The 2006 Ford Taurus also continues to endure with its strong safety reputation and IIHS ?Best Pick? label. Its spacious cabin also marks a high point, and it offers a good list of features for such a low-priced car. All the same, this is a relatively austere vehicle; many of the high-tech options offered by the competition, such as a built-in navigation system, won’t be found here. At the end of the day, only the most stringent budget shoppers seriously consider the 2006 Taurus. Car buyers find plenty other worthy options alongside it on any Ford dealership lot.
When first introduced in the mid-1980s, the Ford Taurus served as a considerable competitor against the ever-popular Honda Accord and Toyota Camry. Yet in the ever-advancing field of midsize sedans, the Taurus has only been losing ground in more recent years. In 2006, the Taurus holds its spot on the field primarily as a cheaper alternative to the new Ford Fusion.
Body Styles: sedan
Engines: 3.0-liter V-6
Transmissions: four-speed automatic
Models: Ford Taurus SE, Ford Taurus SEL
2006 brings no upgrades or additions to the Taurus. On the other hand, Ford has dropped the wagon from the Taurus lineup, leaving only the sedan. The old Duratec V-6 engine leaves the lineup as well.
The 2006 Ford Taurus sedan comes in two trim levels: the SE and the SEL. The SE model sits on 16-inch steel wheels, while the SEL upgrades to alloy wheels. The list of base exterior features for the SE remains limited, with a rear defogger, variable intermittent wipers, and cargo tie-downs serving as the only notable standard offerings. The SEL adds a keyless entry keypad on the driver door and body-colored mirrors. The Preferred Equipment package, available with the SE, adds alloy wheels and a rear spoiler. The SEL offers the optional Premium Package, which also includes a rear spoiler, along with auto headlamps.
Much like its exterior, the 2006 Taurus’s cabin looks dated and unremarkable, though straightforward and practically arranged. The seats aren’t the most comfortable on the market, but they provide plenty of legroom to go around. With the front bench seat, the model sits six occupants, which marks a noteworthy advantage in this class. A flip/fold center compartment in the front bench seat, with storage cubbies and cup holders, makes a smart use of space. With an additional 17 cubic feet of trunk space, the Taurus provides a worthwhile option for buyers who value ample cargo capacity.
Standard interior features with the SE trim level include air-conditioning, a cassette stereo, cruise control, and a trip computer. The upgraded SEL trim adds on a stereo with a CD player, wood trim accents, front bucket seats, and a center console. The SE’s Preferred Equipment package includes a power driver’s seat, while the SEL’s Premium Package provides a six-CD changer, automatic climate control, leather upholstery, a power passenger seat, and a HomeLink universal transceiver.
Performance & Handling
The 2006 Ford Taurus keeps things simple with only one engine offering: the three-liter ?Vulcan? V-6. Rated at a modest 153 horsepower and 185 lb-ft of torque, this engine only pairs with a four-speed automatic transmission. The Taurus seems to make up for what it lacks in engine power with engine noise; this V-6 seems notably louder than most other machines of its size. The automatic transmission doesn’t give much to write home about, either; while it serves its purpose, it doesn’t do it very smoothly. Downshifting feels particularly slow.
The Taurus may lack power and refinement, but it does provide a comfortable ride, as long as the road doesn’t get too terribly rough. Braking is not very precise, and suspension remains merely adequate. Handling around corners, especially at higher speeds, also seems unimpressive. All in all, the 2006 Taurus does what you need it to do for everyday commuting, but it won’t deliver a driving experience worth remembering.
Standard safety equipment for the 2006 Ford Taurus includes front disc and rear drum brakes, vehicle anti-theft, child safety door locks, a trunk anti-trap device, and power door locks and windows. Front seat-mounted side airbags, anti-lock brakes, and traction control come bundled together in one optional Safety/Security package. The NHTSA gives the 2006 Taurus five perfect stars in frontal crash tests, but only three stars in side-impact testing. The Taurus boasts a ?good? rating from the IIHS for its 40-mph frontal-offset test, and gets listed as a ?Best Pick? for a family car.
EPA Fuel Economy
Ford Taurus SE: 18/25 mpg city/highway
Ford Taurus SEL: 18/25 mpg city/highway
- Low price point
- Spacious cabin
- Seats up to six
You Won't Like
- Low-quality interior materials
- Limited resale value
- Handling and ride quality don’t match its competitors
With unimpressive handling and a low-grade interior, the outdated model no longer competes in the midsize car segment, except for those on a serious budget.
If You Like This Vehicle
- Honda Accord
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- Buick Lucerne
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