MPG-o-Matic 2010 Ford Taurus AWD Review Summary: Once the most popular car in America, the Taurus has triumphantly returned to the Ford lineup. While the new model’s striking looks, comfortable ride and ample amenities are sure to turn heads and lure new owners, the Taurus has moved significantly up market. The 2010 Taurus Limited AWD is a roomy choice for folks downsizing into a sedan from less-efficient full-size SUVs.
The 2010 Taurus Limited AWD is fitted with a 3.5-liter V6 engine that delivers 263 horsepower (HP) and 249 foot pounds of torque, mated to a six-speed automatic overdrive transmission. (By comparison, the Taurus SHO is equipped with a Twin-Turbocharged EcoBoost 3.5-liter V6 that produces 365 HP and 350 foot pounds of torque.)
The EPA’s fuel economy estimates for the 3.5-liter Ford Taurus Limited AWD are 17 city / 25 highway miles per gallon (MPG). (The AWD Ford Taurus SHO is rated at a similar 17 city/ 25 highway, while the FWD Ford Taurus is rated at 18 city / 28 highway.)
We traveled more than four hundred miles in our Red Candy Metallic tinted review unit, scoring an average of 26.6 MPG on the Interstate highway and 18.9 MPG combined.
Overall test period temperatures ranged from the low-thirties through the low-sixties. Interstate highway testing temperatures were in the low-fifties, with wind gusts in the twenty-to-thirty mile per hour (MPH) range. The test vehicle was equipped with 19-inch aluminum chrome-clad wheels clad with Goodyear P255/45Rx19 tires and was delivered with slightly over 2000 miles on the odometer. (We’d expect fuel economy to improve a bit as the engine is broken in.)
Interstate Mileage Testing:
- Adaptive cruise control set to 68 MPH, A/C off, heat on, drivers seat heater on, windows up: 25.9 MPG
- Cruise control off, target speed 60-72 MPH, A/C off, heat on, drivers seat heater on, windows up: 27.3 MPG
The 2010 Taurus Limited AWD is equipped with a 19 gallon fuel tank. 87-octane regular unleaded gasoline is recommended. Towing capacity is limited to 1,000 pounds.
The naturally-aspirated 3.5-liter V6 moves the Taurus Limited AWD’s 4,224 pounds (curb weight) off the line with ease.
The Taurus’ central display provides two trip meters, miles to empty, average miles per gallon, and real-time fuel economy. As always, we recommend driving with the real-time fuel economy display active, to help develop a light-footed driving style.
The Taurus handles with reassurance, as it delivers an exceptionally smooth and quiet ride. The all-wheel-drive system is fully automatic and is optional on the SEL and Limited and standard on the SHO.
The optional Adaptive Cruise Control system uses forward radar sensors to detect slower moving vehicles and automatically reduces the speed of the Taurus to accommodate a pre-set following distance. The Collision Warning system provides audible and visual warnings, along with brake support that includes pre-charging and automatic braking to avoid potential accidents.
Rearward visibility is aided through technology. The Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) works on the highway as well as in parking lots. When radar sensors at the corners of the rear bumper identify an oncoming vehicle, an indicator lights up on the corresponding outside mirror.
A rear view camera is available. Video is displayed on the interior rear view mirror or on the navigation screen (if so equipped).
The interior of the Taurus is welcoming, roomy, and well-designed for driver and passengers alike.
The front seat provides 39 inches of head room, 41.9 inches of leg room, 57.9 inches of shoulder room, and 56.3 inches of hip room.
Ten-way power driver and passenger bucket seats provide adjustable lumbar support and driver memory.
The Multi-Contour option provide subtle massage for the front bucket seats. The seat back provides a gentle rolling lumbar massage, while the bottom cushion delivers “active-motion” to alleviate driver fatigue.
Our test vehicle was equipped with the Rapid Spec 303A option package, which includes heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, rear window power sunshade, blind spot monitoring, push-button start, rain-sensing wipers, adjustable pedals, automatic high beams, and a twelve-speaker Sony audio system.
The leather-wrapped, wood-accented steering wheel delivers reassuring heft and controls for cruise control and the Microsoft Sync system.
Sync greatly benefits from the visual expanse of the voice navigation package.
The Taurus provides three 12-volt power outlets in the cabin: one at the base of the dash, one inside the center console, and one at the back of the center console.
There’s plenty of room for rear seat passengers, with 37.8 inches of head room, 38.1 inches of leg room, 56.9 inches of shoulder room, and 55.8 inches of hip room.
The trunk provides generous storage area, with 20.1 cubic feet of storage with the rear seats up and plenty of room for larger items with the 60/40 rear seats folded down.
One caveat: We had a somewhat difficult time getting in and out of the driveway without scraping the front air dam of the Taurus. While one might expect this from a low-slung sports car, it was unexpected coming from a full-size sedan.
All-in-all, the 2010 Ford Taurus Limited AWD marks a renaissance for the big American sedan, as it delivers a wonderfully quiet, smooth, and comfortable ride. While mileage in any AWD vehicle takes a hit when compared to its two-wheel-drive version, the Taurus is quite likely to attract folks downsizing from far less fuel-efficient full-size SUVs. An abundance of technology woven into a stylish and thoughtfully designed package ensure its success.
Parts Content Info
Final Assembly Point:
Chicago, Illinois Assembly Plant
Country of Origin:
Engine – Lima, Ohio Engine Plant
Transmission – Van Dyke Transmission Plan, Sterling Heights, Michigan
– by Daniel Gray
March 28th, 2010
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