Pros: Refined body styling and interior comfort.
Cons: Minor handling issues (the "feel" when driving).
I have recently become the owner of a 2001 Ford Taurus. I did not expect that I would ever be Taurus owner as this was a model that I was not even considering. Until recently I was a Saturn owner. The Saturn was still driving acceptably but I knew that it was a matter of time until maintenance and upkeep were going to increase. So...I started shopping for a new car.
I originally started looking for another Saturn. My other "Make" options were Honda, Toyota and VW. After some research I realized that most of these brands were priced higher than I was willing to pay. I ended up at my local Ford dealership only as a result of advertising for 0% financing. I was only looking when I got hooked on the Taurus.
The car itself is loaded with options. My car is the SES model and had the following features: 6 cylinder engine, A/C, Security System, 6 CD changer, premium sound system (which sounds better than any system I have ever had!), wood trim, tinted windows, alloy wheels, front and side air bag protection, steel cage construction, front crumple zones and engine dropdown (in the event of a head on collision), trunk release safety feature, child proof rear door locks, power windows/locks, traction control system, power moon roof. Oh and did I mention the adjustable brake/gas pedals? (very nice feature!)
I am exhausted just listing the options. All of this comes in a car that you can purchase for just over $20K. I was partially sold after I realized all the features this car has and the relatively economical price. I was completely sold when I test drove this car. It has the feel of a much larger car; roomy, comforting interior, minimal road noise, smooth ride, maximum head room, excellent visibility
Once I got the car home, I parked it in the garage and panicked. What had I done? Did I really need to buy a new car in today's economy? After taking the car out and driving it a few days, my answer was a resounding "YES!" I love this car and the comfort is provides as well as excellent styling. I do not think I will come to regret this purchase.
A sidenote: I was also very pleased with my new insurance premium. This car is highly rated as a very safe vehicle. My premiums were not much more than my 4 cylinder Saturn. Insurance is something to think about when making a new purchase, too!
I recommend this car to families (excellent child safety features) and mature "singletons". The "bang for the buck" is definitely present. Younger 20-somethings may not be impressed with the less trendy styling or 4 doors.
Overall, I have to say that I would buy another Ford product again and will probably look at the Taurus in 5 years.