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Ford Taurus/Mercury Sable Sedans Pre-2008



  • asdxereasdxere Posts: 29
    I recently test-drove a 2002 Taurus SE
    with the Flex-Fuel (12 valve) engine.
    I was a little surprised when it revved to 2000 RPM immediately.
    The salesman said this was "normal, to get the oil flowing".
    Is this normal ?
    Anybody take their's in to see if it could be reduced
    to a more sane 1000 RPM ?
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    I cruised over to the Lexus ES300 discussion.

    Makes me feel pretty good that I could buy nearly 2 well equipped Tauri for the price of one ES300 (which, by the way is a Camry with more bells and whistles-and the Camry, comparably equipped is still more expensive than a Taurus). Not only that, many of them are complaining of the poor shifting!

    Oh well, I suppose whatever floats your boat.
  • ezaircon4jcezaircon4jc Posts: 793
    The salesman is right and wrong. It is normal, however, the purpose is to get the catalytic converter warmed up faster, thereby getting the engine in "closed loop" faster and reducing emissions. My Sable and Lincoln do the same thing. Just pop the trans into neutral before driving off and the rpms will settle down to around 1K.
  • asdxereasdxere Posts: 29
    Thanks for the info about the high RPMS.
    The Taurus is a nice car for the price.
    I just have to decide if I can live with the
    slightly uncomfortable seats...
  • ehennessehenness Posts: 92
    Did you try a car with buckets and a floor shifter, or just the bench style with the flip-fold console? I have a '98 SE with the floor shifter and buckets, and they are MUCH more comfortable than the '98s with the other style of seat. I thought maybe that changed with the newer cars, but when I recently had a dealer loaner (an '01 SES with a column shifter), it was the same thing as the '98s I'd driven. Firm, almost hard, rather uncomfortable, and not much bolstering at all. It was a power seat, but the position was not the problem. I noticed this in ONE day, just using it to get to work the day my car was in for service. I was glad to return to my car.

    I recently took a 1200 mile round trip, and I was very comfortable in the car. The seat itself is great, plus the power adjustment meant I could get it just the way I liked.

    If you haven't tried a bucket seat/floor shifter car, try one and you may find it to be very comfortable--it's a lot nicer than the bench. If you already have, then you'll have to decide for yourself.
  • asdxereasdxere Posts: 29
    I tried the 6-passenger "bench" seat on the this test drive.
    I can't seem to find a 5-passenger Taurus without leather seats.
    I test drove one of those the last time I traded, and liked it,
    but the leather isn't very comfortable in our hot Oklahoma summers.
    Also, the 5-passenger is much better looking,
    with the floor shift and cupholders.
    The 6-passenger, with the cupholders out, looks too cheap...
  • upsetter1upsetter1 Posts: 205
    Try Sable. It has upscale interior and has bucket seats with cloth or cloth with leather that look and feel even better than just leather. Actually I don't like Taurus interior - looks too cheap comparing with Sable.
  • ehennessehenness Posts: 92
    I think it's the SES Deluxe and/or the SEL that come with the 5 passenger seating and floor shifter. Leather is optional, but it looks like the dealers you are checking have loaded them up, or else Ford did some 'free leather seats' promotion in your area some time recently... I think at least the SEL comes with the 3.0 4V Duratech, if that's okay with you.

    If you are looking at new 2002s, you might try the Ford website and do 'build your own,' picking the option for the 5 passenger seating/floor shifter. Then pick 'find this car' and enter the zipcode for your area. It will pop up nearby dealers, and you can look at the actual inventory of each dealer (and the page will compare the specific cars to the one you 'built'). That might help you find a non-leather car somewhere close to check out.

    Upsetter1 made a great suggestion too, and you might want to try Sables as well. The seats should be the same as the Taurus ones in terms of design and comfort. It may be easier to find Sables with the floor shifter and buckets (unless of course, they all come that way--I am not as familiar with the Sable equipment--then it would be very easy to find one :-).
  • mralanmralan Posts: 174
    I knew I was "rolling the dice" when I purchase my 01 SES with 26k miles being a former rental car. But, after 4k miles I can report the car is still perfect.

