Bought my Taurus in May 2000. Now it has 87,000 miles on it. The problems: Brake sensor failed (recall); power steering pump made wining noise - replaced under warranty; right front window scratched pretty bad - replaced under warranty; driver's door is not tight, hense wind noise; funny noise in suspension - repaired under warranty, dealer never said what was wrong; power steering fluid leaked from under the filling cap; fuel gauge gives wrong reading; the warning light for the ABS doesn't work; right rear power window motor blew twice - replaced under warranty; the steering wheel air bag's cover is painted(!), had cracks in it after only 5 months, the paint rubs off easily. Fuel economy - none.
The Duratec engine. That's it!
Quality! Cannot stress it enough! Transmission is vague, supposed to be adaptive, but in 5 years still doesn't know what the heck do I want from it. There is no gear selection indicator on the dashboard for this model. Why? The seats could be better.
I bought my 2000 Taurus LX new. So far I am very pleased with it. I currently have 44,000 miles on it. I also have a 2001 Toyota Corolla, which is a good car on the city streets, but on the highway the Taurus is far superior.
Average American car. Needs repair every 5-6 months. Starter, wiper motor, computer chip, brake vibration etc. Last 3 cars (Toyota & Subarus) went to 150K miles without this type of repair. Dealers can't seem to fix problems the first time but have got it right without extra charge. Cheaper than comparable Japanese make with same features but you make it up with repairs.
Very comforable and roomy. Good seats. 30 mpg highway. Adequate power and handling.
If these were as reliable as a Camry it would be a great car.
The SE/SVG looks good, inside & out, but underneath there are some pretty expensive repairs waiting to creep up on you: just after buying this car, had to bring it back in (with dealer plates still attached!) because condensation from the heater/a/c unit leaked water all over the front passenger side floor. Dealer tried to charge $800+ to fix & then I had to bring it right back in to get them to fix it completely; chirping noise from front wheels was never correctly diagnosed - front rotors were shot, had to get private garage to fix, probably saved me $250+ than having incompetent Ford dealer try to fix it; steering wheel shakes around 60 mph & when braking from 60+ down to ~30; little things kill this car.
Car looks sharp, reasonable gas mileage, trunk very spacious, like the fold-down rear seats, power driver's seat a nice feature.
Improve rotor quality, fix the steering wheel shaking & road noise (noticeable). Most importantly: Ford service MUST improve!