Greene Ford Compares 2011 Ford Taurus VS 2011 Chevrolet Impala Near Flowery Branch, GA

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2011 Ford Taurus

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2011 Chevrolet Impala

Safety Comparison

The Taurus Limited/SHO offers an optional collision warning system, which detects an impending crash through forward mounted sensors and flashes a bright light and sounds a loud, distinctive tone to warn the driver to brake or maneuver immediately to avoid a collision. The system also pre-charges the brakes to begin deceleration more quickly. The Impala doesn't offer a collision warning system.

The Taurus offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Impala doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

The Taurus (except SE) offers optional Reverse Sensing System to help warn drivers about vehicles, pedestrians or other obstacles behind their vehicle. The Taurus (except SE) also offers an optional backup monitor to help drivers see any and all obstacles behind their vehicle. The Impala doesn’t offer any parking assist system.

The Taurus Limited/SHO’s optional blind spot warning system uses digital cameras monitored by computer to alert the driver to moving objects in the vehicle’s blind spots where the side view mirrors don’t reveal them. The Impala doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver's blind spots.

To help make backing safer, the Taurus Limited/SHO’s optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The Impala doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Both the Taurus and the Impala have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front-wheel drive, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control and electronic stability systems to prevent skidding.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety does 40 MPH front offset crash tests on new cars. In this test, results indicate that the Ford Taurus is safer than the Impala:



Overall Evaluation









Head injury index



Peak Head G-forces

no hit

87 G’s

Femur Force

.3 kN/.2 kN

.9 kN/3.6 kN

Tibia index



(This test is not comparable to the NHTSA NCAP 35 MPH front crash test.)

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 38.5 MPH side impact tests on new cars. In this test, results indicate that the Taurus is safer than the Impala:



Front Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars

Head Injury Criteria



Thoracic Trauma



Pelvis Deceleration

45 G’s

99 G’s

Rear Seat


5 Stars

4 Stars

Head Injury Criteria



Thoracic Trauma



Pelvis Deceleration

61 G’s

65 G’s

More stars indicate a better chance of avoiding serious injuries. Lower numbers indicate better actual numeric test results.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rates the general design of front seat head restraints for their ability to protect front seat occupants from whiplash injuries. The IIHS also performs a dynamic test on those seats with “good” or “acceptable” geometry. In these ratings, the Taurus with leather seats is safer then the Impala:



Overall Evaluation



Head Restraint Design



Distance from Back of Head

27 mm

72 mm

Distance Below Top of Head

22 mm

75 mm

Dynamic Test Rating



Seat Design



Torso Acceleration

10.1 g’s

10.9 g’s

Neck Force Rating



Max Neck Shearing Force



Max Neck Tension



(Lower numerical results are better in all tests.)

For its top level performance in frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and its standard AdvanceTrac, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rates the Taurus as a “Top Pick” for 2010, a rating only granted to 55 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Impala was not a “Top Pick.”

Warranty Comparison

The Taurus’ corrosion warranty is unlimited miles longer than the Impala’s (unlimited vs. 100,000 miles).

Reliability Comparison

For smoother operation, better efficiency and fewer moving parts, the engines in the Taurus have an overhead cam design, rather than the old pushrod design of the engines in the Impala.

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without their vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports predicts that the Taurus’ reliability will be 18% better than the Impala.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Taurus first among large cars in their 2010 Initial Quality Study. The Impala isn’t in the top three.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2010 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Ford vehicles are better in initial quality than Chevrolet vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford fifth in initial quality, above the industry average. With 18 more problems per 100 vehicles, Chevrolet is ranked 12th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ surveys of the owners of three-year-old cars provide the long-term dependability statistics that show that Ford vehicles are more reliable than Chevrolet vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 35 more problems per 100 vehicles, Chevrolet is ranked 24th.

Engine Comparison

The Taurus’ standard 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 52 more horsepower (263 vs. 211) and 33 lbs.-ft. more torque (249 vs. 216) than the Impala’s standard 3.5 V6. The Taurus’ 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 33 more horsepower (263 vs. 230) and 14 lbs.-ft. more torque (249 vs. 235) than the Impala LTZ’s standard 3.9 V6. The Taurus SHO’s standard 3.5 turbo V6 produces 135 more horsepower (365 vs. 230) and 115 lbs.-ft. more torque (350 vs. 235) than the Impala LTZ’s standard 3.9 V6.

As tested in Consumer Reports the Ford Taurus V6 is faster than the Chevrolet Impala 3.5 V6:



Zero to 30 MPH

2.9 sec

3.9 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

7.9 sec

9.5 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

5.3 sec

6.1 sec

Quarter Mile

16.1 sec

17.5 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

89.8 MPH

82.7 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the Taurus FWD Auto with its standard V6 gets better city fuel mileage than the Impala LTZ 3.9 V6 (18 city/27 hwy vs. 17 city/27 hwy).

