By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 7.5
During its long history, the Ford Taurus has experienced both boom years and bust. The original car took the industry by storm and revolutionized the American car industry. But, over time Ford allowed its modern family sedan to grow old and rather long in the tooth. Eventually, the Taurus moved from innovator to rental fleet regular. In 2010, Ford revived the Taurus brand and launched a vehicle that, while not revolutionary, was at least worthy of once again leaving the bench for the playing field. Big, bold, and with a hint of Chrysler 300 in the shoulders the 2012 Taurus takes Ford where its family sedan line has never been before. Menacing in its tamest form and downright scary when wearing the famed SHO badge, the 2012 Ford Taurus equally plays the role of family sedan and boulevard bully. And, while many place the Taurus in the same category as the Toyota Camry or Honda Accord, its size, power and available equipment make it more a contender to the Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger, Toyota Avalon and Hyundai Genesis sedans.
If you like your vehicles on the large side but you're not into wagon-like CUVs or SUVs, the 2012 Ford Taurus will fit you like a glove. The car's bold looks, high-tech interior and impressive performance are just icing on the cake.
The big, slab sides and narrow windows of the Taurus can create a slightly claustrophobic interior experience. Those looking for an all-out performance sedan may find the SHO's AWD and twin-turbocharged V6 engine combination not as pure as the rear-drive V8-power setup found with the Dodge Charger.
Integrated blind-spot mirrors are added to the side mirrors on all trims.
Driving Impressions The 2012 Ford Taurus marries the comfortable ride expected of a full-size sedan with the handling and agility commonly found in smaller, more nimble cars. The 2012 Taurus moves...through curves with little fuss or worry, going where you point it and giving plenty of notice when its front-driven tires are about the reach their cornering limits. We found the sightlines from the driver's seat better than expected and, with the exception of the rather wide B-pillar located just over the driver's shoulder, had good 360-degree visibility. The new blind-spot exterior mirrors are a vast help, as is the BLIS system that warns of objects too close to the vehicle's side when changing lanes. Ford's 3.5-liter V6 engine and 6-speed automatic transmission are the perfect pairing, allowing for spirited starts, rapid downshifts and impressive fuel economy at cruising speeds. For those who constantly feel the need for speed, the SHO's twin-turbocharged engine and sport-tuned suspension take the Taurus' performance capabilities to another level. Together with its AWD system, the SHO's performance carving up twisting back roads is nothing short of astounding.
In a nod to both fashion and the environment, the 2012 Ford Taurus SHO features suede-like seat inserts made from recycled plastic beverage bottles. Novel origin aside, the seats feel nice, look good and offer excellent grip, helping to hold occupants in place during hard cornering.
This system can be used to restrict vehicle speed, limit audio system volume and control other functions when a specific key is used to start the vehicle. In effect, MyKey lets parents better control the driving habits of their children, even when they aren't along for the ride.
If it's space you want, you'll find the 2012 Ford Taurus delivers. The massive interior can easily carry five passengers, although we think four would be more comfortable. Up front, available massaging seats help negate leg and back fatigue on long drives and can also be climate controlled to provide both heating and cooling. The Taurus' instruments are bathed in a soothing ice blue lighting and the center stack houses a large LCD display for the available SYNC audio and navigation system. Most of the controls can be operated via buttons on the Taurus' steering wheel or by voice-command. In a nod to Ford's environmentally friendly stance, recycled materials are used extensively in the seating fabric, headliner and sound-deadening material. Further separating itself from the pedestrian family sedan, the 2012 Taurus offers such upscale options as automatic high-beam dimmers, Adaptive Cruise Control, BLIS (Blind Spot Information System), and a power sunshade for the rear window.
Compared to most sedans, the Taurus is far from being in the norm. It's a tall sedan, with wide doors, and low roof, and a steeply raked windshield and rear window. The 2012 Ford Taurus is endowed with an unmistakable face composed of thin wraparound headlights, a chrome-clad 3-bar grille and a raised power dome hood. From the front, a sweeping beltline gently rises back to the high trunk and is paralleled by a deep accent line momentarily broken by the rear fender flare. The Taurus' large rear deck creates a vast 20-cubic-foot trunk capable of carrying a week's worth of luggage or two golf bags, and the low liftover makes it easy to get things in and out. The SHO models are narrowly distinguished from the bread-and-butter cars through different trim, a set of dual exhaust outlets, a subtle rear spoiler and a few SHO badges.
Included on the 2012 Ford Taurus' list of standard equipment are a tilt and telescoping steering wheel, power driver's seat, steering-wheel audio and cruise controls, power windows with one-touch up-and-down function for the driver and Ford's programmable MyKey system. The standard audio system is a 6-speaker CD player with an auxiliary audio input jack. Standard safety features include anti-lock disc brakes, electronic traction and stability control, dual front airbags, front-seat-mounted side airbags and side-curtain airbags protecting both the front and rear passengers.
Many of the high-tech features offered for the 2012 Ford Taurus are typically reserved for more expensive luxury cars. Among the more interesting options are seats with massage function, automatic high beams, rain-sensing wipers and adaptive cruise control with collision warning. Other options include heated and cooled front seats, heated rear seats, Intelligent Access with push-button start, power rear sunshade, power adjustable pedals, the SYNC voice-activated communications and entertainment system (standard on Limited and SHO), and a 12-speaker premium Sony audio system. On the safety front, the optional Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) alerts the driver when other vehicles are in his blind spots, while Cross-Traffic Alert warns of approaching traffic when the vehicle is backing up.
