By Keith Buglewicz
KBB Expert Rating: 6.4
Ford’s 2016 Taurus full-size sedan may be getting a little old and a bit behind the competition, but it still has its admirers. You’ll find more room, better visibility and a more modern interior in cars like the Toyota Avalon, Chevrolet Impala and even the Dodge Charger, but the Taurus offers a wider range of trims, engines and features, including the high-performance Taurus SHO. Offering an economical 2.0-liter turbo on the SEL and Limited trims, plus available all-wheel drive with the V6 (it’s standard on the SHO), the Taurus bests the front-drive-only Impala and Avalon. But the Taurus doesn’t offer a hybrid model, nor are its driver-assist features as up to date as many of its newer, more technically advanced competitors.
There’s a feeling of solidity and security in the 2016 Ford Taurus sedan. If you’re looking for a big, comfortable cruiser with a cavernous trunk, wide front seats and more than one engine option, this might just be the right car for you.
Ford’s 2016 Taurus sedan has a rather claustrophobic interior, and its dash and switchgear are beginning to look rather dated. The SHO’s twin-turbo V6 is potent, but it’s no match for the gut-punching thrust of a Hemi V8 (see Dodge Charger).
KBB Expert Ratings
For 2016, the Ford Taurus sedan ditches the temperamental MyFord Touch system in favor of a greatly improved Sync 3 infotainment setup. The Taurus SE gains a standard rearview monitor. All three engines see their 2016 fuel economy figures ratcheted down a few notches.
If there is one predominant story told by Ford’s 2016 Taurus sedan, it’s about value. With a price starting well under $30,000, the Taurus offers full-size comfort and performance in...
... a family sedan that comes nicely equipped out of the box or can be fully loaded. Big, quiet and soft-riding, the Taurus won’t slay a BMW 5 Series in the curves, but thanks to its potent standard V6 and even more potent choice of turbo or twin-turbocharged engines, getting up to speed is never a concern. Ford’s Torque Vectoring and Curve Control help manage the Taurus’ considerable bulk, leaving the driver to enjoy the road or any number of interior conveniences. We didn’t care for the Taurus’ thick front windshield pillars and wide B-pillar by the driver’s head. Both contribute to a cocoon-like feeling inside the car, a perception amplified when the interior color choice is black.
2.0-LITER ECOBOOST ENGINE
The 2.0-liter EcoBoost turbocharged engine offered in the 2016 Taurus is quite an impressive piece of work, cranking out 240 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque while returning an EPA estimated 29-mpg highway. It’s a shame the 2.0-liter is offered only with front-wheel drive.
Keeping track of what your kids are doing these days is growing increasingly difficult, which is why Ford’s MyKey programmable fob is such a great idea. With MyKey, parents can limit vehicle top speed, audio volume and other functions with a vehicle specific key.
The 2016 Ford Taurus sedan’s interior isn't as roomy as you might expect when you see its full-size-sedan exterior bulk. While equipped with five seatbelts, the Taurus is definitely more suitable for four adults over long distances. The driver and front passenger can enjoy a massage from the seats, helping ease back fatigue on long drives, and those seats can be heated and cooled as well. The multifunction steering wheel and voice-command system control many of the audio and navigation controls. The Taurus also offers upscale options like Adaptive Cruise Control, and a power sunshade for the rear window.
Ford’s Taurus family sedan for 2016 is a deceptively big, nearly equal to some full-size SUVs when it comes to sheer length. The overall height gives drivers a commanding view of the road, but the low roof and wide stance combine with the steeply sloping windshield and rear window to give the Taurus a sleek look, despite its size. The 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.
Even the base Ford Taurus SE sedan for 2016 comes well equipped. Newly standard this year is a rearview camera and Ford's Sync integrated music and telephone system. Also standard 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 6-speaker audio system has a CD player and auxiliary audio input jack. Standard safety features include electronic traction and stability control, dual front airbags, front-seat-mounted side airbags and side-curtain airbags protecting both the front and rear passengers.
Ford’s new Taurus offers a number of packages and stand-alone features. For example, Limited sedan models can get a power moonroof. You can get Ford's keyless-entry and push-button ignition system on mid-level SEL sedans, too. That adds to the previous list, which included things like massaging front seats, automatic high beams for the headlights, a heated steering wheel, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and adaptive cruise control with collision warning. There's also a 12-speaker premium Sony audio system. An available Blind Spot Information System and Cross-Traffic Alert warn of traffic you may not notice without the extra help.
The standard engine on all 2016 Ford Taurus sedans is a 288-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 paired to a 6-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel-drive (FWD) models can get Ford's 2.0-liter turbocharged EcoBoost 4-cylinder. The top-line 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. FWD is standard, while all-wheel drive (AWD) is optional on both SEL and Limited trims and standard on the Taurus SHO.
288 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm
254 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/27 mpg (FWD), 17/24 mpg (AWD)
2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4
240 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm
270 lb-ft of torque @ 3,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/29 mpg
3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V6 (SHO)
365 horsepower @ 5,550 rpm
350 lb-ft of torque @ 1,500-5,250 rpm
EPA estimated city/highway fuel economy: 16/24 mpg
Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Prices (MSRP) for a base 2016 Ford Taurus SE with the 3.5-liter V6 start at about $28,000, the mid-level SEL about $30,500, and the Limited model a little more than $35,300. If you want the 2.0-liter EcoBoost 4-cylinder, you'll add about $1,000 to the price, while AWD on the SEL and Limited adds about $1,900. Those prices are right in line with full-size sedan competitors such as the Chevrolet Impala, Hyundai Azera, Kia Cadenza and Dodge Charger. The high-performance Taurus SHO comes in just over $41,000, which is higher than the more lightly equipped V8-powered Dodge Charger R/T. Check the Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Price to see what people are paying for a Taurus in your area. The 2016 Taurus won't hold its value quite as well as the new Chevrolet Impala and Dodge Charger, and trails far behind the Toyota Avalon and Hyundai Azera.