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The third car I ever owned was an 89 Accord LXi hatchback that I bought new and drove until last year. Replaced it with a 2001 Accord EX with leather. I really liked my old Accord and like my new one. Problem is my wife likes it too. She drives it on weekends when she can. Uses it for her work a couple times a month. She has a 95 Civic LX with 82,000 miles. We've got our first child on the way. I think a Civic is too small safety-wise. Plus, I hate getting stuck driving the Civic!

We're thinking about replacing the Civic but are strapped a bit financially currently. Have been impressed by the low prices available on used Tauruses -- about $8,000 for decent used 2001 SES. We don't really want to go much over $7,000. A 2001 Accord would be about $14,000 for what we want. Quite a difference.

The only thing I'm concerned about when getting the Taurus (instead of another, older Honda) is reliability. My mechanic thinks Tauruses are junk (sorry). But he's a big Honda fan. My father-in-law's mechanic thinks the Tauruses are good cars for our needs. I've talked to several Taurus owners who are very happy with their cars. I've also talked to owners who are not so happy and seen many less-than-stellar reviews on different sites.

So, can anyone give me any feedback to sell me on a Taurus?
 

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Personally I would stay away from the earlier years, everyone seems to have trouble with the 3.8L V-6, which isnt produced anymore. Personally If your going for a newer model I would look for an SES or SEL with the Duratec engine (ones with the 24v DOHC badges on the side) They give you performance and reliability. I have a '96 with that engine and have 132k miles and have yet to have a problem.
 

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The only issue I would think you MAY have would be with the transmission, and really, this seems to be becoming a problem of the past (116k on my 96'LX with no problemos).

Really, the good thing about the Taurus is that yeah, some things may break, but those things are VERY likely to be cheap, easy-to-fix parts, like the EGR system or stuff like door switches (a little WD40 fixes it right up.) All the bad rep cars like our Tauruses get is from people who freak out and die because the Check Engine Light came on (it can come on for something as stupid as a gas cap not being on tight enough.)

I can gaurantee you that if you search around and find a nice Duratec, you'll be infinitly more pleased with it then you would ever been spending twice as much on an Accord. Cuz, really, if you bought a Taurus for 7000 grand and even something as horrible as it blowing an engine on you happened, the MAX you would be out would be 2000 bucks, but really, that won't happen.

One recommendation, though? Learn to work on your car if you don't already. Like I said, some small things may break (MAY, some people here have gone on 120k without ANY problems), but they are all extremely easy to repair by yourself and free. It's pretty much the reason I love my taurus so much (which, dangit, is going on 6 months and 10k miles without even the check engine light coming on, and my car's old)
 

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2000 and above Tauruses have had good reliability records - in either vulcan or duratech trim (both have 3.0l displacement, so we can't really call them according to that). But I would suggest getting the duratech (its the 24v DOHC engine of the two) because it does have the extra passing power. The only thing that is important about these cars is that you keep up with their maintanance - mind you, these aren't really picky cars, but if you treat the car right, it'll give you years of good service.

The Taurus has had a reputation for mechanical problems mainly from to the time when it was first introduced (back in 1988), but has been steadily improved - especially in the 3rd and 4th generations (the 2000-above being the 4th generation). However, if you do like to drive you car hard, and would like to get better performance, there are some important things that you would need to address, and we have tons of info on these forums about just that
.
 

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Yeah, the 2nd Generation Taurus (92-95) had a lot of problems with the 3.8L engine blowing head gaskets and the trannys not quite being up to snuff. I have a 2000 and though I only have 34K on it, it still drives like a dream, and that's even after I practically tore out my entire front suspension (Ca-CHING! 1000 dollars later). BUT, even after that, it still rides flawlessly and no one has ever complained about ride quality.

Cars are like kids really. If you pay attention to them and feed them ontime and treat them right they'll love you for years. I do most of the work on it myself (like changing the coolant last week) and not only is it cheaper of course, but the sense of accomplishment is unbelievably satisfying.

