Used 1997 Ford Taurus

Style:
1997 Ford Taurus
List price range

Pros

  • Good crash test scores. Nice interior ergonomics. Excellent optional Duratec powertrain.

Cons

  • Stying is a bit over-the-top for some.

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Edmunds' Expert Review

vehicle overview

After last year's dramatic redesign of the Taurus, Ford is playing it safe, trying to keep costs down as their top-selling vehicle faces sharp criticism from the press and closed checkbooks of potential buyers who are less than captivated by this vehicle's startling new shape.

We have been able to spend some time with the Taurus and its stablemate the Mercury Sable and have found ourselves won over by this odd-looking family sedan and wagon. If you can get past the strange curves and odd snout, the Taurus still offers a lot of car for the money. Upon settling into the Tauruses cockpit, the first thing most drivers notice is the logical placement of the controls and the great outward visibility. Unlike previous Taurus's, which had an unpleasant dashboard and bad blind spots created by the C-pillars, the new model is easy to get acquainted with. The integrated control panel, which combines stereo and climate control functions, is a joy to behold when compared to most of the Taurus's competition. Interior room in the Taurus is great, offering comfortable seating for five full-size adults and their cargo. The Taurus has comfortable seats, a plethora of cupholders and ashtrays, nicely integrated armrests and optional rear-passenger air conditioningcontrols.

Not many people buy midsized sedans for their outstanding handling characteristics, and for the most part the Taurus does not address these people's concerns. Nonetheless, the Taurus is not a bad driver, offering capable acceleration with the Duratec V6 engine found on the LX sedan and wagon, and decent handling with the MacPherson front/quadralink rear suspension setup. Unfortunately, the redesigned Taurus SHO is a bit of a disappointment. Sure it has a V8, the first one ever squeezed into a Taurus, but its lack of a manual transmission and slower acceleration times are a poor substitute for the car that basically defined the American sports sedan segment for the previous seven years.

The Taurus still offers plenty of car, definitely our choice over the less-than-sophisticated Chevrolet Lumina or plain-Jane Buick Century. There are, however, a number of great choices from Europe, Japan and the US that are threatening the Taurus's headlock on the best-selling-car-in-America title. People that want to buy American should definitely put this near the top of their list, but people who are turned-off by its exterior styling may find comfort in the competitively priced Honda Accord or redesigned Toyota Camry being sold down the road.

Top consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1997 Ford Taurus.

Love our Taurus
artphelps, 7/19/2007
Most reliable vehicle we have ever owned. Great car. Sorry it is no longer made. Had a power steering whine or moan that was due to a crack in the reservoir, low cost to fix.
Reliable and inexpensive
David, 10/25/2005
Ours was in good condition when purchased at 86,000 miles, requiring only fluids and filters. In the 40,000 miles since then there has been one problem (camshaft position sensor - car was still drivable), and everything else was wear and tear related. A few annoyances - wind noise on passenger side, rusty A pillar on driver side, some misaligned interior trim pieces - but overall it's very likable - it has a "Millennium Falcon" appeal with the swoopy styling and all the junk you can carry inside. Transmission seems a little delicate (overheated the fluid while driving to Big Bear from LA and needed it flushed). Wouldn't buy one new because of depreciation, but it's a great used-car buy.
loved it but it didn't love me
katepaints, 5/21/2011
I loved this car; got it new. Two years into it, it kept shorting out so I couldn't keep lights on auto. Needed a new ignition before 50K. At six years the transmission needed overhauling after it died. With all the technical updates it ran much better. A year later at 129K the engine died. Ford in its infinite wisdom had put a race car engine in it so I really couldn't replace the engine at a reasonable cost. I was incredibly disappointed as I had been very good at maintenance and upkeep. I walked away and bought a '96 Jeep Cherokee which was a lot more reliable.
Old ford still runs but it costs to run.
Gordon, 10/3/2015
I bought this car certified preowned in 2001 with 37k on it. At 42k it needed a camshaft sensor, 46k new struts, 55k cat converter and power windows. 67K the transmission needed replaced and replaced again at 99k. At 100k ac, radiator, crankshaft sensor, wheel bearings, windshield wiper motor and struts again, had to be replaced. We bought this for $14,000 and the resell value five years later was $2600. It still runs but we don't drive it much anymore. Piece of junk.
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Features & Specs

MPG
16 city / 24 hwy
Seats 0
4-speed automatic
Gas
200 hp @ 5750 rpm
MPG
17 city / 24 hwy
Seats 0
4-speed automatic
Gas
145 hp @ 5250 rpm
See all Used 1997 Ford Taurus features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver3 / 5
    Passenger3 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    RolloverNot Rated
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
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 1997 Ford Taurus
Used 1997 Ford Taurus Overview

The Used 1997 Ford Taurus is offered in the following submodels: , , . Available styles include LX 4dr Sedan, G 4dr Sedan, GL 4dr Sedan, LX 4dr Wagon, SHO 4dr Sedan, and GL 4dr Wagon.

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