2013 Ford Taurus 2.0L EcoBoost First Impressions
Highs and lows
- Terrific fuel economy
- Decent handling
- More expensive than V6
Displacement replacement - is four the new six?
DEARBORN, Michigan - With fuel prices skyrocketing, auto manufacturers have been under the gun to produce viable alternatives to the gas-guzzling powerplants of yesteryear. And while full-on electrification just isn't feasible for everyone - yet - internal combustion engine technology has evolved to a level that was simply unimaginable a few years ago. In the halcyon days of big-block horsepower, who'd have predicted the current reverse cachet of ever-shrinking displacement?
During a recent 2013 line-up preview in Dearborn, Michigan, Ford's president of the Americas, Mark Fields, boasted that Ford had seven vehicles with the "smallest displacement in their segments."
Through lightweight materials, compact design, better turbo management and fuel delivery refinement, Ford's line of EcoBoost engines are delivering high fuel economy, and now, the type of performance once limited to V6 or even V8 mills.
Over a drive route of approximately an hour, consisting of urban freeway, suburban construction and winding rural roadways of south western Michigan, we had a chance to experience the latest 2013 Ford Taurus - equipped with a 2.0L, 4-cylinder EcoBoost engine.
Although we were thoroughly impressed with the new chocolate-brown paint scheme, we were fully prepared to be underwhelmed. After all, at over 3,950 lbs (or 1,800 kg), the Taurus is a portly beast to be driven by a four-banger. Expecting some degree of thrashiness, if not sleep-inducing lethargy, we were pleasantly surprised to find that the 2.0L engine had no problem moving the full-size sedan around.
Although the throttle response couldn't be called quick or sporty, there's little sign of any turbo lag from the EcoBoost. At 240 hp, the engine's output is less than the Dodge Charger, Chrysler 300 or Chevrolet Impala, but its 270 lb-ft of torque tops all three.
Mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission, there's none of the noisiness inherent in many four-cylinder engines, although it's not quite as smooth as the V6.
The big sedan handled well over some of the pockmarked country roads, the lighter engine bay contributing to its sense of balance. The electrically-assisted power steering has a nice feel to it, with the added bonus of contributing to fuel economy by reducing its dependency on engine power.
But the big news is that the 2.0L powered Taurus claims US highway fuel ratings of 32 mpg, or 26 mpg combined - which converts to 7.4 and 9.0L/100km, respectively. These numbers give it the edge over its segment competitors, and in fact, puts it on par with some of the luxury diesel and hybrid brands costing thousands more.
Although the 2.0L EcoBoost Taurus probably won't appeal to the driving enthusiast, neither should it be dismissed as merely adequate. For those who love big, fully-loaded sedans, the 2.0L EcoBoost's impressive fuel economy might prove that bigger isn't necessarily better.
It doesn't mean cheaper, however. While no concrete Canadian prices are available yet, the 2.0L EcoBoost Taurus should cost roughly $1,000 more than the base V6 model.
This 2013 Ford Taurus 2.0L EcoBoost review was originally published on Auto123.com.