Often if something breaks it will 99% be something very small. Like I had a hose on my PCV valve crack and gave me a vacuum leak. Big whoop. Cost literally $1.07 to fix for a piece of hose.

It also has a 5 star frontal crash rating and can even come with side airbags. You'll definitely want the duratec as it has more power.

AND! Our base line Vulcan taurus with 155hp will beat a base line 4cylinder Accord. How about that eh? And the 200hp duratec will absolutely blast it's doors off and give the 6cylinder a damn good run for it's money. All this while still saving several thousands. In fact if you check out the January 2004 Consumer Reports they have an article rating family sedans and they gave the Taurus a
They are also bigger and have more room inside and cargo room.

-mobiuslogic
 
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Even a Duratec Taurus is no match for a V6 Accord, but it seems like speed is not the factor here.

It seems like you're looking to replace the Civic for space, and safety reasons. On a budget, I would definitely recommend a Taurus. Out of all the budget-minded American sedans, I'd have to say it's the most reliable, and better equipped cars available. As the others have stated, the powertrain issues of the past are just that, the past. The 2000 and up models seem to be much more reliable than the earlier models, and as you've mentioned, they are cheap to buy.

They also have a five star crash safety rating, plenty of trunk space, and are easy to work on.

We bought our 97 when our youngest was just born, and at the time our kids were 7, 5, 1 and newborn. We had no problem fitting all our baby stuff in the trunk, although now things are a little cramped, that was five years ago.


Good luck with whatever you decide, and don't be timid about asking for help with your purchase here.
 
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I think one of the biggest factors here is safety. The Taurus has a 5 star safety rating as stated above, which is the government's highest rating. Plus the Taurus (2000+) has Ford's Personal Safety System which has many features working behind the scenes to keep your family safe. The Taurus is also equipped to handle 3 car seats in the back for little kids. I got my 2001 SES with the Vulcan engine in mid August and have since put about 17,000 miles on it and, I have to admit, I am very hard on it and I have had absolutely no problems with anything (Aside from sliding into a curb <_< ).
Now my car is up to 37,500+ miles and still going strong. But as many have stated, it is very important to keep up with maintenance (which really is not all that difficult or expensive). Depending on whether you are doing a lot of highway driving or in town driving, you may want to consider the vulcan engine. The vulcan has a bit more of a low end punch to it while the Duratec's power isn't really unleashed until you get up to higher speeds and are trying to pass on the highway. However, I am completely satisfied with the power my vulcan puts out (155HP/186 Ft/lb torque) - it carries the car very well.
Good luck with your purchase and, of course, if you have any other questions don't hesitate to ask.


Forgot to add - if you can find one in your price range, I would recommend that you find one with Traction Control & ABS - they can be life savers and work incredibly well
If you are looking at SES models, you should have no problem finding those features.
 

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The only advantage the Vulcan has is for maybe the first 100feet, and after that the Duratec is easily faster. Anyways, aused taurus is a stealright now because of the horrid used car market. Rebates+lowinterest rates = poor resale value for everything, so buying used gets you alot more car for your money than even a couple years ago.

Find one that is low mileage, WAS NOT A RENTAL/FLEET car, and has been maintained properly and it should last 120k+ without any major repairs.
 

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The taurus will most likely feel a little bigger inside then the accord as well. I sometimes think people have become to brainwashed with "Import good, domestic bad". The resell value of the Accord is artaficially inflated and the taurus is artificially deflated because of this (this is why you can get the used taurus much cheaper). Ever notice it's usually the Honda enthusiests that bad mouth the domestic sedans? As if they ever owned one! I say you at least owe yourself a test drive. If you really want performance, you could try and hunt down a Gen 3 (96-99) V8 SHO, otherwise a late model 24V DOHC Duratec is probably your best bet. If you are interested in fuel efficiency, the vulcan might be better, specifically the Fuel Flux Vulcan which allows you to run Ethenol rather then gasoline if you like.

