Every year it seems that the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, and Ford Taurus are in competition for the title, ""best-selling car in America."" The 2000 Ford Taurus got a major redesign in its efforts to win this race. The exterior’s style is more modern, the power has been increased substantially, and major safety features have been added.
Body Styles: sedan, wagon
Engines: three-liter V-6; three-liter V-6 24-valve
Transmissions: four-speed automatic
Models: Ford Taurus LX sedan, Ford Taurus SE sedan, Ford Taurus SES sedan, Ford Taurus SEL sedan, Ford Taurus SE wagon, Ford Taurus SES wagon
A major face lift improves the safety, styling, power, and suspension. The Personal Safety System, a combination of about a dozen sensors that anticipate the nature and severity of a crash and adjust the safety features, including airbags and seatbelts, accordingly, is the biggest change. In addition, the exterior has been almost completely redesigned with the doors being the only surviving metal parts of the exterior.
All exterior panels on the 2000 Taurus are new except for the doors. The grille is wider and makes the entire front end look larger and sounder and the rear end looks more chiseled. The headlamps are larger and therefore brighter. The car’s overall size has increased with a revamped roof and rectangular rear window providing at least two additional inches of head room. Trunk capacity has increased by 1.2 cu. ft., for a total 17 cu. ft., thanks in part to the higher rear edge of the deck lid. The rear opening also is two inches wider for easier loading and unloading.
The Taurus is loaded with features, particularly on the SE model and higher including power windows and door locks, keyless entry, and an anti-theft alarm system. The whole interior is more attractive and more functional with numerous elements redesigned down to the cup holders. The headrests have been improved, there are extra map pockets, thick four-spoke steering wheel, and ergonomically designed door pulls with an extra-soft covering. Most importantly, the arrangement of the center controls is much improved with an ergonomic and visually appealing design. The seats are not very comfortable, however, particularly for larger drivers and passengers. The trunk has grocery hooks.
Performance & Handling
The new powertrain for the Taurus results in the production of 155 horsepower and 185 lb-ft of torque from the Vulcan V-6 engine and 200 horsepower and 200 lb-ft torque from the 24-valve Duratec V-6. The LX and SE sedan models and the SE wagon all have the less powerful engine, while the SES sedan and wagon and SEL sedan come with the Duratec engine. The refinements on the Vulcan engine have improved the mid-range acceleration, as well as the engine noise and vibration. The Duratec engine received even more changes including a reworked ""tumble-port"" combustion system and stiffening of the engine block. These changes have resulted in a more solid engine feel with smoother shifting. The transmissions have also been re-tooled which has contributed to the improved shifting on all models.
The chassis has been redesigned to provide smoother ride while maintaining solid handling. Refinements of the steering and alignment systems are intended to provide better on-center feel and directional stability. Larger 16-in. tires and wheels are standard.
The primary safety addition is Ford’s Personal Safety System, which senses the nature of a potential crash and adjusts safety elements accordingly. It senses whether seatbelts are in use and uses that information to determine which of the front and side curtain dual-stage airbag settings should be used. The safety-belts also have pretensioners. These and about 10 other features, collectively the advanced restraint system, are designed to reduce injuries from accidents. Traction control and an all-wheel antilock brake system add to the safety. There is also a trunk lid release handle inside the trunk to ensure that someone accidentally locked in the trunk will be able to get out. Optional safety features include power adjustable brake and accelerator pedals which make it easier and safer for shorter drivers to reach pedals while remaining comfortably separated from the steering wheel.
EPA Fuel Economy
Ford Taurus LX sedan 17/26 mpg city/highway
Ford Taurus SE sedan 17/26 mpg city/highway
Ford Taurus SES sedan 17/26 mpg city/highway
Ford Taurus SEL sedan 17/26 mpg city/highway
Ford Taurus SE wagon 17/26 mpg city/highway
Ford Taurus SES wagon 17/26 mpg city/highway
- The new exterior
- The additional power
- The safety features
- The better handling from the re-designed chassis
You Won't Like
The redesigned Taurus is a great competition for the Camry and Accord as America’s most popular car.
If You Like This Vehicle
- Toyota Camry
- Honda Accord