Large car; Built in USA
  • 4-door sedan
  • transverse front-engine/front- or all-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $3,700 – $16,100*


2010 Ford Taurus front


2010 Ford Taurus rear


2010 Ford Taurus interior


2010 Ford Taurus SHO


2010 Ford Taurus

Pros:
  • Acceleration (SHO)
  • Quietness
  • Ride (non-SHO models)
  • Steering/handling (SHO)
Cons:
  • Automatic-transmission performance (non-SHO models)
  • Rear-seat headroom
  • Ride (SHO)

Ford’s revamped Taurus has a lot going for it. This Best Buy (2010) and Recommended (2011-12) large sedan is smooth, quiet, refined, and surprisingly engaging to drive. That last point goes double for the SHO, which delivers V8 power with the promise of V6 fuel economy. The SHO is fun to drive for a large car, but it would have been better had Ford made its engine note more in keeping with its sporty leanings. No Taurus is as cavernous inside as previous models, but Ford’s flagship sedan offers a breadth and depth of features, gadgets, and trim levels. Moderate new-car prices have made it stand out among a wide variety of midsize and large cars, but secondhand Tauruses might cost a bit more than expected.

Overview

Part of Ford’s lineup since 1986, through several generations, the Taurus got a major makeover for 2010, including revised exterior and interior styling, along with new features. Ford also revived the high-performance Taurus SHO to satisfy potent-sedan fans. This large sedan retained the basic platform and powertrain of the 2008-09 Taurus. The 2010 model reprised SE, SEL, and Limited trim levels, all with front-wheel drive. All-wheel drive was offered on SEL and Limited models. All were powered by a 263-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 engine teamed with a six-speed automatic transmission. The high-performance Taurus SHO (Super High Output) returned for 2010 after last being produced in 1999. This updated SHO got Ford’s “EcoBoost” turbocharged 365-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 engine; a six-speed automatic transmission; and all-wheel drive.

Standard Taurus safety features included antilock braking, traction control, an antiskid system, curtain-side airbags, and front-side airbags. Blind-spot alert also was offered, along with Ford’s Cross Traffic Alert, which was designed to sense oncoming traffic when slowly backing out of a parking spot. SOS Post-Crash Alert unlocks the doors, sounds the horn, and activates the emergency flashers in the event of an airbag deployment. Among the available features were leather upholstery, heated front seats, rear-obstacle detection, a navigation system, adaptive cruise control, and Ford’s Sync voice-activated control interface. Aiming at parents, MyKey allowed owners to program a key that could limit the vehicle’s top speed and audio volume. A capless fuel filler was standard, and keyless access/engine start was available. SHO models had specific steering, suspension tuning, and brakes. A SHO-exclusive “Performance Pack” included uprated brakes and 20-inch summer-only tires. Large-sedan competitors for the Taurus included the Buick LaCrosse, Hyundai Azera, and Toyota Avalon.

Yearly Updates

2011 Taurus
Ford’s Taurus was largely unchanged following its model-year 2010 freshening.
2012 Taurus
Blind-spot mirrors were added to the 2012 Ford Taurus, but there were no other changes of note.
2013 Taurus
Taurus received several updates for 2013 including tweaked styling inside and out, a more powerful standard V6 engine, the option of Ford’s EcoBoost 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, and the latest iteration of MyFord Touch. Other new features included torque vectoring control, curve control, active grille shutters, and available active front seats.
2014 Taurus
For 2014, Taurus SHO gained a new lane-departure warning system. SHO’s revised brakes and steering were claimed to have improved driving dynamics.
2015 Taurus
The 2015 Ford Taurus saw a few minor updates–mainly the addition of standard features such as a rearview camera and Ford’s Sync system on SE models, and a backup warning system and keyless access/starting on SEL models. Limited models got standard power-adjustable pedals with memory and an available power sunroof.

Engines

transverse front-engine/front- or all-wheel drive

In regular Taurus models, a 3.5-liter V6 developed 263 horsepower. The Taurus SHO contained a turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 that generated 365 horsepower. Both engines mated with a six-speed automatic transmission. For 2013, Taurus gained the option of Ford’s 240-horsepower EcoBoost 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine and the 3.5-liter V6 engine of the regular Taurus saw horsepower increased to 288.

Turbocharged dohc I4
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 2.0/122
Engine HP 240
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 270
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed automatic 22/32
dohc V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.5/214
Engine HP 263-288
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 249-254
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed automatic 18/28 20.5
Turbocharged dohc V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.5/214
Engine HP 365
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 350
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed automatic 17/25 18.1

Road Test

Both Taurus engines provide good power in any situation. Non-SHO AWD models feel little different than their front-drive counterparts. The SHO’s turbocharged V6 has plenty of reserve muscle, but it suffers a brief delay from a stop. The automatic transmission snaps off quick shifts, especially with the SHO’s specific gear ratios. In any Taurus, the transmission occasionally hunts for the right gear on hilly roads, but shifting manually via the available steering-wheel paddles (if installed) helps.

In Consumer Guide testing, a front-drive SEL averaged 20.5 mpg. An AWD Limited averaged 20.2 mpg. A SHO averaged 18.1 mpg with slightly more city driving than highway use. Non-SHO Tauruses use regular-grade gas. The SHO can also use regular, but Ford recommends premium for maximum performance.

