l1v3fr33ord1 - I have referred to the towing guides from Motorhome Magazine many times, and they are indeed chock full of very useful information - except I'm not sure I trust it.
The manual for our 2010 Taurus SHO AWD clearly states, and I quote:
"On AWD vehicles, it is required that your vehicle be towed with a wheel lift and dollies or flatbed equipment with all the wheels off the ground to prevent damage to the automatic transmission, AWD system or vehicle."
That sounds pretty definitive and it's directly from Ford. I have no way of knowing where MM gets their information so I have no reason to accept their "guide" over Ford's own manual. Incidentally, the manual for my 2013 Veloster says 4-down will damage the transmission, but rears down is ok... again, in opposition to what MM towing guides say.
So there's a lot of conflicting information out there. I've read on a lot of forums where owners claim to have spoken to Ford Customer Service and "they said it was ok," but I've spoken to two different reps and they quoted me the manual almost verbatim. When in doubt, I'm going with my manual.
Stranger still is that a lot of AWD drive cars warn against towing 4-down, so I'm skeptical that the Taurus would be any different.
I really appreciate all your input!