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Ford Taurus/Mercury Sable Sedans Pre-2008



  • upsetter1upsetter1 Posts: 205
    Actually Sable is a well built car. If you knew how simple is its design and how good and smooth it rides you will agree that engineering is realy good. Though it doesn't apply to ineffective Vulcan engine, that shouldn't be used in modern car in the first place.

    Both Golf and Taurus platform getting long in the tooth but still hold very well against competition. BTW Bora/Golf (German names of Jetta) are kinda German Taurus/Sable and sales of Golf are slipping in Germany because of aging platform, just like Taurus in USA. Gold loosing it to Peugot 306.

    The difference is that in America we get bigger and more comfortable car for the same price. Interior of Sable is pretty good in my opinion, material are of high quality. Though there is thing like german wormanship, but it is more a cultural thing. You cannot get the same workmanship for the same price in the car that is two notches up (actually Taurus/Sable is in midclass, or D-class in Europe, and Passat is C class, or compact). Okay let me explain, A class is subcompact, kind of Lupo or Fiesta, B class is Focus, Golf, Corolla; C class is Mondeo, Passat, A4, Vectra, Toyota Avensis; D class is Scorpio, Omega/Catera, Camry, Audi A6 and etc, VW has nothing to offer in D class, it is actually considered as a luxury class in Europe; E class is A8, BMW 7 series and etc. Most popular massproduction class in Europe is B class, and in USA is D class.
  • venus537venus537 Posts: 1,443
    as usual, you make some good points. my beef is with ford for not updating this car for the longest time. i'll be checking out the taurus at the local (Madison) car show in a week and a half.
  • venus537venus537 Posts: 1,443
    not quite sure if i'm following you correctly, but small cars don't necessary mean inferior workmanship. the jetta would be a perfect example of this for it has exemplary workmanship (at the same level as the passat) and i'm sorry and don't intend to flame anyone here, but the taurus is not at the same level in this regard.

    my top candidate for my next car is the mazda 6 and i could be part of the ford family in a indirect sort a way.
  • upsetter1upsetter1 Posts: 205
    Yeah, but it costs more. Focus is less upscale car than Jetta and costs way less, though they are in the same class. Audi A3 is even more upscale than Golf, they based on the same platform. So for workmanship (actually more expensive manufacturing processes) you have to pay more. Generally VW is more upscale than Ford even in Europe. But Ford models has better handling than VW (compare Focus with Golf and Mondeo with Passat). On the other side VW's good handling brand is Audi. But it is not as affordable as Ford.
  • venus537venus537 Posts: 1,443
    "Focus is less upscale car than Jetta and costs way less, though they are in the same class"

    this is getting way off topic. true, they are in the same size class but as you say, the jetta is more (i say way more) upscale and should cost more. stuff like standard side and curtain air bags, standard 4 wheel disc brakes, available 200hp v6 engine, available 5 speed auto w/tiptronic and an interior decor of a car costing twice as much will do that.

    i will no longer talk about the jetta in this topic and thank everybody for their patience.
  • I look in here once in a while and it is strange that for a best (maybe once) selling car there are not many posters here. That may be good or bad, but it means you don't get a true perspective. For the people who feel happy about saving so much money by buying T/S instead of A/C, I say wait till you get to 100K at least on the Odo. In my experience these cars are decent in the early years. Now that I'm older I see merit in looking at car purchases from an economic viewpoint, so I admire phatbuns decision. I think he took the right tack. I don't think the Taurus and Sable are as good as the Japanese competition or will ever be. But it satisfies the basic requirements of a family sedan and if you can get it a good discount then go for it. BTW, why do you think Detroit is offering incentives for their cars and have to in order to sell them. The incentives are equal to the loss in residuals or directly related to the high depreciation.
  • why are American auto's offered at discounts? Well,union contracts set that when member laid-off still receives 90% of their income. The crunch to the ROI is painful but not as intense as if no revenue coming in. Discounts provoke sales. Foreign manufactures have similar situations in their home territory. For that reason they have come here and also survive discounting their product, We now as consumers are addicted to discount so we get them.
  • atcersatcers Posts: 26
    Not to beat a dead horse here Venus, but according to Edmunds website you would have to had purchased a VR6 type Jetta to have a vehicle with a resale of $17k plus. You are talking VR6 Jetta here aren't you? You can't honestly compare the 2.0L 4 cylinder Jetta to a Taurus. My wife hade a 97 Cabrio with the buzzing sewing machine like 2.0L and the snap your neck with each shift automatic. Honestly it was a nice car but the automatic with the underpowered 2.0L left much to be desired. Like I said earlier, you may think you can get $17k for your car but until someone actually lays down cash you are looking for offers!!! Could a $17K resale Jetta be the same model that sold for a $27K MSRP and now has a one year old book value of $20K? OUCH!!! Now you thought Ford had a poor resale value! What I find way more interesting is why a VW owner is on a Taurus/Sable board?
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    Taurus was "updated" in 2000 model year, which is certainly not that long ago. Yes, this was not a complete redesign, but if you really look into almost all "redesigns" by all the competition you will find, under the obvious sheet metal and interior changes, that most of the major components-engine, transmissions, suspensions, etc, are very rarely completely redesigned on a new model, they are usually "tweaked". And, there is nothing wrong with that approach. That is exactly what Ford did in 2000. Many components were tweaked to make in total some pretty remarkable improvements in ride, quietness, shift smoothness, etc, interior creature comforts, etc, especially with the Duratec engine/transmission combo.

