painted aluminum wheels and chrome exhaust tips; they also get supplemental parking lamps and heated exterior mirrors. The Limited adds power leather seats, a reverse sensing system and a premium sound system that includes the Sync voice-driven interface for phones and portable music devices. Limited models also get showy 19-inch chromed aluminum wheels.
The high-performance Taurus SHO is powered by a 3.5L, turbocharged and direct-injected "EcoBoost" V6, which makes 365 horsepower and 350 ft-lb of torque. The engine's two small turbos permit it to make peak torque just above idle, and direct injection technology claims to deliver "the power of a V8 and the efficiency of a V6," according to Ford.
The SHO's powerful engine is coupled to a 6-speed automatic "SelectShift" transmission with paddle shifters, which allow the driver to shift manually to suit the driving conditions. Torque-sensing all-wheel-drive is standard on the SHO and it employs electromechanical clutches to send torque to the wheels with the most grip. Electronic power steering works with the sport-tuned suspension to handle the power and bring an agile feel.
The SHO rides on Eagle F1 summer performance tires on unique painted wheels. Inside, the SHO gets "Miko Suede" seat inserts made from recycled materials, plus aluminum-trimmed pedals and aluminum trim throughout. Multi-contour heated-and-cooled seats are available, and there's also a 12-speaker Sony surround sound audio system.
The Taurus is one of the top-rated vehicles in its class in crash tests and comes with a long list of safety features, including stability control, anti-lock brakes, front side airbags, side-curtain airbags, a Post-Crash Alert System and crash severity sensing.
Across the Taurus line, technology features are emphasized. Several systems utilize front and rear sensors and cameras to improve safety. Cross Traffic Alert warns the driver of vehicles to the rear that may be obscured when backing out of a driveway or parking spot. Collision Warning will warn a distracted driver of impending contact with another car and even employ the brakes if necessary. Adaptive cruise control, a system that monitors traffic ahead and will follow at a predetermined distance is also available. Intelligent Access and a MyKey entry system give parents control over who has access to the car and what happens when they give young drivers the keys. Sirius Travel Link, a set of features for the navigation system that brings live traffic information, weather forecasts, gas prices, and other info, is also available.
Following a thorough facelift and extensive rethinking of features and packages in 2010, the Ford Taurus comes into 2012 with no significant changes.
Clean, attractive packaging makes the 2012 Taurus one of the most appealing big sedans on the market. With a roomy interior and smooth ride and a striking interior styling , the Taurus now offers a luxury-car feel at a family sedan price. The Taurus is packed with high-tech features, offering many that aren't available on any other non-luxury-brand sedans. What's more, the high-performance Taurus SHO makes a solidly performing and stylish alternative to sport sedans from Germany--at a fraction of the price.
* EPA mileage estimates and EPA fuel economy methods based on models beginning with
the indicated model year. Use for comparison purposes only. Do not compare to models
before the indicated model year. Your actual mileage will vary depending on how
you drive and maintain your vehicle.