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Ford Taurus/Mercury Sable Sedans Pre-2008



  • venus537venus537 Posts: 1,443
    i think if you would drive 4 cylinder versions of the latest passat, altima, accord and altima you'll be surprised by the available torque and smoothness of these engines. low rpms at highway speeds too. if you're one to carry heavy loads then the duratech should be the engine of choice anyway.
  • atcersatcers Posts: 26
    I have driven and owned a 96 4 cylinder Altima and a 95 V6 Camry. Now I realize that I am talking 6-7 year old designs here but in recent years I have driven sister-in-laws 2001 4 cylinder Camry and brother-in-laws 2000 4 cylinder Accord. I once owned a 97 VW Cabrio with a 2.0L 4 cylinder. The best of the above bunch was the 95 Camry with the very smooth V6. I do not dislike any of the above vehicles but for all the acclaim the Accord and Camry get I still dislike the 4 cylinder equipped models. In my humble opinion I do not think a 4 cylinder engine should be put in a mid-sized vehicle. Not to offend anyone but at 65-70 MPH they are "buzzy". You can feel the vibration of the high RPM powerplant even if it is very slight. Even a very slight vibration will wear on a driver after a trip of several hours. Now several of the vehicles I mentioned are newer and of the current production run but they are just not as smooth as their V6 counterparts. If I am going to spend $20k on a family sedan I want to be able to drive a 300 mile trip without fatigue from a "buzzy" engine. It's not the 4 cylinder engine I am against per se, it is the comfort level a consumer should get from spending $20K plus. If it were up to me there would be NO 4 cylinder Camry or Accord. The larger the displacement the better the ride except for the most advanced engines. Even with a V6 Duratec in my Sable it is no secret that at 70 MPH in the middle of August with 4 passangers and the climate control set to 70 degrees the V8 in the Grand Marquis is light years ahead in smoothness under the same conditions. So unless Ford is going to spend big for an elite design on a 4 cylinder engine the Taurus/Sable will take a step backwards. From what upsetter1 says it appears the new 500 will be a better choice for me.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    My Taurus with Duratec seems plenty smooth at cruising speeds. Probably not quite as smooth and quiet as a Grand Marquis, but these are completely different vehicles anyway. The Grand Marquis is more of a boulevard cruiser with large V-8, body on frame construction, compliant suspension. I will gladly give up a certain amount of smoothness and quietness for a little more responsiveness and tighter handling as long as it is not jarring, which is why I think Taurus has got it just about right in the current generation.

    Our other "car" is a short wheel base 3.3L V-6 '96 Caravan, and it is really hard to beat it
    for overland cruising. Smooth, quiet, panoramic view, comfortable upright seats. I would take the Caravan any day over a Grand Marquis for freeway long distance trips.

    Finally saw an 03 Accord sedan this morning on my drive to work. My first reaction from a styling standpoint: Nothing particularly objectionable, but nothing particularly exciting either. Looks better live than in pictures. I think it has Camry beat in the styling department. Taurus, in my opinion has them both beat on exterior styling.
  • riswamiriswami Posts: 192
    sure that the 500 is a replacement for the Taurus. Thought I read in Warren Brown's chat transcript that the 500 will be limited production.

    I like the design of the new Accord. Honda makes a nice 4 cylinder and that engine is more than sufficient for everyday driving. I think the same can be said for the 4 installed in the Camry.

    What are the torque and horsepower #s for the proposed 2.4 that will be installed in future Taurueses?
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    Per, Calendar year North American Auto production(Canada, Mexico, and US) for 2002:

    Taurus: 375,219
    Sable: 106,633
    Total: 481,852

    Camry Sedan US: 311,610
    Camry Solara: 42,044 (Canada)
    Total: 353,654

    Honda Accord US 336,231
    Honda Accord (Mexico) 42,404
    Total (includes Coupes) 378,635

    I do not know how many Accords and Camrys still come from overseas.

    Still, Taurus+Sable totals are not too shabby!
  • upsetter1upsetter1 Posts: 205
    Actually they are talking about 165 hp 2.3L engine. They don't mention Taurus, but Taurus will be smaller car, like Camry, and I-4 with 165 hp seems to be a natural replacement for Vulcan. I hope they are not gonna decide to keep Vulcan another fifty years, make new Taurus body on the frame or put live axle in the rear (just kidding).

