I have had no very few problems with this car since new.
I replaced the tires with better rated toyos.
The check engine light caused the car to fail an emissions test at about 50K. It took two trips to the mechanic to resolve the issue. As a result of letting the car sit for the better part of a year, only driving it on rare occasion, I had to replace a catalytic converter and a sensor of some sort. Through the whole process, the car ran flawlessly. Total cost was almost a thousand dollars.
Power steering pump began making noise at about 50,000 miles. Drove it that way with no issues for 10,000 miles at which time it let me know it had failed completely by dumping power steering fluid on my brand new driveway, and I replaced it.
I dualed off the exhaust, added flowmaster mufflers, and chrome tips, as a result, the throaty exhaust note irritates my wife and entertains my teenagers.
I hit a Honda Civic broadside, totaling it, (no one was hurt) and was able to drive the Taurus from the scene. The damage to the Taurus was so slight, the air bags did not even deploy and though it needed $4,000 in cosmetic repairs, the car drove flawlessly between the time of the accident and when it went into the body shop. The car came out looking brand new, with the new sheet metal and paint matching the factory black paint job.
The interior of the car is dark grey cloth, and looks brand new even though the car is almost 7 years old. The dash, gauges, stereo (while not very powerful), center console, and headliner are all still in very good condition, no cracking or fading.
The gold trim package is starting to wear as a result of too much cleaning and polishing, but still looks presentable.
My eighteen year old daughter prefers to drive the Taurus over our Jeep Wrangler because it is so much quieter and comfortable on the freeway.
The first 40,000 miles were mostly freeway miles when I was making weekly 750 mile round trips with never an issue. The Taurus is and was, quiet, comfortable, reliable and fairly economical. The V6 gets the job done, though it is no hotrod. Going from a black with gold trim 1999 Mustang GT, 4.6, 5 speed, to a black with gold trim 2001 Taurus SES, 3.0 V6, automatic, was a big drop in performance and handling, but a big advantage in the kid hauling category. My co-workers gave me some grief, so I tinted the windows and put a license plate frame on it that reads "single dad's 4 door mustang." Now I am remarried, and my wife likes that faded old plate frame about as much as she likes the rumbly dual exhaust.
The last 27,000 miles have been in town. Much of it's time is spent just sitting in the driveway, under the weather. There is no room to put it in the garage, what with my company vehicle, my wife's SUV, and 3 teenager's cars in the stable now. The black paint still shines up nicely, the factory 5 spoke wheels, silver in color, have never chipped or peeled, and look new.