    You really have to drive one for an extended period of time to appreciate it for what it is, a very reasonably priced comfortable, quiet, reliable. spacious and decently handling car built on a very rigid platform. And, you won't get that just by looking at it and sitting in it at a car show, by the way.

    Even Consumer Reports, in their 2003 separate new car issue, which came on the stands about a month ago, gave it at least grudging praise saying it was a good car among a group (in this size classification) of excellent cars. Reliability is near or equal to the competition. And, though CR never actually uses out the door buy prices as a rating factor, if they did they would rate Taurus tops in that factor, just like Edmunds did when they compared 2000 family sedans. Just check out that comparison sometime. In that rating, Taurus came in third our of ten, just a hair behind Passat and the previous generation Accord.

    Edmund2460, I believe the reason there are not a lot of posters here is for several reasons. Taurus is really a bread and butter car, which the enthusiasts who are more likely to post in this site are not all that interested in. Additionally, if you read back the last 8-12 months, you will see very few people posting about significant problems with the current gen Taurus. This is a good sign, but also means the quantity of people posting is low. Contrast that with Accord, Camry, and yes Jetta boards where there are numerous postings about unresolved rattles in all three models, the Toyota sludge issue, Honda Accord V-6 automatic transmission problems, etc. Nothing like a problem, perceived or real, to get a lot of people posting. These kind of issues, I believe are really not present with the current generation Taurus/Sable. Also, some of Edmunds discussions are distorted by a few posters who post a lot of times. How else do you explain the great volumes in the Olds Intrigue discussion-a car that is no longer even being built?
  • I'd agree with Badgerfan on this. I have a 2000 Sable LS, purchased for 1000's less than comparably equipped Accords and Camry's, and have been very happy with it. Almost 2 1/2 yrs in and zero repair issues beyond two minor recalls. My annual mileage is very low, so I will be able to keep this car 10-11 yrs and still be below 100K, will then sell it/donate it.

    I live in a busy urban environment, and never get the chance to truly enjoy driving on deserted twisty roads or empty highways. No matter when or where I drive, there is always traffic, so a more powerful engine, faster 0-60, or better handling is really a non-issue since it's hard to find a place to take advantage of what I already have! (Try driving to Maine or New Hampshire on a weekend from Boston and you're in bumper to bumper traffic for miles.)

    So the car is fairly responsive with the 200hp V6, has lots of nice bells and whistles (leather, auto climate, sunroof, CD changer, power everything) to keep me interested and amused, is considerably bigger and perhaps a little safer than many of the alternatives out there, and offers a comfortable ride, at a much much lower price. Reliability to date has been fine, and it would take some pretty horrific repairs to match the price savings I achieved over the foreign makers. (eg: as much as 5-7K)

    With so-called "entry level" cars like the Focus, Toyota Matrix, Civic, Corolla and the like costing 16K or more, the Sable at about 18-19K loaded to the gills is a steal.