  • I guess you guys are right about the Vulcan. Never owned one, but test drove one not too long ago. Nearly fell asleep behind the wheel from boredom! Afterward drove a Duratec, and immediately bought the car.

    I've always avoided small engine cars that used the descriptions, "peppy", or "spunky" or otherwise. To me that means you're surprised with what you get, but in reality, it isn't really enough when your foot makes the call for that raw horsepower.

    Even the Duratec I have doesn't get it in higher speed situations. Having owned bigger block V-8's, there's no comparison when you lay down the hammer at 60 MPH to get by a vehicle quickly. Unless of course you have a very light vehicle, which means you need a rubdown after 4-6 hours of constant driving.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    Yes, and to save time, maybe you can find a combined gas station with a masseuse to save time, as you will certainly be stopping for gas more often with that big block V-8!

    Actually, the current V-6's perform quite comparable to many of the old V-8's of the 70's and early 80's. More power per cubic inch and less vehicle weight.

    Even the Vulcan, when it came out was very good compared to most of what was out there. I was pleasantly surprised at the performance of the Vulcan in my 90 Taurus, after having driven a Chevy Celebrity with the old "Iron Duke" 2.5 Litre 4. The Taurus ran rings around the Celebrity and had more room and better mileage.
  • venus537venus537 Posts: 1,443
    "Not to offend anyone but at 65-70 MPH they are "buzzy""

    this is simply not true of the new accords and camrys. just over 2000 rpms doesn't sound buzzy to me. you'll have to go over 80 mph to get any kind buzziness. that said, if i get an accord it's going to be with the v6.
  • atcersatcers Posts: 26

    I guess it is a matter of personal taste. While you state "it is simply not true" I feel it is. Please state where you found a 2000 rpm estimate at 80 mph on any Accord or Camry ever made? To run at 2000 rpm on a 4 cylinder engine you would need a pretty high final gear ratio that I doubt you will find in any automatic transmission. In general 6 cylinder engines are smoother than 4 cylinders and 8's are smoother than 6's. You do not appear to be a Ford supporter so do you honestly think that Ford will invest enough money and manpower in the design of a 4 cylinder engine that will rival Honda or Toyota and still power the next generation Taurus? I'm a Ford supporter and I don't believe they will. It is my humble opinion that the Duratec should be made the standard engine and a tweeked version with variable valve timing the upgrade. To me a 4 cylinder in the next generation Taurus is a step backward that is sure to be exploited by other car makers. If we here on this board notice Honda offering a 240 hp V6 Accord and Nissan offering up a 255 hp V6 Maxima and Altima then Ford must surely know that keeping the 200 hp Duratec as the "upgraded" powerplant and reverting back to a 4 cylinder "base" engine will do nothing to hold or reclaim market shares for this car class.
  • upsetter1upsetter1 Posts: 205
    It is just a busyness okay. Its all about making money. Ford currently doesn't make money on Taurus and Sable. And Toyota and Honda and making good profits on midsize sedans. So don't tell me that Ford is gonna to make money offering expensive 24 valve aliminum V6 in every each midsize sedan. So only way Ford can compete with Toyota and Honda in this segment is sell Taurus for less, not because Accord and Camry are better cars (they are if to compare with current Taurus), but because of Fords reputation for reliability and quality.

    Now any German and Japanese 4 cylinder is smoother and is MORE EFFECTIVE than cheap American V6 like Vulcan. Technology is moving on, it is already 21 century man. What makes the sence continue to use engines from 60s and loose market share every year.

    And Ford already designed the line of modern I4s in cooperation with Mazda. And they are going to use flexible platforms and manufacturing like Honda. Most of the people don't care about I4 or V6 under the hood. They are happily buying 4 cylinder cars from Japanese and Germans in ever increasing numbers.
  • riswamiriswami Posts: 192
    thanks for the link upsetter1.

    Now I got to disagree with you on the Vulcan being cheap and ineffective. For most people and the day to day driving they do the engine is fine. It has modern pollution controls, fuel injection, distributorless ignition etc. Just because it has push rods doesn't make it a dinosuar. Is the Duratec a better engine and more modern design? absolutely.

