Posted September 3, 2014 | © Photo by The Flash List
Although it has been said that the Ford Taurus might have been the car that saved its company from ruin, you might even agree that the Ford Taurus completely changed the whole mid-size car market. The Taurus, dubbed the flying potato, was not only a revolutionary car design at the time; it was also a huge financial success for Ford. The Taurus became the #5 bestselling car of all time in Ford's large fleet of cars and the #1 selling car in the U.S. from 1992-1996. The Taurus had received so much positive feedback from the public that it led to an automobile design revolution with Chevrolet and Chrysler following suit with aerodynamic designs of their own.
The new Taurus also had an impact on NASCAR racing and was the first sedan to be approved by NASCAR. Its first season was in 1997; and just a short 2 years later, Dale Jarrett won his first NASACAR championship driving the #88 Ford Quality Care/Ford Credit sponsored Ford Taurus. The Ford Taurus eventually went on to win three Winston Cup championships and two Busch Series championships.
So, in knowing much of that history, I was pretty excited to drive the 2015 Ford Taurus. The Taurus today is not really known for all that power and speed - Ford passed that baton to the Ford Fusion. The Taurus is now seen as a big heavy full-size sedan with lots of comfort and style.
It now comes standard with 10-way power-adjustable, multicontour massaging, leather front seats that can be heated or cooled with three different settings depending on the season. You also have the ability to adjust your foot pedals instead of just moving the seat forward. You also have the option of either a wood trimmed or leather steering wheel that can also be heated for those cool winter mornings.
The 2015 Limited that I drove had the 2.0 Ecoboost I-4 engine which generates 240 hp with 270 lb-ft of torque providing best-in-class fuel economy at 22mpg city / 32mpg hwy. The car has most all of the features and styling you would expect to see on a full size luxury sedan; and I was easily able to custom-adjust the steering wheel electronically, the pedals electronically, and my 10-way seat at least 6 ways. I then set the side mirrors electronically, set the rear view mirror by hand, and locked in my preset settings (so I can come directly back to them after my wife drives the car).
Jumping in and out of the car while running errands around town gave me a chance to realize how easy it was for me to get in and out of the car. I'm a tad less than 6'2"; and sometimes it's a bit difficult for me to get in and out of luxury cars (with the new contour seating that is becoming so standard now), but I didn't feel pinched in the Taurus at all. The ventilated seats also allowed nice airflow, which is nice since you don't want a sweaty back while your front side is cool and fresh.
The in-town trip also gave me a chance to utilize a few of the vehicle's safety features like the BLIS blind spot alert system. I think this is probably one of the best safety features on any car, next to the electronic stability control system (especially now that there are so many people who tend to pay less attention to their own speed and and more attention to using you to pace them while they are talking on their cell phone). There is a radar sensor located in the back quarter panel of the car that will let you know when someone is hanging out in your blind spot, and it did go off frequently.
I put the Taurus through its paces on the interstate and a Farm to Market road and found that its 0-30 or 0-60 speed is exactly what you would expect from a full-size luxury sedan previously built for NASCAR races and now built for comfort and sophistication. I was happy with the acceleration because it got me up the on-ramp and into traffic flow in a very effective manner which I expect would be suitable for about 90% of the people that own one.
I feel like all the high praises the car gets for all its safety features and comfort are well earned, but I believe that some of the criticism surrounding the acceleration and power on this car might be a little overstated. Quite surprisingly, a recent DMEautomotive study revealed that 1 in 6 people skip a test drive when buying a car which is why I encourage consumers to test drive the car for themselves before making a purchasing decision.