The Taurus has 1.5 gallons more fuel capacity than the Impala (19 vs. 17.5 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

The Taurus has a standard capless fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation which causes pollution. The Impala doesn’t offer a capless fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the Taurus’ brake rotors are larger than those on the Impala:



Front Rotors

12.8 inches

11.93 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

10.95 inches

In an emergency stopping situation, many drivers don’t press the brakes with enough force to stop the vehicle in the shortest distance. The Taurus has a standard brake assist system to detect emergency braking situations (by how hard and how quickly the brake pedal is pressed) and then automatically apply maximum braking immediately in order to help prevent a collision. The Impala doesn’t offer a brake assist feature.

The Taurus stops shorter than the Impala:



60 to 0 MPH

139 feet

141 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

150 feet

155 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the Taurus has larger standard tires than the Impala (235/60R17 vs. 225/55R17). The Taurus’ optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Impala (255/45R19 vs. 235/50R18).

The Taurus’ optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Impala LTZ’s 50 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Taurus SHO offers optional 20-inch wheels. The Impala’s largest wheels are only 18 inches.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The Taurus SHO has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Impala doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

The Taurus SHO’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The Impala doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Taurus’ wheelbase is 2.4 inches longer than on the Impala (112.9 inches vs. 110.5 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Taurus is 2.9 inches wider in the front and 4 inches wider in the rear than on the Impala.

Chassis Comparison

To almost totally eliminate engine vibration in the passenger area, the Taurus has liquid-filled engine mounts. The liquid helps further dampen engine harshness. The Impala uses conventional solid rubber engine mounts.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The Taurus has a much larger trunk than the Impala (20.1 vs. 18.6 cubic feet).

The Taurus’ standard rear seats fold to accommodate long and bulky cargo. The Impala LS doesn’t offer folding rear seats.

A standard locking glovebox keeps your small valuables safer in the Taurus. The Impala doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

Ergonomics Comparison

To help each driver find a more comfortable driving position, the Taurus has a telescoping steering wheel. Much better than just a tilt steering wheel or adjustable seat, this allows a short driver to sit further from the steering wheel while maintaining contact with the pedals. The Impala doesn’t offer a telescoping steering wheel.

When two different drivers share the Taurus Limited/SHO, the memory system makes it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position, foot pedal distance and outside mirror angle. The Impala doesn’t offer a memory system.

The Taurus Limited/SHO’s standard easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Impala doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The Taurus’ standard driver’s power window opens or closes with one touch of the switch, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths. The Impala’s power window switch has to be held the entire time to close it fully. The Taurus Limited/SHO’s front power windows open fully with one touch of the switches, and its driver’s window also automatically closes.

On a hot day the Taurus’ driver can lower the front WINDOWS using the key in the outside lock cylinder or the keyless remote (Taurus Limited/SHO). The driver of the Impala can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the exterior keypad. The Impala doesn’t offer an exterior keypad entry system, and its OnStar can’t unlock the doors if the vehicle doesn’t have cell phone reception.

The Taurus Limited/SHO’s optional wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. The Impala’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

While driving with high-beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the Taurus Limited/SHO detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low-beams. The Impala doesn’t offer automatic dimming high-beams.

A power rear sun shade is optional in the Taurus Limited/SHO to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The Impala doesn’t offer a rear sun shade.

The Taurus offers optional automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Impala has an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

The Taurus’ optional heated front seats keep the driver and front passenger extremely comfortable in the winter. The Impala LS doesn’t offer heated seats.

The Taurus Limited/SHO’s optional air conditioned front seats cool the driver and front passenger and help take the sting out of hot leather in Summer. The Impala doesn’t offer air conditioned front seats.

The Taurus has a standard center folding armrest for the rear passengers. A center armrest helps make rear passengers more comfortable. The Impala LS doesn’t offer a rear seat center armrest.

The Taurus SEL/Limited/SHO’s standard automatic temperature control maintains the temperature you set, automatically controlling fan speed, vents and temperature to maintain a consistent, comfortable environment. The Impala doesn’t offer automatic air conditioning.

For greater rear passenger comfort, the Taurus has standard rear a/c vents to keep rear occupants more comfortable. The Impala doesn’t offer rear vents.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Taurus Limited/SHO offers an optional Adaptive Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The Impala doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

The Taurus’ available GPS navigation system has a real-time traffic update feature that offers alternative routes to automatically bypass traffic problems. (Service available in a limited number of metro areas.) The Impala’s available navigation system doesn’t offer real-time traffic updates.

With available SYNC, the Taurus offers the driver hands free control of the radio, climate controls, cell phone and the navigation computer by simply speaking. The Impala doesn’t offer a voice control system.

Economic Advantages Comparison

The Taurus will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. Kiplinger’s estimates that the Taurus will retain a greater percentage of its original price after two and four years than the Impala.



Four Year

36% to 38%

22% to 23%

Two Year

48% to 51%

34% to 35%

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Taurus is less expensive to operate than the Impala because it costs $30 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Taurus than the Impala, including $62 less for an alternator, $36 less for front brake pads, $240 less for a starter, $72 less for fuel injection, $291 less for a fuel pump and $83 less for front struts.

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