Road test: the Ford Taurus Titanium Plus is a spacious cruiser that holds its own against rivals

The Taurus delivers everything you’d expect of a luxury sedan, at a starting price of Dh122,745

The clean lines, hexagonal grille and swept-back headlights of the Ford Taurus are reminiscent of the Audi A6
The clean lines, hexagonal grille and swept-back headlights of the Ford Taurus are reminiscent of the Audi A6

There was a time when Ford’s American arm gave us gargantuan sedans such as the Galaxie – an expansive vehicle that deserved its own postcode – but in recent years, the blue oval brand has shifted its focus to crossovers and SUVs.

One consequence of this is that the Taurus sedan has been farmed out to China, with the seventh-generation vehicle we’re reviewing here built by Changan Ford at its Hangzhou facility. It may wear Taurus badges, but this is a very different car to its American predecessors. It was developed in conjunction with Ford Australia, and is underpinned by a Ford CD4 platform that’s shared with the likes of the Mondeo, Edge and Lincoln Continental.

Hospitable ambience

Some visual cues are carried over from the previous Taurus, but the newbie – which launched in the UAE at the end of last year – has a distinctly Audi-esque presence.

The clean lines, hexagonal grille and swept-back headlights are reminiscent of the Audi A6, and the Ford’s profile and derriere also have strong hints of the German sedan. The visually understated Taurus is hardly likely to turn heads, but it’s handsome enough in a slightly anonymous way.

The rear seats have as much legroom as a Mercedes S-Class or BMW 7 Series 
The rear seats have as much legroom as a Mercedes S-Class or BMW 7 Series.

The range starts at Dh122,745 ($33,422) for the entry-level Taurus Ambiente and rises to Dh150,045 for the fully loaded Taurus Titanium Plus we’re testing. There’s a 10 per cent cashback promotion currently on at the Dubai Ford dealership.

The Taurus is a whisker under five metres long, but its wheelbase stretches almost three metres, which means there’s virtually as much legroom in the back as you’d find in a Mercedes S-Class or BMW 7 Series, both of which are significantly larger vehicles.

Unlike the Teutonic limos, the Taurus has bread-and-butter origins, and this is evident in the mass-market switchgear and hard plastic used for various trim elements in the cabin. Overall, though, the interior has a hospitable ambience, with our test car sporting an attractive tan and black upholstery combination.

Generous output

The Taurus is fitted with a 2.0-litre EcoBoost engine for outputs of 240hp and 390Nm
The Taurus is fitted with a 2.0-litre turbo motor.

Propulsion comes from a 2.0-litre EcoBoost (Ford speak for turbo) engine that ekes out 240 horsepower and 390Nm, which are generous outputs for an engine of this size. Drive is sent to the front wheels by an eight-speed auto, but it’s programmed for early upshifts in the chase for fuel economy. This means you need to really mash the throttle to get the best out of the turbo motor.

Curiously, the throttle pedal is nestled right at the edge of the footwell, so your foot can get fouled by the centre tunnel while trying to accelerate (mine did repeatedly, and I don’t even have big feet).

This minor gripe aside, the Taurus delivers everything you’d expect of a luxe sedan. The torque-laden engine serves up lots of grunt, and it cruises in relative silence and refinement. Speed humps and other road-surface imperfections are comfortably soaked up, yet there’s a respectable level of tautness even if you throw it through a series of corners with a bit of vigour.

Loaded with goodies

The rear seats have ample sprawling space even for taller adults, and the 534-litre boot is capable of swallowing two or three large suitcases. The Titanium Plus test car is loaded with goodies such as a 14-speaker Bang and Olufsen premium audio, tri-zone climate control, heated and cooled reclining rear seats, adaptive cruise control and Active Park Assist, which self-parks the car in parallel or perpendicular spots.

The Titanium Plus model has a 14-speaker Bang and Olufsen system, adaptive cruise control and a self-park function 
The Titanium Plus model has a 14-speaker Bang and Olufsen system, adaptive cruise control and a self-park function.

The Taurus has hardly been a stellar sales performer in our market, but the new Chinese-built iteration is a capable and well-screwed-together car that certainly warrants a look if you’re in the hunt for a capacious sedan.

The Ford’s cavernous rear compartment and boot, plus its ease of entry/egress, may even prompt you to consider it in lieu of a mid-size crossover as it can fulfil most of the same functions.

Updated: March 1, 2021 11:25 AM

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