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Heels on Wheels-2013 Ford Taurus Review


2013 Ford Taurus (select to view enlarged photo)
2013 Ford Taurus

By Katrina Ramser
San Francisco Bureau
The Auto Channel

INTRO TO THE TAURUS VEHICLE
The chiseled Ford Taurus is a five-passenger large-size sedan done up in masculine tones with a panache for cold weather driving thanks to such popular options as remote vehicle start, heated steering wheel, heated front and rear seats, and all-wheel drive.

I drove a 2013 Ford Taurus powered by the 288-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 engine, a six-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive (all-wheel drive is optional). With four trims – base SE, SEL, Limited and SHO, my Limited trim came with the following standard options: ten-way power front seats; dual-zone climate control; wood and leather-trimmed steering wheel with mounted controls; push-button start; ambient interior lighting; backup camera; reverse sensing; SYNC multimedia system with MyFord Touch; two USB ports and an auxiliary input jack; XM radio; all-season tires; dual chrome exhaust; and security code entry. Vehicle price as described comes to $33,000. With options, such as a $3,500 Equipment Group (adjustable pedals, Blind Spot Monitoring System; HD radio, heated and cooled front seats, push-button start, heated and cooled front seats, heated rear seats, upgrade Sony audio system), a $795 navigation system, a $1,195 adaptive cruise control with collision warning and ruby red paint job, total vehicle price rises to $38,885.

Many sedans have undertaken an overhaul for 2013 model year, including the Toyota Avalon and Honda Accord. The Ford Taurus competes best with the likes of other upscale and sizable cold-weather sedans that focus on power and overtaking snowy roads like the Chrysler 300 and Volvo S60.

HEELS ON WHEELS REVIEW CRITERIA

Stylish But Comfortable Results: The Taurus’s modernly constructed interior casts an upscale but masculine appeal, done up in dark-toned leather and woodgrain materials which are of the finest quality. The wide and cradling front seats firmly support the lower back. The center stack features a touch-sensitive surface for navigating the majority of interior commands including MyFord Touch, the carmaker’s comprehensive infotainment system featuring some of the highest-quality graphics on the market for streamlining calls, music and other media. The only downside is it does require a depth of knowledge for executing even some of the most basic actions. This is an excellent sedan for baby seats thanks to rear doorway loading height and generous front legroom dimensions – no passenger will feel cramped one way or another. The trunk shows significant depth for a variety of larger possessions at 20.1 cubic feet.

Reliability & Safety Factor: The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gives the Ford Taurus top ratings of “Good” in every crash-test category. It earns a Five-Star rating from The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Cost Issues: A base Taurus SE trim starts at $26,600 and climbs to $39,200 for the Taurus SHO. The 2013 Volvo S60 begins at $31,750 and the 2013 Chrysler 300 at $29,845. A more affordable all-weather sedan option is the 2013 Subaru Legacy that starts at $20,295.

Activity & Performance Ability: The 3.5-liter V6 engine is a finely tuned powertrain with astounding speed and braking precision, but still a weighty ride to swing tightly around curves and corners. Inside, the cabin is soundless with the suspension managing road imperfections at minimal upset. This large-size sedan navigates with confidence into tight parking spots, aided by excellent steering characteristics. Rear visibility due to the design’s high beltline might very well be your only concern, but the camera display with backup lines and sonar radar fixes this issue. Come too close to the car in front, and the optional collision warning system flashes a digital message on the lower driver’s side windshield. The Taurus also offers an EcoBoost V6 and 2-liter four-cylinder both with turbocharged direct injection technology.

The Green Concern: Fuel estimates for the 3.5-liter V6 engine are 19 miles-per-gallon city and 29 highway for a combined 23 with front-wheel drive – and 21 combined with all-wheel drive. A turbocharged four-cylinder EcoBoost engine features 240 horsepower and a combined fuel economy of 26 combined with front-wheel drive.

FINAL PARTING WORDS
The 2013 Ford Taurus is a detailed cold-weather sedan with meaningful performance and modern technology found in turbocharged power and safety conveniences, making this a bold and comfortable companion for the winter commute.

2012 Katrina Ramser