I bought my 96 Taurus in 2003 with 65 K on it. I paid $3500 for it. I had it up to 200K and it was still running great. Replaced the normal stuff like brakes, a radiator, oil sending unit. Had to replace valve cover gaskets but that is about it other than standard maintenance for 8 years. I got rear ended and because of the age it was totaled. Sorry to see it go. On average I put about $300 to $500 into it. I loved this car even though the seats hurt my back but I cut out a piece of foam for back support. It's not stylish or cool but what was really cool was the total cost of ownership which is the most important to me.
I just bought a 2003 Taurus SES. I hope it's half as good as my 96.
† Edmunds.com received the highest numerical score in the proprietary J.D. Power 2014 Third-Party Automotive Website Evaluation Study℠. Results based on responses from 3,381 responses, measuring 14 companies and measures third-party automotive website usefulness among new and used vehicle shoppers. Proprietary study results are based on experiences and perceptions of owners surveyed from January 2014. Your experiences may vary. Visit jdpower.com.