Since the economic turmoil of 2008, Ford has been leading the domestic market in re-branding itself and giving the company a fresh start. Ford has survived the recession without the threat of going bankrupt (as far as we know); they’re finally showing their true colors and are ready to compete with the European and Japanese manufacturers.
In my opinion, domestic vehicles are boring and very unattractive compared to their European and Japanese counterparts. The recession in 2008 was a wakeup call for the domestic manufacturers that they really needed to step up to the plate. Ford has performed that feat flawlessly with the revamp of their entire vehicle lineup.
I had the opportunity to drive the new 2013 Ford Taurus FWD SEL for a week and I wasn’t left disappointed to say the least. The new Ford Taurus is night and day compared to the previous model. The new model is smooth, sleek, and aggressive, almost Aston Martin-esque styling. The car looks big from the outside and has loads of space on the inside, yet when driving it, it is nimble and very responsive.
The starting price for 2013 Ford Taurus FWD SEL is $33,799 Canadian. With a few options thrown in like:
- 8 inch touch screen
- Reverse parking sensing system with rear camera
- 19 inch painted aluminum wheels
- Ambient lighting
- Push button start
- Non-memory adjustable pedals
Our test model with PDI and destination charges, topped out at $41,949 excluding taxes.
The styling on the Ford Taurus is very appealing to the eyes. The front fascia is very eye-catching and I don’t think I would get tired of looking at it. The previous generation Taurus (also known as the Ford 500) looks literally like a box compared to the new design. The front grille reminds me somewhat of an Aston Martin DB9. The flow of the lines work their way to the back to give it a sleek look. The only let down about the outside design of the car is the rear; it seems not much effort was put into designing the back and it doesn’t really flow with the rest of the design, in my opinion.
The interior on the Ford Taurus is huge. You get lots of leg and head room and everything is in reach and feels very comfortable. The soft touch materials on the dash and center console feel nice to the touch but there is not a lot of padding under it as I could feel the frame below the thin lining on and around the center console. The 8 inch screen is very user friendly and bright. The sense touching controls for the HVAC system on the center console was a little weird to use and took some time to get used to.
The steering wheel is pretty thick and comes with a variety of buttons. The buttons on the right side of the steering wheel control the entertainment, HVAC, navigation and on the ones on the left side control the trip, odometer, and average fuel consumption. The buttons on the steering wheel took a bit of time to get used to as there are no details as to what they are for.
I was very disappointed with the sound system on the Taurus. If I am paying almost $42,000 for a car, I expect to have an excellent audio system. I found the audio system to be subpar and could find a better audio system in a car half the price.
The SYNC system is able to read Bluetooth devices, MP3, USB, and SD cards. One thing I have noticed with new Ford vehicles is that they have gotten rid of the Auxiliary port. I think Ford should really incorporate the Auxiliary port as it is a very convenient and easy to have a better music experience.
The rear seats have a great deal of room. Three adults can comfortably be seated in the back with lots of leg room for long road trips. The trunk is massive and can easily take two to three large suit cases.
Our test vehicle was equipped with the Ecoboost 2.0L 4 cylinder turbo engine putting out 240 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque, mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission. The Ford Taurus is a big car weighing in at 3,964 pounds and in my opinion this is not the right engine for this vehicle.
When driving the car, the interior is very quiet and the engine is rarely heard except for when taking off fast, the engine gets noisy and the car struggles just from the sheer weight of the car. Once the car gets going and with higher speed, that’s when the engine shines is very smooth and quiet. For such a big car, I was very impressed with the handling of the vehicle, very nimble and smooth over bumpy roads but it could use a bit more power. I had a couple of close calls in the car where I had to maneuver around other vehicles because of their lack of driving skills and found the car to react very good in those situations, I was very surprised and impressed with the way the car reacted.
On my one week test drive of the Ford Taurus, I averaged 11.8L/100 km (19.93 mpg) in mostly city driving (80/20 city/highway). Ford claims 7.4L/100 km on the highway and 9.0L/100 km combined (32 and 26 mpg respectively), the fuel economy numbers we got were a bit different from what Ford claims and you should keep these figures in mind if you decide to purchase a 2013 Ford Taurus 2.0 Ecoboost.
After driving the 2013 Ford Taurus FWD SEL for a week, I was pleasantly surprised by it. Yes, I did complain about the engine and audio system but it doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy driving the car. It is very smooth, nimble and sexy. Driving around town was easy and very comfortable. The suspension was set up perfectly as the roads in Vancouver and surrounding suburbs aren’t the greatest. Ford has done an excellent job from standing out from other domestic manufacturers. As long as they keep fresh and think about what the consumer desires, Ford has a great future in North America and the rest of the world.
- Sleek styling, rivaling that of European and Japanese manufacturers.
- Unsurpassed interior space.
- Easy to use SYNC with MyFord Touch.
- Liberal use of soft touch materials.
- Audio system: subpar audio system for a $42,000 car.
- Turn signal: too much going on, on the turn signal lever. The right side of the steering wheel has nothing and the wiper switch should be moved to that side rather than it being incorporated in the turn signal lever. Also, the turn signal is very hard to switch and when it is switched on in either direction, the high beam is accidentally switched on (we had the same problem with the Ford Flex).
- Front Park Aid: no front park aid system available, the dashboard on the Ford Taurus is very high and visibility isn’t the greatest when parking and this is where front park aid would really come in handy.
Photography by Kevin Ngo.