The 2012 Ford Taurus ranks 2 out of 7 Affordable Large Cars. This ranking is based on our analysis of 25 published reviews and test drives of the Ford Taurus, and our analysis of reliability and safety data.
Among the many reasons why critics love the 2012 Ford Taurus are its good performance, stylish design and excellent cabin electronics.
The Ford Taurus gave the class of affordable large cars a much-needed shot of adrenaline when it was introduced in 2010. Along with recently updated rivals such as the Buick LaCrosse and Chrysler 300, the Taurus continues to stand out for its comfortable and spacious cabin, excellent interior tech, balanced ride and low base price: just a few of the reasons why we named it the 2011 Best Affordable Large Car for Families.
For 2012, the Taurus continues to earn the respect of auto critics. �Ford's Taurus has a lot going for it,� writes Consumer Guide. �This large sedan is smooth, quiet, refined, and is surprisingly engaging to drive.� Additionally, a number of standout optional features build on the Taurus� base trim. These include available all-wheel drive and Ford�s widely-praised Sync infotainment system.
While the Taurus also wins praise for its sharp styling and easy-to-drive nature, its low base price can be deceiving. If you start jumping up trim levels or adding options, the 2012 Ford Taurus can get pricey.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2012 Ford Taurus is a full-size five-passenger sedan offered in SE, SEL, Limited and SHO trim levels.
Standard equipment on the entry-level SE includes 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, integrated blind spot mirrors, keyless entry with an exterior access keypad, cruise control, air-conditioning, a six-way power driver seat (manual recline), a 60/40-split-folding rear seat, trip computer, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel and a six-speaker sound system with CD player and an auxiliary audio jack. The Sync voice-activated electronics interface with Bluetooth and iPod connectivity is optional.
The SEL adds 18-inch wheels, steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters, heated mirrors, dual-zone automatic climate control, upgraded cloth upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a compass, an outside temperature display and satellite radio. Options on the SEL include 19-inch wheels, rear parking sensors, a rearview camera, leather upholstery (packaged with heated front seats and a six-way power passenger seat), ambient interior lighting and Sync.
All the above items are standard on the Taurus Limited, along with perforated leather upholstery, eight-way power front seats with power lumbar and driver seat memory functions, a wood-trimmed steering wheel and a seven-speaker upgraded stereo with a six-CD player.
The Taurus SHO adds a more powerful V6 engine, a sport-tuned suspension, different steering, xenon headlights, an auto-dimming driver side mirror, a rear spoiler, special styling flourishes inside and out, keyless entry/ignition (optional on SEL and Limited) and unique leather upholstery with faux-suede inserts. The optional SHO Performance package adds performance brake pads, recalibrated steering, a different final-drive ratio, stability control defeat, summer tires and 20-inch wheels. Those wheels are also a stand-alone option.
Options on all but the base SE include a sunroof, power-adjustable pedals, a 12-speaker Sony premium audio system, and "multicontour" front seats with active bolsters and massage. Options on the Limited and SHO include a blind-spot warning system, automatic high beams and rain-sensing wipers (packaged together), heated and cooled front seats, heated rear seats, a power rear window shade, adaptive cruise control, and a navigation system with a touchscreen interface, voice controls, Sirius Travel Link service (real-time traffic, weather and other information), a single-CD player, DVD audio and digital music storage.
Taurus continues to build on a legacy of safety, as the 2011 model earned the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Top Safety Pick rating. The stiff Taurus structure contains a significant portion of high-strength and ultra-high-strength steels, including boron.
Taurus features the Trinity front-crash architecture, named for the three elements that are designed to absorb and redirect crash forces away from vehicle occupants. These components consist of an ultra-high-strength boron front beam to absorb initial impact force, boron �shotgun rails� that transfer impact forces in a diagonal path to the roof panel, and a decoupling engine cradle within the front subframe to help prevent the powertrain from interfering with the cabin.
Taurus also features Side Protection And Cabin Enhancement (SPACE�) Architecture, a hydroformed cross-car beam embedded in the floor between the door frames to help provide additional strength on the vehicle sides. A rigid roof crossmember, side-impact door beams and boron B-pillar reinforcement also contribute to side-impact protection.
The 2012 Taurus is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine that produces 263 hp and 249 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive are standard, while all-wheel drive is available as an option on SEL and Limited models. In Edmunds performance testing, a front-drive Taurus went from zero to 60 mph in 7.8 seconds -- a tad slow for the class. Fuel economy with front-wheel drive is an EPA-estimated 18 mpg city/28 mpg highway and 22 mpg combined. All-wheel drive drops those numbers to 17/25/20.
The Taurus SHO gets a 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V6 (dubbed "EcoBoost") that makes 365 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed automatic with shift paddles is standard, as is all-wheel drive. In Edmunds performance testing, the Taurus SHO went from zero to 60 mph in a quick 5.8 seconds. Despite this engine's impressive performance, EPA fuel economy estimates are the same as the regular all-wheel-drive Taurus.source:edmunds.com,usnews.rankingsandreviews.com,