Ford's full-size Taurus receives a significant makeover for the 2010 model year that includes new exterior and interior styling as well as high-end options you might not expect to find in a mainstream family sedan.
The 2010 Taurus is available in SE, SEL and Limited trim levels and is offered with front- or all-wheel drive. The Taurus hits dealerships in summer 2009, competing with the Buick Lucerne, Chrysler 300 and Toyota Avalon. It is also available as a high-performance model called the Taurus SHO
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Despite its large three-bar chrome grille, the previous Taurus' overall plain styling didn't do much to attract buyers. Ford has addressed that issue with the 2010 model by giving the sedan sleeker sheet metal that bestows a sportier look on Ford's flagship car. The new grille and front bumper combination is reminiscent of Ford's European cars.
The changes continue around back, where there's new trunklid and taillight designs. The trunklid's new forward-swept design recalls old wooden speedboats, but the look doesn't translate particularly well to the land.
Standard aluminum wheels measure 17 inches in diameter, but 18- and 19-inch wheels can be had.
Likewise, the cabin of the previous Taurus had a rather plain appearance, with unremarkable materials quality. The 2010 Taurus changes this with a stylish cabin design and upscale materials that help the car keep pace in the family sedan segment.
The Taurus has room for five on front bucket seats and a three-person rear bench. The previous Taurus' backseat was one of the larger ones around — not counting extended-wheelbase models — with room for adults to stretch out. The new Taurus' backseat is still big, but it feels like the roof is encroaching more on rear passenger space than it did before.
At 20.1 cubic feet, the Taurus' trunk is large, even if slightly smaller than its predecessor's (21.2 cubic feet). A split-folding backseat for expanding the cargo area is standard.
Additional standard features include air conditioning, a power driver's seat, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel, cruise control and a CD stereo. Available features include a Sony six-CD audio system, leather seats, power-adjustable pedals, a moonroof, heated and cooled front seats, heated rear seats and a power rear sunshade.
Under the Hood
The 2010 Taurus is powered by a 3.5-liter V-6 that makes 263 horsepower. The V-6 drives a six-speed automatic transmission.
The Taurus' maximum towing capacity when properly equipped is 1,000 pounds.
Standard safety features include antilock brakes, side-impact airbags for the front seats, side curtain airbags and an electronic stability system. Rear parking sensors, a blind spot warning system and a collision-prevention system are optional.
Ford revived an old trim with the Taurus SHO — it stands for Super High Output — which effectively caps the Taurus lineup from a performance and luxury standpoint. The SHO swaps the Taurus' standard drivetrain for a twin-turbo, direct-injection 3.5-liter V-6. It's one of the first engines in Ford's EcoBoost initiative, which foregoes larger engines for smaller turbocharged ones that purportedly get better gas mileage.
Ford says the Taurus SHO will have the most powerful EcoBoost engine available; total output is 365 hp and 350 pounds-feet of torque. It works through a six-speed automatic transmission with standard all-wheel drive and steering-wheel paddle shifters. Highway gas mileage will be somewhere in the mid-20s.
Other changes are fairly subtle. Among them are various SHO badges, 19- or 20-inch wheels, dual exhaust pipes and a rear spoiler. The suspension and steering response have been sharpened, too. Beefier brakes, more responsive steering and a higher-threshold sport mode for the electronic stability system are part of an SHO Performance Package. Back to top
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