    I agree that the Camry is a better car, particularly for a high mileage driver, but the top of the line Camry V6, with similar options as the Sable LS, is in the high 20's. (for example, the sunroof is an 800+ option on the Camry, standard on the Sable.) I'm not sure what price one places on "peace of mind", but they are certainly charging a high one!
  • Hey, I almost forgot. Styling wise, the Sable has very nice, sort of classic sedan lines, and some more character/style than some of the more wind tunnel derived competitors. New Accord for example is a bit tough on the eyes, and the Camry's a pretty bland, basic wedge. Chrysler is still the one to beat these days on styling, but FoMoco isn't doing too badly....
  • Allright, I'm cheap. So far (3 weeks) I LOVE the '96 Taurus wagon with it's primitive under-engineered Vulcan 12V, and $4.5K is a hulluva long way from $20K (or 30K for a Passat), plus I'm in Mass, so high insurance, sales, and property tax I'm not paying for. I only put about 9K miles a year, so if I can keep the coolant system from rotting, head gaskets intact... Plus, lest you fergit, I traded a 152000 mile '86 Sable on this car, and Mum has a '96 Sable with nary a problem. I conservatively estimate that if I get 5 years out of it and spend less than $14000 in maintenance and repairs, I'm ahead of buying a Passat wagon.

    Or, to put it another way, I could buy 4 '96 Taurus wagons, and if one is still running in 2007 I'll be ahead.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    I agree with you 100%.

    There is also the issue of looks. Obviously, this has nothing to do with more important attributes of a car, but I just cannot abide by the exterior styling of the current Camry. I know this is illogical(I am generally a logical person, being an engineer) but I cannot help it in this case. The rear end is too wide looking, the trunk lid too flat on the trailing edge, and the belt line too high. The low hanging exhaust pipe I cannot abide, it looks like a design error/afterthought. The pseudo "fastback" rear roof line leaves me cold and cuts into the fore aft accessibility to the trunk.

    I cannot comment on the new Accord, as I have yet to see one on the street and it is hard to judge pictures. They certainly haven't sold many in the Milwaukee area to date. I've seen more Hummer H2's!

    VW Jetta and Passat do look nice, however. Nissan Altima is not bad except for the boy racer tail lights. Impala is marginally acceptable, as is Grand Prix now that they are dropping some of the cladding. Buick is OK in a classic understated sense, but has been around too long.
    From the GM product line, the Intrigue had the best styling, but it is now gone.

    I think the current Taurus styling is quite classy and well integrated. The only thing I might do different if I was designing it is some minor mods to the C pillar shape (the doors and side glass carried over from the last generation), but it is by no means ugly. The previous generation Taurus, while innovative, proved just a little too ovoid, and I was glad to see the 2000 restyling come along.
  • Got to thinking of some other pluses the Sable has over the competition. A coworker has a 2000 Camry, went in for the regular 60K service. While not recommended by Toyota, the dealer strongly urged a timing belt change, at a cost of about $200. I'm about 99% certain the Sable Duratec has a timing chain, and won't require changing till 150K plus. Total cost of the Camry's 60K service was close to $700!! Ouch!

    My neighbor has an Accord, a 2000 or 2001, and the transmission went in the Fall at 30K. Covered under warrenty but she was stranded by it. Also, a week or two back said her heater died -- not sure what caused that, might have only been a thermostat, but pretty nasty when you live in New England and it's snowed for 12 of the past 16 days.

    Now I'm sure that others can tell horror stories of S/T's, but just sort of by the seat of my pants, I feel I'm still in the running with my Sable. I'm sure I'll have some problems with it down the road, but perhaps no worse than what other car owners have experienced, and at a minimum I'm saving a few hundred on basic maintenance.
  • upsetter1upsetter1 Posts: 205
    My friend spend $1,300 on Camry 60k service and plus had engine overhaul (blue smoke coming from pipe) under varranty. Any engine with time belt requires belt and water pump change at 60K.

    Duratec has actually two chains (because has double cams over each 3 cylinders). You can see that chain if you remove oil filler cap.
  • Hi Guys !

    Still arguing about cars I see. Well let's see if I can create a stir by adding one to the mix. Anybody checked out a Hyundai lately? Look out car industry - Hyundai's getting better and better each year - and for THOUSANDS less than domestic or other imports. After all, the trick is to get the most for the least, isn't it?

    By the way, I am a Sable owner, but while having my oil changed at a dealership the other day, I strolled the Ford dealer's lot and glanced at the Hyundai's he also sells. Based on the price tags, I was quite impressed ! So much so, I went into the showroom to find out what was wrong with these cars. Sorry, again I was impressed. They're well built cars - especially the top end models. I was particularly attracted to the mini SUV Santa Fe. What a long list of standard features in the basic model, culminating to "everything" in the LX version. And for a city/highway driver like me, the fact that the Santa Fe is mounted on a Sonata chassis makes it even more attractive since the ride is more car-like than truck-like. Edmunds says the 177 HP V-6 is underpowered. Haven't driven one yet, but at only 23 HP less than my Sable, how underpowered could this 3600 lbs vehicle be?