-Dan
 

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The 2000+ Taurus is absolutely bigger on the inside. As a matter of fact according to the EPA it is considered a "large" and the Accord is a "mid-size". Thiswasone of the selling points when I was looking at the 2k Accord vs. the Taurus because I like a decent amount of interior room in my daily driver.

And dont even consider a Gen 3 SHO. Having to weld cams to prevent massive engine destruction is not exactly indicative of a well designed engine, imo.
 

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Get a Gen 4 with a Duratec, no questions asked.

As for the Taurus or Sable, here are 4 key points.

1. 5 Star Safety ratings (highest)
2. WAY CHEAPER insurance costs
3. Cheaper Parts (not quality, price)
4. Excellent handling in all conditions.

I can attest to number 4 as my neighbor has an 03 accord and could not get it out of 4-6 inches of snow without shoveling it out. I Let the Sable warm up, cleaned it off and simply drove it out of a 8+ inch snow drift, no problems.

I even drove the Grand Marquis right out, and that is RWD.

I laughed as I drove to work.
 

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Also...as lots of said, safety is obviously something you would look at.

Many Taurii have side-impact air bags, ABS, and traction control.

The Duratec is ALSO the better engine. People think the Vulcan get's better gas milage, but actually, the Duratec is rated 1MPG more in the city than the Vulcan according to the book I have...;-)

The sedan can seat up to 6 people...this is something the Accord can't do because they are ALL Floor shift models. The Taurus wagon can seat up to 8...which is SUV territory.

-Kyle
 

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Why should he buy Duratec? He wants to save money, not to spend it. I'm sure duratec is better engine, but Vulcan is good enough in his case. It has 93% of torque of Duratec (186 / 200 ). It is not agile as Duratec, but a lot cheaper.
 
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Originally posted by Postmortem@Jan 30 2004, 09:41 PM
Why should he buy Duratec? He wants to save money, not to spend it. I'm sure duratec is better engine, but Vulcan is good enough in his case. It has 93% of torque of Duratec (186 / 200 ). It is not agile as Duratec, but a lot cheaper.
Plus the vulcan is just a tank... unless Bob gets his hands on it
 
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Timeshifter, how long do you plan on keeping the car? I recall reading in a past thread that you plan on keeping it for a few years. For example, I paid about $9k for my taurus ~3 years ago, its worth about one third of that if I am lucky, even when considering my entire drivetrain is rebuilt. Resale values on these cars aren't too great, so dont expect much if you plan on selling in a few years - however it makes a great value for buying a used car.

Your mechanic thinks like mine. He told me its the american cars which keep him in business. However, I dont think the newer taurus's are that bad, they could probably be considered average in terms of reliability, which I say is an improvement over the earlier ones (3.8hg, trans issues). I cannot sell you on a taurus. My ownership experience has been nothing but a never ending nightmare and I dream for the day where I am free from this piece of junk. If I did not have my esp warranty, my cost of repairs last year would be at least twice the value of the vehicle. Good luck with car shopping.
 
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Overall, I think we have seen incredible reliability with the Gen 4's. There are lemons out there, so don't let one isolate incident scare you out of a Taurus. Ford did a very nice job redesigning the Gen 4's and they are very solid. There are people out there who have gone 70k+ miles on their Gen 4's without any issues.
 
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I have 83k on my 2001 and the only problem I have ever had was caused by Pep Boys (car-killers) who screwed up my anti-locks. Oh, I did have the MAF replaced under warranty right after I bought it (used) so who knows what the previous owner may have done to it.

Sell you on a Taurus? ok, LOTS of room and a trunk you can put 6 people in. Decent mileage for its size and although very little resale value, when you consider your purchase price was lower (due to lower resale value) you can call it a push.

My next new car will be a truck or most likely the GTO (400HP, 6spd - needs looks improvement first) but thats still 2 years away while I am living in Japan.

I was just telling my wife today that I am going to go ahead and start my mid-life crises 10 yrs early and would she mind if I went younger girlfriend and red sports car shopping. :lol2: She was not amused. <_<
 
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