Tuned muscle in a family sedan.
The Ford Taurus is a nice, good old fashioned American family sedan that comes with a decent V6 and is an all round good bet when it comes to safety, fuel consumption and general performance. The SHO variant adds a lot of oomph to the whole package, making it fun for a thrill seeking driver, and so today we look at one of America’s most famous sporty family sedan.
The latest iteration of the Ford Taurus SHO brings with it some nice little touchups compared to the original SHO from two years ago, as well as the regular Ford Taurus. The most obvious change is the large black mesh grill up front with blackened headlamps.
Then there is, of course, the SHO branding on the sides and the rear boot lid, in addition to the dual chrome-tipped tailpipes. Other than that there’s not much that distinguishes the SHO from the regular Taurus, which I guess is a good thing. A family sedan shouldn’t be absurdly flashy about its performance.
One thing I’d like to mention is that the Taurus SHO looks rather tall, and not just because of the 20-inch rims that come with it. I felt like I was riding an SUV when driving next to smaller sized sedans and especially sports cars, while driving next to proper SUVs I didn’t feel “short”. It was quite a surreal experience the first few times I drove it, but something I got used to soon, and indeed appreciated the elevated position later on.
Inside the 2013 Taurus SHO gives a very welcoming feel; the thick ventilated suede seats with leather trim giving a rather cosy feeling. Indeed once you sit inside the Taurus SHO, especially the back seats; you can feel the comfortable spacing and appreciate the generously sized seats.
When it comes to tech, as well as driver assisted safety features, the Taurus SHO has pretty much everything you can wish for. Adaptive cruise control with 3-stage spacing (to determine how far out the car in front of you is before automatic brakes are applied), blind-side warning indicators on side mirrors and parallel park assist.
Another cool safety feature is the Collision Warning system which basically detects that if the car in front of you is too close, bright red LEDs will flash in your line of sight on the windshield (basically a HUD) with loud beeping. Additionally the brakes themselves will be “ready” so that as soon as you touch the brake-pedal the full braking system is applied instantly.
Coming back to the tech side of things, the MyFord Touch powered by Microsoft’s SYNC system is the main entertainment highlight. It’s definitely one of the most easiest in-car entertainment systems I’ve used, but definitely not as fast what you’d find in a VW or a Toyota. While the main system doesn’t lag, the slow transition between menus is cleverly hidden by slowly fade in/out effects.
The 12.2 speaker system with 390 watts of power coming out is very nicely balanced for a great audio experience, made especially better with the strong noise reduction inside. The buttons are all touch based, with most frequently used functions easily accessible.
As usual, Ford does an excellent job with their interior ambient lighting system. However, keep in mind that the backlight in all the buttons will remain cyan regardless of what the ambient light you choose, and depending on your choice of colors the matchup could be very contrasting.
This is the primary reason for buying the Taurus SHO over the regular Ford Taurus, to have a great driving experience. The 2013 Ford Taurus SHO is powered by a 3.5-liter twin turbo V6 that makes 365hp @ 5,500RPM and 475Nm torque @ 1,500 – 5,250RPM propelling the nearly 2-ton vehicle form 0 to 100kmph in 5.5 seconds.
Of course, the safety features and comfy interior aren’t the only thing weighing down the SHO, there’s an impressive all-wheel drive system as well, which along with their Torque Vectoring system, gives the SHO some impressive cornering abilities.
At the end of the day, however, going around fast corners isn’t what you’ll be doing the Ford Taurus SHO, and as such, Ford’s twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V6 provides some decent fuel economy with exceptional power delivery along the RPM curve as torque is delivered in the right quantity at the right time. There’s practically no turbo lag, something that’s very noticeable on VW/ Audi turbocharged engines. Whereas is most German and Japanese cars I still feel the need to go into the Sports mode quiet often, Ford’s EcoBoost engine was perfectly fine in the normal driving position, regardless of whether I needed a little nudge in traffic or a powerful boost for highway overtaking.
And so one of the best parts about the Taurus SHO is that there’s no feeling of the ‘turbo kicking in’; the torque feels like it’s being delivered in a naturally aspirated V8. Even the sound coming inside, whether you’re pushing on the gas lightly or just outright flooring it, is beautiful to the ears.
The only thing not working in favor of the 2013 Ford Taurus SHO is the price tag, which at AED 180K will make people deviate towards some popular German variants. That said, there’s practically nothing form the competition that can match the Taurus SHO’s size, safety, comfort and performance at the price point.