    Edmunds also doesn't like the body styling. To each his own. I like it because it doesn't have the "boxy" features like other SUV's. Edmunds DID like the it's value, however. Who wouldn't?

    Here's some other features to nibble on. How about that warranty? 5years or 60K bumper to bumper, and 10years or 100K on the drivetrain? Who compares with that? And when you're in for service, Hyandai believes you should have a loaner car of equal value. So what do they do? Well they provide the dealer with factory fresh cars that are designated as "Factory Loaner", meaning they're not for sale - period. Saw the loaners, and they say exactly that. So, if your new Santa Fe goes in the shop, you get a new Santa Fe to drive until yours is done.

    And all for THOUSANDS LESS !! Tempting? I'm going to drive one, and if that 177 HP is O.K., I'll have bought that second car I've wanted.

    O.K., let's have the cons, but they better be good. Convince me to spend thousands of dollars more on a vehicle that will be driven less than 10K per year.
  • pluto5pluto5 Posts: 618
    I agree, Hyundai will continue to improve and no doubt be a force to be reckoned with by higher cost manufacturers like Ford. I am impressed by the Kumho tires I'm running on my Chev, also Korean which are priced below Firestone and Goodyear and are better quality. No doubt we are in a global economy!

    I wouldn't put much stock in Edmunds reviews since the purpose of this site is to sell advertising (hate those pop up ads) and the quality of any content is purely accidental!!
  • venus537venus537 Posts: 1,443
    the sticker price of my 2002 1.8t gls jetta was $22,875. from my research the current generation of jettas have excellent resale value. but i may have been in error about getting $17k for it.

    badgerfan: don't happen to agree with some of your points this time. i did notice the way the exhaust pipe hangs low on the camry though. it does look strange. something i may have never noticed if i didn't read about it here. what checked this car off my list when i first saw it was the design of the gauge cluster.
  • venus537venus537 Posts: 1,443
    since s and n korea are in the news right now, i wonder how propesctive buyers will respond to this.
  • pluto5pluto5 Posts: 618
    IMO most people don't consider politics when buying a car but I don't think Iraqi or No. Korean cars would be too popular here right now, if they even are such things!
  • venus537venus537 Posts: 1,443
    i don't know about that. i think "buy american" is a factor for some domestic buyers.
  • pluto5pluto5 Posts: 618
    I agree but two of my 'merican cars were made in CDN! So the def of an American car is just a legal distinction IMO.
  • regfootballregfootball Posts: 2,166
    I own a 99 Taurus (SHO) and its been the most solid car I have ever had (knock on wood, cams). The 96+ Taurus' in my experience have been incredibly solid. My brother in law is up around 120k miles on his 97 SHO with NADA an issue. I had a friend who put a combined 170k miles on his 96 and 97 Taurus company cars. Only on the 96 did he have a transmission issue and that was fixed via warranty. I believe Ford corrected that defect in the design. Otherwise the car was great he said......he said he would actually buy one and that is from an import lover who currently has a Honda and Subaru.

    The rental Taurus I had in 2001 I found to be a really good car as well.

    What Taurus lacks right now is some market credibility. Folks know the car has been basically the same since 96. They need to generate a buzz and build some brand equity in creative ways. Ford ought to drop the Vulcan engine....make the Duratec 200hp motor standard and develop a higher output version like they did with the Contour....the same motor, just add some free flow intake tricks and timing mods, etc. Pump it up and offer it as optional at about 240hp. I think if then they upgraded the interior (nicer leather and a more driver oriented dash) and some performance options or models......some special editions, then they would be in business again. keep the good prices.

    It wouldn't hurt to try to get some sharper definition in the character lines of the car.....replace the fenders and door skins with a crisper looking design, that can't be too hard.

    I keep wishing they'd bring back my v8 pumped up to 275hp in the current body with a manual tranny and other goodies, but that ain't gonna happen i bet. I'd settle for a Taurus 'SVT' with a pumped up Duratec v6 of about 230-240 hp and a 6 speed. Tart up the interior with nice leather but lay off the gadgets and keep the price low, under 25g.....sign me up.
  • riswamiriswami Posts: 192
    you'll see Ford dump the Vulcan. Read Warren Brown's (Washington Post)transcript from this week's Detroit Auto Show. Looks like Ford has some financial restraints. They are backing off Hybrid engines.

