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Since I was able to test drive a few 4th gen Tauri today and wasn't that wowed, I think maybe I should try the 3rd gen and see if I like them any more.

The 4th gen seems too big to this Accord driver. The car will be mainly for my wife (unless we work something else out) and she's used to driving a Civic and doesn't want anything bigger than our 01 Accord. Since the 3rd gen Tauri look smaller and sleeker I wonder if they drive that way too.

Whatever we buy I don't see us keeping any longer than 3 years, so long term issues don't apply. I like the idea of how inexpensive the 3rd gens are. Could almost do an even swap with the wife's 95 civic.

Any comments on the 3rd gens then? What to look for? What to avoid?

Thanks!
 

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the 3rd gen looks smaller due to its shape yet is the same size as the gen IV, they have the same basic structure, except for the gen IV Ford chose a more contemporary look instead of a revolutionary one that the gen III's posess.
 

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What to look for?

I would say make sure you keep looking until you find that perfect deal. There are millions of Tauruses out there, and the prices have been getting lower and lower of late. Don't settle on a deal unless you find that one that's perfect.

What to avoid?

One of the main problems these cars have are transmission failures. Before deciding on a certain car, I would have a mechanic check it out to make sure everything is in good shape, especially the transmission. Also, of the two transmissions Ford used in the GenIII, many believe the AX4N is superior to the AX4S.

Tip: An AX4N will have an "X" under the "TR" (for transmission) on the sticker on the inside of the drivers door.

Any more questions?
 

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3rd gen bulls rule!

They are the same size as the gen4, but looking at it (because of it's nicely curved features) it looks smaller. However some people have problems with their 3rd gen cars. Like tranny failures. You just gotta keep up regular maint. And BLAOW.. you have a perfect bull! Even though I've never driven/been in a g4, I would probably be safe to say they look a bit like the g2s, just retro styled. I didn't like the g1,2's because they are too boxy for my type. Anyway, test drive a g3 and I'll bet you'll like it. Some don't like g3s because it's too "ovaly" for them.. Just depends on the person. Remember, the Taurus is a Family Sedan, making it a bit larger than your Accord.

>>> Declaires herself official G3 Taurus marketer.

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well if the taurus is going to be out of the question completely because of its size. There is a other American car with the same low resale because of its problems it had in its first years of production but have all ben ironed out. It two has a five stare crash rating, its a Seabring / Stratus. The suspension is similar to the accords with double wishbone instead of struts and is about the same size. I like the taurus because its ride is more isolated and feels bigger, but my wife likes the Stratus because it feels smaller and nimbler but still has a no apology back seat for passengers.
 

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I know you guys probably think I might be a bit biased but, I would suggest the Gen 4, mainly for the safety packages that are offered. You should be able to find one with driver's side, passenger's side, and side air bags, with traction control, and ABS. Hate to put it this way but I would not comprise safety to save a few dollars, even if it is only for a few years.
 

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I used to drive small cars and while my Wife drove my Sable, I thought it was a boat. I had a lot of trouble backing it out of my drive way. But as since October, I have been driving the Sable everyday and have got used to it. Just like any new car, after awhile you will be more aware of its size.

Once you get into a mid-sized car like a Taurus, you won't want to go back to the small cars. The Taurus has a large trunk for kids stuff and fits strolers really nice. Car seats also sit really good for this car. I have two small kids and the Taurus moves them around great!

This is a family car and space is important. I wouldn't buy a Stratus or anything like that, its too small for a family. Most Accords before 2003 are too small also. I have two small kids and the Taurus moves them around great! The next best thing is a Mini-van.

Whatever Gen you choose, you will be happy. We have been happy with ours since 2001.
 

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both the gen III and IV are equally safe in a wreck scoring a full 5 stars each in the head on impact, but if you want to be safer in icy/snowy conditions conditions get a g4 with traction control and abs, but swap in disks in the back in the place of the weak drums, the g3's had the chance of having rear disks stock with the abs until late 98, the parts will swap right over however should you want the extra stopping power of the disks all around.
 

