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2013 Ford Taurus Overview

Ford rolls its 2013 Taurus out as a bit of a throwback and comeback car all mixed into one. The 2013 Ford Taurus at once carries the image of a large, classic American family sedan and a topnotch modern-day cruiser, and it does its share to help revive the prestigious Taurus name, thanks in part to an as-expected comfortable ride, complete with high-tech components.

A makeover in 2010 shook the Taurus out of some doldrums it had inhabited. The blue-oval folks bounce right back with freshening and some changes for 2013 that keep the Taurus well to the plus side in the marketplace and let it compete with the likes of the Volkswagen Passat, Toyota Camry and Chevrolet Malibu.

For starters, the 2013 Ford Taurus, which starts at around $27,000, receives upgrades for its engine program. New this year is an optional 2.0-liter turbocharged EcoBoost 4-cylinder that is good for 240 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque when fed premium fuel and 231 hp/270 lb-ft when using regular gasoline.

The standard engine remains the 3.5-liter V6 that has been updated and now, with variable valve timing on both its intake and exhaust cams, provides 290 hp and 255 lb-ft of torque.

The 2.0-liter edition rates at 22 mpg city/31 highway for fuel mileage. The 3.5-liter checks in at 19/29 in front-wheel drive (FWD) trims and 18/26 with all-wheel drive (AWD).

The high-performance 2013 Ford Taurus SHO sticks with its 3.5-liter turbocharged V6 with its 365 hp and standard AWD. The lower trims of the 2013 Ford Taurus, the SE and SEL, come with FWD. AWD is available for the SEL and Limited.

Each of the 2013 Ford Taurus engines is paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission. It’s a transmission that lags, some experts feel, and needs work in the lower trims, though they say it doesn’t have the same issues in the SHO.

Reviewers give the 2013 Ford Taurus high marks for the comfort level of its ride and its improved handling. No news there: A comfortable and smooth ride has long been a strong point of the Taurus. One downside remains that the Taurus, as a big car, drives like one and most do not consider it, outside of perhaps the SHO, especially fun to drive. Some experts also note that while the Taurus is a good-sized vehicle, its design and a lowered roofline make it feel tight inside, which holds it back in the market.

The interior of the 2013 Ford Taurus gets more soft-touch materials than in the past, and the automaker also worked at making the vehicle quieter inside. Multicontour seats with Active Motion, designed to provide a gentle massage with the idea of improving blood flow and reducing driver fatigue, are among the high-tech improvements in the new Taurus.

Upper trims and the SHO also get MyFord Touch, a system of controls that irks some reviewers who feel it is difficult to use.

The 2013 Ford Taurus starts the lineup out with 17-inch alloy wheels, LED taillights, automatic headlights, a 6-way power driver’s seat, a 6-speaker sound system with CD player and an auxiliary audio jack. The SEL has upgraded upholstery and a leather-wrapped steering wheel, heated mirrors, remote ignition, dual-zone automatic climate control and a Sync system to run Bluetooth phones, iPods and other media players.

The 2013 Ford Taurus Limited comes with perforated leather seat trim, 10-way power driver's and passenger seats, and a rear-view camera. The 2013 Ford Taurus SHO bumps it up with AWD, a sport-tuned suspension and upgraded leather upholstery. The SHO also offers an optional Performance Package that features enhanced brake pads and recalibrated steering and suspension.

The 2013 Ford Taurus scored well in Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash tests and collected 4 of 5 stars in government side-impact tests. Safety features include head-protecting side airbags, antilock brakes and an electronic stability system with the company’s new curve control, which can slow the car down if it’s running too fast into a corner.

Updated by A. Lessels

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