Ford bullish on 2013 Taurus restyle, options

2013 Taurus Limited AWD

Ford set the automotive industry on its collective ear when it introduced the 1986 Taurus sedan in late 1985.

The chiefs at the other car companies dismissed it as being too radical and the public wouldn’t go for it. Wrong. It was a huge hit, so much so that others tried to follow too quickly and came up with messes and misses.

By the 2000s every company had gotten it right and the Taurus was an afterthought. It was clunky, chunky and oh so not funky anymore.

Not to worry. Ford revamped the sedan some years ago, moving it from midsize to full-size and the Taurus is back on buyer’s radar.

The 2013 Taurus has been tweaked with several goodies to make it more desirable.

If you want fuel efficiency go for the new turbo four-cylinder with 225 horses and 250 pounds feet of torque. That will get you 31 miles per gallon on the highway.

Want more oomph? The SHO has 365 horses and 350 lbs-feet of torque.

Or you could go with my test car, the all wheel drive limited with the 3.5-liter V6 which has 290 hp and 255 ft-lbs of torque. That’s the engine most will get and it’s a good one. It’s smooth and efficient and hooked to an exhaust system that sounds great. It returns 18 mpg city and 26 on the highway. Not bad numbers for a large car.

The AWD system, the engine and the six-speed transmission work well together. The car does, at times, feel as big as it is. Ford has taken care most of the problems this year, keeping the car from lumbering around drifting. The SHO kills even more of that feeling, but the limited is still all most will ever need.

The exterior has a new grill, front and rear fenders and taillights. The grill is larger with smaller slats. Wheels are new as well. The overall look is more grown up and handsome.

Upgrades to the cabin are welcomed, thank you

The cabin has been spruced with better looking and feeling materials. The door handles, center console and dash are more elegant, while the seats are really comfortable and cool – literally. The front seats are heated and cooled.

There’s much tech. The Ford MyTouch system has been improved greatly, though it can still be tricky. I’m still sold on the SYNC system which lets you voice command your way through the nicely done infotainment system. An optional package gives you blind-spot warning, cross traffic warning and adaptive cruise control with pre-collision warning. The ubiquitous backup camera is standard on the limited.

On the highway the Taurus proves to be a champ at offering a comfortable and compliant ride. It doesn’t float, but there is the feel of luxury. The V6 offers good passing power and will move you down the highway with authority. Again, that big-as-I-am feeling creeps in from time to time, but it doesn’t spoil the party.

Would I buy a new Taurus? If I needed this much space, sure. It’s a good-looking, well rounded sedan that will seat five and hold all the luggage on a trip (there’s 15 cubic feet of trunk space). If you need more space and have fewer passenger, the 60/40 split rear bench gives you even more options. It’s stylish but not short on substance.

The Taurus limited starts at $34,850. With the mountain of options added my test car, finished in a nifty kodiak brown with charcoal leather interior, was tested at $41,135.

That’s a little on the hefty side but you can trim some of the options or step down to the SEL if you don’t need AWD. If this is in your ballpark, go for it. The Taurus is well done.



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