Used 1996 Ford Taurus SHO

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1996 Ford Taurus
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1996 Ford Taurus

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Edmunds' Expert Review

vehicle overview

The biggest automotive story for 1996 is the total redesign of the Ford Taurus. Longer, wider and larger inside than the old Taurus, the 1996 model sports sleek and modern styling; almost as unconventional as that of the original Taurus, which debuted to much fanfare and acclaim in 1986. Four trim levels, G, GL, LX and SHO, are available as well as two body styles. Wagons can be had in GL or LX trim only.

Ford claims that the new Taurus sports 87 percent greater torsional stiffness. Part of this increase is directly attributable to the fact that the entire side of the new Taurus is a single stamped section of steel, except for the doors, of course. Glass area is up 28 percent lending the Taurus a lighter, more airy feel than its predecessor. MacPherson struts hold up the front of the new Taurus, while a quadralink rear suspension, similar to that found on the 1995 Lincoln Continental, keeps the rear of the car in line. Standard tire size on GL and LX models is P205/65 R15.

An improved Vulcan 3.0-liter V6 powers the G and GL models, pumping out 145 horsepower. Order LX trim and get an all-aluminum twin-cam 3.0-liter Duratec V6 good for 200 healthy ponies. SHO models will be infused with 240 Yamaha-built horses produced by eight cylinders; it will be the first time a V8 will be offered on the Taurus. LX models run to 60 mph in about eight seconds.

Front disc and rear drum brakes are standard. Anti-lock four-wheel disc brakes are optional on G, GL and LX; standard on SHO. Sporting the same steering rack as the Lincoln Continental, Ford says that steering feel and response is much improved over the old version.

Standard equipment includes air conditioning, five-mph bumpers, dual power heated mirrors, rear seat heat ducts, split-fold rear seats and a battery saver system. Innovations on the 1996 Taurus include an Integrated Control Panel which combines stereo and climate controls in one easy-to-use pod. Stereo componentry has been relocated to the trunk. A patented three-way flip-fold console is available in cars equipped with six-passenger seating. In its upright position, the console is a seating position. Flip it down, and it's an armrest. Flip it once more, and it turns into a handy storage bin with cupholders and room for audio cassettes. Optional on Taurus Wagon is an integrated child seat.

We must admit that we're a bit skeptical about the fishy-faced styling of the new car, but our initial shock has diminished to a vague distaste. In time, we'll likely find it to be quite attractive. Preliminary reports indicate that the Taurus is indeed a much improved sedan, ready to go head-to-head with the best in this class. Time, and a test drive, will tell.

1996 Highlights

All-new Taurus debuts in sedan and wagon format, available in GL, LX and SHO trim levels. New or substantially revised engines and suspensions improve the performance of the Taurus, while several functional innovations make the car easier and more enjoyable to drive.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1996 Ford Taurus.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

Fo SHO
G, Labriola,11/10/2006
I know all Fords are not created equally but my SHO had 7500 miles on it when I bought it from the dealer and it currently has 74,000 on it. My only real problem was the cam shaft but nothing else other than normal maintenance. It is one of the best all round cars I've ever owned. Excellent comfort, outstanding performance, superb handling (NO oversteer!) and all the creature comfort features you could ask for. No tranny problems for me.
96 SHO
SHO,06/27/2003
I just LOVE this car! It is fun to drive and is a big transition from the standard 4 cylinder sedan. It also handles the road very well.
Taurus SHO
Geoffrey Allen,02/19/2003
This is a great car if you're looking for more bang for your buck. The 240 horsepower engine really gets you where you're going.
High-Maintenance Baby
wylieSteve,04/16/2004
I really like the comfort, room, ride and performance of this car. It has enough room to easily seat 5, has good acceleration, handling, braking and top speed. Camshaft problem was a $700 pain to get welded, and the car is on the third transmission.
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Features & Specs

MPG
15 city / 24 hwy
Seats 0
4-speed automatic
Gas
240 hp @ 6500 rpm
See all Used 1996 Ford Taurus SHO features & specs

Safety

IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 1996 Ford Taurus
Used 1996 Ford Taurus SHO Overview

The Used 1996 Ford Taurus SHO is offered in the following styles: SHO 4dr Sedan.

What's a good price on a Used 1996 Ford Taurus SHO?

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Which used 1996 Ford Taurus SHOS are available in my area?

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Can't find a used 1996 Ford Taurus Taurus SHO you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Ford Taurus for sale - 11 great deals out of 24 listings starting at $10,461.

Find a used Ford for sale - 12 great deals out of 14 listings starting at $12,149.

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Find a used certified pre-owned Ford for sale - 1 great deals out of 6 listings starting at $15,628.

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Should I lease or buy a 1996 Ford Taurus?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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