My first mistake was selling my 1991 Honda Accord because I got a 'great' deal on this new Taurus. The car has been great if you are into high maintenance. Let's see: two transmissions, numerous electrical and brake problems, a few starters, a/c heat problems, fuel problems ... you name it and it's broken.
I paid cash for the car.
Outsource the design, engineering and build of the car to Honda or Toyota. In other words buy an Accord or Camry unless you are in love with car repair.
Didn't do my homework, Ford would not replace the pawl pin in the transmission because it was a month over even warranty though the car only had 30,000 kms at the time. Rack and pinion faulty, Ford would not fix. Transmission replaced for at 120,000 kms for $2,600, no warranty. Emission pump failed - $800. Have spent over $1,000 on AC repairs and going in again or maybe I will just call a scrap dealer instead.
I bought this car in 1998. Ran well for a few years. A transmission part needed replacement at about 70,000 miles. Now I have a fluctuating temp gauge and don't even want to know where that is taking me repair-wise. I won't buy another Ford.
I am 17 and this car was a hand-me-down from my grandparents. It's extremely slow, looks like a bubble, and doesn't get good gas mileage. It also takes about 1 full second to shift from 1-2. It might also be nice if they made some performance parts for it besides an air filter, but they don't.
Can fit 5 people pretty comfortably. Handling is OK. Big trunk.
I still commute daily (70 miles) in my LX that I bought new in '96. It will turn 162,000 miles by May '05. The Duratec V6 still runs strong, the leather interior survived 2 kids and daily abuse and looks almost new. The car handles New England winter driving just fine and has never broken down on me. This one was built in Chicago. The brake pads & rotors wear quick but years of stop/go driving may have played a role. Overall - the car's been great.
Leather interior, CD changer, climate control, power seat, good blend of performance and gas mileage.