2019 Ford Taurus vs. 2019 Audi A4

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Taurus Limited/SHO’s optional driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The A4 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Taurus and the A4 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front-wheel drive, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, rearview cameras, available collision warning systems, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, front and rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Ford Taurus is safer than the Audi A4:

 

Taurus

A4

OVERALL STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

 

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Neck Compression

13 lbs.

55 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

68/69 lbs.

431/395 lbs.

 

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

218

236

Chest Compression

.5 inches

1 inches

Neck Compression

24 lbs.

47 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

316/229 lbs.

324/341 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH, results indicate that the Ford Taurus is safer than the Audi A4:

 

Taurus

A4

 

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

103

172

Abdominal Force

173 G’s

219 G’s

 

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Spine Acceleration

30 G’s

56 G’s

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Warranty

Ford’s powertrain warranty covers the Taurus 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Audi covers the A4. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the A4 ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are almost 10 times as many Ford dealers as there are Audi dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Taurus’ warranty.

Reliability

The Taurus has a standard “limp home system” to keep drivers from being stranded if most or all of the engine’s coolant is lost. The engine will run on only half of its cylinders at a time, reduce its power and light a warning lamp on the dashboard so the driver can get to a service station for repairs. The A4 doesn’t offer a lost coolant limp home mode, so a coolant leak could strand you or seriously damage the car’s engine.

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Taurus has a standard 600-amp battery. The A4’s 420-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the Ford Taurus’ reliability 25 points higher than the A4.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Taurus second among large cars in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The A4 isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Ford vehicles are better in initial quality than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford fifth in initial quality, above the industry average. With 24 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 25th, below the industry average.

Engine

The Taurus’ standard 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 100 more horsepower (288 vs. 188) and 18 lbs.-ft. more torque (254 vs. 236) than the A4 40 TFSI’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. The Taurus’ 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 40 more horsepower (288 vs. 248) than the A4 45 TFSI’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. The Taurus SHO’s standard 3.5 turbo V6 produces 117 more horsepower (365 vs. 248) and 77 lbs.-ft. more torque (350 vs. 273) than the A4 45 TFSI’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Ford Taurus V6 is faster than the A4 40 TFSI:

 

Taurus

A4

Zero to 60 MPH

6.6 sec

7 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

11.1 sec

11.9 sec

Passing 45 to 65 MPH

3.4 sec

3.7 sec

Quarter Mile

15.1 sec

15.4 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

95 MPH

91 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

The Taurus has 3.7 gallons more fuel capacity than the A4 (19 vs. 15.3 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

The Taurus has a standard cap-less 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 A4 doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Taurus’ brake rotors are larger than those on the A4:

 

Taurus

A4

A4 Quattro

Front Rotors

13.86 inches

12.4 inches

13.3 inches

Rear Rotors

13.58 inches

11.8 inches

13 inches

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Taurus has larger standard tires than the A4 (235/60R17 vs. 225/50R17). The Taurus Limited’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the A4 (255/45R19 vs. 245/40R18).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Taurus offers optional 20-inch wheels. The A4’s largest wheels are only 19-inches.

Suspension and Handling

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 A4 doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Taurus’ wheelbase is 2.9 inches longer than on the A4 (112.9 inches vs. 110 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Taurus is 3.4 inches wider in the front and 4.3 inches wider in the rear than on the A4.

The Taurus SHO handles at .87 G’s, while the A4 Premium pulls only .85 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Taurus SHO executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the A4 Premium (26.8 seconds @ .7 average G’s vs. 27.2 seconds @ .64 average G’s).

Chassis

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 A4 uses conventional solid rubber engine mounts.

The front grille of the Taurus (except SHO) uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The A4 doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the Taurus a Large car, while the A4 is rated a Compact.

The Taurus has 10.2 cubic feet more passenger volume than the A4 (102.2 vs. 92).

The Taurus has .1 inches more front headroom, 2.9 inches more front legroom, 2 inches more front shoulder room, .4 inches more rear headroom, 2.4 inches more rear legroom and 2.4 inches more rear shoulder room than the A4.

Cargo Capacity

The Taurus has a much larger trunk than the A4 (20.1 vs. 13 cubic feet).

Towing

The Taurus has a 1000 lbs. towing capacity. The A4 has no towing capacity.

Ergonomics

The Taurus offers a remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The A4 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The Taurus Limited/SHO’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel and 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 A4 doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

On a hot day the Taurus’ driver can lower the front windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the A4 can’t use the remote to operate the windows.

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the Taurus’ exterior PIN entry system. The A4 doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system.

Consumer Reports rated the Taurus’ headlight performance “Fair” to “Good” (depending on model and options), a higher rating than the A4’s headlights, which were rated “Poor.”

A power rear sunshade is standard in the Taurus Limited/SHO to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The A4 doesn’t offer a rear sunshade.

The Taurus Limited/SHO’s optional Active Park Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The A4 doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Taurus owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Taurus will cost $1245 less than the A4 over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Taurus is less expensive to operate than the A4 because it costs $63 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Taurus than the A4, including $136 less for a water pump, $59 less for front brake pads, $603 less for a starter, $180 less for fuel injection, $245 less for a fuel pump and $642 less for front struts.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Ford Taurus will be $2720 to $5144 less than for the Audi A4.

Recommendations

The Ford Taurus outsold the Audi A4/S4 by 1522 units during 2018.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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