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I have a 96 GL and I love how this car drives. Its a mini Crown Vic and it drives like it. It feels just big enough to be safe (which I know it IS from crash test ratings, air bags, steel door beams, and abs)...yet its small and efficient enough to not break me everytime I drive it. The seats are very comfortable and everything is superbly appointed on the dash. Mine has over 127,000 miles on it and cranks and drives like it was off the showroom floor. Overall a really GREAT deal!
 

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i suggest the g4 based on style, who wants to drive around in an egg shaped car? with an egg shaped radio? and do us all a favor and stay away, far away from dodge.
 

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Originally posted by green@Jan 28 2004, 08:34 PM
well if the taurus is going to be out of the question completely because of its size. There is a  other American car with the same low resale because of its problems it had in its first years of  production but have all ben ironed out. It two has a five stare crash rating,  its a Seabring / Stratus. The suspension is similar to the accords with double wishbone instead of struts and is about the same size. I like the taurus because its ride is more isolated and feels bigger, but my wife likes the Stratus because it feels smaller and nimbler but still has a no apology back seat for passengers.

Sebrings are smaller than the bulls, or at least they seem like it. The stratus is not what I would call family-oriented.

I think the two I am most biased on are the g3 Tauruses or the Intrepids. They both are family sedans, both pack some punch (if you get the right kinds; Bull=Duratec, and Intrepid=3.5L/3.8L)

And yet another reason why I think you should get a g3 is they hold up. Everyone knows I have bad luck with getting hit. She's still up and running after a frontal impact, a door crushing, hijacked tire and crushed fender.


QUOTE
i suggest the g4 based on style, who wants to drive around in an egg shaped car? with an egg shaped radio? and do us all a favor and stay away, far away from dodge.[/b]
Egg shaped? Its areodynamic.

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The gen 3 is a very well designed car. Though some things annoy me like the integrated climate control and radio, it's a distinguished looking car, it doesn't look like everything else on the road.
 
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The only difference in the gen3 and 4 in terms of space is the headroom. The gen4 just has a lot more head room, but in terms of width and length they are within .2 inches of eachother.

Since you plan on keeping this car for only a few years, this to me is a sign to buy another honda accord. The resale value on these cars are horrible and you will be better off buying another accord which will hold its value very well, have a far less of a chance of breaking down then yeild a higher percentage of what you originially paid when you decide to sell it. Keep in mind, if any repairs come up - whatever they may be, they do not add value to the car regardless of money invested in it. Although this may not be 100% accurate check out this thread. Some cars have been good, some haven't. Also, have you looked at toyota camrys? If its a v6, just have it checked for sludge and make sure oil changes were done on time and you have a great car.
 

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If you are worried about looks of the gen3 taurus...the gen 3 sable had a little more contempary look
 
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I owned a Gen 3 before getting my Gen 4. I think the Gen 4's handle better (stock for stock), not sure why, but I definitely noticed a difference, but I did go from a Gen 3 with about 100k miles to a Gen 4 w/ 20k miles, so that could account for part of that. At any rate, my Gen 4 just gives me a "better overall feeling" as far as safety and quality. As for the brakes, My Gen 4 stops amazingly well IMHO even with rear drums. Rear drums are not all that bad - the Taurus still has superior stopping distances to the Impala and Intrepid. Also, as stated above, there are many safety features available in the Gen 4 that are not on Gen 3's. Once of which, that I absolutely love, is Traction Control. The Traction Control system absolutely amazes me. This is not something you should rely on, simply because you should always pay attention and handle adverse conditions as if you didn't have it - for safety's sake - but anyways - the T/C has kicked in when I have started hydroplaning on the highway and also just when going around town and hitting patches of ice or snow. The system works very well and reacts before I even have time to compensate for the condition. For resale value - if you are buying a pre-owned Gen 4, you aren't going to lose much. Somebody else already took that initial hit from buying it new and the "hit" for buying it preowned and selling it pre-owned is not nearly as bad. If you are just worried about size, as stated above, the Gen 3 & 4 are nearly identical in size. I went from a 4 door compact car to my Gen 3 and thought it was huge, but I got used to it very quick and fell in love with Taurii.


