I used to own a 1993 Ford Taurus LX, equipped with the 3.8 litre V6. The car was okay, but it certainly had its moments, particularly with trouble that's fairly commonplace with this model and its sister, the Mercury Sable. However, the car has performed pretty well since it has mileage in excess of 226000 miles and shows no signs of breaking down thus far. But when things do break down, parts can be expensive and repairs difficult to perform due to some creative contortionist engineering on Ford's part. In addition, gas mileage on this car was less than stellar for its class, averaging between 18-21 MPG.
With the arrival of another car, a 1999 Nissan Sentra, my father's 1990 Chevrolet Suburban is going to me while the Taurus, due to its overall expense of ownership, will be sold.
My father required the Nissan as it certainly gets better mileage than either the Suburban or the Taurus, and he must drive in excess of 90 miles on certain days of the week for work. So I get a Suburban while the Taurus goes away.
Ironically enough, the Suburban gets excellent gas mileage for its class and, disturbingly enough, is better than the Taurus! For those doubting this, you all must remember that this truck is the 1500 series with regular rear wheel drive and the 5.7L V8 with nothing special done to it except being filled with Amsoil synthetic oil. This is not like the 2500 series where an engine with greater displacement is used and may come equipped with the 4x4 option. Plus, Ford doesn't really design the most fuel-efficient vehicles, anyways. GM seems to have better economy than Ford with many comparable models.
There were a few repairs that were required, like replacing a rear-end seal. But, this isn't a complaint as stuff like this is to be expected in a vehicle with miles in excess of 290,000. As a matter of fact, it's in fantastic condition for the mileage and the body was given a new paint job with expert bodywork done (no bondo crap, but REAL metal welded in to replace metal in a couple of spots that had rust (which was, of course, cut out and prepped for the weld, and then prepped for painting afterwards).
Working on this truck is a breeze. Everything is easy to get to and is usually arranged in a no-nonsense fashion. Even major work, such as a drivetrain overhaul, can be accomplished fairly easily in little time. Plus, parts are cheap for this thing! You can also do a lot of the work yourself, which saves more money compared to hiring a shop to do various kinds of work with the Taurus (like changing the heater core).
This thing is a true truck, made before the term "Sport Utility Vehicle" was ever coined by anyone for describing these kinds of vehicles. I am very happy to own this truck and look forward to when the odometer rolls over to 300,000 without a sweat.
Of course, if the tranny or the engine croaks: no problem. I'll just get a crate replacement and install it with the help of my father. You can't do that with a Taurus (well, you could, but it's truly a PITA compared to the Suburban). - Reinhart.