Edmunds dealer partner, Bayway Leasing, is now offering transparent lease deals via these forums. Click here to see the latest vehicles!

Torn between the Taurus SHO and the Acura TL AWD/Tech

catz12catz12 Member Posts: 4
I am looking for a new car and I have test driven these two cars but only driving it for a few miles is not enough to convince me buy either one. I know the sensible decision would be the SHO as the top of the line has it all but I can't get past the look of it and I haven't owned a Ford in a long time and I was wondering how far they have come because I would hate to pay $45.000 for a car and then have to start repairing it in five years as I have with other Domestic cars before.

I really love the new TL aside from what others think about it's styling. I personally think it looks sporty and looks like it's classy.

What do others think here? I am so confused because I like all of the safety features on the SHO as Ford gives the most bang for the buck seeing that it costs the same as the TL but the TL does not offer all of those safety features like Adaptive Crusie Control, Blind side warnings. Those are two very important features.

Like I said, I don't know about the features because they only let you test drive it a few miles. The dealer did offer me the car overnight but it is their only one and I didn't want to take the car and decide not to buy it when maybe they could have made a sale while I have it home.

Thanks for your input.


  • graphicguygraphicguy Member Posts: 13,665
    I don't know that there are that many folks who have cross shopped a SHO and an Acura TL.

    A friend of mine has a SHO on the way as he ordered one from the factory. He test drove the only SHO the dealer had (didn't like the color). He said it was very fast. He liked "Sync". He also said handling felt "heavy" (it is). And, he said the brakes seemed over matched by the weight of the car (some thing that can probably rectified by ordering the sport package, which has better brakes.

    Safety wise, I'm pretty sure both cars come with all the airbags you could possibly need. Not sure where one would be safer than the other.

    I've test driven the TL, in both AWD and base models. It comes all loaded up, too with the tech package. So, it's probably a wash when it comes to feature content with a TL SH AWD w/tech vs a SHO all optioned up. My opinion on the TL was it feels very well balanced and drives/handles smaller than the car is (something I like). TLs are pretty fast in their own right. My friend said the TL sounds and feels more "refined" than the SHO, too.

    Acuras are known for good resale value. Not sure about Ford. That said, Ford is kind of on a roll. I like the SHO. I'm searching for a TL SH AWD, though.

    Best thing to do is to test drive both again for an extended time and see which one you prefer. It's your money. I would think dealerships would allow you to test drive them for an extended period to get a better feel for either car.

    I think you can buy a TL SH AWD w/tech somewhere in that $38K-$39K range. My friend is paying $41K with his "friends and family" X plan discount. So, the SHO costs $2K-$3K more, once negotiations are done.
    2023 Honda Accord Hybrid Touring
  • jvettejvette Member Posts: 70
    Wow, I don't think you can compare these car to car. If you take a TL and load it up with everything you can put on it you are still below the price of the SHO. The SHO is a speciality car that isn't for everyone. They are limited production cars and come at a hefty price penalty. I personally don't feel a SHO is worth that much money but feel if they keep the limited production the resale value should hold pretty good. Thing going against it is the fact it's a $45k Ford. That's enough to sway me away from the car.
  • gbosilgbosil Member Posts: 88
    You are kidding right? FORD = Fix Or Repair Daily. I can't believe FORD and ACURA are in the same sentence! Why because FORD put a 45K price tag on it? If you are stupid enough to spend 45K on a FORD that will depreciate like a rock in two years and be worthless in 5 good luck to ya! :P
  • bruneau1bruneau1 Member Posts: 468
    Abosil, your comments are exaggerated. Ford's reliability is constantly improving and it is not necessary to spend 45k unless one needs every new bit of technology made available. Also, these cars appeal to different groups: one that likes American beauty and one that prefers Japanese ugly.
  • azslimazslim Member Posts: 1
    Really stupid question, but what does "SHO'' stand for?
  • catz12catz12 Member Posts: 4
    SHO stands for Super High Output. It has a twin turbo charged engine. Hope this helps.
  • charlesbcharlesb Member Posts: 43
    Well, originally it stood for "Super High Output" but that dates back to the late eighties when the first one with a Yamaha massaged V-6 in it. Ford has been into silly acronyms for a long time, dating back to the ridiculous ( and unpronounceable ) SVO Mustang in the mid eighties. The current SHO is the only one with a forced induction.

