1996 Ford Taurus GL 3.0 from North America


A very reliable, comfortable car


The transmission was replaced before I bought it, around 90,000 miles.

I replaced both front wheel bearings at 105,000 miles.

I replaced the radiator at 135,000 miles.

General Comments:

Overall I am very happy with this car.

The Taurus has always been very reliable, and has never left me anywhere.

The comfort of the car is great, and all of the controls are in reach.

This car has provided the cheapest miles I have ever driven.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd January, 2003

1996 Ford Taurus LX 3.0L 24v DOHC Duratec from North America


An underrated value and decent car


Brakes have been the one consistent item on this car that has been a trouble spot. Rotors seem to warp easily, although that may be due to the way that I drive as well.

Occasional clunk in front end steering, however, it only happens when the temp is above 80 outside. It's harmless so I've never had it fixed, but Ford issued a technical service bulletin about worn sway bar links causing this behavior, so I'm sure that's what it is. Really just a minor nuisance.

Other than that, routine maintenance. The car is on it's second set of tires. I've changed the oil religiously every 5,000 miles with Mobil 1 synthetic and the engine still runs as good today at 125k miles as it did when I got the car.

Transmission still shifts well and is strong, although I drive a lot of highway miles and expect that it will last a little longer.

Interior is still perfect. Have had no problems with electrical components or fit. The blower fan has an occasional rattle, but still works strong.

General Comments:

In my opinion, this car is a victim of Ford's radical styling. It is reliable, strong and seems to be fairly well put together. Critics of the car don't like the oval styling and I think that leads them to overlook the car's good qualities.

The 24v 3.0 v6 Duratec is, in my opinion, one of the most underrated engines that Ford has built recently. It is strong with 200hp, runs very smoothly and seems to be very reliable. The Vulcan engine in the GL is the source of much of the bad reputation for the Taurus. If you stay away from that engine, I think you'll be pleased.

Interior comfort is good and the cabin is nice and spacious. I am tall (6'2") and the car has plenty of headroom and legroom. In addition, the back seat is adequately comfortable (more so than other cars in this class).

The oval "football" control center is admittedly confusing at first, but once you learn it it seems to be well laid out and easy to use.

The automatic climate control feature works well.

The JBL sound system sounds very nice.

Body and paint quality has been excellent. I have no rust spots and the paint still has a high shine to it. Ford definitely has the Japanese models beat in this department.

Overall, this isn't a flashy car, but represents a good, solid sedan. Honestly, I believe if this car had a Japanese nameplate instead of Ford, it would be more highly regarded. With the prices in the used market, it can be a good value.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd January, 2003

22nd Jan 2003, 11:38

Just some more info about this car:

According to Ford's records, only 16% of the Tauruses made this year had the 24v DOHC engine (was standard in the LX model). Stay away from the 3.0l Vulcan in the G and GL!

26th Jan 2004, 00:53

Finally somebody who knows a real Taurus. The 24-valve motor is great and, but Ford did not make enough of them. I wish everyone knew the differences because they constantly have nothing, but negative opinions about the Taurus. I bought a (GL) with the stupid Vulcan 12-valve, a big waste of money and no performance. I've even had my transaxle rebuilt at only 85k. It seems as if Ford made 97% of the Tauruses with the poor excuse for a power-train Vulcan in the (G, GL) 2% with the much more reliable Duratech (LX-SE), and 1% SHO. My car was stolen last week and I may replace it with a Duratech (LX-96-97), (SE 98-99) or (SES-SEL 00+), but they are too hard to find for a good price. I may just by the Lincoln Continental instead. Ford will replace the Taurus/Sable with the 500/Montego next year and hopefully they will drop the Vulcan and make them all Duratechs. They might sell better.