Turbo Taurus is tops in fuel mileage
Don't expect to find a four-cylinder engine in a big, roomy, 17-foot-long sedan?
You're not alone. These big, four-door cars traditionally have V-6s, with choice of optional V-8s.
But in the interest of fuel economy, Ford is turning tradition on its head.
For 2013, the automaker's full-size and attractively restyled Taurus includes an optional, turbocharged, EcoBoost four cylinder that capably and impressively delivers 240 horsepower and 270 foot-pounds of torque.
This turbo four cylinder, which also is direct injected, makes the Taurus the most fuel-efficient, gasoline-powered, non-hybrid, 2013 full-size sedan in the United States.
The federal government fuel economy rating for this model is 22 miles per gallon in city driving and 32 mpg on the highway, with an estimated range of nearly 450 miles on a single tank of regular gasoline.
This mileage rating rivals the pricier, 2013 Mercedes-Benz E350 Bluetec, which uses diesel fuel and is a smaller-size sedan than the Taurus.
Also noteworthy: The 2013 Taurus earned across-the-board, five out of five stars for occupant protection in the government's frontal and side crash tests.
Starting manufacturer's suggested retail price, including destination charge, is $27,495 for a front-wheel drive, 2013 Taurus with the base engine, which is a 3.5-liter V-6 that generates 288 horsepower.
The lowest starting retail price of a Taurus with the EcoBoost four cylinder is $28,490.
And the lowest starting MSRP, including destination charge, for an all-wheel drive, 2013 Taurus is $31,545.
The EcoBoost four cylinder is not available with all-wheel drive.
All 2013 Tauruses come with six-speed automatic transmissions, though the transmission mated to the EcoBoost motor is different than the one used with the V-6.
And yes, there is a performance-oriented Taurus SHO model in 2013. It starts at $40,095. In contrast to SHO models from the past that had V-8s, the 2013 Taurus SHO comes only with a 365-horsepower, twin-turbocharged, EcoBoost V-6 and six-speed automatic.
Competitors to the Taurus include other mainstream full-size sedans, such as the front-wheel drive, 2013 Chevrolet Impala, whose starting MSRP, including destination charge, is $26,685.
The Impala comes with a 300-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6 and automatic transmission and is rated by the government at 18/30 mpg.
Meantime, the 2013 Chrysler 300 large, rear-wheel drive sedan has a starting retail price of $30,990 with 292-horsepower V-6 and eight-speed automatic. Its government fuel economy rating is 19/31 mpg.
The 2013 Taurus is restyled on the outside, with new grille, lights, trunk lid, rear fenders and wheels updating the car with a fresh, more upscale appearance. But the new look doesn't quite bring the Taurus to the same sporty styling "face" that the Ford Fusion, Focus and Fiesta have.
Inside, cheap-looking plastic from the predecessor Taurus is replaced by nicer-looking, textured plastic. And every Taurus comes standard with interior ceiling fabric that's made from recycled material and seat foam that is made from a soy-based rubber.
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