Last post on Jan 21, 2011 at 10:46 AM
You are in the Ford Taurus/Mercury Sable
What is this discussion about?
Ford Taurus, Mercury Sable, Sedan
#1959 of 3389 venus537 and edmund2460
Jan 09, 2003 (6:31 am)
Taurus was "updated" in 2000 model year, which is certainly not that long ago. Yes, this was not a complete redesign, but if you really look into almost all "redesigns" by all the competition you will find, under the obvious sheet metal and interior changes, that most of the major components-engine, transmissions, suspensions, etc, are very rarely completely redesigned on a new model, they are usually "tweaked". And, there is nothing wrong with that approach. That is exactly what Ford did in 2000. Many components were tweaked to make in total some pretty remarkable improvements in ride, quietness, shift smoothness, etc, interior creature comforts, etc, especially with the Duratec engine/transmission combo.
You really have to drive one for an extended period of time to appreciate it for what it is, a very reasonably priced comfortable, quiet, reliable. spacious and decently handling car built on a very rigid platform. And, you won't get that just by looking at it and sitting in it at a car show, by the way.
Even Consumer Reports, in their 2003 separate new car issue, which came on the stands about a month ago, gave it at least grudging praise saying it was a good car among a group (in this size classification) of excellent cars. Reliability is near or equal to the competition. And, though CR never actually uses out the door buy prices as a rating factor, if they did they would rate Taurus tops in that factor, just like Edmunds did when they compared 2000 family sedans. Just check out that comparison sometime. In that rating, Taurus came in third our of ten, just a hair behind Passat and the previous generation Accord.
Edmund2460, I believe the reason there are not a lot of posters here is for several reasons. Taurus is really a bread and butter car, which the enthusiasts who are more likely to post in this site are not all that interested in. Additionally, if you read back the last 8-12 months, you will see very few people posting about significant problems with the current gen Taurus. This is a good sign, but also means the quantity of people posting is low. Contrast that with Accord, Camry, and yes Jetta boards where there are numerous postings about unresolved rattles in all three models, the Toyota sludge issue, Honda Accord V-6 automatic transmission problems, etc. Nothing like a problem, perceived or real, to get a lot of people posting. These kind of issues, I believe are really not present with the current generation Taurus/Sable. Also, some of Edmunds discussions are distorted by a few posters who post a lot of times. How else do you explain the great volumes in the Olds Intrigue discussion-a car that is no longer even being built?
Jan 09, 2003 (11:10 am)
I'd agree with Badgerfan on this. I have a 2000 Sable LS, purchased for 1000's less than comparably equipped Accords and Camry's, and have been very happy with it. Almost 2 1/2 yrs in and zero repair issues beyond two minor recalls. My annual mileage is very low, so I will be able to keep this car 10-11 yrs and still be below 100K, will then sell it/donate it.
I live in a busy urban environment, and never get the chance to truly enjoy driving on deserted twisty roads or empty highways. No matter when or where I drive, there is always traffic, so a more powerful engine, faster 0-60, or better handling is really a non-issue since it's hard to find a place to take advantage of what I already have! (Try driving to Maine or New Hampshire on a weekend from Boston and you're in bumper to bumper traffic for miles.)
So the car is fairly responsive with the 200hp V6, has lots of nice bells and whistles (leather, auto climate, sunroof, CD changer, power everything) to keep me interested and amused, is considerably bigger and perhaps a little safer than many of the alternatives out there, and offers a comfortable ride, at a much much lower price. Reliability to date has been fine, and it would take some pretty horrific repairs to match the price savings I achieved over the foreign makers. (eg: as much as 5-7K)
With so-called "entry level" cars like the Focus, Toyota Matrix, Civic, Corolla and the like costing 16K or more, the Sable at about 18-19K loaded to the gills is a steal.
I agree that the Camry is a better car, particularly for a high mileage driver, but the top of the line Camry V6, with similar options as the Sable LS, is in the high 20's. (for example, the sunroof is an 800+ option on the Camry, standard on the Sable.) I'm not sure what price one places on "peace of mind", but they are certainly charging a high one!
#1961 of 3389 One more thought...
Jan 09, 2003 (11:23 am)
Hey, I almost forgot. Styling wise, the Sable has very nice, sort of classic sedan lines, and some more character/style than some of the more wind tunnel derived competitors. New Accord for example is a bit tough on the eyes, and the Camry's a pretty bland, basic wedge. Chrysler is still the one to beat these days on styling, but FoMoco isn't doing too badly....
#1962 of 3389 OK, first feedback...
Jan 09, 2003 (11:41 am)
Allright, I'm cheap. So far (3 weeks) I LOVE the '96 Taurus wagon with it's primitive under-engineered Vulcan 12V, and $4.5K is a hulluva long way from $20K (or 30K for a Passat), plus I'm in Mass, so high insurance, sales, and property tax I'm not paying for. I only put about 9K miles a year, so if I can keep the coolant system from rotting, head gaskets intact... Plus, lest you fergit, I traded a 152000 mile '86 Sable on this car, and Mum has a '96 Sable with nary a problem. I conservatively estimate that if I get 5 years out of it and spend less than $14000 in maintenance and repairs, I'm ahead of buying a Passat wagon.
Or, to put it another way, I could buy 4 '96 Taurus wagons, and if one is still running in 2007 I'll be ahead.
Jan 09, 2003 (11:54 am)
I agree with you 100%.
