So here we are – you, me and the 2013 Ford Taurus SEL. This is a car that I really wanted to like, I mean I really did, but unfortunately, I just couldn’t get behind it. This is the sixth generation of Ford’s family hauler, the Taurus. This is the vehicle that redefined what a family car should aspire to be back in the 1980’s. However since its release almost 30-years ago, the Taurus has seemingly lost its way. Yes it will still haul you and your family, but it’s also trying to be a jack-of-all-trades, and unfortunately this is where things go south.
The Taurus is, and always will be, middle America. It’s meant to carry five adults in reasonable comfort, get decent mileage and have a few nice amenities thrown in for good measure. It’s also supposed to be priced right and offer up more than its import counterparts. And while it has succeeded in some instances, it doesn’t blow them out of the water.
A good looking car, the styling of the 2013 Taurus is actually quite refined. Smooth and elegant body lines, a nicely sculpted grille and mildly chopped roof line give the Taurus and air of European sportiness. And while it may look great, it seemingly fails to impress once you get underway.
For instance, at almost 17-feet in length one would expect the Taurus to have loads of interior room. However thanks to an over-sized center console, driver and passenger leg room is actually quite tight. Taller drivers will have their right leg pinched up against the console while those riding shotgun will be constantly moving their seats up for those positioned in the rear.
Ford’s touchscreen SYNC system sits dead center in the dash and provides one with access to everything from the vehicles climate and audio settings, to your Bluetooth and navigation unit. Beneath the touchscreen resides a secondary touch pad that will also help you with climate and audio controls, however it’s void of actual buttons, thus making it feel cheap and like somewhat of an after thought.
My tester came equipped with the optional 2.0-liter I4 Ecoboost engine that pumps out 240 hp and 270 lb.ft. of torque. Not terrible numbers mind you, but not great numbers either, especially for a car that weighs around 4,000 lbs. Economy is the name of the game with the I4 Ecoboost and it delivers to the tune of 22 mpg city and 32 mpg hwy. Power is put down by way of a smooth shifting 6-speed transmission with a thumb mounted gear selector.
An interesting touch, but honestly, just leave the thing in automatic mode and let the engine and transmission work as the engineers intended. Stomp the gas and Taurus will get to 60 mph in just over 7-seconds and move you onto a top speed of 112 mph. It will also provide the driver with nicely weighted steering and confidence inspiring brakes.
The interior is a combination of leather, soft and hard touch plastic and vinyl. And while there are some silver accents thrown in for good measure, I found it to be a rather drab place to be. However trunk space is quite liberal at 20.1 cubic-feet, so if you’re planning on a road trip, rest assured that you’ll be able to fit quite a bit of stuff back there.
Driving the Taurus is about exciting as eating a bowl of matzo ball soup. Yes, it will fill you up and make you feel cozy and warm, but it won’t fill you with adrenaline, nor will it trigger much emotion.
Here’s the thing. Ford makes GOOD cars, they do. I mean the Mustang kicks ass (hell, I own one), the Focus in any form is great, and then there’s the F-150 which we all know is awesome. So why then Ford – why’d you drop the ball so far on this Taurus? In trying to make a car that appealed to everyone, it feels like you created something that simply doesn’t have enough of anything to get us excited. $35,180.00 is a lot to pay for plain vanilla ice cream. However throw in a little whipped-cream and a cherry next time, and you may just have something.