2019 Ford Taurus vs. 2019 Nissan Maxima

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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

Both the Taurus and the Maxima 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, rear cross-path warning and driver alert monitors.

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 Nissan Maxima:

 

Taurus

Maxima

 

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Neck Injury Risk

31%

38%

Neck Stress

313 lbs.

328 lbs.

Neck Compression

13 lbs.

20 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

68/69 lbs.

67/94 lbs.

 

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Chest Compression

.5 inches

.7 inches

Neck Compression

24 lbs.

52 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

316/229 lbs.

840/589 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 and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Ford Taurus is safer than the Nissan Maxima:

 

Taurus

Maxima

 

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

103

295

Abdominal Force

173 G’s

188 G’s

 

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

284

391

Spine Acceleration

30 G’s

57 G’s

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Spine Acceleration

53 G’s

53 G’s

Hip Force

743 lbs.

997 lbs.

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

Warranty

There are almost 3 times as many Ford dealers as there are Nissan 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 Maxima doesn’t offer a lost coolant limp home mode, so a coolant leak could strand you or seriously damage the car’s engine.

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 11 points higher than the Maxima.

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 Nissan vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford fifth in initial quality, above the industry average. With 4 more problems per 100 vehicles, Nissan is ranked 10th.

Engine

The Taurus SHO’s standard 3.5 turbo V6 produces 65 more horsepower (365 vs. 300) and 89 lbs.-ft. more torque (350 vs. 261) than the Maxima’s 3.5 DOHC V6.

As tested in Motor Trend the Taurus SHO 3.5 turbo V6 is faster than the Nissan Maxima:

 

Taurus

Maxima

Zero to 30 MPH

1.8 sec

2.4 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

5.2 sec

6 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

8.4 sec

9.6 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

12.9 sec

14.7 sec

Quarter Mile

13.7 sec

14.5 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

103 MPH

99.3 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Ford Taurus uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended on Taurus SHO for maximum performance). The Maxima requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Taurus has a gallon more fuel capacity than the Maxima (19 vs. 18 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 Maxima 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 Maxima:

 

Taurus

Maxima

Front Rotors

13.86 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

13.58 inches

12.13 inches

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Taurus Limited’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Maxima (255/45R19 vs. 245/45R18).

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

Suspension and Handling

The Taurus has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Maxima’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

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 Maxima doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Taurus’ wheelbase is 3.6 inches longer than on the Maxima (112.9 inches vs. 109.3 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Taurus is 2.9 inches wider in the front and 3.1 inches wider in the rear than on the Maxima.

The Taurus SHO handles at .87 G’s, while the Maxima Platinum pulls only .81 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

Chassis

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 Maxima 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 Maxima is rated a Mid-size.

The Taurus has 3.7 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Maxima (102.2 vs. 98.5).

The Taurus has 2.1 inches more front hip room, 1.2 inches more front shoulder room, 1.1 inches more rear headroom, 3.9 inches more rear legroom, 2.3 inches more rear hip room and 1.2 inches more rear shoulder room than the Maxima.

Cargo Capacity

The Taurus has a much larger trunk than the Maxima (20.1 vs. 14.3 cubic feet).

Towing

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

Servicing Ease

The Taurus has a maintenance free battery for long life without checking the battery’s water level. The Maxima doesn’t have a maintenance free battery, so the water level in the battery’s cells must be checked often to prevent damage.

Ergonomics

The power windows standard on both the Taurus and the Maxima have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Taurus is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Maxima prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

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 Maxima doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system.

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 Maxima 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 $1060 to $5610 less than the Maxima over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Taurus is less expensive to operate than the Maxima because typical repairs cost much less on the Taurus than the Maxima, including $10 less for front brake pads, $193 less for a starter, $237 less for fuel injection, $115 less for a fuel pump, $55 less for front struts and $151 less for a power steering pump.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Ford Taurus will be $3339 to $6843 less than for the Nissan Maxima.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Ford Taurus and the Nissan Maxima, based on reliability, safety and performance.

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

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