There is also the issue of looks. Obviously, this has nothing to do with more important attributes of a car, but I just cannot abide by the exterior styling of the current Camry. I know this is illogical(I am generally a logical person, being an engineer) but I cannot help it in this case. The rear end is too wide looking, the trunk lid too flat on the trailing edge, and the belt line too high. The low hanging exhaust pipe I cannot abide, it looks like a design error/afterthought. The pseudo "fastback" rear roof line leaves me cold and cuts into the fore aft accessibility to the trunk.
I cannot comment on the new Accord, as I have yet to see one on the street and it is hard to judge pictures. They certainly haven't sold many in the Milwaukee area to date. I've seen more Hummer H2's!
VW Jetta and Passat do look nice, however. Nissan Altima is not bad except for the boy racer tail lights. Impala is marginally acceptable, as is Grand Prix now that they are dropping some of the cladding. Buick is OK in a classic understated sense, but has been around too long.
From the GM product line, the Intrigue had the best styling, but it is now gone.
I think the current Taurus styling is quite classy and well integrated. The only thing I might do different if I was designing it is some minor mods to the C pillar shape (the doors and side glass carried over from the last generation), but it is by no means ugly. The previous generation Taurus, while innovative, proved just a little too ovoid, and I was glad to see the 2000 restyling come along.
#1964 of 3389 some more thoughts...
Jan 09, 2003 (1:54 pm)
Got to thinking of some other pluses the Sable has over the competition. A coworker has a 2000 Camry, went in for the regular 60K service. While not recommended by Toyota, the dealer strongly urged a timing belt change, at a cost of about $200. I'm about 99% certain the Sable Duratec has a timing chain, and won't require changing till 150K plus. Total cost of the Camry's 60K service was close to $700!! Ouch!
My neighbor has an Accord, a 2000 or 2001, and the transmission went in the Fall at 30K. Covered under warrenty but she was stranded by it. Also, a week or two back said her heater died -- not sure what caused that, might have only been a thermostat, but pretty nasty when you live in New England and it's snowed for 12 of the past 16 days.
Now I'm sure that others can tell horror stories of S/T's, but just sort of by the seat of my pants, I feel I'm still in the running with my Sable. I'm sure I'll have some problems with it down the road, but perhaps no worse than what other car owners have experienced, and at a minimum I'm saving a few hundred on basic maintenance.
Jan 09, 2003 (2:30 pm)
My friend spend $1,300 on Camry 60k service and plus had engine overhaul (blue smoke coming from pipe) under varranty. Any engine with time belt requires belt and water pump change at 60K.
Duratec has actually two chains (because has double cams over each 3 cylinders). You can see that chain if you remove oil filler cap.
Jan 09, 2003 (4:12 pm)
Hi Guys !
Still arguing about cars I see. Well let's see if I can create a stir by adding one to the mix. Anybody checked out a Hyundai lately? Look out car industry - Hyundai's getting better and better each year - and for THOUSANDS less than domestic or other imports. After all, the trick is to get the most for the least, isn't it?
By the way, I am a Sable owner, but while having my oil changed at a dealership the other day, I strolled the Ford dealer's lot and glanced at the Hyundai's he also sells. Based on the price tags, I was quite impressed ! So much so, I went into the showroom to find out what was wrong with these cars. Sorry, again I was impressed. They're well built cars - especially the top end models. I was particularly attracted to the mini SUV Santa Fe. What a long list of standard features in the basic model, culminating to "everything" in the LX version. And for a city/highway driver like me, the fact that the Santa Fe is mounted on a Sonata chassis makes it even more attractive since the ride is more car-like than truck-like. Edmunds says the 177 HP V-6 is underpowered. Haven't driven one yet, but at only 23 HP less than my Sable, how underpowered could this 3600 lbs vehicle be?
Edmunds also doesn't like the body styling. To each his own. I like it because it doesn't have the "boxy" features like other SUV's. Edmunds DID like the it's value, however. Who wouldn't?
Here's some other features to nibble on. How about that warranty? 5years or 60K bumper to bumper, and 10years or 100K on the drivetrain? Who compares with that? And when you're in for service, Hyandai believes you should have a loaner car of equal value. So what do they do? Well they provide the dealer with factory fresh cars that are designated as "Factory Loaner", meaning they're not for sale - period. Saw the loaners, and they say exactly that. So, if your new Santa Fe goes in the shop, you get a new Santa Fe to drive until yours is done.
And all for THOUSANDS LESS !! Tempting? I'm going to drive one, and if that 177 HP is O.K., I'll have bought that second car I've wanted.
O.K., let's have the cons, but they better be good. Convince me to spend thousands of dollars more on a vehicle that will be driven less than 10K per year.
#1967 of 3389 reply plainlucky
Jan 09, 2003 (4:46 pm)
I agree, Hyundai will continue to improve and no doubt be a force to be reckoned with by higher cost manufacturers like Ford. I am impressed by the Kumho tires I'm running on my Chev, also Korean which are priced below Firestone and Goodyear and are better quality. No doubt we are in a global economy!
I wouldn't put much stock in Edmunds reviews since the purpose of this site is to sell advertising (hate those pop up ads) and the quality of any content is purely accidental!!
Jan 09, 2003 (5:52 pm)
the sticker price of my 2002 1.8t gls jetta was $22,875. from my research the current generation of jettas have excellent resale value. but i may have been in error about getting $17k for it.
badgerfan: don't happen to agree with some of your points this time. i did notice the way the exhaust pipe hangs low on the camry though. it does look strange. something i may have never noticed if i didn't read about it here. what checked this car off my list when i first saw it was the design of the gauge cluster.