Owner drive: Ford Taurus 2010 in Saudi Arabia

Owner drive: Ford Taurus 2010 in Saudi Arabia


Back in 2008, Ford has released their full-size Five Hundred in the GCC, and it was a nicer alternative to the classic Crown Victoria. While it had potential, the dull exterior and interior were a let down. However, for 2010, Ford redressed the Volvo-based platform, and renamed it the Taurus. So what is the new Taurus? Just a redesigned Five Hundred? I purchased a 2010 Taurus SEL in Riyadh this summer, so let’s find out.

The first striking thing about the new Taurus, is the exterior. It’s big by all standards. Park it next to a Toyota Camry or a Honda Accord, and it looks like the Titanic. Even next to a BMW 7-Series, the Taurus doesn’t shame. I think that’s due to the height and width. At 60.7 inches tall and 76.2 inches wide, the Taurus is extremely tall and wide for a sedan, which gives it the ‘hugeness’ factor. So if you are into big sedans, this is as big as it gets. Though unlike the old Five Hundred, the Taurus is far from boring or dull.

On the inside, the bulk looks don’t translate much. Yes, it will fit five adults in comfort, but the cockpit-like dashboard, and the waterfall center console take away a lot space. In other words, this doesn’t feel as roomy as a Chevrolet Caprice. That said, the Taurus is such a nice place to be in, with thick leather padding on the steering-wheel, shifter, arm rest, and on the door panels. Personally, I think the Taurus has one of the best-looking interiors in its class, which is odd for an American car. On the other hand, some of the people I know simply hated the interior because it felt too snug, and the visibility is far from ideal. So it’s a ‘love or hate’ sort of thing. Though no one can argue about cargo space, because the Taurus easily handled the shopping trip to IKEA, and even the rear seats didn’t need to be folded.

However, the Taurus’s most appealing aspect would be technology. This is where the Taurus doesn’t disappoint, though it varies depending on which model you choose. The Taurus comes is SE, SEL, and Limited trims. In SE form, the Taurus loses a lot of its cool gizmo, but at least it comes with Bluetooth audio and Ford’s ‘give it to your teenager’ MyKey system. The SEL, which I have, adds parking sensors, auto-dimming mirrors, LED fog-lights, electric seats with heat-adjustments, dual climate control, and Microsoft’s Sync system, which lets you control the car’s media system all through voice commands, and also adds services such as voice-directed navigation; all worked well given the need to speak in clear English. In Limited, the Taurus turns into a tech ride, with added gadgets such as blind spot monitoring, cross traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, massaging front seats, touchscreen stereo and more. With all that tech comes the question on whether these effect future reliability.

In terms of reliability, there’s still nothing to be sure about as the Taurus is still too new, although the latest Fords have been scoring high on surveys. What I can tell you now though, is how it drives. Of course, to know how a car drives, always manage expectations; this is not some high-horsepower sports car. For a big family sedan, the Taurus fairs pretty well for the usual hassle, and the 263 hp 3.5-litre V6 can move the 2-ton Taurus nicely. It isn’t supposed to win any drag races, but if you really want to know, the Taurus will hit 100 kph in 7.5 seconds. Of course, if that is too slow for your taste, there’s always the turbocharged SHO model, but that car isn’t in the Middle East yet. To enjoy the Taurus to its fullest potential, it should be driven on the open highway. For a road-trip vehicle, where the car should be comfortable, quiet, stable, efficient, and powerful enough, the Taurus certainly delivers top marks. At highway speeds, the double-layered glass and speed-sensitive steering do their job quite well, therefore the Taurus is astonishingly quiet and stable down the road. In terms of power and efficiency, the V6 is hooked up to a quick-downshifting 6-speed automatic. So not only does the transmission help with overtaking (some people even thought it was a dual-clutch automanual when downshifting), but it improves fuel-economy over the Five Hundred, at a combined average as low as 11 litres/100 km at times.

Comfort wise, the Taurus really feels more like a luxury car, rather than an inexpensive family sedan, thanks to its sophisticated suspension setup. On city roads, the Taurus doesn’t like to be jammed in traffic, as the large C-pillars and high rear-end create a blind-spot that will hinder your movement to get out of Saudi Arabia’s unbelievable traffic jams as quickly as possible.

In short, the new Taurus is a big family sedan, with a stylish exterior, quality interior, technology that will put its competitor into crying shame, and makes the highway its driving home. There is margin for improvement, but as it appears, the Taurus is taking its first steps into luxury driving. Therefore, if your primary goal is a very high-tech car that feels luxurious in its stability and quietness, and you don’t care about the badge, the new Ford Taurus is going to work out pretty great.

