Ford's 2014 Taurus is working the full-size sedan market against newer rivals like the Toyota Avalon and all-new Chevrolet Impala. A tough task considering how good the competition is, but the Taurus has many tricks up its sleeve, starting with its engine lineup. A V6 is a must in this class and the Taurus has a fine one, but it also offers a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine that is surprisingly robust and fuel-efficient. At the opposite end of the spectrum is the mighty SHO, powered by a twin-turbocharged V6 and AWD. Of course, the Taurus is also a technological player, with the latest in voice activated interfaces (SYNC), as well as safety and security features like Ford's Lane Keeping System and Adaptive Cruise Control.
You'll Like This Car If...
If you're seeking the feel of a big, solid car but can't find anything that doesn't scream SUV, try the 2014 Ford Taurus. Luxury car features abound in this big sedan, and the SHO model should win over enthusiasts forced by circumstances to abandon their tiny 2-seat sports car.
You May Not Like This Car If...
No matter how good the twin-turbo V6 is, die-hards will always lament the lack of a proper V8. The Taurus' size might be a compelling argument, but with a tall rear deck and narrow side glass, it can feel a bit claustrophobic for drivers of a smaller stature.
Changes to the 2014 Ford Taurus are minimal. The Limited and SHO trims now offer the Lane Keeping System which uses the electric power steering and audible warnings to help keep the car from drifting out of its intended lane.
Driving the Taurus
Full size sedans aren't supposed to move like the 2014 Ford Taurus moves, at least not when they cost less than $30,000. The Taurus is no 7 Series, but does...
... deliver impressive ride comfort, a serene cabin and adept handling – not to mention impressive acceleration from both the V6 and turbocharged EcoBoost engines. High tech allies such as Ford's Torque Vectoring and Curve Control help keep the Taurus bulk in check. By using very slight brake force applied at specific wheels, these systems help the Taurus round curves with assuredness. The view from the Taurus' driver's seat isn't bad, although we found the wide B-pillar just behind the driver's head and the front windshield pillars to be rather thick, obstructing our side view. Fortunately, the Taurus' exterior mirrors are a vast help, as is the optional "BLIS" system that warns of objects too close to the vehicle's side when changing lanes.
2.0-LITER ECOBOOST ENGINE Ford's turbocharged 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine cranks out 240 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque (that's more torque than Ford's standard 3.5-liter V6), yet attains an impressive 32-mpg highway figure.
FORD'S MYKEY 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.
2014 Ford Taurus Details
The Ford Taurus for 2014 is equipped to carry five, but four adults would be the prime number for comfort over long distances. The driver and front passenger can enjoy the available massaging seats, helping to negate back fatigue on long drives. Climate-controlled front seats providing both heating and cooling are also offered. Most of the Taurus audio and navigation controls can be operated via the steering wheel or by voice command. Further separating itself from the pedestrian family sedan, the 2014 Taurus offers such upscale options as automatic high-beam dimmers, Adaptive Cruise Control, blind-spot monitoring, and a power sunshade for the rear window.
Compared to most sedans, the 2014 Ford Taurus is far from being in the norm. It's a tall sedan, with wide doors and a low roof, and a steeply raked windshield and rear window. 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.
Included on the 2014 Taurus' list of standard equipment are a tilt/telescoping steering wheel, power driver's seat, steering-wheel controls for audio and cruise control, power windows with one-touch up/down functions 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 antilock 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.
Among the more interesting options are seats with massage function, automatic high beams, a heated steering wheel, rain-sensing windshield 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, a 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 alerts you to vehicles in your blind spots, while Cross-Traffic Alert warns of approaching traffic when you're backing up. Lane Keep System helps the driver keep in his own lane.
Under the Hood
All 2014 Ford Taurus trims start with a 288-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 paired to a 6-speed automatic transmission. Optional on front-wheel-drive (FWD) models is Ford's 2.0-liter EcoBoost turbocharged 4-cylinder. The Taurus SHO offers 77 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 optional on both SEL and Limited trims and standard on the Taurus SHO.
The 2014 Taurus has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting just over $27,500 for the SE trim, around $29,700 for the mid-level SEL and close to $35,000 for the Limited trim. A nicely equipped Limited is right in line with Hyundai's Azera. All-wheel drive adds about $1,850 to the price tag, while the 2.0-liter EcoBoost is another $1,000. The high-performance Taurus SHO slots in right around $40,500, which is some 10 grand over the lesser-equipped but V8-powered Dodge Charger R/T. To get the best deal, be sure to take a look at the Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Price to see what consumers in your area are currently paying for their Ford Taurus'. We expect the 2014 Ford Taurus to hold its value fairly well, but still behind the new Chevrolet Impala and Dodge Charger, and far from the marks held by the Toyota Avalon and Hyundai Azera.
Pros: "Great looks, great luxury and fun to drive"
Cons: "A heavy car with Explorer frame"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"This is my second SHO and the best SHO to date! Plenty of speed and quickness with the luxury comforts one desires on the interior and the exterior looks sharp, too! So many options on this SHO to list, but it's a great car to drive on long distance or short city commutes!"
"Plenty of power with the twin turbo V6. No turbo lag detected. No torque steer when I really push the engine. The most quiet interior of any car I have owned. Thought I would not like park assist but after using it a few times I am sold. Interior not as expansive as you might think for a car this large. Cabin pillars are thick and do impede visibility. Large side mirrors and rear camera help with limited visibility. Trunk is massive, reminds me of the large trunks in cars from the 60s and 70s. Interior material is of high quality, lots of soft touch material on doors and consoles."