Sunday, December 20, 2009;
The bottom line: Ford is finding its way back to the hearts of car lovers. The Taurus SHO, an all-around excellent piece of automotive work, competitive on all levels with everything in its class, and actually better in many cases, is proof. But is it too much to ask that desirable increases in car quality be given to us without sizable increases in cost?
Complaint: This one comes from the Bureau of Wanting Everything. Increased acceleration and superior handling are nice. But can we get them with increased fuel economy and decreased purchase cost?
Ride, acceleration and handling: Ride and acceleration are excellent. Handling is among best in class. Driving this one is pure joy.
Head-turning quotient: The 2010 Taurus SHO and its siblings retain much of the boxy rear end of the predecessor Ford 500 sedan. But the severe linearity of the old has been relieved and rendered attractive by the clever, sleek front-end sculpting of the new. Also, thumbs up to the designers who developed the grille for the new Taurus line. It's pleasantly distinctive.
Body style/layout: The 2010 Taurus SHO is a full-size, front-engine, all-wheel-drive, high-performance family sedan. Other Taurus models are front-wheel-drive.
Engine/Transmission: The new Taurus SHO comes with a 3.5-liter, 24-valve, twin-turbocharged (thus, all of that extra forced air) V-6 engine that develops 365 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and 250 foot-pounds of torque at 3,500 rpm. The engine is linked to a six-speed transmission that can be shifted automatically or manually.
Capacities: There are seats for five people. Trunk capacity is generous at 20.1 cubic feet. The Taurus SHO can be equipped to tow a trailer weighing 1,000 pounds. The fuel tank holds 19 gallons of premium gasoline.
Safety: Standard equipment includes front/rear solid disc brakes with antilock protection, electronic stability and traction control, electronic brake force distribution, side and head air bags.
Price: The base price on the 2010 Taurus SHO is $37,770. Dealer's invoice price on base model is $34,583. Price as tested is $45,080, including $6,485 in options and a $825 destination charge. Dealer's price as tested is $41,051. A $1,000 consumer's rebate is available at this writing. Prices are sourced from Ford, Edmunds.com and Cars.com, and Cars.com, an affiliate of The Washington Post.