Forgot to add - on repair expenses. If you get a Gen 4 with low mileage (ie 30k or less) - I would be surprised if ANYTHING broke that was more than just a small fix (less than 50 bucks). Just be sure to keep up on maintenance and I think you'll be fine. If you are worried about repairs, you can get Ford Extended Service Plans for pretty reasonable prices that will extend a warranty on your car. I paid about $600 to get a 100k mile/6 year warranty that has the same coverage as the factory bumper to bumper (only doesn't cover nuiscances such as dings and rattles). This is the Ford PremiumCare warranty.
 

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My dad owned a 99 Taurus, and we've also gotten to drive some gen4s. The gen3 interior is FAR SUPERIOR to the gen4 in terms of room and overall spacious feel, gen3s have bulky a** dashes, the gen3s are more curvier.

BTW both the gen3 and gen4 have the SAME BASIC STRUCTURE, once your strip off the front and rear sheetmetal, all the sheetmetal chassis, doors, and such are the same so there isnt going to be much difference in terms of safety.

FOr overall reliability, go with the 3.0 Vulcan it has plenty of power and is cheap and very reliable. The Duratec has more power but is more complex, kinda like your honduhs, but should be as reliable as the vulcan. Trannies have gotten much better but have it checked out before you buy one.

One last note: some extended warranties are refundable if you never use it for repairs, so it might be an extra piece of mind that wont cost you anything in the end.

Good luck!!! And enjoy the Good Side (domestic, that is lol)
 

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I've driven everything under the sun, and mainly come from performance cars. I purchased my '99 Taurus in '00 with 22k on the clock from a Cadillac dealership. The car has been great to me. It has had some issues, but those were the result of the changes I made to the car. Now the car is approaching 88k and runs great... never a single problem with the way the car runs.

The insurance costs for this car are great. It is one of the cheapest cars to insure in America today. The Crown Victoria / Grand Marquis are about the only cars less expensive to insure. It is also one of the safest cars on the road.

I like to take trips and toss in all my gear and my friends and take off. Whenever we go anywhere we go in my Taurus. It's comfortable and confident.

Personally, I like the look of the late model Sables, 2000 and up. If I could take everthing I have in my Taurus and swap it into a 2003 Sable I'd do it. They have a stately, dignified, yet casual look.

I have owned several Hondas, like yourself. Hondas are great little cars. Well built, good ergonomics, solid engineering. However they are overvalued. They do keep their resale value.

For your price range I would certainly recommend a late model Taurus or Sable '98 or newer. The 24 valve DOHC 3.0L V6 is pretty smooth and has more high RPM passing power than the OHC V6. I have only ridden in a Taurus with the OHC motor (2001 model) and it seemed very smooth and capable of moving the car.

My only complaint about my '99 Taurus are with the short headrests. This problem was fixed with the 2000+ models.
 

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The gen 3's are good cars. I had a 1999 SE Sport that I loved. Bought it new with like 12 miles on it and drove it until around 70k. Traded it in with no problems.

During its life it had one problem that was covered by warranty. The electronic climate control display burnt up and was fixed for free.

Pic of my old baby:
 

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Gen 3

Turning circle 38.0 ft
Head/hip/leg room, f 36.2/55.8/38.9 in.
Head/hip/leg room, r 36.2/56.3/38.9 ft.
Max. trunk volume 15.8 cu. ft.


Gen 4

Turning circle 39.8 ft.
Seating capacity 5
Head/hip/leg room, front 40.0/54.6/42.2 in.
Head/hip/leg room, rear 38.1/55.2/38.9 in.
Trunk volume 17.0 cu. ft


Looks to me that the Gen 4 has lots more leg room front & rear and lots more head room, so this notion about the gen 3 having a bigger interior is a farce. Isuspect alot of the reason the turning circle is smaller in the gen 3 is due to small & narrow standard 15's compared to 16's standard in the gen 4.
 
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Originally posted by kjw86ca@Jan 29 2004, 02:11 AM
The gen 3's are good cars. I had a 1999 SE Sport that I loved. Bought it new with like 12 miles on it and drove it until around 70k. Traded it in with no problems.

During its life it had one problem that was covered by warranty. The electronic climate control display burnt up and was fixed for free.

Pic of my old baby:
nice car!
 
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