Having driven/worked on/and restored a few cars, I have to commend Ford for the most part. Reading a lot of reviews on these pages, I'd say that most problems people experience are from VERY poor maintenance. Machines fail, that is a given. As such, I have found Ford's to be more mechanically reliable then most cars. While I find they do have cheaper interiors, and the minor parts tend to fail, the core components tend to last for a long time.
My other car is a 1989 Mustang LX that I abuse regularly, and work on often, and it runs like a champ. My daily driver is the car I'm reviewing, which is a 1993 Taurus wagon with 214,000 miles on it.
I only recently aquired this car, as it was owned prior by my sister (from age 16-20), and before that my uncle, who bought it new.
Neither are good with maintenance, and my sister ended up breaking quite a bit through her own driving habits, and it did cost her. Her rear drums not only seized, but on one side, completely broke into peices, and the motor mounts broke.
Since I have had the car, when I first got it, I had some knocking, and the tranny was running a bit harsh. A quick fluid change fixed the tranny issue (smooth shifting for 214,000 miles), and a tweak on the brakes (front pad was sticking a bit) and she runs like a champ. The a/c is long gone, but I don't really need it. I have had to patch some body rust, especially over the rear fender wells. The front bumper mounts under the car are starting to rust as well. There is also some minor surface rust on the unibody under the front seats, but nothing of concern.
The biggest complaint I have is that this car LOVES to get out of alignment. I would contribute this to an archaic suspension design, and a car that wasn't designed for driving 75+ mph. Right now after 65 there is noticeable vehicle shake, although an alignment and balancing is needed. Personal preferance would be better hubs and beefier tie rods, but it's just a mid level sedan, even when new.
It is VERY comfortable, the ride is smooth, and the 3.0L motor is a workhorse and a half. Plenty of go, runs smooth as silk, idles quiet, and will push the heavy car. It will still smoke the tires from a dead stop.
I wouldn't recommend the car for anyone that can't do a tune up/oil change, or has SOME technical abilities. But for a beater/daily driver, if you are able to do minor maintenance, I have no complaints at all.