    I would take the Acura's brand of "Japanese ugly" in a heartbeat over a SHOwy Ford's brand of beauty. My father used to work for Ford and got cheap yearly leases with insurance included every year for well over twenty years and I drove most of them. I, personally, would never buy a Ford.
  • catz12catz12 Member Posts: 4
    My teenage son is very much a Ford person and he is trying to convince me that the Ford qualtity is much better than it used to be in the 70's and 80's. I really don't know because the only Ford I owned was an old 1974 Mustang Ghia but since it was a standard I never knew how to drive one but what did know was I wanted to get the boys to go out with me and I dhought if I had a kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkjkj.
  • bvdj84bvdj84 Member Posts: 1,724
    I would not look at a Acura TL, then go to a Ford dealer. Seriously?
    To each their own... drive what you want. Just an extreme comparison.
  • graphicguygraphicguy Member Posts: 13,665
    While it would seem the SHO and TL wouldn't be cross shopped, both are priced similarly. Both are fast. Both can be had with AWD. Both can be optioned up with all the latest/greatest.

    That said, I don't see someone who is thinking of a TL making the trip to the Ford store, too. Probably going from the Acura store, to the Audi store, the BMW store, the Mercedes store. Probably not the Ford store, though.
    2023 Honda Accord Hybrid Touring
  • bvdj84bvdj84 Member Posts: 1,724
    Don't get me wrong the new look of the Ford is nice. When looking closely at the pictures of the car, then saw the price tag. I was like Oops! Didn't see that coming. Way too high of a price for the car. I would no way spend that kind of money on the Ford. It is not up to that level. Even the Lincoln, it does not have that kind of class yet to establish that sorta pricing. But, then again the CTS, BMW is really in the same boat at to being overpriced, but can get away with it much more.

    It still see some tacky approaches in the Ford quality.

    Bottom line, if a company wants an edge, they have to compete in price and quality. Ford is getting better, but not there yet.
  • jtlajtla Member Posts: 388
    Totally agreed. While both are comparable on paper, few people will cross shop these two cars, mainly because Ford is not perceived as a luxury brand. It may happen if Ford put a Lincoln badge on it.
  • bruneau1bruneau1 Member Posts: 468
    Look at the Lincoln mks, It's a Taurus, but not as good-looking.
  • jspagna1jspagna1 Member Posts: 34
    When I was buying a new car, I was looking at the 2010 Nissan Maxima, BMW 328IX, the Lexus Es350. No way would I ever have looked at the SHO. And I can'y believe they have the nerve to put that sticker price on it. Go with the TL which is much more reliable IMO.
  • newguy05newguy05 Member Posts: 3
    give me a break on the acura tl reliability. We bought a brand new TL, the car was dead after 2 days (blown fuse/electronics, couldnt move the shift out of parking at all). Luckily i did my research and we bought the car from a very reputable dealer, they replaced it with a brand new TL no question asked.

    We drove the second TL out of the dealer lot to a restaurant, and it couldnt start again after dinner, they sent out their senior tech to the restaurant parking lot, and the problem was determined to be electronics again. After that we asked for our money back, the dealer didnt even resist and cut us the check, apparently talking with the tech this isnt that rare of a problem.

