My first impression when I began seeing images of the new SHO was, “That’s a great looking American car!” The chrome and satin front grill along with the wrap-around horizontal headlights complement the blunt nose of the Taurus with the lower grill opening appearing like a whale shark’s open mouth ready to devour the road. Although I love the front end of the car, the rear looks like an afterthought and doesn’t seem to fit well with the rest of the car: it just seems to slope downward rather than maintaining the contours of the rest of the car’s design. However, I do like the chrome bar with the Ford logo in the middle; it’s a nice luxurious element to split the trunk lid.
Ford’s own literature compares this to the Audi A6 and Lexus GS350, and I would also include the Chrysler 300 C AWD, Cadillac CTS 3.6L Performance AWD, and Acura TL 5-sp AT SH-AWD.
|2010 Ford Taurus SHO AWD
||$37,170||365 hp 3.5L V6||17/25||AWD||102.3 ft3|
|2010 Chrysler 300 C AWD
||$40,050||360 hp 5.7L V8
|2010 Cadillac CTS 3.6L Performance AWD
||$45,725||304 hp 3.6L V6||18/26||AWD||98.0 ft3|
|2010 Audi A6 4.2 quattro Tiptronic
||$59,150||350 hp 4.2L V8||16/23||AWD||97.9 ft3|
|2010 BMW 550i
||$60,400||360 hp 4.8L V8||15/22||RWD||99.1 ft3|
|2010 Acura TL 5-sp AT SH-AWD
||$43,385||305 hp 3.7L V6||17/25||AWD||99.5 ft3|
|2010 Infiniti M45x
||$54,650||325 hp 4.5L V8||14/20||AWD||105.2 ft3|
As you can see from the chart, the SHO has the lowest base price, highest horsepower while besting most of the passenger volumes and almost equaling the highest highway mpg figure. Keep in mind that these are the base prices, and my SHO topped $44k after its options were added, and loading packages to each of the others would easily exceed the SHO’s sticker price. For what you get, it’s a pretty good deal from strictly a price/feature comparison perspective, but the base Taurus starts at $25k, and you have to wonder if the added $19k is worth it? Personally, I think the price is a bit too high for what you get, and think a lot more SHO’s would sell at a mid-to-high $30k’s price point … after all, it’s still just a Ford Taurus albeit a “fast”one.
EcoBoost or Bust
I was definitely not disappointed driving this car for the 600-plus mile testing period. The highest praise came from my wife upon returning from our day trip when she said, “I would buy this car.” I have to agree with her, and if it was only about $10k less, it would make a far more appealing option to me. If I was to pick one thing that impressed me the most about the SHO, I’d have to choose the EcoBoost engine. It never left me wanting for more and was always there ready to rev when and if I wanted it. I could go on and on about how smooth and quiet it was, but you just have to go for a test drive to see for yourself. Another plus was the average gas mileage on our 300-mile trip: 23 mpg. Another reviewer’s personal 2000 Audi A6 (with a 4.2 liter V-8 and only 300-hp) barely makes it to the high teens. That’s pretty impressive for the EcoBoost engine. Had I driven more conservatively during the trip, I’m sure I could have easily have achieved 25-26 mpg. I applaud Ford for bringing back some excitement to one of its best-sellers and managing to make the Taurus SHO a technological showcase of engineering advancements. Who knew that Ford could make the Taurus a viable option in the performance-sedan market?
|Official website for Ford cars, hybrids, trucks, and SUVs – www.fordvehicles.com|