    One other thing. I keep seeing references that there were significant changes with the 2k Taurus. Don't think much changed besides styling and a bump in power for the Vulcan and the loss of dual exhaust for the Duratec. Car and Driver barely reviewed it. Way too early to talk about reliability improving; hasn't been out long enought. Everyone that I know or spoken to has had good luck with 96s on.
  • upsetter1upsetter1 Posts: 205
    Vulcan has fuel consumption of Duratec and power of typical 4 cylinder. If you want better and more effective V6 pushrod - 3.4 and 3.8 from GM.
  • atcersatcers Posts: 26
    Well Upsetter think about what you just said. Ford doesn't make money on Taurus? Then wouldn't it be cheaper to get out of that segment of the market? Either Ford is going to compete with Toyota and Honda or they are not. If they are going to compete isn't the objective to profit and win or in this case keep up with market share? Now you may have misunderstood what I previously said, I never said keep the Vulcan! I said to compete Ford needs to move into the 21st century like you refer too. Use the Duratec!!! It appears that Edmunds just changed their website layout and I wasn't able to find the additional cost of the Duratec engine but if memory serves me correctly it is about $1200 in consumer cost NOT Ford's cost. The Duratec is not a modern technological "mystery" it is a modern up to date V6 engine and to revere it as anything more is a little off as Nissan, Honda and VW already have more advanced engines. It is exactly the type of engine that a forward thinking and moving company would use as a base standard. If Ford is to gain ground on it's competitors it needs to offer a better product, PERIOD.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    When I bought my Taurus in 2000, the Duratec was a $695 MSRP option and was $619 invoice, so it really is not too big a price adder when you look at a car that is going to cost you about $17-19K out the door. Ford could probably make the Duratec standard without taking a big hit on sales, however they would definitely lose some who are looking to minimize their out of pocket cost. Whether this would be made up for with increased sales for those looking for a higher performance at a reasonable cost is debatable.

    It is a little less easy to figure out what Ford wants for a Duratec now as they have rejuggled the option lists and you cannot break out the price of the Duratec alone.

    I did just recently go through the numbers for buying an equivalent '03 SES, and with the current $3000 rebates, it appeared to me I could buy a nearly equivalent(actually slightly better equipped) '03 SES with Duratec for about $1000-$1400 less than I paid 2-1/2 years ago! This would buy it for probably less than $17K. Certainly an attractive price.
  • atcersatcers Posts: 26
    Badgerfan thank you for finding the price on the Duratec. That is a good price on a 03 and what you just stated is my angle exactly. Now that the Taurus/Sable are getting good write-ups from the press, reliability is up, and content versus price is better than the import makers Ford should run with it. I think Honda and Toyota are great cars but a SES with a Duratec V6 at $17k is a great value! Hopefully a good enough value to have a few Accord and Camry owners take a look.
  • riswamiriswami Posts: 192
    was the Vulcan first produced?

    I thought I read that Duratec engines make up approximately 15% of Taurus sales. So how fast could Ford convert manufacturing to install that engine in all Tauruses? Is there that much of a demand for that engine, given the average consumer has no idea what he/she is buying.
  • fdthirdfdthird Posts: 352
    Before you ask Ford to put the Duratec V/6 in every Taurus, remember that that same engine is used in the Escape and Mazda Tribute and is the basis for several other engines from Mazda and Jaguar.

    Whenever you talk about why certain engines are standard and other's optional, you also have to understand manufacturing considerations. For example, several times during its lifetime, Ford has had 6 cyl Mustang specials because the builds were going too far to the V/8 side and they were running out of production capacity.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    was introduced with the first model year Taurus, I believe, in circa 1986? I do not remember the exact year of introduction. So it has been around a long time, but has been tweaked with improvements along the way. Note GM has held onto a lot of pushrod V-6's as well. I am not particularly hung up with having to have a DOHC engine. The GM 3.8 Litre V-6 has good power and very good mileage for the engine size, by the way.
  • upsetter1upsetter1 Posts: 205
    Motor Trend:
    2004 Mercury Sable: Recent indications are that the Sable will separate from its Taurus fraternal twin, instead evolving from the new Mondeo or the Mazda 6. Either choice offers a more dynamic vehicle available in multiple body styles.

