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Ford Taurus/Mercury Sable Sedans Pre-2008

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Comments

  • gtyatesgtyates Posts: 14
    Our daughter (17) absolutely loves our 2001 SES. It is black with rear spoiler, tinted windows, and gray leather. Her friends (boys and girls) also really like it. She drives it every chance she gets. Her usual car is a 1991 Tracer LTS, which she also likes. For some reason, she never chooses to drive my Explorer, though.

    As a matter of fact, our only real complaint about the car is the crappy Firestone tires. We now have 18k on them and absolutely hate the way they ride, grip, and handle.
  • kw_carmankw_carman Posts: 114
    I, actually, have no problem with Tauri at all, and wouldn't mind having one myself. So what if the little Honda Civic coupes out-run me? I think that the current Tauri have style and class. I could easily drive a silver one to high school any day. A Jeep or a BMW would be nice, but I seriously doubt that will be happening.

    The 1997 Taurus may be of the ugly generation, but my grandma's is really fun to drive. One of the neat features is the power seats (my parent's cars don't have them). However, the "bubble" look is not my style.
  • ezaircon4jcezaircon4jc Posts: 793
    "Only 85 max". Trust me, the car will pull right on up to the speed limiter at 113!
  • kw_carmankw_carman Posts: 114
    85 is only what the speedometer goes to.
  • ehennessehenness Posts: 92
    At least the newer generation (non-SHO) Tauruses ('96 and up) have 110 or 120 MPH speedometers. This may have been the same one used in some earlier cars as well. The Vulcan engined-cars have 110 MPH ones (1996 through 1998) and the Duratechs have 120 speedos ('96 through '98). All cars since '99 have the same speedometer that tops out at 120, used in both because they went to a dial with numbers only every 20 MPH.

    SHOs have 150 MPH speedos, and those go back to the first SHOs back in '89 I believe.

    Somewhere along the line, the 85-MPH speedo was dropped. This was after the Feds decided it didn't do much good in keeping speeding down (the idea was that doing 85 in one of those cars vs one with a higher endpoint would make you think twice or something, given that you were running out of needle travel...) and killed the requirement, somewhere around the mid 1980s. I believe it was made mandatory for the 1979 model year.

    The '96-up Taurus is pretty aerodynamic, and will cruise at greater than legal speeds with ease, until, as was posted, you hit the rev limiter in the powertrain computer. BTW, that's there to match the speed rating of the tires (usually they are T-rated). There's probably more power in there (at least on the Duratechs) if the speed weren't governed.
  • ezaircon4jcezaircon4jc Posts: 793
    "There's probably more power in there (at least on the Duratechs) if the speed weren't governed."

    The Lincoln LS with the Duratec is governed to 142 :). The power is there!
  • upsetter1upsetter1 Posts: 205
    Compared to Camry e.g., or any German car, Taurus has a rather poor aerodynamics, it is far from modern standarts. All in all Ford pays much more attention to engineering European Fords and ignores American ones, that ones are getting more and more ancient. Fiesta, Mondeo, Ka, Focus all are top notch modern cars and leaders of the class, competeing head to head with VW.

    Now, Taurus was designed in 96 to compete with '92 Camry. Isn't it a joke? All attention was paid to the radical appearence of the car, though sleek exterior didn't translate to the good aerodinamics. Camry was redesigned 1997, and then was completely reengineered just recently. What Ford did in 2000 was just facelift, nothing serious. So now Taurus is lagging two generations behind Camry, it is just not comparable to Camry in any aspect except the price and the size of trunk. Effectively what Ford did - just slowly killed Taurus what intitally was a leader of the segment. When Toyota came in 1992 with new Camry I guess there was a panic in the Ford but they did a car that couldn't compete with a newer 1997 Camry, that just was a one year later that 1996 Taurus, but was a generation ahead. So what option left is just drop current Taurus and get a new modern platform from scratch, from somewhere else, presumably from Volvo or Mazda.

    I cannot tell you that it was Jacks fault, they screwed thing since 1996. Jacque just added to it squandering money and experienced engineers and managers.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,564
    It was more than a facelift. Suspension revisions, steering response, shift quality, completely redesigned dash, "smart airbags", more interior space, in my mind is more than just a facelift.

    By the way, you would probably be very surprised how much Camry carried over internally from their last design also. I would bet except for tweaking, the engine, transmission and suspension did not change much. The low hanging exhaust pipe, which has been on both previous Camry incarnations is a major sign that they didn't mess much with the internals.