    Ended up buying a lexus, no issues...until of course we heard about paddles getting stuck and killing people... For my next car it's definitely going to be american - either the new ford tarus or buick lacross. I think the american car makers deserve a second chance, their cars have become competitive again (the two cars i mentioned are prime examples of this), and their reliability seem to be gotten much better and even exceeding the japanese in some cases.
  • gbosilgbosil Member Posts: 88
    I still can't believe Acura and FORD are in the same sentence! OMG! FORD is junk! Taurus ... I am still laughing! :P Anyways do yourself a favor and don't buy "R Title" Acuras anymore ... that should fix your problems. I've owned many Acuras and currently own two. 07' TLS and 10' TSX v6 Tech. No problems here. :)
  • rlonn1rlonn1 Member Posts: 106
    Many of the new Acura's, have been on dealer lots for MANY months, sometimes 4 or 5 due to slow sales, and the issue is WEAK batteries. Batteries take HOURS to fully charge up. Driving your car home and even sitting in it for 15 minutes with the engine off playing with the Nav and radio could drain the battery. Case in point is this is what happened last year when I got my wife 2009 TSX. Purchase in March, but the car was made in October. Took it back to the dealer thinking bad battery or some kind of high electrical drain? They put it on a special battery tester and charger. 2 hours later my wife and car were back home.. I then put it on my own charger for another 10 hours.. 11 months have passed and Zero Problems with the battery. I recommend anyone who gets these cars and sees a 4 or 5 month old MFR date, should Charge The battery unless you plan on taking a 3 hour trip... I like the looks of the new Torus, it is a big car and has a nice look to it, but spending $38K for a "Torus" better know for a Rental Car, just does not work for me.. They should have called it a new name... Resale value will have to be Very Low.. Best to Lease It, and drop it back off at the dealers in 3 or 4 years. You may be happy then... :surprise:
  • robtroxelrobtroxel Member Posts: 103
    The good news is you can paint the "tooth" with the same body color as many of our local dealers have done or get an after market grill that gives the Acura a clean CTS look. There is nothing you can do about the back..That being said the Acura is going to be a far better car in fit and finish. The Taurus SHO would eat up the Acura and spit it out in acceleration but the SHO is also very big outside with little if any more room than the Acura inside. If you go with the Ford, you will get a much better looking car but you take a chance with a first year build and you'll pay too much..this is not a 40K plus car! even though they priced the SHO that way. If you do lease the Ford, you will find out quickly that Ford probably anticipates at least a 50 per cent drop in three years on residual value.

    You should go look at the new Buick La Crosse before you buy either of these hogs.
  • bbfd86bbfd86 Member Posts: 42
    The spec 0-60mph time for the new SHO is 5.2 seconds, which is 0.4 secs faster than my 2005 Dodge Magnum R/T AWD. On Ford's own website (www.fordvehicles.com/2010taurus) there is a video comparing 0-60mph times against an Audi A6 V8. The Ford won each of the 5 time trials in a time of 6.07 seconds, which is a whole lot slower than my Magnum. Does anyone know why the claimed time of 5.2 seconds seems to be way overstated?
  • graphicguygraphicguy Member Posts: 13,665
    bb....I've seen those "specs" myself.

    I've test driven both the TH SH AWD (and subsequently bought it) and the SHO. Frankly, for me, the Acura felt every bit as fast, if not a bit faster. But, we're not talking significant differences.

    I've never driven a Magnum. So, can't help you there.

    Biggest difference between the SHO and the Acura is in the handling. The SHO feels "lumbering" in comparison to the Acura. Ride is firmer and controlled in the Acura too (something I prefer).

    Bottom line, all these cars are fast. Maybe not muscle car fast, but more than fast enough for anything other than stop light to stoplight wars.
    2023 Honda Accord Hybrid Touring
  • brucelincbrucelinc Member Posts: 815
    Much of the difference you note in 0-60 or quarter mile times takes place off the line. Many car magazines like C & D, will hold the brake with the left foot while while being on the gas with the right foot. Then they release the brake with the throttle floored. Having the engine speed up and, in the case of the SHO, the turbo boost already in place, results in quicker times. Just flooring the throttle without "brake torquing" will not be as quick with most cars.
  • graphicguygraphicguy Member Posts: 13,665
    edited March 2010
    bruce....I agree. The car mags really abuse the cars they test to get the numbers they post. C&D, R&T, MT....all of them test in a way that most of us would never try to drive our cars.

    One other big difference between the SHO and TL SH AWD that I found when test driving, was the braking. The SHO was pretty wimpy with regards to brakes. The TL far outshined it. The SHO is just too big and heavy for the brakes Ford put on it. I understand that you can get the performance package which should alleviate some of the braking problem. But, you have to get that package with "summer only" tires. That would be a handful for anyone who drives in the rain, or snowy areas in winter.

    Even with "all season" tires, the Acura is a much better handling car than the SHO.

    Then, there's the warranty. Ford is 3/36. Acura is 4/50. And, I'm betting that resale on the Acura (which has always been near the top) is going to be much better down the line, too.

    All that said, buy what you like.
    2023 Honda Accord Hybrid Touring
  • njvikenjvike Member Posts: 56
    I think Ford is concerned about the Public Relations issue this may cause.

    I have two Acura vehicles. One '07 Type S and the other is an '09 MDX. I love them both because they have great seats and very little body roll. I think it was said that Acura makes the best seats in the market; Nav system isn't too shabby either.