    2005 Ford Taurus: Taurus goes its own way without sibling Mercury Sable. Next-generation platform may also spawn other vehicle types, such as sport wagon and sport/ute. And the well-regarded Volvo S80 may be the platform donor.

    Ford's task: Revive products, pinch pennies

    By Mary Connelly
    Automotive News / August 04, 2002

    Ford Five Hundred

    The five-passenger Ford Five Hundred, with optional awd, is scheduled for the 2005 model year.
    The Five Hundred is a premium sedan scheduled for the 2005 model year.

    The car will be derived from the new platform underpinning the 2005 Ford CrossTrainer, a vehicle described as a cross between a sedan and a sport-utility. The car will feature styling and engineering features not seen before in a large Ford sedan. All-wheel-drive, for example, will be optional, and the interior will be trimmed with wood and brushed aluminum.

    A six-speed automatic and a continuously variable transmission will be offered. Ford's next-generation 3.0-liter Duratec V-6 will be standard.

    The five-passenger Five Hundred will be slightly smaller than a Chevrolet Impala but is expected to have more interior room. Ford will employ a high package design, creating a roomier, taller passenger compartment than the current Ford Taurus, for example.

    Ford Taurus, Mercury Sable

    The Taurus and Sable are likely to remain fairly untouched through the 2005 model year. Beyond that, Ford's mid-sized strategy remains up in the air.

    One scenario moves Taurus to the Mazda 6 platform. Another keeps the model on the existing Taurus platform, primarily as a fleet vehicle. A third has the car based on the Ford Mondeo, which is sold in Europe.

    All three scenarios are aimed at the 2006 model year, sources say.

    The Sable will be replaced in the 2006 model year when it moves from its existing platform.

    The company has said Mercury will rely on existing platforms from other Ford Motor Co. brands. But what underpinnings the replacement model will use and what type of sedan Mercury will put into the mid-sized segment are not clear.

    One scenario draws a Mercury sport wagon off the Ford CrossTrainer and Ford Five Hundred mid-sized platform. Another has Mercury choosing a smaller, "high-package" sedan based on the Mazda 6 platform.
  • ehaaseehaase Posts: 328
    That information is already out of date.

    Automotive News reported this week that Mercury will get versions of both the Ford 500 and the Mazda 6.

    The Sable will be around through 2006.
  • regfootballregfootball Posts: 2,166
    i thought the 500 was supposed to be a big car and they say its not as big as the Impala?

    what's the point then?

    The Taurus now is a nice size. But I could see a car line in addition to that that is as big as say, a Deville in interior space.

    I say make the current Duratec standard, and make a VVT version optional. If the next redesign had a 4 cylinder as standard thats ok. The current car is long in the tooth so they have to sell it on features and value now.

    Also, invest in improving the handling, suspension, a new interior, some styling tweaks.....that ought to keep the Taurus selling ok till a major redesign.

    The point to Ford is, invest SOMETHING in improving the product. HOW BOUT an SVT Taurus for all us SHO owners looking to buy a performance Taurus again?????? Stick too, please......if you did it for the Focus you can do it for the Taurus, Getrag makes many manual trannies just sitting on the shelf.

    I don't need YAW control or NAVIGATION. Just a Taurus, with a high hp hot rod motor, a stick, grippy seats, grippy tires, and sunroof and really good sound system. Leather too.
  • riswamiriswami Posts: 192
    realize that the Vulcan has only been used in the Taurus.The debut of the Taurus was 1985 as an 86 model.

    If Ford is going to keep the current edition around until 2005 that means this style will be in production since the 1996 model year. That is a long time for any model and it doesn't help the Taurus.

    I believe the 3.8 GM motor was developed in the early 60's with a major revision in the late 80's. So the Vulcan isn't that old.
  • is also used in the Ranger (or was) along with the 4.0 V6s, and also it was at one time the base engine in the Windstar (might still be). It was the base engine in the old RWD Aerostar van, too. However, the majority of production did/does go into the Taurus and Sable.

    It indeed was new in 1985 for the new Taurus and Sable.