Photos by Zeyad Haj Bakri

For more information, visit the Ford Taurus buyer guide.

What do you think?

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Comments

  1. Great looking car and technology mix, even with the poor visibility. The lines & behemoth size remind me of my own Charger. Interior resembles a a cockpit. This thing chews up the Caprice & Avalon in looks. The 0-100 time of 7.5s is quite good for a 2ton car.

  2. I would love to upgrade to this from my mondeo if I had the cash that is… -_-

  3. a decent review… Well done!

  4. Well you gotta love the tech options that are available on the Taurus like BLIS… Blind Spot Information System with Cross Traffic Alert…
    http://media.ford.com/pdf/Drive_smart_existtec.pdf

  5. quite neat design and very mich in line with the new explorer (similar front).

    saw it already various times in dubai and abu dhabi.

    any news on the exact laucnh date of the new explorer?

    thx,
    marc

  6. ^the middle east market doesnt get those techs

  7. Mashfique Hussain Chowdhury

    ^That Ford safety tech actually first became available with the Taurus here 🙂

  8. Mabrouk Mash! welcome into the Taurus / 500 users world. I myself have as you know a 2008 500 and the only blame for it’s sh8y long term reliability is on the garage as if there is any problem, they just fix the most visible effect without trying to look into what made the fail happen. In terms of space, driving, price and gagetry i forever be in love with it. Beying jobless now makes me stay put, but as soon as i will get my thing back on track, i will definetelly ubgrade for the new taurus. Drives splendidly and looks awesome. please keep us/me posted with the long term reliability! maybe we can meet sometimes and have some gossip about it, and why not? as there’s a Mustang fan club, why don’t we go for a Taurus fan club? i know few ppl that own this car and ALL of them are in love with it. mashallah!!!

  9. @Ciprian: It’s actually my car, and I’ve written the review.

    Hope you all liked it 🙂

  10. 🙁 sorry akhi! my bad!! Haven’t read the name of the writer! i appologise! Though what i said is for you, feel free to contact me to chat abt the cars and you can drive mine (as i drove the new one) so you can feel how is it afte 2 years and 52K km.
    Peace!

  11. Mashfique Hussain Chowdhury

    Haha!

  12. i think 2011 SHO will appear in the GCC at 130-140k cuz the local dealers website and the manufacturers middle east website both carry the details of SHO

  13. @Shafiq: Well, I’ve heard through some guys at Ford Saudi Arabia, that they’ll bring the SHO in limited numbers, for around 160,000 Riyals.

  14. Good detailed review Zeyad and thats a great looking car inside out.
    Would you happen to know the warranty details that our local dealer is offering for this car?

  15. @Asad A.: Well, when I got last summer, they offered a 3-year warranty, with full service. I guess it’s still the same.

  16. Dear Zeyad,
    thx for the nice review.. I’m actually planing to get one my self, but i would like to know from you is the SEL have cruise control or just the SHO? cuz after checking the details on the website they only mention it on the SHO.
    can you plz update me on that?
    regards,
    Firas

  17. Hi Zeyad,
    Really thanks for your pro report.
    My question, how much is the price for each model?

    Regards,

  18. @Mash
    Hey Mashy, could you kindly contact Zeyad to give us an update on the vehicle. Any additional maintenance works etc.?!

    Many Thanks

  19. Congrats… It seriously a class leader this car… I find it more genuine and original than most of the saloons in the market… Nice Mustang-ish dashboard. Is the interior soft touch plastic for the most? or they cheaped out on it???

    • I test drove the Taurus yesterday, the interior is mostly soft touch synthetic leather. If you look at the 7th picture the small areas on either sides of the central console (where the key slot and button sit) is hard plastic only.

      The car is very well built and loaded with gadgets, no.1 and no.2 option cars both come with a pair of dvd players with lcd displays in the front seat headrests. No.1 car comes with an advanced navigation touch screen system which doesnt look outdated like in the Nissan or the Infinity.

      Theve done a good job with engine refinement and the interior is spacious and plush. The enormous trunk size has to be seen.

      I even tested the Nissan Maxima yesterday which actually disappointed me. Engine refinement was poor, there was wheel noise (owing to the low profiles) and I personally didnt like the CVT transmission.

      Although it seems well built, I was only worried about so many electronic gadgets and tech in the vehicle which in time I feel might start giving problems but if Zeyad would be kind enough to give us an update, that should clear a query or two.

    • Isnt there an entry model?

  20. Hello everyone 🙂

    Thank you very much for your kind comments on the review. It means a lot.

    @ Firas: The SEL model does come with Cruise Control, but Limited and SHO models come with Adaptive Cruise Control, which will slow down by itself if there’s another car ahead.

