Bought this car as a replacement to my 98 Suzuki . Got it from a friend for $600 with about 140,000 miles. Needed a new battery, catalytic converter, ball joints, and AC system. Through all this I got the car and loved every second of it. Only thing I ended up fixing was the battery, all others were too expensive a repair. In the time I had it the left front turn signal burned out probably twenty or thirty times. But this car drove like a dream. I drive 50 miles a day and only had to fill up once every week and a half. Sadly I hit a deer after 6 months of having it. Tiny deer hit the airbag sensor at 40MPH and to fix would be $1,000, on top of the other fixes. But now I'm looking for another
Power, size, column shifter, gas mileage, great viability. Retained accessory power, fuel filler on the passenger side (great at the pump!) remarkable trunk space, huge rear window (helps when backing up)
Not they haven't already fixed these things, but the thick vinyl dashboard warped so quickly in the sun. Goose neck hinges on the truck were annoying. The wiring went wonky. Three cup holders up front (had the front bench) but only one of them was useful. A full tank weighed down the car quite a lot, but that could have been a shock problem I wasn't aware of.
I purchased this in 2013 with only 46,000 miles on it for only $2,000. Needed $500 worth of work to pass inspection, which had to do with the front stabilizing rods. This car is extremely reliable, although at times the transmission slams when going from park to reverse because of its high idle function. Had to put another $200 in a few months after purchase to repair ruptured brake line. Starts right up and has a really great hum to it. I get better gas mileage than its rated for, about 22mpg combined compared to the 18 or so its rated for, but I drive gently.
UPDATE: Unfortunately, with only a little over 70k miles on it, the Engine started to make a weird knocking or tapping noise sporadically when the engine was under load and at lower RPMs although it still ran fine. I could definitely tell something was starting to go wrong, not to mention a bunch of check engine codes. I took it to a bunch of engine mechanics and they all said by the time they could tell me what was wrong, I might as well just get another engine and with the age of the car there was no way I was doing that. Put it on Craigslist and somebody purchased it locally -- they were willing to take their chances on the repair costs given a very reasonable price. All in all, happy with this car but wish I would have gotten a few more years out of it.
This car was originally purchased by my dad in teh fall of 1996 (I was only in middle school, but I remember going with him to buy it). Since then, the car has been driven by my mom, my sister (took a lot of abuse, as she learned to drive in it), and finally me. I use it primarily as my second car, particularly to transport my big dogs back and forth to the park (hard to lift them into my suv).
It has 217,000 miles and is still going on the original engine and transmission. Sure, it's definitely showing its age, but it amazes me how well this thing still drives. Also, I'm amazed at how many of these things (96-97 model years) I still see driving around.
We bought the car used, with 120,000 miles on it. I figure any car over 100,000 miles is going to need repairs eventually. A new transmission was the first major repair. then 2 alternators were replaced at $600 each. Then we found a oil seal leak was fouling the alternator. Then a couple of tranny line leaks, that I fixed. Front struts and rear springs. Then I replaces all the plastic tabs that hold the interior door panels on. Then I cleaned the air intake with brake cleaner. That was over 50,000 miles ago. Since then, no problems. the duratech engine keeps running, the ride is comfortable, and everything works at sub zero temps unlike my 2007 Honda. it was still cheaper than a car payment
Good in the snow, roomy, great for the family, nice ride, an engine that doesn't quit. all electronics, and engine starts in sub zero temps. I still like the rounded streamlined design, in the age of "box" cars. power driver seat, temperature climate control, heated mirrors, cruise on the steering wheel, jump seat for kids in the rear, great cargo capacity, good lines of site. 200hp engine that chirps tire in 2nd gear (if you floor it) 18 city and 24+mpg highway
placement of the alternator, and AC, gets fouled when oil pan gasket leaks (common problem on all Taurus) I have no real repair complaints, for a car that was designed to go about 120,000 150,000 miles.
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.