    Anyone else get excellent service from a former rental Taurus?
  • iusecadiusecad Posts: 287
    a '96 LX (back then the LX's came with the Duratec) that was a rental from Fargo w/30k on it. No problems in the 40k he put on it. (So at 70k he traded it for a '99 F-350 because his old pickup was getting tired.) I miss that car. I won't miss his '00 Impala, though...
  • upsetter1upsetter1 Posts: 205
    Hertz has powertrain waranty 1 year/12,000 miles additional to factory. You can also chose 4/48,000 for additional $900. But Hertz doesn't have any Duratec Taurus/Sables. Though it is interesting how much improved Vulcan better than old one and what they did to improve it. It has 155 hp and 185 torque compared with 140 hp/160 of original.
  • ehaaseehaase Posts: 328
    I rented a Duratec Sable from Hertz at the Cincinnati airport in December, 2000. I had it for 2 weeks. Personally, I could not see any higher performance from the Duratec vs. the Vulcan except on the highway, where the Duratec is much faster. Around town, I could tell little difference.
  • riswamiriswami Posts: 192
    for a 97 Taurus with a Vulcan is 145 and 170 Torque. I checked a 93 with the Vulcan 140/165.

    I'm not sure when they had 140/160, but I'd guess you don't see many 86 thru 89 models on the road anymore.

    I have a 97 with the Vulcan, for my driving I find the power adequate; no speed burner, but it cruises 70 to 75 real nice!
  • ezaircon4jcezaircon4jc Posts: 793
    Load up the car for the obligatory family vacation and the Duratec will show it's value. Especially climbing hills/mountains and merging. In town there is probably little difference, until you need to "get on it" to avoid a situation. I had a 91 Sable with the 3.8L and now a 96 with the Duratec. The Duratec does much better in the above situations, IMNSHO.
  • upsetter1upsetter1 Posts: 205
    I have '94 with Vulcan and it is hard to accelerate on freeway on overdrive. Also with three people it starts to pinging when driving uphill. It has 130,000 miles on it though. And I use regular plus.

    Duratec has the same fuel efficiency and is lighter. And costs just $600 more. But if to buy used one you have to pay $2,000 more, because they put Dutatec only on LS premium, and it doesn't depreciate so fast (but thats just my theory, just try to find one year old with Duratec).

    My friend btw bought new Camry with V6 for 22,000 (the catch is - no special financing).
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    I think it would be difficult to spend $22K on a fully loaded new Taurus these days unless you are a very poor negotiator! My advice to prospective Camry owners is to look hard at a Taurus, save all the extra money and you will easily pay for the likely minimal amount of extra repairs you will have for your Taurus.
  • crissy2crissy2 Posts: 3
    Thank you to everyone who responded to my inquiry about choosing a car for my daughter. Finally made a decision and chose the Taurus, silver 2001 SES with 17,000 miles, certified w/75,000 mile warranty. Sales experience at Villa Ford in Orange, CA was very pleasant. I'm very satisfied with the car, and she loves it. I like the large trunk area, similar to my Crown Vic, but I have a question for you Taurus experts. Is there some type of cargo restraint available for the trunk? The space is great, but groceries tend to slide forward. Thanks for your input.
  • kw_carmankw_carman Posts: 114
    Just wondering, how old is your daughter? Most teenagers wouldn't be caught dead in one.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    There are "grocery bag hooks" on the plastic panel below the trunk latch that I guess you can hook the plastic handles of your plastic grocery bags onto. These would not work for paper bags that have no handles.

    I believe your Ford dealer may also have a net that you can buy to strap into these hooks, but I am not sure.

    Another approach that might work and is likely cheaper, is to get the right length bungy cord to stretch between the hooks and around the bags, which would hold them upright just inside the trunk.
  • upsetter1upsetter1 Posts: 205
    Taurus with Vulcan engine is a great car for teenager. My son has one already. So why it is so great? First of all it is not a sport sedan and is not even fast (only 85 mph maximum). It is big and safe. It is cheap in repair. Yeah, my son wants Porsche. But until he had three years of everyday driving he is not going to get anything fast from me. If he makes money himself he can buy fast car, who cares.

    BTW he hates Mitsubisi for some reason, Corolla too(I understand) and is a Porsche fan (I also understand, I would like to have one too:).
  • 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: 1,565
    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.
This discussion has been closed.