All 2012 Ford Taurus trims feature a 3.5-liter V6 paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission. The Taurus SHO offers 102 more horsepower than the standard Taurus V6, thanks to the use of direct-injection technology and twin turbochargers. With the exception of the SE trim, all Taurus models also feature steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters, providing manual control of the transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard, while all-wheel drive is available as an option on both SEL and Limited trims and standard on the Taurus SHO.
263 horsepower @ 6,250 rpm
249 lb-ft of torque @ 4,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/28 FWD, 17/26 AWD
3.5-liter V6 Twin-Turbocharged
365 horsepower @ 5,550 rpm
350 lb-ft of torque @ 1,500-5,250 rpm
EPA estimated city/highway fuel economy: 17/25
By Andy on Friday, July 25, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 26,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Features, price, size, quality, asthetics"
Cons: "No digital speedometer or tire pressure gauge"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Purchased a 2013 Ford Taurus Limited with 25,000 miles in June, 2014 for $21,225. It has practically every feature I wanted. Remote start, smart key with push button start, navigation, bluetooth stereo, seat memory, heated & cooled front seats, the list goes on. Previously, I was leasing a 2012 Volkswagen CC and it had far less features. The only features I miss & wish the Taurus has is: 1. The trunk on the CC had hydraulic arms that would automatically open the lid all the way. This is nice when your arms are full. I wish the Taurus came with the same feature the Ford SUVs have where you wave your foot under the trunk and the gate opens automatically. 2. The rear windows don't have auto up/down. Seems silly, but I don't want to look back to make sure the rear window is fully down when I'm on the freeway. 3. Rain-sensing wipers. This is an available feature, but I unfortunately don't have it on mine. Rain rarely falls at a steady pace and it's annoying to constantly change the wiper speed. My CC had these 3 features, which I miss, but I certainly never say I regret switching to the Taurus. It is a fantastic car. Drives smooth & the back seat is big enough for grown adults to sit behind me comfortably. I drive an even amount city & highway & get about 23 mpg. Even if I'm only on the freeway I can only get as high as 27 mpg, so I'm not sure why it's rated at 29 highway. I have the option to use flex fuel, but I tried it once and my fuel economy dropped to 18 mpg. Would not recommend using E-85. The Taurus allows me to control my phone's music with the steering wheel. It also reads my text messages to me & I can send certain text messages through the car so I never need to interact with my phone. I researched cars nearly every day for 6 months trying to find the car with the most features for a decent price, but also still a quality product. I found the Taurus to have far more features than practically any other car, and it was also far less expensive. Other cars with similar features go for $35,000+. Even similar Honda, Chrysler, Kia and Hyundai cars went in the high twenties/low thirties, and all of them except the Chrysler 300 had less features. I was considering a 2013 Ford Fusion Titanium, but it was around $27,000 and the interior was more cramped. I would highly recommend the Taurus to anyone, but especially if you want the most features at the best price and still want quality."
By Salesguy on Wednesday, July 16, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 50,500overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Nice car to drive"
Cons: "Not pleased with service department at Ford."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"The vehicle has a roomy interior and the seats are very comfortable. Haven't had any real issues mechanically except for problems with the rotors at 50k. The trunk has lots of room. I average about 500 miles a week and have been getting an average of 23 mpg. I think that is pretty good for a car this size."
3 people out of 8 found this review helpful
By Jimbo on Wednesday, July 02, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 37,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Heavy, safe, comfortable car"
Cons: "poor visibility backing up"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I bought this Taurus with 14,000 miles to replace my 2005 Taurus that was totaled in an accident (another good car; my son walked away without a scratch!) This is a dressed down version of the Lincoln MKS and rides just as nicely. The only minor complaint I have is the rear window is very high which impairs your visibility backing up. The engine is very smooth and quiet and the seating supports your back so at the end of a long ride you don't have a sore back. I also like the SNYC especially if I'm in an area with poorly lit streets because it will give you turn by turn directions to easily get you to where you're going."
7 people out of 13 found this review helpful
By dkaz on Saturday, June 21, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 53,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "The car has features only found on expensive cars"
Cons: "20 miles per gallon (all wheel drive)"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I've owned many foreign cars, and usually trade ever 3 years. I've had this car over 4 years. I started looking at other cars because I want to take this one to Colorado where I have a si home. I looked at hybrid vehicles (I get 20 MPG overall with all wheel drive) and discovered that I'm doing pretty well considering! And every time I look at another brand my car gets better. The only car I've found with all the features (safety) my car has is a very expensive Audi. But when I tried the Audi I found my car was more comfortable. The sales person agreed with me. I was going to take the car out west, but unless I buy another Tauris from Ford (or similar from Lincoln) Im just going to keep my car. I only have a little over 50,000 miles so it has a long time before I'd need to trade it in or sell it."
14 people out of 24 found this review helpful
By Mamma on Friday, June 20, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 15,750overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Comfort plus! Great look Great Value. Solid Car!"
Cons: "I miss is my center top dash cubby."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I have had many Fords over the years, Thunderbirds, Explorers and a Fusion. I thought very seriously about a new Fusion. But wanted something that I knew was going to be sheer comfort if I decided to drive across country. This is it. It has plenty of power and the gas economy is good as long as you don't get too frisky on the highway. You can't go wrong with the Taurus."
5 people out of 6 found this review helpful
By Ginger on Wednesday, June 11, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 17,353overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Price, options, drive"
Cons: "Needs Mustang performance."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"My Ford Limited purchased as used 2013 model. This vehicle is loaded with great features and is a great road car. Takes a little time to learn SYNC and the navigation system - but well worth it!"
4 people out of 5 found this review helpful