    Besides, I would much prefer a company making continuous upgrades and improvement whether it is Toyota or Ford, rather than starting from scratch every 4-5 years. This minimizes new model bugs. Hey, even Camry owners are complaining about squeaks, rattles, and uncomfortable seats in the new model.
  • kw_carmankw_carman Posts: 114
    Tauri being good cars for teens, I think that they are a great, safe, reliable car. The enigine has pick-up (to move them out of the way of that out of control semi) and the insurance is lower than something like, well, a Civic.
  • tomcat630tomcat630 Posts: 854
    To teens, a Taurus is "modern", while a Crown Vic or Marquis would be "not caught dead in" car.
  • upsetter1upsetter1 Posts: 205
    You can drive Taurus and Camry and feel the difference. Then there also were several family sedan comparision tests lately (e.g. in Motor Trend and Car and driver), where Taurus was invariably in the last places even after Impala. And it reflects on the sales. Probably Camry was the good design from beginning. It has better brakes, steering, more refined engines and it is smooth. You feel it when driving.

    Though I like Sable interior more, it is more in American style when you drive with one hand, and also Camry is made with stick in mind, there is no right armrest. Steering wheel is too far away for for a typical non-asian with long legs. Qualitywise there is not a big difference. It is not GM for sure:)
  • ezaircon4jcezaircon4jc Posts: 793
    Bad news for you, the 96 Taurus was designed with NASCAR in mind. Knowing the T-Bird would be gone, Ford had to design a new NASCAR race car. The 96-99 Taurus was the most aerodynamic car on the road. IIRC .29cf. The hood, roof line and deck lid are of stock proportions on the race car. I would hate to see what would happen to the driver of a Camry at 200+mph. The new Camry is eclipsed in ugliness only by the Aztec, IMNSHO. If you want to start a "Camry is better" war, there is a topic. It's called "Are Import Cars Overated?".
  • upsetter1upsetter1 Posts: 205
    Even Ford Division’s new president, Stephen G. Lyons, recognizes the Taurus’ sales problems. He doesn’t agree with Ford dealers’ dismissive remark that the Taurus is “dead in the water” and is understandably not willing to give it an obituary date, but he does concede that “it’s hard to sell 400,000 a year of anything. So now we’re dividing it (Taurus segment) into lots of 125,000.”

    To retain the millions of Taurus (and Mercury Sable) owners, Ford will position the 2004-model Ford Five Hundred sedan, 2003-model Mercury Marauder sedan and the 2004-model Ford CrossTrainer SUV/wagon as Taurus alternatives. Both the Five Hundred and CrossTrainer will be built at the revamped Chicago Taurus plant as upscale replacements for Taurus/Sable owners not quite ready to go for the full-size, rear-drive Ford Crown Victoria or Mercury Grand Marquis. The Marauder V-8 now reaching Mercury dealers could be offered as a Sable owners’ choice as well.

    In its heyday, close to half a million Tauruses were sold annually. But during the late 1990s, former CEO Jacques A. Nasser preferred to invest Ford’s product-development kitty in other products, such as Lincoln, Jaguar and Mazda, leaving Taurus relatively un-updated. That left the door wide open for the Camry and Accord to seize the U.S. sales championship in the passenger-car derby. This year’s sales affirm the Taurus rise-and-fall story: from January-May 2002, Toyota has sold 189,118 Camrys; Honda, 148,486 Accords; and Ford, 133,892 Tauruses.— Mac Gordon
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,564
    Just to be fair, you should also lump Sable sales into Taurus to compare vehicle sales with Camry and Accord. After all Camry and Honda don't have twins that are attacking almost the same customer base, like Taurus and Sable do.

    Additionally, one person's "refinement" is another person's definition of boredom. Tomblike noise levels, boulevard ride and no feel automatic shift points aren't necessarily everyone's preference. On the things that matter to me, such as taught handling but without a punishing ride, good acceleration with the 24 valve V-6, and combined with much lower pricing than Camry, the 2000+ Taurus is a very good car.
  • sculldog33sculldog33 Posts: 19
    Don't have exact numbers, but historically Ford sells 300-400K Tauri a yr and another 80-100K Sables so technically they are still the best selling mid size family car. (I suspect Camry total sales include the Solara which is arguably a different model.) Granted lots of these Fords are fleet sales, but Camry's are in the rental pools as well.

