By Cars.com EditorsOctober 16, 2012
About the video
Ford’s Taurus has a monstrous trunk and comfortable backseat, but Cars.com reviewer Kelsey Mays thinks it may be time for a full redesign.
(upbeat music) <v Narrator>Cars.com Auto Review. Hi, I'm Kelsey Mays for Cars.com. Ford updated it's Taurus for 2013 with tweaked styling, more V6 power, and better fuel efficiency, courtesy of an optional turbocharged 4-cylinder engine.
The full-sized Taurus remains a sleek car with good drivability, but it's gonna take more than an update to fix two of the nameplates longstanding drawbacks, and now, there's a third one too, we'll show you why. We have a V6 all-wheel drive Taurus Limited here, and changes for 2013 include a reshaped grill and kind of reshaped headlights here where they clip in at the inboard corner. There's also wider wheels and tires, not a ton of differentiation from 2012, but the turbocharged V6 Taurus SHO has more differentiation this year, thanks to a unique grill with a mesh insert and unique 20 inch wheels. The Taurus retains comfortable front seats and a bold cockpit like interior styling theme. Couple issues remain though. First is visibility, you look around, you realize that the roofline is kinda hunkered down, you don't have a ton of visibility vertically to see, especially out the windshield, where the center rear view mirror just takes up a ton of space looking straight ahead. The A, B, and C pillars are really thick, and if you look straight back, the rear head restraints take up a good chunk of your vision straight out the back. The second issue is space, it's always perplexed us that the Taurus has one of the largest exterior's in its class, yet in terms of cabin volume, trails most of its competitors. You kinda get a sense of that upfront, that bold styling creates a real thick center console here, thick doors, you just don't have a lot of space here to kinda spread your knees out and spread out, and get comfortable while you're driving. One thing we do like that Ford did this year, at least, was to take this center console and at least pad these areas here, so that when your knees bang up against them, which they will be doing if you're tall at all, at least it doesn't hurt so much. The third issue is MyFord Touch, which Ford is now added to the 2013 Taurus. It's optional here. We've been pretty big critics of it ever since it came out a little while ago. It's cost Ford some of its high scores in consumer quality surveys too. This is the second generation system, and it works a little bit faster than the earlier versions of MyFord Touch, but still not terribly fast response time, even for the touchscreen up here, especially compared to some of the competing cars that have touchscreens. Still, the back seat has good leg room and decent thigh support here, thanks to a seat that sits nice and high off the ground, that means adults won't have their knees up in the air here from the seat that sits too low. Trunk volume is at about 20 cubic feet, that's at the head of the class, in fact, that's at the head of just about any sedan. So, you know when your mom comes to town with three or four big suitcases? Well, the Taurus will take care of business, but watch out, that might be enabling her, which means she'll do it again and again and again. The 6-speed automatic transmission in our test car isn't terribly intuitive to downshifts, but the base V6 is now up to 288 horsepower from last year's 263, and it's a smooth revving power plant. If you can do with a little less punchiness, a turbo 4-cylinder gets an impressive 22 miles per gallon city, 32 highway in EPA ratings, pretty good for a full sized car. So a lot of refinement, a lot of good things for this nameplate, but we do think that it's gonna take a full redesign for Ford to fix some of those big issues. <v Narrator>For more car related news, go to cars.com, or our blog, KickingTires.net.