Used 1997 Ford Taurus SHO

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.

SHO and GO
fordfever, 6/1/2002
Very reliable. Great ride and performance. Engine is awesome with 235 horsepower...very fun to drive. This car has alot of high end features such as CD, moon roof, leather and more. Alot of car for the money.
Truely Awesome
jmac, 9/11/2003
After careful research, I decided to go for it and purchase a SHO! 97 British Green fully loaded. all the claims that I read were pretty much on the mark. the car looks great and handles very well, car has 54000 miles and it looks as good as it did the first day it rolled out of the showroom. Plenty of room and very comfortable. great acceleration and it will eat up bmrs and stangs!
Decent car, but hard to repair
Perry Reed, 5/2/2005
The SHO is a fun-to-drive vehicle. Although the ride is somewhat harsh, it handles well and has more than adequate power. Mileage is decent for a car with this much power. The interior is well-laid out and the controls are easy to reach. The car is well-optioned, and includes climate control, which is nice to have. My major concern is the poor camshaft design, which really ruined the owning experience of this vehicle for me. Also, they could have made sure that parts are more readily available. For example, the electronically-controlled suspension has unique, expensive struts. They would have been well- advised to update the V6 from the previous SHO's rather than go with a new V8.
Love the SHO
Jay P, 12/13/2003
Bought a black 97 SHO a little over a year ago. Have to say that I love the car. I have put 15,000 miles on the car and have not had any problems. It's definately a sleeper. Luxurious as well.
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Features & Specs

MPG
15 city / 24 hwy
Seats 0
4-speed automatic
Gas
235 hp @ 6100 rpm
See all Used 1997 Ford Taurus SHO 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 SHO Overview

The Used 1997 Ford Taurus SHO is offered in the following styles: , and SHO 4dr Sedan.

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