Remember the Taurus? The family sedan Ford originally introduced in 1986 that quickly spread like wildfire throughout suburban neighbourhoods well into the nineties? Of course, you do! Because either your folks owned one or one of your neighbours did. And why wouldn’t they have? Before mini-vans and SUVs hit their stride, the Ford Taurus solidified its place as the family-mover of choice, offering cargo, styling, unparalleled technology, comfort and safety all rolled into one affordable vehicle.
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Later discontinued, replaced with other models, and now finally reintroduced for 2010, Ford continues its legacy of innovation and quality with the all-new 2010 Ford Taurus, hoping to regain top spot in the family sedan segment. And having spent a week with this vehicle, in particular, the 2010 Ford Taurus SHO (Super High Output), there is good reason to believe they will.
Taurus vs Taurus SHO
First, lets establish the Taurus and the Taurus SHO are essentially very different sedans. Sure, they appear nearly indistinguishable to most, but put into context, they’re worlds apart. For instance: that innocuous, flesh-coloured car your friend’s mom schlepped you in to the school dance? That would be the Taurus (family sedan). And that badass, blacked-out, inconspicuous stealth car with undoubted performance you witnessed the police rolling around in? Yes, that’s the Taurus SHO (sports sedan). Introduced in 1989 with more than 100,000 sold before production ended ten years later, the Taurus SHO is considered by many to be the ultimate sleeper car—from grocery-getter to bad-guy-catcher.
Powered by a 3.5-litre twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V-6 engine, the SHO puts down an estimated 365-hp at 5500 rpm and 350 ft-lbs of torque at 3500 rpm. The EcoBoost is essentially a gasoline direct injection engine resulting in improved throttle response, reduced cold start emissions characteristics, and better fuel economy. In short, providing V-8 power at V-6 fuel economy…another Ford innovation.
On the open road, the SHO is responsive and rewarding, providing ample power across a broad torque band from 1500 rpm to 5500 rpm due to smaller twin turbo chargers, opposed to one large one, rendering less internal inertia and nearly no turbo lag. The high-capacity six-speed transmission is controlled via the conventional, boring automatic way, or the lively, performance-minded SelectShift with paddle controls way! Linked to a standard, torque-sensing All-Wheel Drive System and a refined sport-tuned suspension, the Taurus SHO provides confident handling with precise control in almost any condition.
At first glance, the Taurus SHO looks mean. A low, sporty stance sitting on premium painted wheels wrapped in standard 20-inch Michelin high-performance rubber alongside aggressive styling cues including a beefy domed hood and long shoulder lines, Ford has done a great job balancing a bold sports sedan while still retaining those ‘sleeper’ qualities that have made this sedan so infamously inconspicuous. The sports sedan that isn’t, if you will.
The quality and finish inside the cabin rivals any luxury sedan out there—refined, spacious, and well thought-out, yet still encouraging a performance aptitude. The 10-way power adjustable front seats are beyond comfortable; leather-trimmed with Miko Seude inserts, not to mention the Mulit-Contour with Active Motion feature providing a subtle but continuous rolling massage (that’s right, the seats massage your butt and lower back, ideal for the long haul driver/passenger), an industry first by Ford. Other interior appointments include a perforated leather-wrapped steering wheel; aluminum trimmed gas and brake pedals; and unique SHO-specific aluminum touches throughout, to name a few.
Interior Standard Features:
Some of the standard convenience and safety features included with Taurus SHO include:
• Ford SYNC: the fully integrated, in-vehicle voice-activated communications and entertainment system standard on Taurus SHO. The system combines 911 Assist. SYNC connects to MP3 players, iPods, memory sticks and PDAs.
• Ambient Lighting: allows the Taurus SHO driver to program interior lighting from a choice of five soothing colours to suit any character or preference.
• Intelligent Access with Push Button Start: a new Taurus feature allowing drivers to enter the car and start the engine without using a conventional key. Drivers simply carry the fob as they approach the vehicle, touch the SecuriCode™ keyless entry keypad, open the door and enter, apply pressure on brake pedal and push a button to start the engine.
• Reverse Camera System: a unique SHO option, activates when reverse gear is selected providing the driver with additional rear visibility, projecting on the windscreen mounted rearview mirror.
• Blind Spot Information System (BLIS™) with Cross Traffic Alert: consists of two multiple beam radar modules, one each per rear quarter panel. When an adjacent vehicle enters the defined blind spot zone, and indicator alert provides driver warning in the corresponding sideview mirror.
• Sony Audio System: offers 12 speakers, a digital amplifier, 390 Watts of continuous power (RMS), 115 dB of maximum bass sound pressure level and Dolby Pro Logic II surround technology.
Starting at $48,199 CAD MSRP with dealer discounts, this tester with optional equipment and taxes (excluding GST/HST) comes to $53,449.
Learn more about the Ford Taurus