With its standard 18-inch wheels, the SEL has a very smooth, composed ride with no apparent float or wallow. SEL and Limited models with 19s suffer from a little bit of pattering over pavement seams and breaks. A SHO, with the optional 20-inch wheels and standard sport suspension, registers most bumps but stops short of outright harshness.

Also pleasant on the road in standard form, non-SHO Taurus models handle most curves with confidence that belies their large exterior size. SHO ratchets the handling up a notch with neutral cornering, better-than-expected grip, and fine steering and brake control. A small turning radius helps in close-quarters maneuvering.

Taurus rivals many premium sedans for hushed comfort. Both engines produce a refined note during acceleration and recede almost completely into the background while cruising. For the SHO with its stronger performance potential, this is almost a disappointment. Wind and general road ruckus are non-issues, but the SHO’s optional 20-inch tires roar on coarse pavement.

Brightly lit gauges are easy to read. Most controls are handy and self-evident. Audio and climate functions suffer a bit from small, look-alike buttons. They’re largely separate from the optional navigation system, but a touchscreen on models so equipped makes integrated functions simpler. Taurus’ cabin doesn’t quite match the ambiance of most luxury nameplates, but it holds its own. Non-SHO models have some uninspiring plastic trim, especially in the center console area. Most of the rest of the interior has pleasing textured and padded soft-touch surfaces. SHO versions have faux carbon fiber and real aluminum trim that distinguishes them from its less-expensive siblings.

Front bucket seats are all-day comfortable. A wide up-and-down and front-to-back range of travel ensures that most people will find an accommodating driving position. Headroom is particularly expansive on models not equipped with the available sunroof. The sunroof housing trims headroom quite a bit. Thick center and rear roof pillars compromise over-the-shoulder views. The available multi-contour seats feature power lumbar and air bladders that automatically inflate and deflate to provide something of a massage function. Some testers appreciated the motion; others found it annoying.

Neither headroom nor legroom in the back seat is as expansive as the car’s large exterior dimensions would suggest. Depending on where the front seat is positioned, legroom is either adequate or ample. The slope of Taurus’ roof line cuts into headroom more than it should and complicates entry/exit.

Luggage space is in line with Taurus’ dimensions. The trunk is wide and deep, with an opening large enough to accommodate fairly substantial cargo. A split-folding rear seat adds further versatility. Finding three cupholders in the front center console is a nice surprise. Interior storage is adequate otherwise, with decently sized door pockets, center console, and glovebox.

Ratings

Model Tested: 2011 Ford Taurus SEL

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.

Performance

Acceleration - 6
60%
Fuel Economy - 5
50%
Ride Quality - 7
70%
Steering/Handling - 6
60%
Quietness - 8
80%

Accommodations

Controls/Materials - 6
60%
Room/Comfort Front - 8
80%
Room/Comfort Rear - 6
60%
Cargo Room - 4
40%

Other

Value - 8
80%

Total: 64

Specifications

4-door sedan
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
112.9 202.9 76.2 60.7 4015
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
20.1 20.0 5
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
39.0 37.8 41.9 38.1
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 2010 Taurus 4-door sedan

NHTSA

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
100%
Front Passenger Injury - 5
100%

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
100%
Rear Passenger Injury - 5
100%

Trouble Spots

Cruise control
Description: The adaptive cruise control may quit working if vehicle is driven for extended times where there is no traffic (deserted roads) unless it has been reprogrammed. (2010)
Engine stalling
Description: Engine may lack power, run rough, or not start. (2013-14)
Transmission leak
Description: Transmission may leak at left-hand halfshaft seal. (2013-14)
Electrical problem
Description: The remote trunk release may quit working because either the electrical connection has come apart or the release solenoid has gone bad. (2010)
Transmission problems
Description: Transmission valve body may leak causing clutch damage or slippage during shifting. (2013)
Transmission problems
Description: Faulty transmission sensor may cause transmission to start in 5th gear or slip into neutral. Cruise control could drop or become inoperative. Backup light may come on while car is in drive. (2010)
Transmission problems
Description: Transmission may not shift out of first gear or reverse because of a software problem. (2013-14)
Software problems
Description: The blind spot or cross traffic system may quit working occasionally during heavy rain or snow, but resume working in clear weather unless the control modules have updated software. (2010-11)

Recall History

2010-12 Taurus
Description: Driver-side front airbag may not properly inflate.
2010-13 Taurus
Description: The interior door handle may not return to fully stowed position after activation. The door could unlatch during a side impact.
2010-14 Taurus
Description: Corrosion could cause the license-plate-light wiring to short circuit, increasing the risk of fire.
2011-12 Taurus
Description: Vehicles may lose power steering assist and extra effort will be required to steer.
2012 Taurus
Description: Marginally sealed seam in the fuel tank could weaken and rupture in the event of an impact or, in regular driving conditions, develop a leak.
2013 Taurus
Description: After numerous openings and closings, child safety locks may deactivate.
2013 Ford Taurus
Description: Fuel delivery module may crack, leak, and cause a fire.
2013-14 Taurus
Description: The halfshaft may not have been properly installed and could disengage. Power would not be transmitted to the wheels and the parking brake would not be effective.
2013-15 Taurus w/3.5-liter EcoBoost engine
Description: Fuel pump may fail and and stall engine.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.

Pricing

Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.