I recently spent a week with the new Taurus. Here's my take during the 2000 mile roundtrip from Central Illinois to the panhandle of Florida and New Orleans. The first impression I got during a walk a...
I recently spent a week with the new Taurus. Here's my take during the 2000 mile roundtrip from Central Illinois to the panhandle of Florida and New Orleans. The first impression I got during a walk around the car, is the height of the trunk. No need to bend over when putting in the luggage. You feel like you're sitting up higher in this sedan. The front visibility is good, no issues or close calls when looking out the front or sides, however the rear visibility is a different story. Because of the elevated rear-end, the narrowing of the rear windows, and the passenger side headrest, I found that backing out of parking spaces was an act of faith, not of sight. Going down the road, the side and rear view mirrors do a great job of providing visibility. The embedded spot mirrors are a huge plus for highway driving.
The Entertainment System with its satellite radio, CD and input jacks for ipods and smartphones is very complete, easy to use and sounds great. My only qualm is the volume control lacked granularity. Volume setting number three was too soft, and number four was at times too loud. It's ridiculous to have over 30 increments, but because of how it's engineered, it's tough to find a setting that keeps everyone happy. As a work around you can go into the equalizer settings, and dial down the bass, midrange and treble, but I'd rather see Ford recalibrate this in the future.
Something I found odd, maybe it just doesn't work the same way as in all the other cars I've driven, is the cruise control. You can hold down on the set switch which does put the Taurus in a temporary "coast mode", however I found if I had to do this twice within a short amount of time I was rewarded with some very peculiar behavior. Not only would it try to speed up, but it also downshifted to accelerate and then would not go back into overdrive. Shutting the cruise off took care of the issue, so it's not a big problem, but something that could be improved. I learned it was easier to just use the cancel, and then resume or reset my speed to prevent this problem.
The dual temperature controls made for a great climate. My wife is generally cold, and prefers her side of the car a bit warmer, and there were no complaints from a back seat passengers who have their vent from the front seat armrest. I did notice a few times, when coming off of highway speeds and pulling into town that the air conditioner stalls. The cabin gets a little warm and I usually had to turn down the climate control and maybe bump up the fan a bit to get things back to normal. I did not have the system in "auto".
Most people have waited years to finally have a car that doesn't need a gas cap. I'm sure somebody is getting rich off the patent. It works very well at the gas pump, but if you want to add... say a bottle of octane booster, or fuel system cleaner, you are going to have some wet shoes. Without knowing how this thing works, I found out the hard way that nothing gets in the tank unless it goes through a metal spout of the gas pump. This could be an interesting situation, should you ever run out of gas.
Speaking of gas, I ran the mileage calculations for the entire 2000 mile trip. It averaged 25.7, with the best tank coming in at 28. Thats with the trunk full, 4 adults, with temps in the upper 80's most of the way. Not bad, but for the average MPG I was hoping for better. Past experience in a Ford cars has been very similar. in 2006 we rented a Five-hundred and averaged 26.5 on a 5600 mile loop to California. Much more mountainous driving, the "500" had a 6 speed automatic instead of the 5 speed in this, but still, after 6 years of engineering the mileage has not improved.
Entertainment system layout and functionality.
Sport mode transmission
Forward and side visibility, side view mirrors
Power Steering is very consistent (helpful) at low speeds
Lack of granularity in volume control.
Rear visibility poorer than expected for a sedan
Cruise stumbles when attempting to coast then resume
Air Conditioner stalls when coming down from highway speeds.
Lack of oil pressure, electrical system readings.