    The Vulcan may be lower in HP than some engines, but it has decent low-end torque, something four cylinders (especially multi-valve 4s) do not usually have. The Vulcan has around 170-180 pound-feet, which is decent and comparable to many competitors. Car ads always trumpet HP, but they never mention torque. I'd much rather know what the torque output is, and at what RPM it's delivered. HP is needed to maintain speed/overcome wind resistance. Torque's what gets the car moving. If I get torque when I mash the gas (i.e., at fairly low engine speeds), I'm much happier than if I have to rev the spit out of an engine to get power. The rush of acceleration (and the haze of tire smoke...:-) you get out of a big block V8 is from its torque.

    (Note that the Vulcan and 4.0 are not related--the 4.0 is a German design that is actually older than the Vulcan. Remember the Capri--not the Mustang-based car, the one from '70-'76. That car's 2.8 L V6 is the basis for the later 2.9 and 4.0 OHV Ranger/Bronco II/Explorer engines, and also the 4.0 SOHC).

    As for the GM 3.8, it's ancient. I think it's the oldest engine design still out there still using the same displacement and basic layout (pushrod, etc.). This assumes that Chrysler has finally ended production on the 318 V8, which dates to 1963 as a 273 V8 and itself began in '66--though a 318 with a thicker block casting and different heads existed back as far as 1959).

    The GM 231/3.8 was an odd-fire V6 from its start in the early 1960s (Buick Special and Skylark), and they used it for a few years.

    By 1966 or so, design and tooling was sold to Jeep when Jeep was part of Kaiser (prior to AMC). When AMC bought Jeep in 1970, they began switching to AMC straight-sixes. GM wanted the V6 back during the fuel crisis, and AMC needed the money. So, when GM's new intermediate cars came out in 1976, the 231/3.8 was back as an even-fire engine. Then it was re-done in the late 1980s, as stated above, with the switch to modern fuel injection. They've kept tweaking it. Proves it is a basically sound design. It too has decent torque at lower RPMs.

    Anyway, that ends today's lesson. Thank you for attending... :-)
  • fdthirdfdthird Posts: 352
    When is the engine test scheduled??? Canb I bring you an apple??
  • If I am looking for a Duratec with leather, ABS, side air bags (is that an SES?) can I get that for under $17K with 0 percent for 5 ??
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    All we want about what Ford's future plans are. In the mean time I will just keep on enjoying my Duratec Taurus. By the time I am looking for a replacement in about seven years assuming it doesn't get totalled, I will just reevaluate at that point. In the meantime, I think Ford could make a lot of marketing inroads if they published comparitive advertisements that emphasized the value you are getting for the price.

    Yes, Accord and Camry are good cars, though Camry has slipped lately in the CR ratings, and the jury is still out as to whether the newest generation Accord is up to their historical quality levels. But to get their V-6 versions, they will tend to push you up to at about $23K or more (negotiated price, not list). A Taurus with Duratec will run you an actual negotiated price of about $17-$18K. That is a very significant difference. If you look at the overall package of price vs features, for a family sedan Taurus is hard to beat, and I believe the quality is nearly a wash these days.
  • pluto5pluto5 Posts: 618
    GM 3.8 is much preferable to Vulcan IM0 having driven both. As far as being ancient, I guess you could say that Boeing 737 is ancient but Southwest Airlines runs their entire business based on an ancient aircraft and is one of the most successful! Ford needs to redesign the entire Taurus/Sable line IMO but I wouldn't hold my breath given their current finances.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    The $17K-18K price range are including the current $3000 rebate incentives. Usually your choice is rebate or low interest rates, not both. If you page back in this discussion, you will see people having paid about 18K for a Loaded Taurus or Sable with Duratec, ABS and even with leather.

    You can check the Ford web site, and if I remember right, they have a section listing factory incentives once you get into the Taurus area. The Edmunds area for rebates, I have found does not usually keep up with what is really available, as things change too often.
  • riswamiriswami Posts: 192
    Thanks for the history lesson. I forgot that the Vulcan was used in the Windstar. Thought most of the Windstars came thru with the 3.8. Never would have thought of the Aerostar and didn't know about use in the Ranager.

    If history is any indicator I'm going to bet that the majority of Tauruses will be sold with the Vulcan. Ford is still using the 3.8 and look at the head gasket problems with that engine.
This discussion has been closed.