Pros: keyless entry, power seat, spoiler, moon roof, V6
Cons: not leather
I have driven a 2001 Ford Taurus SES and am extremely satisfied with this car. The car had 56,000 miles on. The body styling of the car has improved a lot compared to the previous model and the interior styling was a masked in an elegant way. The engine performs decently well for a family sedan.
Ford went from a very round (bubble shaped) design, to a more square looking car. It is much more squared off in both the front and rear parts of the car now. Its body molding is still S shaped on the sides, based from the previous model. It curves sharply out at the top of the door, in at the middle of the door, and out again at the bottom. This I would compare to Love Handles on a person. It's very interesting how the car never seems to get dirty at the top of the molding though. The trunk sits high up and makes the back end of the car look big. You can see it from either of the front seats. The trunk is very spacious and can fit a lot into it. The bars inside the trunk can be trouble some for over-large items. When the trunk closes the levers go pretty far down into it. Parking the car can be tricky because the trunk sits so high, its hard to see if anything is behind it. The taillights are not as oval shaped, but much bigger and more circular like. There is a spoiler with red LED lights which shine brightly to the other cars around you. The front of the car also sits very low. It has oval head lights/parking lights. They are part of one ensemble now. I have found the headlights to be extremely bright and cover the road very well. Between the headlights is a small grill with a chrome bar through the middle with the Ford symbol on it. To touch it all off, the car has keyless entry. Overall, they design is nice and somewhat sporty.
The more square design does follow through in the interior. This interior is more luxurious compared to other model Taurus models. This is the SES model, so it is top of the line. This car has power windows, power locks, power mirrors, CD stereo, and a power seat. The cloth is very durable and good looking. It is a simple light brown with a slight pattern. The door handles are chrome which goes well with the dual tone interior. The interior is a mixture of browns and black. With the chrome handles, it looks really rich. Both parts of the back seat fold down which can help when transporting big or bulky items. There is plenty of leg room in this car to sit comfortably on long trips. The middle center console between the two front seats is very convenient. It has the shifter on the floor with a storage compartment between the seats. I dont care much for the shifter gauges to be on the console because you always need to look down to see what gear youre in. The storage compartment on the console is fairly large and can fit many things in it. On the console between the shifting lever and the storage compartment, are the drink holders. This has an adjustable lever which allows the ability to have larger drinks. It does not get in the way of opening the console or needing to use the shifter. On the dash above the shifter are the radio and temperature controls. Some stretching may be required to reach these controls. This car came with a CD stereo, but does not put out the best sound. Ford could have improved this immensely. It has very little bass and sounds monotone. This Taurus is also equipped with a power sliding moon roof that opens with one touch. It both flips open and slides open into the car. The car has no extra air noise when the moon roof is closed. The driver's instrument panel is black and lights up with forest green lettering/numbers. The panel includes the speedometer, engine temp, RPM gauge, & fuel gauge. It has not changed since the previous model.
This Taurus has the 3.0L V6 engine putting out around 160horsepower. It uses standard 87 octane gasoline. Premium gas isn't recommended at all. On the highway it averages between 22-28 mpg and city driving it averages between 20-22mpg. Over all it averages about 24mpg combined. The 3.0L engine is only a single overhead cam with 12 valves and is a bit slower than it could be at starting speeds. It does not struggle to take off quickly when needed. As far as passing speeds, it does well. It can pass other cars with ease. The engine is the very quiet and you don't really hear it except when accelerating. This car is very reliable and has never failed to start when it is -40F. The only thing that has been replaced so far is a sensor, which cost only $20. If you are looking for a reliable family sedan at an affordable price, a Ford Taurus might be the way to go. It is much better than its predecessors in the styling department and performs very well.