Pros: Comfortable, decent fit & finish, OK gas mileage
Cons: EXPENSIVE MECHANICAL PROBLEMS, generic and plain
I aquired my 2001 Ford Taurus in the summer of 2004 from a nataional used car super store. It had 24,000 miles on it and was in excellent condition. I have been a Ford loyalist all of my life - Both grandfathers owned Ford pick-ups and vans, my dad has owned 2 F-150's, my first Ford was an 83 Mustang GT (Awesome car, never a mechanical issue), then bought a 91 Ranger (another super vehicle, the truck was bullet-proof, never a mechanical issue, only performed regular maintainence and replaced a few parts that typically need to be replaced under normal wear / tear.) In 1998 I bought a 97 F-150 4x4. The truck was a lemon - always something going wrong with that truck. I kept it a year and unloaded it.
I recieved a promotion at work and needed a vehicle to travel in. Lots of highway miles so I looked at Taurus'. I didn't need anything fancy, just good, relaiable transportation. With price a factor and 2 of my past 3 Fords being solid & reliable, I purchased my Taurus.
As far as minor mechanical issues, there have been none. But when something goes wrong, it goes wrong BIG. Just 5 months after buying the car, I had to repalce one of the ECM moduals to the tune of $1,000. This year, an exhaust valve stuck in the top of the motor requiring a valve job and re-machining of the heads. $3000 +! I have put on 100,000 in just 2.5 years and have been religious with maintainence. I never went more that 4,000 miles without an oil change.
The fit and finish of the car are good, it is comfortable, the audio system is very nice, gas mileage has been exceptable. But having these major machanical issues, combined with other family members and friends having issues with their Fords has me very leery of FoMoCo. It is sad to see an American icon fall like Ford has of late but it is simple - In today's marketplace you MUST build a solid, dependable vehicle. Spending over $5000 in maintainence and repairs in the past 2.5 years / 100,000 miles in my book does not qualify as solid nor reliable.
I will be in the market for a new truck in the next year. I love the way the Ford F-150 FX4 4x4 looks, but after my last 2 Fords being questionable, I refuse to consider it. I will look at the new Chevy Silverado and Toyota Tundra. With Toyota's reputation for quality the Tundra is the front-runner. I never would have thought I would be considering an import model truck (but let's face it, the Tundra is made in America) but times have changed. End of an era for Ford and the end of me buying Fords... Looks like I'm not the only buyer running away.