A closer look at the 32mpg 2013 Ford Taurus EcoBoost 4-cylinder
Learning that the 2013 Ford Taurus offers 32 miles per gallon on the highway and a combined figure of 26mpg is quite impressive but there is a certain level of concern applied to any mention of a big, roomy sedan offering such impressive fuel economy from a small displacement 4-cylinder engine. Ford boasts that the 32mpg mark makes the 2013 Taurus equipped with the new 2.0L EcoBoost more efficient than the Chrysler 300 (31mpg), the Dodge Charger (31), the Chevrolet Impala (30) and the Toyota Avalon non-hybrid (28) while 26mpg combined ranks the 2013 Taurus right alongside the far more expensive Mercedes Benz E350 Bluetec Diesel (26mpg) and the Porsche Panamera S Hybrid (25). Unfortunately, the majority of those models get their best fuel economy from larger engines which – in most cases – means more power.
Bragging rights on paper are a big deal in the auto industry but when it comes down to the brass tacks, nothing is more important than how the vehicle drives so to show us just how good this new 4-cylinder EcoBoost engine really is – Ford invited me to spend some time yesterday driving the 2013 Taurus with the 4-cylinder, 2.0L EcoBoost engine.
The 2.0L EcoBoost 4-cylinder engine offered in the 2013 Ford Taurus offers 240 horsepower and 270lb-ft of torque. Those figures place the new Taurus engine option below the Chevy Impala, the Dodge Charger, the Chrysler 300 and the Toyota Avalon in terms of horsepower output but the beefy torque output of the 2.0L EcoBoost comfortably bests all four of those similarly priced full size sedans. Even with that in mind, the concern arises that the Taurus might just be too heavy for this compact engine, regardless of the fuel economy levels – weighing over 4,000 pounds in front wheel drive trim. Luckily, that does not seem to be the case.
Our test subject was a 2013 Ford Taurus Limited, fitted with front wheel drive, a six speed SelectShift automatic transmission and, of course, the new 2.0L EcoBoost 4-cylinder. Considering that the majority of the vehicles in the full size sedan class are packing over 300 horsepower, I expected the 4-cylinder EcoBoost Taurus to feel underpowered – or at least to exhibit signs of the dreaded “turbo lag” that many associate with turbocharged vehicles. For those unfamiliar with the term, turbo lag is the time that it takes the turbocharged to reach maximum internal RPM – thus the point at which it is creating the specified amount of boost pressure to help this small engine reach such lofty power numbers. However, Ford’s consistent work with turbocharging technology shone through with almost no sign of turbo lag. As soon as you hit the throttle, the EcoBoost 2.0L is quick to respond, allowing the car to very easily keep up with traffic…whether the speed limit is 25 or 70. This diminutive engine also packs enough torque to allow the 2013 Taurus to spin the tires a bit on a hard launch.