    @ Hussain: The Taurus in Saudi Arabia starts at around 90,000 Saudi Riyals in SE model. I got the FWD SEL model in Ramadan’s sale, so it cost me 92,250 Riyals, but now I think the SEL is around 95,000 Riyals. The AWD option is SEL adds 7,000 Riyals.

    @ Asad A.: To be honest with you, I can’t add much in-terms of maintenance. Ford services their cars every 8,000 km, and my Taurus has done about 6,000 km, and it is still running pretty nicely, and no issues at all 🙂 Visibility in the Taurus was a serious issue at first, but now I’ve gotten use to it.

    @ ROJ: The interior is nice indeed. I would say 90% of the plastics are soft-touch, but as Asad said, the sides on the central console are hard plastics, but you don’t actually touch them. Touch points such as the steering-wheel, shifter feel very good. Trust me, the interior won’t disappoint you 🙂 The Taurus’ base model comes in SE.

  21. here in UAE:

    SE – 84K
    SEL – 115K
    LIMITED – 130K
    LIMITED + SAT NAV + BLIS + CTA – 140K

  22. i test drove the taurus limited and i must say..the car felt very strong but heavy, interiors very very pleasant and comfortable, seats were cushy and hold you in place, visibility is an issue.
    the acceleration was quite slow as ‘only’ 263 horses push the heavy 2 tonner and maybe lacks in initial torque which is important for a heavy vehicle liek this.
    i also saw the Lincoln MKS which is the ultra luxury version of the Taurus for 155k and i must say..its every penny worth over the Taurus in terms of fit, finish, engine power, looks, tech, and available options.

    anyone seen the MKS here?

  23. When you look at what ford taurus is offering it is seems like a bargin

    – Honda accord base model = 84k
    – Toyota Camry = 82 or 83k

    the base model seems to be the one to go for,,the top line at 14ok you are challanging the avalons.. sorry ford toyota wins there

    • I agree with Anil below, driven the New Avalon, Taurus is suprisingly far better. You need to test the car yourself to see what you’ve been missing out on. For 140k, your getting a lot more in every aspect.

      On the otherhand, I personally didnt find the Lincoln MKS all that appealing.

    • Prado must have meant about the depreciation factor…otherwise, Taurus has the edge….

  24. been seeing a few tauruses around …mostly base models…

  25. ^^ accord base is now 90k.

    and as far as the total package goes..avalon is no match to taurus

  26. @anil

    thanks for update.. the last time i checked it was 84k… they seem to jacked the prices….

    @vivk

    Agree at 140k tarus has more toys… by at 140k it seems pricey.. and little more u can buy a Tahoe for 150k or base model v6 prado…

    depreciation is 2 high at that price. however at 84k the price just right. my experince tells me the less toys the better. later on they have issues of reliability that can expensive to maintain.

  27. prado – accord 2011 prices for base – 90k, mid – 100k and top – 107k for the 2.4, 120k mid and 125k top for the 3.5 and these are not including the nav package which adds another 10k – 12k on top of the top range prices. at this rate, the taurus looks a much much better deal looking at the features and tech included along with the appeal of a completely new design and appeal of the taurus.

    now, i dont understand how can one compare a sedan with a suv..its like comparing a horse to an elephant. why would someone look at SUVs when you are looking for a sedan, compare a sedan to a sedan and a SUV to a SUV.
    depreciation factor does come into picture with american cars famous for a big decline in prices but if you compare engine to engine, feature to feature over a long period..say 5-6 years, you really dont worry about depreciation and this point has been emphasised a zillion times in previous posts.

    • add to it Ford’s optional 5yrs/120k kms warranty and service+maintenance contract…should keep one tension free for quite a long time..

  28. Hey guys 🙂

    Well to be honest with you Anil, before getting the Taurus, I wasn’t really considering American cars. I’ve checked the Accord, Camry & Aurion, Mazda 6, and even Subaru Legacy.

    The Accord didn’t seem like all that bad, since my brother has an ’06 Accord and is running great. Sadly the prices are way too high, specially that 90,000 Riyals will get you the 2.4-liter engine, and not that much features. 90,000 Riyals is priced for the Honda badge. And V6-powered Accords are way out of budget.

    Camry & Aurion are may look nice at the outside, but my god, calling the interior dull would be an understatement. I’m sorry, but when I was looking to buy a car, there wasn’t a thing that was appealing to me…

    Mazda 6…I’ve got an MPV in our household, and Mazda vehicles aren’t that bad. Some reliability issues, but they’re all not that big. But worst of all, the service at Mazda Saudi Arabia is terrible. 99,000 Riyals for a V6-powered Mazda 6 didn’t seem like bad deal, but I knew there was something more interesting.