    I looked at the Taurus SHO and I really like it. Granted $45 is quite an asking price for a Ford but this is not your every day Ford. This car has 365 Horsepower from twin turbos and runs the 1/4 in 13.7; you'll even beat some Mustangs with this baby.

    There are several places to go to even get more performance out of it. One place does sell some tuning items like a chip for about $400 that will give you an extra 40HP and 70 foot pounds of torque that will get you in the low 13s.

    Doug Hennesey makes a $3450 kit which will give you 100HP (look both up on you tube) This will get you in the high 12s making your family Ford be able to eat up any Mopar with the SRT and all Mustangs.

    Bottom line is Acura is a great sports luxury car with great residual value and great build quality. The Taurus SHO is a family hot rod with plenty of goodies and even though Ford is getting a good part of the market share, they're not better than Acura.

    So, if you like a car that's quick and handles great you get the TL. If 0-60 and 1/4 mile times are all that matter to you, than the SHO is for you.

    Hope that helps and good luck with your decision.
  • robtroxelrobtroxel Member Posts: 103
    Honda/Acura knows they have an ugly issue to deal with..the front grill on the TL (Looks like a Beak or a tooth). They are finally going to change it. Id wait this out as they are also doing other tweaks to the rear too.
  • wwestwwest Member Posts: 10,706
    An SHO and FWD.....??

    More idiocy from Ford.

    But if you're of the boy racer mentality then the Ford is your game. If wintertime driving stability is your thing then the Acura SH-AWD system.
  • gbosilgbosil Member Posts: 88
    edited April 2011
    Well I also have a 2007 Acura TL Type S and 2010 Acura TSX Tech. Just traded my TSX for a 2011 Audi S4 340 HP 333 Pd Ft Torque 0-60 in 4.7 DSG Transmission and Qtr Mile in 12.7! Granted this is a 60K car. Now don't get me wrong I love my TL and won't part with it. I think the build quality is superior in every way. Love it! ... Now my 2010 TSX was a piece of crap! Rattles, wouldn't start, seat creaking, transmission issues, poor paint quality and many other issues.. :lemon: But the direction Acura has been heading since 2009 is in the WRONG Direction! No "S" line ? ? ? ? WTF! No sports car ? ? Huh ? ? I don't get it! If Acura keeps going in this direction the brand will become extinct!
  • billyperks2billyperks2 Member Posts: 378
    S4- very nice machine, dont blow me away when you see me on the highway with the TL SH-AWD.
    Good Luck!!!
  • gbosilgbosil Member Posts: 88
    Hey Billy .. I won't blow you off the hwy ;) It's amazing how many people know my S4 is a Rocket! I had a guy pull up next to me in a GT Mustang today and said wanna race and then laughed! He then said "I was just joking" ..my response .."ya thought so!" :) Awesome machine! I am getting 27 HWY and about 23MPG mixed driving. Not bad for all that HP! Big improvement from the old S4!
  • ryguy91ryguy91 Member Posts: 3
    edited April 2011
    I would highly suggest the SHO. My uncle has a 2010 with the performance package and it is a great car. And to add on top of the already potent 365bhp powerplant, he sent his SHO off to Hennessey Performance. They installed the MaxBoost package which raised it to 445bhp. And it makes that 4000lb behemoth run like a sports car. And you can always put the programmer in and change it back to the factory tune any time you choose and vise versa. It is a very good investment. Hopefully i helped you out in your decision on a new car. Good luck!!
  • gbosilgbosil Member Posts: 88
    No car is a good investment! They depreciate like a ROCK! :P
  • ryguy91ryguy91 Member Posts: 3
    Who cares if they depreciate at a high rate. Every car will lose its value over the years, some more than others. But if you keep the car for a long time it won't matter. Plus that Hennessey package will help protect its depreciation. Every Hennessey upgrade package comes with its own serial number. Which making it rarer than a regular SHO.
  • billyperks2billyperks2 Member Posts: 378
    Is the SHO a car or SUV-everytime I see one I have to take a second look to realize its a 4 door sedan.No disrespect to the SHO and the owners but this thing is big.There is a red one that I see now and then in my neighborhood and it would probably do justice for a family of four.
  • ryguy91ryguy91 Member Posts: 3
    My uncle has one and it is just him that drives it. I wouldn't mind having one. Yes they are really big but i am 5'9 and when im well adjusted i can drive it just fine.
  • catz12catz12 Member Posts: 4
    I want to thank all of you for your replies. I really appreciate your time.

