2015 Ford Taurus SEL AWD
2015 Ford Taurus SEL AWD
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Topics: Ford Taurus
2 June 2016
Yesterday I had the opportunity to drive a nearly-new Ford Taurus. This was my first Ford test drive since joining the Ford family with our 2013 C-Max Hybrid.
First thing you'll notice is that it's a subtle green color. Not the flat hunter green of Tauruses past, but a greenish gray that only shows its shade in certain light. Subtle, but attention getting for its class, it received compliments from three out of three of the people I showed the car to.
First driving impressions were that the roof seems to hang down over you and the doors run high, the windows end up being short, and the overall effect is that of feeling like being in a tank. This was exacerbated by being in a version without a sunroof. Power from the 3.5L V6 wasn't great, but then it's a heavy car with AWD. It wasn't much fun to drive around town, it felt hard to see out of, and the speedometer was hard to read.
Once I got out onto the great American interstate highway system, the car was really in its element. The ride was smooth and stable, the cloth seats were incredibly comfortable, and I found a digital speedometer in the trip functions. The "tank" feeling came in handy as I felt completely safe even as random idiots blew by me at twenty miles an hour over the speed limit in a narrow lane construction zone. Things were looking up.
After 85 miles of mostly interstate driving, much of it through construction, I felt like I could turn around and go 200 more. The seats were truly some of the best I've put my rear end into in my short time trying out other people's cars. The car was also ready for more, getting 30 miles per gallon on such a trip gives it enormous range. You'll need to stop far more often than it does.
The car was big but easily controllable, and the built-in blind spot mirrors that Ford has been putting on seemingly everything lately really come in handy. Lack of rear window visibility due to a high trunklid is made up for by a backup camera with guides that turn with the wheel. The screen is a bit small, though, in the model without the navigation system.
This brings me to the major issue I have with the Taurus. The center stack is painted with the same kind of metallic silver paint my old Pontiac Vibe was painted with. It honestly looks like a piece you could buy at Walmart. There are panels of a much better looking plastic to the right and the left of the center stack, but the center itself...ugh. Why? Why not continue to use that other, much better looking material? My C-Max has piano black between the center components, why not use that?
One redeeming quality of this center stack is that it looks like it could be removed easily to be repainted with something I'd be more comfortable with. But that just begs the question, why didn't Ford paint it with something better in the first place? Especially on a car that starts at $27,000? Painting it to match the exterior would have been a nice touch, since that would have evoked the memory of past cars that continued the exterior color onto the dashboard.
Speaking of cars of the past...who might be most interested in a Taurus besides the cop wannabes? Let me say this: if you're lamenting the loss of the Ford Crown Victoria/Mercury Grand Marquis as the end of the great big American sedan, don't let the unibody frame and FWD/AWD put you off of the Taurus. This car has an old-school feel to it, while still offering all of the modern safety and tech buyers have come to expect in a new car.
If you're browsing the used American sedan market, in my opinion the current Taurus (starting in 2010) is far superior to the previous generation Chevrolet Impala (2006-2014) as tested here
, but I've yet to drive the current model Impala to see if they've caught up. Oh, and if you're looking for that great American station wagon, the Taurus-based Ford Flex may not have classic style but it's the closest thing still on the market to the station wagon you rolled around in as a kid