Ford continues to drive forward in its effort to popularize small engines that work like big engines. A new front in the campaign is the four-cylinder motor now available in the 2013 Ford Taurus.
The Taurus is a large car, with cabin dimensions meant to satisfy the desires of drivers who prefer the stretch-out spaciousness of a traditional American four-door sedan. That’s significant, because many of those same drivers also are accustomed to large engines capable of moving so much hardware.
“It wasn’t too long ago when all cars this size had eight-cylinder engines,” said Joseph Cullinan, sales manager at Regan Ford in Haverhill. “With some customers, it can be hard to get them to go from an eight-cylinder to a six-cylinder.”
The standard engine in the Taurus is a generously sized V6. It provides power aplenty for a contemporary large car like Taurus, after modern materials and advanced design and construction methods make the model more light-weight, less ponderous than an auto of its size would have been 10 or 15 years ago. At a starting list price of $27,495 for a base-level, Taurus SE, the V6 delivers 288 horsepower, operating with a government fuel-economy rating of 19 miles per gallon in city driving, and 29 mpg on the highway.
But for an additional $995, you can buy the Taurus with a much smaller, four-cylinder motor that gives you a boost in fuel economy, with a government rating of 22 mpg city, 32 mpg highway. If you drive 12,000 miles every year, and if gas stays around $3.50 per gallon, you would save $210 in gasoline purchases annually. That would pay off the $995 price boost for the four-cylinder engine in about four years and nine months.
If gas prices rose to $4 and stayed there, you would save $240 each year, paying off the extra cost for the four-cylinder in a tad more than four years.