I have had this car for 5 years; it is a decent car. My main gripe is lousy gas mileage in the city -- around 16-18 mpg. The mechanical reliability is ok, but it seems that there is a lot of normal wear and tear, such as struts,tie rods etc. I have the v6 with 153 hp. I wish I had purchased the more powerful engine as sometimes the car seems that it cannot get out of its own way. I like the safety features; front and side impact air bags, 4 wheel ABS. It is a really good looking car and overall have no regrets buying this car.
My dad gave me the Ford SES FFV with 70 thousand miles on it. I drove it from California to Texas. The car handles well on windy days and really likes to drive at freeway speed for hours at a time. Mileage on trip was about 30MPG. I also have a Toyota Corolla same year -- 2000. The Ford is more solid. However I am kind of scared to drive the Ford because of its reputation for problems. The car has had many recalls and some problems like fuel pump failures as seen by the repair history kept by my dad. The Toyota has none. I guess time will tell but so far I have not had any problems.
Fold down rear seat, nice style, solid feel, good road manners, back A/C vent.
Need cruise control and key switch lighted at night; also a CD player would be good. Four wheel disk brakes would also be a plus.
I have had this car for 2 years and overall it is a good car. A bit sporty & stylish and comfortable on the long drives and quite reliable. I agree with the comments about under powered and this is an easy problem to fix but Ford has once again ignored its customers. My biggest problem, and this will probably cause me to buy another brand of car, is a leaking oil pan. It was fixed 10 months ago and it is leaking once again and the local dealer refuses to do anything to help me other than charge me for another oil pan gasket. Other than that I haven't had a lot of problems with the car and I will probably keep it a few more years before looking at a Chevrolet Impala.
Ford really needs to pay more attention to its customers.
Okay, if you are looking for a great affordable car this is the one. My wife and I traded in her Element (after numerous problems) for the Taurus and I cannot pry her hands away from the keys. We go everywhere with the Taurus and have never had one issue with it. Right now we have 59K on it and it runs like it rolled off the showroom floor. To compare my in-laws have a 2000 Honda Accord with the same mileage that has had to have the water pump replaced twice and was leaking oil at the seals. And who would want a Camry with the sludge and seizing engine problems that were an issue for 1996-2002?!?! If you are looking for a safe and reliable vehicle look no further!
Powerful 24V V6, side air bags, handling is firm but not punishing for a sedan. I average 28 mpg with Taurus, wonderful reliability!
My Duratec 24V engine Taurus has been utterly reliable. I've covered 39,000 miles since 11/02. I service it myself and use synthetic oil and high quality filters, which I change every 10K miles. I got a repair shop to change the serpentine belt, changed brake fluid and auto-fluid too. This helps maintain the car's life and reliability I feel. Regarding performance, only use the overdrive 4th gear on freeways, stick to the 3 speed around town, gas mileage will improve as the box is not hunting up and down all the time. Great road holding and comfort. Seats are hard, but good for my back and there is oceans of space inside. Controls are easy to use. Brakes are appalling, as is wind noise.
Comfort, handling, road holding, performance, gas mileage due to sensible gearing, steering has good feel, although a little undergeared. Controls easy to use, ABS and traction works well. Good crash protection, although side airbags should be standard.
Disc brakes all around. Double pots on the front brakes to avoid the 'magic- inch' when nothing happens when you brake initially. Better door sealing. ABS/Traction/Side bags should be standard. Worst problem is Fords H.Q. customer service. I complained about service locally, their response was a joke.