Ford’s announcement that it will let the Taurus die after its current product cycle is completed is a bittersweet end for a model that was at one time the most popular sedan in America. However, times have changed, and the consumer move from 4-door cars to crossovers has claimed another victim.

The 2018 Ford Taurus SHO will be the last large performance car of its type for the division. However, by letting it age with no significant upgrades or refinements, it’s perhaps time to put this one out to pasture. Spun from the same platform that has been used for crossovers, the Taurus is big and tall with a tight cabin at odds with the vehicle’s exterior dimensions.

The overall package is understated -- there’s discreet chrome trim around the mesh grille and side glass, SHO badging in the fender vents, and the 20-inch alloy wheels also have prominent SHO markings. On the tail is a spoiler/wing that makes the deck lid seem even higher. Beneath the hood is an EcoBoost 3.5-liter V6 putting out 365 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque mated to a 6-speed automatic and delivering power to all four wheels.

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Quick off the line

While the engine provides good power and straight-line acceleration, the sport-tuned suspension and steering leave something to be desired. The steering feels artificially heavy and lacks some precision on center, while the weight of this 4,000-plus pound sedan overwhelms the sport-tuned suspension. Even though there’s all-wheel-drive grip and torque vectoring, The Taurus seems to be dialed in more for daily driving than hustling down backroads.

The SHO badge may have had some cachet back in the day (and a loyal following in an owners’ group), but some of the luster has worn off. There are better rear-drive-biased big sedans out there, like the recently departed Chevrolet SS and the still-in-production Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger SRT, models that provide the same or better straight-line thrills thanks to V8 power and are still engaging to drive when the road begins to bend.

That said, if you want what will soon become a part of automotive history, the SHO starts at $42,770. Our SHO also had a driver-assist package ($1,995) that includes collision warning, a lane keeping system that was more warning than helper, and active park assist. The Ford also had voice-activated navigation for an additional $795. All in with $875 destination, the 2018 Taurus SHO we drove carried an MSRP of $46,435. 

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