Ford Taurus

American journalists describe this car as a revolution. They regard its oval looks, powerful Duratec engine, rigidity, handling and quality are big steps forward over contemporary American sedans. As I am not American, nor European, nor Japanese, I believe I can make an objective judgement on this car. Here in Hong Kong, Taurus is the only US-built car available in the market. After reading several test reports from different local magazines, I found Taurus is not as remarkable as the American said.  

The worst aspect of Taurus is the body control - it rolls a lot in tight corners. Curiously, the suspension spec is very promising : Double wishbones in all wheels. However, soft setting should responsible for the excessive roll. Bulky to handle is another short-coming. Taurus is too long and too heavy to be a nimble car, although engineers had put some effort to improve this.  

In terms of space, Taurus offers sufficient space in front and rear, but not remarkable enough when you consider its size. It is actually bigger than Scorpio of European Ford in external dimensions, but usable space is less. Obviously, Ford sacrifice this in exchange of a fashionable oval shape.  

Its styling are exaggerate - you'll either love it or hate it. To me, I have no complaint about it. Anyway, please don't say it is the best looking sedan. Go to see Peugeot 406 and you'll know what is stylish, and without sacrificing practicality.  

Finally, I do appreciate its Duratec V6. Powerful and reliable make it the best Detroit V6 offering, accompanied with its 2.5 litres brother. It is no world beater - Nissan VQ6, Mercedes V6, BMW Straight 6 and Alfa's V6 are, but it is enough to beat its main competitors. 

Report created before 16 Feb 99. Last updated before 16 Feb 99. All Rights Reserved.


Taurus SHO

The second generation SHO is once again installed with a Yamaha-developed engine, but this time is an "Ultra-small block" V8 with 3392c.c.. Like the Duratec engine, the V8 has 4 valves per cylinder and variable length induction manifolds to obtain a wide spread of torque. Accompanies with the stiffened suspensions, quicker steering and a little bit more exotic looks, you may expect it to be a hot performer. 

No, it's not as hot as its predecessor. Firstly, 235hp and 230lbft is by no means up to one's expectation for a V8. Secondly, compulsory Automatic gearbox kills a second from 0-60 and also kills driving excitement. Thirdly, once again the big body restricts its handling.  

Think again, Taurus SHO is a lot cheaper than those european sports sedan like Mercedes C43 and Volvo S70 T5, and it is as easy to drive as an ordinary Taurus. So why can't we see it as an ordinary sedan with a little bit sporting character ?  

Report created before 16 Feb 99. Last updated before 16 Feb 99. All Rights Reserved.

Ford Taurus 3.0
Ford Taurus SHO
Front-engined, Fwd
Front-engined, Fwd
V6, dohc, 4v/cyl, 
variable induction
V8, dohc, 4v/cyl, 
variable induction
2967 c.c.
3392 c.c.
200 hp
235 hp
200 lbft
230 lbft
1537 kg
1508 kg
Top speed
8.9 sec*
7.4 sec*
* Tested by Road & Track

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