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2010 Ford Taurus Review

2010 Ford Taurus

It’s In The Stars To Be A Star:

by Marty Bernstein
Senior Editor
The Auto Channel.

Many reviews of the new Taurus will refer, compare and contrast it to the original model from the bygone days of 1986! 1986 is history, dead history. Twenty-three years ago the Dow Jones was 1,995, a stamp cost .22¢, oil was $11 a barrel and Oprah show began. Twenty-three years ago. Two and a half generations.

Too many years have elapsed to resort to historical precedence as a basis of evaluation. The past, in this instance, is not prologue. This is a new full size sedan which should stand on its own four wheels, er -- merits.

I chose to use Taurus, second sign of the Zodiac and represented by the bull, as the basis of this review. According to various web sources, Taurus is known for its reliability and faithfulness; it craves the good things in life, has strong values, is in tune with nature and governs practicality and security among other purported attributes.

Gee, that could literally be the summary of my review of the new Taurus.

Design is in the eyes of the beholder. To my tastes the Taurus is bold without being bad or bodacious. But it’s not boring either. Smart and tending toward the sophisticated, as it should be since Ford is calling the

Taurus their flagship model. Wrap around headlamps set off the three-bar-grill at the front.

From the side there’s a roof line sloping to the rear with nice accent touches near the front wheel wells. The rear of the car, like most car rear ends is less impressive. It does hide a huge trunk space that could use a bit more panache in nets or webbings. Good looking wheels are available in sizes from 17” to 20”. Five color choices are available. Overall? Could be long lasting design with pleasant curb appeal.

Inside the Taurus Ford has made some exceptional advances in design, looks, ergonomics and tactile senses. Open the door and it looks good, very good. There are smooth and suede surfaces on the doors, dash and seats, with some hallmarks – contrast stitching and contrasting colors – found in more expensive vehicles. Classy looking.

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

For the driver the instrument cluster during daytime (we never get to drive at night, which to me is very important) is crisp and clean. The color of the dials is semi-transparent aqua color that is easy on the eyes. Other instrumentation is within easy reach or view with legible icons or type on the well designed ski-slope center console.

Front and rear passengers seating is equally nice, although the rear passengers would probably like more toe room. Like many vehicles, the rear seat is best for adults who are vertically challenged.

What adds to the drivers and passengers ride enjoyment, pleasure and entertainment is the huge number of standard and optional techno-tchotchkes™ which follow along with my comments.

Adaptive Cruise Control allows the driver to set the vehicle cruising speed while using radar technology to monitor traffic travelling up to 600 feet ahead. Nice if you use cruise control.

Collision Warning with Brake Support This system uses a radar sensor to detect moving vehicles ahead and provides a visual “heads-up” warning signal transmitted across the base of the windshield and an audible warning when slower moving traffic is detected ahead. Had occasion to use on the first drive and it really works. Good safety feature.

SecuriCode™ Keyless Entry Keypad enables vehicle access by unlocking the driver’s door using a five-digit code on the new keypad system flush-mounted in the driver’s side B-pillar. Been a Ford feature for some time, but the almost hidden feature is nice.

MyKey™ allows parents or fleet administrators to activate a restricted driving mode. Additional programmability includes restrictions on audio volume, limiting top speed to 80 mph. Good option for those with youngsters who have only recently started to drive.

Auto High Beams/Rain-Sensing Wipers harness sensor technologies to switch headlights to high intensity when no other vehicles are detected. Rain-sensing wipers use an advanced optical sensor to detect the intensity of rain and/or snowfall to adjust wiper speed. Remember auto high beams from years ago.

Easy Fuel® Capless Fuel Filler System is Ford Taurus exclusive feature that self-seals without a traditional fuel cap. An environmental feature.

Blind Spot Information System consists of two multiple beam radar modules, one each per rear quarter panel. When an approaching vehicle enters the defined blind spot zone, an indicator alert provides warning to the driver in the corresponding side view mirror. Very nice feature … I’d like to see this standard on all vehicles.

Cross Traffic Alert uses the existing BLIS radar modules to sense oncoming traffic when slowly backing out of a parking spot. This industry-exclusive system functions only while the vehicle is in reverse and warns when cross-traffic appears within three car widths. If you’ve ever backed into another car when parked, this is worth the investment as opposed to the cost of repair to the other vehicle.

Ford SYNC® is the fully integrated, in-vehicle voice-activated communications and entertainment system, with 911 Assist™. An amazing feature/benefit that really works.

Voice-Activated Navigation System with SIRIUS® Travel Link™ uses an 8-inch screen to present a birds-eye-view map with 3D landmarks. The system responds to voice commands for destination programming and route selection. Nice size screen and the voice activated is smooth and efficient.

Sony® Audio components deliver sound from a variety of sources, with an AM-FM tuner, SIRIUS Satellite radio, CD, DVD audio and an integrated 10 GB hard drive for storage of up to 2,400 songs. Big sound, even from my iPod songs.

Multi-Contour Seats with Active Motion™ are available – on an industry-exclusive basis – for driver and passenger, integrating a six-way lumbar support and subtle rolling pattern massage. The bottom cushion features Active Motion technology, providing minute but continuous movement. Think of it as the ‘magic fingers’ massage.

The 2010 Taurus, announced a Ford executive, “Is not a family sedan … it’s a “me” car.” It is not a soft, mushy ride, but one with some attitude and very nice handling. No matter the hype or spin application, the inside of the car is very quiet, even on some fairly rough roads. FWD is standard with AWD an option.

The standard engine is Ford’s proven Duratec 3.5-liter V-6, generating 263 horsepower and 249 foot-pounds of torque and comes paired with a choice of two new six-speed automatic transmissions and delivers 18 mpg city and 28 highway.

Three models are available: the SE which starts at $25,995, SEL at 27,995 and the Limited at $31.995. The latter two come with shift paddle controls which are really fun to use.

Given its heritage and DNA, the new Taurus will, I predict, be a big winner for sedan lovers. Due in Ford dealers later this summer.