    Subaru Legacy was interesting enough, but prices were way up to my expectations. To me, it felt that it kinda lost that sporty edge compared to the previous generation. And over 100,000 Riyals for the Boxer-6 engine, but missing a lot of features.

    Before getting to the Taurus, the new Sonata got me interested for a little, but knowing that the Sonatas they bring in Saudi Arabia had the OLD 178 hp 2.4, and not the direct-injection motor was a buzz-kill!

    In the end, going for the Taurus certianly made me happy, and not regreting it

  29. sorry double post!

  30. i too saw the same cars that you saw but i have postponed my purchase in hope that the SHO comes in town or i may just settle for the MKS

  31. The price for the SHO is absolutely ridiculous.

    Went to Tayer Garhoud, they did not have any Tauruses on display as they are “out of stock” and the clueless salesman even said they have no idea when they will have it. Also didnt seem interested in selling cars at all, never know why some dealers are so disinterested particularly as Ford midsize sedans have such a small share of the market…

    • This lack of professionalism in many dealerships here does get on my nerves.. They deal with cars like they’re selling fish at a fish market.. ‘You want to buy or no buy??’

  32. In the most recent case of moronism, I call up Nissan and ask the prices for the Altima, the guy answers (spending no more than 10 seconds of his time), and then asks me when i am going to buy; I answer “in 3-4 months”.
    He answers: “Then why you ask now, you can ask price when you sure you are going to buy now “

    • If i was you, I’d give him a verbal whoop ass for the crap he just mentioned… What a douche..

    • and..thats the reason i opted for honda..very very professional and courteous and HELPFUL sales people especially the festival city centre. spent easy half hour at the table showing around the cars and then the test drive w/o any hint of frustration when i went to see the car. then for the second time, again spent half hour when i went with my dad and booked the car and did most of the paperwork hassles on my behalf and with the manager sitting down to discuss final formalities, i would say along with the accord being one of the best, the dealership too is one of the best.
      ford was ok but nissan dealership sucked big time when it came to service

  33. I think I will get the Taurus this summer. One of very few bad points is the center console is too big. I also dont get the huge price difference between SE and SEL (85 VS 109).

    Contrast that to Altima which fits in its entire range from 70-86k

  34. @Musa:

    I say wait till the new 2013 Taurus. It’s got new front and rear facias, 27 extra hp in the V6, Ford’s new “integrated blindspot mirrors” across all models, Ford’s MyTouch system, and a new steering wheel. 2013 model supposedly will arrive beginning of 2012.

    The Taurus is a great car. The one I’ve got will be a year old next Ramadan, and it’s been running beautifully. Take note of the blind spots, but I’ve personally got use to its size. As for the center console, it’s a matter of personal taste, and I rather like it.

    Hope you like yours too 🙂

  35. Hi Zeyad
    I have been planning to buy a car for the last 1 year, dont think i can wait any longer! The 2013 Taurus wont be out here until summer of 2012 at the earliest, maybe even later. The 2013 is not than different from the 2011 IMO, and I didnt like MyTouch when I saw it in Edge. I have already booked a Sterling Gray and hope to get it this Ramadan Inshallah !

    • i am sure u dont do anything wrong here.

      i owned a ford explorer 07 for 2.5 years and the car and dealership service was fantastic (cheap, friendly, timely, qualitative).

      go for it, mate, i would say

    • Sterling Gray? That’s awesome man! 😀

      It was my favorite color…but it only came on the 2011 models 🙂

      Anyways….I really hope you enjoy yours

      And when the 2013 model comes out, change the rear lights to LEDs, and get one of those Integrated Blindspot Mirrors….That’s what I’ll do, because those mirrors really help

  36. Hi Mash,

    I just got the latest prices for Ford Taurus 2012..starting at AED 99k and closing at AED 185k for the full option V6 with 362 BHP…

    I think you should test drive that…

    • Mashfique Hussain Chowdhury

      Thanks for the heads-up. I suspect there might a “discount” when you actually go to buy at the dealer?

    • @Motorhead:

      Wait for 2013 refreshed Taurus….it has new front and read lights, new much better steering wheel, increased the power of the V6 to 290 hp, new blindspot mirrors, and changed the trunk lip that improves visibility

      For Saudi Arabia prices…back in 2010 when I got this SEL front-drive model, it was for 92,950 Riyals…now for the 2012 model year, this exact SEL is sold for 110,000 Riyals

  37. @ Mash
    The dealer didnt mention any discounts…maybe in ramadan, they might come up with something

    @ Zeyad

    Yeah, the 2013 sounds better…

  38. i love this car.its looking outstanding.

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