    Value is definitely where it's at -- my 2000 Sable LS Premier has leather, m-roof, auto climate control, Mach Audio with tape/6 disc changer, fog lights, power everything, 200 HP V6, adjustable pedals, 16" alloys, ABS, etc.... all for an out the door price of 20200. Ford went cheap on the rear brakes, and dropped the dual exhaust, but otherwise there is little else I'd want. Back then, a similar Camry would have been pushing $27K. So for another $900 I purchased an extended warranty that covers me out to 6 yrs, and gives me a rental when the car is in for service. My savings is $6K and I get an arguably more attractive car (style), with more interior room and a bigger trunk and a solid safety record. 2002's are probably an even bigger value with the newly redesigned Camry's pushing 30K for one with all the options, and I've seen ads for Sable LS's, with a factory rebate, in the 19.5 range!

    Almost 2 yrs into the ownership and no problems -- just change the oil, rotate the tires. Car rides well, seats are comfortable, and handles and performs as well as a 4 door family sedan needs to handle.

    Depreciation on Sables sucks, but I'm keeping it for 8 yrs or so (as everyone should from a strict $$ perspective) and it won't be an issue. Time value of money folks. Don't spend tons of money on a depreciating asset and don't tie up valuable funds that could be used elsewhere. Take that 6K+ and get some new furniture, or a home entertainment system, college fund for the kids, Roth IRA, or a little of each!

    Even if you don't have that 6K savings in your pocket, with $4K down over 48 months, difference between the two (14.5K loan vs 23K loan) is about $200/mth, and you'll save $1200 in interest.

    Only real reason to go Camry or Accord route is if you routinely put 30K a year on your cars -- then the extra reliability of the foreign cars probably makes sense. If you fall in the range of the national average of 12-15K a year, Ford makes more sense.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,564
    I couldn't agree more. Why pay 30-40% for the slab sided Camry, when you can get the better looking Taurus/Sable, getting at least 90% as good a car, and pocket the rest for something fun or more important.

    And, if you don't need quite all the bells and whistles, you can get a well equipped Taurus or Sable for well under 20K. MY 2000 Taurus SES was 18K and still had the 200HP V6 and include antilock brakes, remote locks, alloy 16" wheels and more. You would have to buy a stripped Camry to get into that price range.

    The people a Camry might be good for are the ones who lease, as there are plenty of stupid people out there willing to pay top dollar for used Camry's as well. The lower depreciation keeps the monthly lease payments down.

    As one who owned a 90 Taurus for ten years, leasing is not the way I want to go, as I prefer not to be continually paying for a car.
  • kw_carmankw_carman Posts: 114
    I haven't seen any of the 2000+ Tauri on the streets as police cars or detective cars. The 1996 Generation Tauri were used as police cars in Wash. DC, and were used as detective cars here in NC, but I haven't seen any of the new models.

    Our police department stopped using them as police cars after about 1994 when they discovered the front-wheel-drive wasn't gonna work for them
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,564
    Yes, most police departments tend to go with the full size rear wheel drive Fords. Likely more bullet proof, as they use them for high speed chases, pushing stalled vehicle out of the way, etc.

    I have seen some police cars that were the new FWD Chevy Impalas. I wonder whether they will hold up.
  • alharalhar Posts: 11
    Both Taurus and Camry are good cars with Camry slightly ahead in many areas but I chose a fully loaded 2002 Taurus SEL Premium. It was available with my two most important options, side airbags and extender pedals and the price was right. Camry doesn't offer the extender pedals and no Camrys at local dealers had side airbags. No one was that eager to let me order an XLE with just side airbags and the fake wood dash turned me off anyway. The steering wheel positioning was inadequate and the seat uncomfortable. Available colors were not to my liking. More expensive even with an underpowered 4cyl. 6 CD changer in the trunk. I drive less than 10,000 miles per year (my 92 Acclaim had 90,000) and I keep my car at least 10 years. I'll get an extended warranty with the money saved. The Taurus just made more sense for me.
  • behhppbehhpp Posts: 51
    I love my 97 Sable for size and comfort. Bought it from Hertz with 26K miles 4 years ago. However, my ABS is not working, AC has needed work, check engine light is on, interior has had some things break in it. I can get a 2002 Camry for under 20 K if I don't care for all the bells and whistles. I am going to buy a 2003 Corolla LE for even less than that, and it has plenty of room for me inside. I bought new a 1987 Topaz that needed ignition switch work within 3 months. Looking forward to improved reliability for years to come.
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