    I did end up purchasing the SHO and I really love it except it is having some problems and I am now taking it in the shop for the second time for the same problem.

    I will keep you posted.
  • skipintroskipintro Member Posts: 1
    Glad to hear you bought the SHO, catz. Personally, I think there was WAY too much Ford bashing in this thread. Maybe they're folks who own Acuras who are afraid their 'prestige factor' will decrease with their neighbors if it gets out that people are cross shopping their entry-level luxury rides with Fords. Ha.

    But I completely get your comparison. I'll likely be in the market for the same type of vehicle in a few months and will definitely have both of those on my list (along with the CTS 4, G37, maybe a Volvo T6, and a couple others). I drive an A3 and need a larger family-friendly car that Dad (me) can enjoy tossing around a little when the wife and kiddies aren't onboard. Plus I have a latent patriotic streak that vaguely likes the idea of buying American.

    I don't get all the vitriol and 'rolled eyes' about mentioning the 2 in the same sentence. The differences between brands aren't nearly as pronounced as they used to be. Lots of BS auto elitism in here. I hope your Ford experience improves.... and take comfort, if you can, knowing that you'd likely be in the same boat if you bought an Audi (take it from me).
  • shoman04shoman04 Member Posts: 2
    My friend at work has a 09 acura that turn a mid 14's at ga 1/4 on 85 degree day but I turn 13.7 on a 95 degree , in my 2011 kona blue sho. stock exe. for airaid filter. see atl. dragonCon parade for picture 1st 5-10 min as MIB III.
  • shoman04shoman04 Member Posts: 2
    hi Billy I have 2011 kona blu sho. I have had no problems with my. so I like to know what was wrong with your's and if ford got it fixed.
  • tonyc76tonyc76 Member Posts: 3
    How dose the SHO handle in the snow? I currently have an 2011 Acura MDX and I am thinking of getting the 2013 SHO, I live in Chicago and I am concerned with having the SHO in bad weather. Anyone have any thoughts?
  • wwestwwest Member Posts: 10,706
    edited April 2012
    The SHO is not nearly, simply cannot be, as functional on the slippery stuff as is the SH-AWD system.
  • tonyc76tonyc76 Member Posts: 3
    I understand that SHO would not handle the snow as well as the MDX SH-AWD. My question is if the SHO is manageable in snow, given all season tires and the AWD on the SHO?
  • wwestwwest Member Posts: 10,706
    The reason the SHO is only available with F/awd is because the engine will (too easily) produce to much torque for just the front tires' traction even on a highly tractive surface. Not much fun driving a car wherein TC activates so often under moderate acceleration, pre-emptively dethrottling the engine while braking the drive wheels, to prevent loss of directional control.

    What that means to you insofar as wintertime moderate traction conditions is that you will have a lot of trouble keeping the TC from continuously activating.

    That is unless the car has a TC "off" function is which case you will need to learn how to feather the throttle "just so" starting off initially on a bit of slippery stuff.

    Some earlier FWD and F/awd vehicles would automatically "derate" the throttle responsiveness to the gas pedal position in lower gear ranges for a short period of time once an initial level of wheelspin/slip was detected.
  • raffaelraffael Member Posts: 1
    Well you are in luck! I am a current 2010 Ford Taurus SHO owner, that has just purchased a new 2015 TLX V6 SH-AWD Acura.

    It was love at first sight with my SHO. The car was fast, comfortable and loaded with tech! I enjoyed every minute driving this car, that is until I reached 120,000 Km and then it was all down hill. In short, I had to replace both turbos, rebuild a transmission, replace a catalytic converter, and coils. This car is a money pit. Great to own while still under warranty, but if you plan on keeping it stay far away!

    I have only had the TLX for a couple of weeks, but in short it is a fun car to drive and the SH-AWD is awesome! The Tech in this car exceeds anything else in the market in its category. I don't have any long term history with Acura but based on my previous experience with Honda, I am confident maintenance will be minimal and reliability will be exceptional. Unfortunately, my history with GM and Ford has been terrible and I will never purchase a vehicle from them again. The Ford Service centers in my area (3 within a few km) were all dreadful.
Sign In or Register to comment.