Ford completely revamped its Taurus sedan for the 2010 model year, and released a SHO version at the same time. The Taurus SHO is powered by a twin turbo engine and gets a sport suspension with all-wheel-drive.
The SHO badge on a Taurus stands for Super High Output. For the 2010 Taurus SHO, Ford also adds EcoBoost to the badge, signifying the new power plant in this car.
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Ford beat the economic collapse by revamping its car designs earlier this decade. The Taurus came through a slight identity crisis in the 2007 and 2008 model years to emerge as this completely redesigned sedan.
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The new Taurus SHO is a beefy-looking sedan. It takes the three bar grille that Ford set out as a design signature and adds a few notched bars to give it a performance look. Ford has also gone high-tech with the headlights, using a new automatic high-beam system that works well.
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One key element distinguishing the SHO from the standard Taurus is this power plant, a direct injection 3.5-liter V-6 fitted with two low pressure turbochargers.
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We found the high sides of the Taurus SHO to somewhat impede visibility around the car, making it difficult to get a sense of the space it occupies. However, it is quite comfortable inside, with large rear seats.
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The SHO version is fitted with a unique suspension. It didn't seem to hurt ride quality much, and it kept the car from wallowing during fast cornering.
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Appropriate for a big sedan, the trunk of the Taurus SHO is massive, and would easily fit luggage for four people.
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The fit and finish of the interior is very good, and better yet was the noise and vibration engineering, which really ends up insulating the occupants from the outside world.
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The Taurus SHO uses an electric power steering unit, which helps save gas by creating less of a draw on the engine.
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The gauges have a clean look, although we would have preferred some white background gauges to enhance the idea of performance.
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The only transmission available is a six-speed-automatic with drive and manual modes. When pressed, it does a good job of holding revs right up to redline.
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For the transmission's manual mode, these paddle shifters let you move through the gears sequentially. The shifts are fast, although the gear ratios leave something to be desired.
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Blind spot warning technology, lifted from Volvo, shows a warning light in the side view mirror when there is a car in the blind spot.
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The rearview camera has distance lines overlaid on it, but no trajectory lines.
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The navigation system reads out street names when giving route guidance and offers to detour around traffic jams.
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When the audio system recognizes a CD with its Gracenote database, it shows a thumbnail of the cover on the car's LCD, along with complete track information. You can rip the CD to the car's hard drive.
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A USB port in the console lets you hook up USB drives or almost any MP3 Player. You can access the MP3 player's library on the car's LCD.
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This is an album list from an attached iPhone.
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Sony provides a premium audio system featuring 12 speakers and 390 watts of power.
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Sync lets you pair just about any Bluetooth phone with the car, letting you dial by touch screen or just by saying the name of anyone in your phone's contact list.