    I doubt if they have the manufacturing capacity to insert Duratecs into every Taurus/Sable.
  • upsetter1upsetter1 Posts: 205
    No they going to add 2.4L engine developed jointly with Mazda to the next Taurus based on Mazda6 platform. Next Taurus will be a bit smaller. They cannot afford to loose market share anymore.
  • atcersatcers Posts: 26
    Oh great back to a 4 cylinder engine in a mid-sized family sedan! Yes I know that a 4 cylinder engine can be as, or more powerful than a 6 or even a v8 but I don't believe for one minute that Ford will invest the money or resources into a 4 cylinder powerplant that will be as smooth as those found in a 3 series BMW or Acura. Most 4 cylinder engines are "buzzy" at highway speeds and let's face it, the Taurus is a family sedan that carries mom and dad and all the little ones to grandma's house on Sunday over in the next town. These cars should be reasonably good at all types of driving, including highway comfort. To obtain a 4 cylinder powerplant with the refinement necessary to propel a 3000lb family cruiser in reasonable comfort will be just as expensive as making the Duratec V6 standard. Just because Mazda is involved in the project doesn't convince me that we won't see the next generation of Taurus with an underpowered, overtaxed weeze-bag 4 banger much like those found in the mid 80's. So Ford's answer to the Vulcan is a 4 banger? This makes me sad!
  • upsetter1upsetter1 Posts: 205
    Yeah, but most popular family sedans sold in this country are 4 cylider Camries and Accords. You have to drive Camry some day to see the difference. It feels much more like 6 cylinder than Taurus with V-6 Vulcan. It is also more economical, more smooth, more quiet, accelerates fasterand cruise with 2,000 rpm on 65 mph on the freeway, more everything in other word.

    Duratec is kind of modern 6 cylinder, high revving engine. Not much people need so much power or ready to pay for it.

    Believe me Mazda knows how to make engines. Try Duratec with Mazda developed variable cam head in Mazda6.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    Duratech in a Taurus matches Camry with a V-6 in acceleration. Mileage is also about a wash between these two. The Taurus has nearly the same smoothness, and you can buy a Duratech equipped Taurus much cheaper than the V-6 Camry. (And, you don't have to drive the butt ugly Camry-my opinion)

    I agree the Camry and Accord base 4 cylinder engines perform smoother and with better mileage than the base Taurus Vulcan V-6.

    The acceleration numbers 0-60 for the 03 Accord are pretty impressive for the four and the V-6 also has impressive 0-60 times, with impressive mileage numbers.

    It also must be noted for every day driving these absolute 0-60 numbers are nearly meaningless, and the Duratech Taurus is more than adequate. Much of the horsepower race going on today between Nissan Altima and Honda Accord is in the upper RPM ranges that most people rarely attain in everyday driving.

    No doubt, in recent years, Ford has been concentrating most of their US development efforts on trucks and SUV's. I would expect you eventually will see more competitiveness in cars now that Bill Ford is straightening out the mess left by Nasser. Note, for instance, Focus all along has been rated at the top of the heap by most reviewers. The recalls and reliability for the first two model years has been the only rap on Focus. From a design and performance standpoint, Focus does show that Ford can design state of the art cars.

    Remember when Ford introduced Taurus in the mid 80's, it was pretty much a state of the art vehicle. It can happen again. Look what strides Nissan has made in a few short years when the leadership from the top was straightened out.
  • I agree with you. What progress ! A 4 cylinder sewing machine engine in a Taurus. Just imagine the family sedan all loaded up for vacation - kids, luggage, etc. Dad then switches on the A/C for comfort, then tries to pass a truck on the highway. Uh, uh says little four-banger, I don't have the guts. What - do you think my name is Offenhauser ? Too much car, too much load, too much wishful thinking.

    And yes, be sure to make the Taurus/Sable smaller. I've wanted a reason to switch on my next vehicle, and now you've provided it. Without the Duratec and the roominess of the present body, I'd still be driving a Grand Marquis.
  • upsetter1upsetter1 Posts: 205
    Try to pass with Vulcan, good luck. Fords plans for Taurus a future as a cheapo midclass car with fleets in mind. Current Taurus' will be replaced by bigger Ford 500 that is supposed to have Duratec (hopefully with Mazda itterations) and based on Volvo S80 platform. And there will be smaller Mazda6 based upper scale Mercury, probably sporty one.

    But plans are always changing, I am sure only about 500 and cheap new Taurus.
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