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2016 Ford Taurus Overview
Once upon a time, the Ford Motor Company faced extinction. Then along came the revolutionary Ford Taurus, and the rest is history. For 2016, this full-size, 5-passenger quasi-luxury sedan is in its zillionth generation, and it’s starting to show its age, but the Taurus remains the automaker’s flagship 4-door family offering. Loaded with creature comforts, packed with power, and retaining at least a modicum of its revolutionary styling cues, the Taurus enters the upcoming model year in a dogfight once again with Chevy’s inspired Impala, Chrysler’s classic 300, and Toyota’s elegant Avalon for America’s full-size sedan dollar.
The 2016 Taurus again comes in 4 trims: the base SE, the up-featured SEL, the posh Limited, and the muscular Taurus SHO. All trims remain offered with standard front-wheel drive (FWD), with the SEL and Limited once again eligible for available full-time all-wheel drive (AWD), and the SHO toting AWD as standard equipment. Additionally, the upcoming year’s stable remains offered with an impressive 20.1 cubic feet of trunk space.
The last time the Taurus lineup received a hefty facelift was in 2010. Then there were a few tweaks for the 2013 model year. The 2016 versions, therefore, get only minor enhancements, including a standard rear-view camera in the entry-level SE, upgraded Sync 3 voice-activated telematics, and several new exterior color choices, with all but the SHO now offered in Shadow Black, Blue Jeans, or Guard hues, and said SHO now available in either Blue Jeans, Guard, or Absolute Black.
All 2016 Taurus editions, again with the exception of the SHO, return packing a standard 3.5-liter Flex-Fuel V6 engine and a 6-speed shiftable automatic transmission. Look for 288 hp and 254 lb-ft of torque from this ethanol-capable V6, with mileage numbers in FWD versions estimated at 19 mpg city/29 highway/23 combined and AWD variants estimated at 18/26/21.
Meanwhile, a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline 4-cylinder powerplant that debuted in 2013 is again available to the Taurus SE, the FWD SEL, and the FWD Limited editions. Mated with the 6-speed shiftable automatic, this fuel-miserly forced-air I4 puts out 240 hp and 270 lb-ft of torque, to the tune of 22/32/26.
The SHO returns boasting a 365-hp 3.5-liter turbocharged V6 that’s good for 350 lb-ft of torque under the management of the 6-speed shiftable automatic gearbox, which sports steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters. Mileage-wise, the performance-oriented, AWD-only SHO is estimated to get 17/25/20.
Standard appearance features aboard the various 2016 Taurus trims include 17-, 18-, or 19-inch alloy wheels, remote engine start, and heated power-adjustable mirrors, with the SHO additionally toting a standard rear spoiler.
Inside, and depending on the trim selected, expect cloth or leather-trimmed upholstery, heated and ventilated power-adjustable front seats, keyless entry and ignition, full power accessories, cruise control, and telescoping tilt-wheel steering. As noted, all trims now sport a standard rear-view camera, with higher trims also boasting rear parking sensors, dual-zone automatic climate control, memory for driver's settings, and power-adjustable pedals.
Tech-wise, all 2016 Taurus variations get the newly enhanced, Bluetooth-integrated Sync 3 voice-activated infotainment update, with lower-level editions again sporting a CD/MP3 player, 6 speakers, and an Auxiliary audio input, and higher-echelon trims adding satellite radio. Additionally, the Limited and the SHO sport a standard SD card reader and an extra speaker.
The 2016 Taurus SHO adds standard sport-tuned suspension, steering, and brake parts to all of the above, as well as upgraded leather upholstery, aluminum pedals, and unique interior and exterior styling cues.
Of course, lower Taurus trims offer as optional equipment many of the items that come standard aboard higher trims for 2016. Further standalone trim-dependent options include 20-inch alloy wheels, a power sunroof, and GPS navigation, as well as the returning Driver Assist package, boasting adaptive cruise control, frontal collision warnings, lane-keeping assistance, and automated parallel-parking assistance. Furthermore, the 2016 Taurus SHO returns eligible for an optional upgrade to the sport-tuned suspension and an enhanced final-drive feature for even quicker acceleration.
Standard safety equipment in all 2016 Taurus iterations includes 4-wheel antilock brakes (ABS), traction and stability control, front side-mounted airbags, front and rear head-protection airbags, a post-collision safety system, and Sync 3-interfaced emergency alerts and communications. Again, the SEL and higher trims additionally sport a remote antitheft alarm, with the SHO tacking standard high-intensity-discharge headlights onto its list of standard safety stuff. Finally, blind-spot monitoring is available for all trims.
The government gives the 2015 Taurus its best 5-star rating overall, while the insurance industry also awards its best score of Good to this classy sedan in all tests except ease of use for the rear child-seat anchoring system (LATCH), which gets a second-best Acceptable rating.
While owners of the various 2015 Taurus trims still bemoan its lack of cabin room, not to mention the less-than-appealing agility of all editions but the SHO, along with its somewhat dated profile, they are quick to point out that the huge trunk, the turbocharged I4’s fuel efficiency, and the available AWD configuration make up for many of these perceived shortcomings.
Have Laptop. Will Travel. I'm retired and travelling the country in a 34' motor home. I'm really digging meeting people . . and sometimes their cars . . . getting a sense of what makes this nation tick. The plan is to visit all the national parks in the continental US, then cruise to Alaska to visit Denali, and to Hawaii to check out Haleakala and the Hawaii Volcano's national parks. Anyhow, when I'm not horsing the motor home around the roadways, I'm tooting around in the 2012 Ford Focus that we tow behind, or making runs to Home Depot and various malls with the 2004 F-150 that just won't die.
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