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2010 Ford Taurus SHO AWD Review

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Model: 2010 Ford Taurus SHO AWD
Engine: 3.5-liter twin turbocharged Ecoboost V6
Horsepower/Torque: 365 hp @ 5,500 rpm/350 lb. ft. @ 1,500-5,250 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Wheelbase: 112.9 in.
Length/Width/Height: 202.9 x 76.2 x 60.7 in.
Tires: P245/45R20
Cargo volume: 20.1 cu. ft.
Fuel economy: 17 mpg city/25 mpg highway/20.2 mpg test
Fuel capacity: 19.0 gal.
Sticker: $45,175 (includes $825 destination and delivery and $7,180 in options)

The Bottom Line: A super car in one sense, yet a family sedan in the other. This is more a reincarnation of the Chevrolet Caprice SS than the previous SHO. The Taurus SHO is a big car with plenty of interior room and a very good trunk.

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In many ways the Ford Taurus SHO (for Super High Output) is an anachronism. It’s a full-size sedan, unlike the previous generation Taurus (or Taurus SHO), with all the interior room one would want from a full-size sedan. Yet it also has more power than is necessary with very good handling. So is it a family car? Or is it a performance car?

Even approaching the SHO is exciting. Our tester was covered in “Tuxedo Black Metallic” paint, which is a blue-black paint with reflecting specks in it.

Inside, the black leather seats have perforated umber inserts that lend an interesting touch. The perforation is because the seats are heated and cooled. The heat was an asset during a cold spell we had, and I assume the cooling works as well. The rear seats are also heated, but not cooled. The rear seats offer excellent foot and knee room.

Both my wife and I liked the muted lighting in the footwells, both front and back, as well as the lighted cup holders. None of this is necessary, but they made for a nice addition.

The SHO uses pushbutton starting and stopping. Unfortunately, the key fob doesn’t also provide keyless entry to the car, but Ford has added its “combination lock” that takes the keyless entry role. My daughter loved the combination on a Ford product she owned because, like keyless entry, you can carry bags to the car and not have to put them down to unlock the door.

The engine comes to life with just a push of the button and there’s a purposeful roar to the exhaust. Under normal driving conditions, the roar isn’t noticeable, but step on the loud pedal and there’s a nice exhaust roar to let you know that the twin turbocharged V6 is working.

Turbocharging, as in the Ecoboost V6 in the SHO, is a new concept for Ford. The engine develops a comfortable 365 horsepower and 350 lb.-ft. of torque on regular fuel. I liked the feeling of security the car gave me when I was merging into traffic or when I just wanted to feel that press of power into my back.

Ecoboost doesn’t have the surge of power that previous generation turbos had. It’s more like a supercharged engine, which applies the power more evenly.

Power reaches the rear wheels through a 6-speed automatic transmission, but if you want to shift it there are paddles located behind the steering wheel. Either paddle can be used to upshift or downshift.

There is no way that the SHO is overpowered, but like the Chevrolet Caprice SS that it reminded me of, it has enough power for comfort and confidence. There’s nothing worse than an underpowered car.

A feature I adore is the blind spot monitoring system, which I feel is the greatest safety improvement since air bags. This alerts the driver, via lights in the rear view mirrors, to vehicles that may be in the blind spots on the left or right. I don’t know how many times I looked in the mirror and saw nothing, except that little light telling me there was something there.

In addition, the SHO has adaptive cruise control that automatically maintains a set distance between you and the car in front, slowing the car if necessary. There’s also a collision warning system that lights up a row of red lights just under the windshield if the onboard computer senses an impending accident.

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The navigation system is easy to understand and program. One feature I liked was that if you deviated from the planned route it would recalculate a new route almost instantaneously. We “upset” the voice in the navi system several times, especially when we stopped for refreshments along the way.

The Taurus has a huge 20 cubic foot trunk. When the car was originally introduced as the Five Hundred, Ford executives bragged that you can fit eight golf bags back there. Eight is overkill, but the ability to fit four back there makes the Taurus an ideal car to take your foursome to the country/golf club.

The Ford Taurus SHO is a muscle car AND a practical family sedan. With this dual personality, it offers a lot to consumers.

2009 The Auto Page Syndicate