DALLAS, December 4, 2012 — The big plus in 2013 Ford Taurus is not the design overall, albeit there are some much-needed tweaks that have been added for style like the new grille, front and rear lighting and even an available spoiler. However, the real mentionable addition is the turbo-charged four-cylinder option that also offers good gas mileage.
A full-size sedan, Taurus still offers all the details from last year like a good-looking interior, large trunk and an all-wheel drive option if you choose, but it has definitely taken a step up and is no longer just an “ordinary” stepchild in this class.
Its competition is the Chrysler 300 or the Hyundai Genesis, both worth a look, but Taurus will definitely get your attention.
The 2013 Ford Taurus fits five passengers and comes in four trims: SE, SEL, Limited and SHO.
Standard on the SE are 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, integrated blind spot mirrors, LED taillights, an exterior access keypad, 60/40-split-folding rear seat, and a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel.
On the SEL, it’s the 18-inch wheels, heated mirrors, remote ignition, dual-zone automatic climate control, upgraded cloth upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.
For additional options on the SEL, there is the Group 201A with rear parking sensors, MyFord Touch, two USB ports, and expanded Sync functionality.
On what is called the Group 202A, you get 19-inch wheels, a rearview camera, keyless ignition/entry, ambient interior lighting, and power-adjustable pedals. For those who want to pick and choose other options, you can include leather upholstery with heated front seats, power sunroof and a rear spoiler.
For the features in the SEL option packages, you will find these standard on the Limited as well as additional perforated leather upholstery, eight-way power front seats with power lumbar, driver-seat memory functions, and a wood-trimmed steering wheel.
There are optional packages for the Limited too, starting with the 301A package with auto-dimming driver-side mirror, blind-spot warning system, heated/ventilated front seats, and a power-adjustable steering wheel. The high-end 302A package will give you automated parking, automatic high beams, heated steering wheel, heated rear seats, and a rear sunshade.
Other options for this trim level are 20-inch wheels, sunroof, adaptive cruise control, and collision warning with brake support as well as multi-contour front seats that even offer a massage feature.
The SHO is the sportier version and top-of-the-line with the Limited equipment and a stronger engine. You also get all-wheel drive, sport-tuned suspension, xenon headlamps and leather upholstery.
Options on the SHO Performance package add performance brake pads, recalibrated steering and suspension, 20-inch wheels, and a faux-suede steering wheel.
Under the hood, the 2013 Taurus has a 3.5-liter V6 engine with 290 horsepower and 255 pound-feet of torque. The six-speed automatic transmission is standard with a manual shift button and it is a front-wheel drive, but you can opt for all-wheel drive too on the SEL and Limited trims.
There is also the new turbocharged engine with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder, getting 240 horsepower and 270 pound feet of torque.
The SHO has a 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V6 with 365 horsepower and 350 pound feet of torque. The SHO is all-wheel drive with a six-speed automatic and shift paddles.
For safety, expect antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, front-seat side-impact and side curtain airbags, and integrated blind spot mirrors. Standard on the Limited and SHO and optional on the SEL is a rearview camera and rear parking sensors as well as a pre-collision warning system and a blind-spot warning system that comes with a cross-traffic warning system so as you back up, you will be warned of not only oncoming cars but also of pedestrians.
Interior 2013 Ford Taurus features mean a comfortable cabin and the seats are an easy ride, particularly with the higher end trims with the front seat massage options.
In the back, there is plenty of legroom and even a good bit of headroom for the taller passengers and the trunk is 20.1 cubic feet. If you opt to fold down the seats you gain even more space in the back.
Also worth a mention is the MyFord Touch interface, which comes standard, offering three display screens and working with the audio, phone and navigation functions by voice, touch or steering wheel controls.
As for the ride and handling on the road it’s easy with the SHO that adds that all-around sportier appeal with an even more pronounced handling.
While it is an all-American sedan, the fuel efficiency definitely deserves a nod here, even on the turbo engine, and for driving and cost savings, the Taurus seems to have found a good niche in the market.
Should You Need to Know: For sportier drivers, the SHO has a zero to 60 in 5.8 seconds to brag about.
Miles Per Gallon: The 2013 Front Wheel Drive Ford Taurus that I drove got19 miles per gallon in the city and 29 miles per gallon on the highway with about 4.4 gallons per 100 miles.
Cost: The 2013 Ford Taurus Limited Front-Wheel Drive that I spent the week testing had a price tag of $38,090.
Rita Cook is a writer/editor with has over 1000 articles to her credit in the past 13-plus years. She is a frequent auto and travel contributor on a radio show in Los Angeles called Insider Mag Radio at KPRO 1570 am on from midnight to 12:30 a.m. Monday mornings. She also contributes travel and auto to the Anthony Duva show, which can be heard live from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. EST every Sunday at www.unregularradio.com.
Cook is a member of the Texas Auto Writer’s Association, writes for the Dallas Morning News Green Living Section as well as artist profiles and www.greensourceDFW and spends much of her time on the road traveling or working on books. She recently received the 2012 Green Media Award from the North Texas Corporate Recycling Association.
Her latest book releases are both “Haunted Dallas” and “Haunted Fort Worth” from www.historypress.net. Her third book in the Haunted Series was released in October “Haunted Bartlesville, Oklahoma.” Follow Cook at Twitter at @ritacook13.
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