Getting firsthand information from an actual car owner is one sure way to get an idea of car performance once it leaves the lot. Autobytel features real consumer reviews that give the unbiased experience of a car.
Pros: great crash test scores; big, comfortable front buckets
Cons: standard brake rotors cause rather long stopping distances
Advice: Bargain hard and stick to 2000 and newer models, install Brembo brake rotorsBrembo brake rotors a much-needed (and affordable, $180 plus installation and new brake pads-no special brand of brake pad needed) aftermarket item for the vastly underrated Taurus. With the last redesign (2000 models and newer), the Taurus offered great crash test scores, impressive seat comfort and is rather quiet. The base 3.0 V6 has been continually refined since its 1986 debut in original Taurus. Offers similar comfort, crash test scores and performance to a base midsize Volvo (the S60) for $10,000 less and to a four cylinder Accord or Camry for about $6000 less. And if it wasn't the first car a mechanic trained on, it was probably the second one. Poor resale makes the Taurus a great buy used. Brembo brake rotors improve rather poor standard braking performance. Sure, seat covering materials aren't great and overall fit and finish is so-so, but it is still a highly affordable and comfortable midsize car with good reliablility (get the Brembos!)..
Pros: Car has plenty of room for driving out of town or just lounging out on the town.
Cons: Breaks....had them replaced one time already.
Advice: What out for the transmission.Has great speed and durability towards it.
Pros: Styling and comfort
Cons: Slight vibration at highway speed
Advice: When purchasing make sure vehicle isn't an ex rental vehiclePurchased car new in 2003 as a still brand new 2002. Overall car has been great although there has been a couple of problems. Car now has 55000 miles. One problem is the same as the previous post with a vibration. Had the wheels balanced twice but problem still exists. Warped rotors may be causing this as the brakes vibrate when applied. Amazingly I'm still on the original brakes and dealership says there is still lots of material left on them. I'll put up with a bit of vibration. Also original Continental tires are still on the vehicle and dealer says they are still in great shape. Had the heater blower replaced due to a cowl leak at a cost of $400.00. Vehicle was out of warranty at the time. Other than the problems mentioned vehicle has performed well and has been very reliable. Seats are comfortable on long trips and trunk has lot's of space for luggage. Car has the base 3.0 engine which has enough power for safe passing and is good on fuel. Car seems to be well assembled with no rattles and interior materials look good. When comparison shopping the Taurus seems to be the best value going in the mid-size market. Nothing compares to it for value. it has a much better ride than comparable Japanese models for much less money. I actually know 3 people who bought Taurus's after seeing mine and have been very happy with them. 2 of them have 2002's and one has a 2003. It's really a shame the Taurus will be discontinued after this year although the Fusion is a great looking and well designed car. It will be my next purchase.
Pros: Powerful and smooth Duratec engine
Cons: Useless lumbar support with the leather seats
Advice: Test it over harsh roads and listen for suspension and other noises.This was our second Taurus. The first was a 1998 SE. The 2004 SES has a more powerful engine and has less road noise. However, I find the interior of the '98 more appealing and a bit more out-of-the-norm. The '04's interior looks like every other car. I also find the '98 to be more comfortable on long trips. I fit more into the seats. I think the leather seats on the '04 come with a nearly useless lumbar support that, for me, actually interferes with lumbar comfort. I have never been that in love with the leather on American cars (other than luxury cars), because it feels more like fancy vinyl. My wife likes the ease of cleaning. Performance: The 24 valve engine (Duratec) is plenty powerful though it is outgunned by Honda, Toyota, and even the 06 Hyundai (Sonata). I don't care, because it moves very well. It's power curve is just right. There is no gut-wrenching torque (which can cause loss of control) but more of a long curve which keeps pulling. Reliability: It has given us no problems, but it is making me nervous. There is a noise in the front suspension somewhere, but only over very rough roads. Every once in a while, I think I smell coolant, but have lost no fluid and have no leaks. The A/C is less than impressive (not near as good as the '98), but gets the job done. I'll be buying an extended warranty. However, though I am less than thrilled with this 2004 Taurus SES, I am satisfied. I can't complain, because I bought it with 8000 miles in 2004 for 13250. It is a lot of car for that money. I never get the feeling that I am riding in a cheaply built vehicle. Resale value is very bad, because every fleet and rental company gets these and trades in at 1 year, flooding the market. This allows you to get a good deal on a one-year-old, but is a double-egded sword. Gas mileage is great on the highway (really about 29-30 mpg), but is horrible in town (17-18 mpg). I would NEVER pay 26,000 for this car (this car's sticker), or even 17,000+, but 13k, sure. Overall, a good car for a good value. Even so, I liked the slower 98 better and our next will be a Toyota.
Pros: It is very spacious. It is a good entry level and first time family car.
Cons: It is not a car with longevity.
Advice: Don't buy a new Ford. Buy a Ford with less than 20,000 miles and save $$$. Buy ext. warranty.For the money, this car is okay. The 'V6' (155hp) Engine is slow, noisy, and is not in the same quality/performance class as the Maxima, Accord, or Camry. The car does not hold the hwy very well. It sways back and forth a little bit. But, you get a lot of features for a little bit of money. Make sure you purchase a Ford with less than 20,000 miles and buy the extended 100,000 miles factory warranty. Visibility is poor in this car as well. This car has very thin sheet metal, so be careful of any weight on the exterior of this vehicle. This car starts lousy.
Pros: Interior room
Cons: Transmission problems
Advice: Buy the extra warrantyThis looked like a solid car. I liked the price for the amount of room inside. My car has been in for transmission repairs twice now in less than 50000 miles. The driver side power window has been in for repair three times. I had to replace the alternator after just 48000 miles. Thank God for extended warranties. Overall not a bad car for the price. I have talked to several current Taurus owners and they all loved their cars. Luck of the draw I guess.
Pros: The size.
Cons: Awful gas mileage!
Advice: Think twice and don't let the selling price fool you.The price was what sold me on the Taurus. Although very roomy for the size of the car and very inexpensive compared to other sedans, I'm now paying the initial difference in price through gas. At best, I'm getting 16.9 mpg in town and 20 mpg on the highway. The motor fan cycles on and off very heavily (makes the car shake). It hesitates when I hit the accelerator. I originally thought there was something seriously wrong with it and took it to the shop to have it checked out - it turns out that this is just the way the car is.