Car was issued to me as a company car in 1995. Aside from the catfish front end, it looked pretty good. The interior was comfortable, and everything was a bit better than expected. My ratings are based on this being a Taurus, not my Corvette. The sample defects were fixed fast (wind noise, soft shifts), and the car has been safe and dependable for 120k miles so far. Total of about $1200 in unscheduled maintenance, far better than my Hondas or Mazdas. In fact, overheating in the last Honda cost that much, and never was fixed. Good, cheap transport for a long time. Teenager drives it now, and doesn't hate it (he'd rather drive the Vette).
Ease of entry, seating positions, visibility, relative power. When new, the integrated phone was pretty cool, but dated now. Economy was even pretty good for its era, and it still gets 30MPG on highway drives.
I have a 2006 Taurus now, and they didn't improve on the original. Only weak link was the transmission, and it was burnt out as a service vehicle in city driving (30k in first year at average 10 MPH).
Taurus not bad riding, except for exterior noise that dealer or Ford wouldn't address. Problems with noisy front end had to bushings replaced twice. Brakes wore out quick and never were smooth after dealer replaced. Car became second car quick. Had 1987 Ford Taurus much better quality. Wouldn't buy again.
Smooth but noisy ride.
Bigger trunk, replace rubber around windows with quieter replacements. Better design of dash area. Make replacing radiator easier. Have to take front end off to get at.
My first mistake was selling my 1991 Honda Accord because I got a 'great' deal on this new Taurus. The car has been great if you are into high maintenance. Let's see: two transmissions, numerous electrical and brake problems, a few starters, a/c heat problems, fuel problems ... you name it and it's broken.
I paid cash for the car.
Outsource the design, engineering and build of the car to Honda or Toyota. In other words buy an Accord or Camry unless you are in love with car repair.
I bought this car in 1998. Ran well for a few years. A transmission part needed replacement at about 70,000 miles. Now I have a fluctuating temp gauge and don't even want to know where that is taking me repair-wise. I won't buy another Ford.
I am 17 and this car was a hand-me-down from my grandparents. It's extremely slow, looks like a bubble, and doesn't get good gas mileage. It also takes about 1 full second to shift from 1-2. It might also be nice if they made some performance parts for it besides an air filter, but they don't.
Can fit 5 people pretty comfortably. Handling is OK. Big trunk.