We had a 1992 Escort wagon that ran great, so we decided to upgrade to a Taurus. Shortly after buying it, we inherited a 1996 Taurus sedan that literally fell apart in our driveway (after $5K in repairs failed to fix it). If only we'd gotten that car before the wagon. Since 2001, we've averaged around $3K/yr in repairs, despite being vigilant about maintenance. I don't have enough space to list every thing that's failed, but it includes the power steering, the key system (2X), the brakes, and even the clasps to the CD changer door. Reading reviews, it sounds like we are among a third of Taurus owners who have poor reliability. The kicker--the Escort is still going strong today.
At the time we bought it, the Taurus had a good mix of comfort, gas mileage, and cargo room for the price. If we'd lucked out and gotten one of the good ones, I'd be raving about it.
Better reliability! Also, not having the CD changer in the back--it's very inconvenient, especially when you have the rear packed for a long trip and you have to remove stuff to change CDs. The braking is awfully sluggish as well, and it doesn't handle well in snow and ice, despite having ABS.
† 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.