2003 Ford Taurus SES 3.0 OHV SFI Flex (Vulcan) from North America


Plain Jane, comfortable even for big people, reliable as hell, indestructible


Camshaft position sensor drive (synchronizer).

Ball joints.

General Comments:

My elderly in-laws purchased this car in southern NC in 2004 with 70K miles, and used it for around town driving, trading in a 1983 Lincoln Town Car. Mom in Law loved this car. I inherited the car when she passed away 1 year ago.

This is a true Mom and Pop car, with the base 3.0 OHV Vulcan engine, not the cool 24V job that I have always wanted. Have to resign myself to not getting one of those, because these things tend to last for about 299K to 300K miles (the engine has been known to do 400K to 500K miles). At this rate (5K miles / year), I will have this car till I die.

This car burns no oil, the inside of the engine is as clean as a whistle, and after replacing the squeaky camshaft position sensor drive, which replaced the distributor in earlier Vulcans (I did this myself in about 1.5 hours and a $45.00 part), the engine cannot be heard at idle! However, the car is quite fun to drive. One will not get gut wrenching acceleration from the Vulcan, but the acceleration is smooth, and certainly competent. This car will get to 70 MPH before you know that it did. Braking is good with front disk / rear drum brakes and 4 wheel ABS. The transmission is smooth and we never had the issues that people claim that these transmissions have. Handling is very good.

Mileage around town is OK at 15-16 MPG (New York Metro Area), but I have gotten between 27 and 30 MPG on highway trips. I have not used E85 on the highway, but the car gets 13 MPG around town on E85. The current price for E85 is $2.25, and the same station sells regular gas for $3.00.

There is quite a bit of room in this car. I am 6'0" and 400 lb, and I find this car comfortable both around town and on long trips (500 miles/day). Ergonomics are good. The fold down rear seat is handy when making runs to Home Depot for studs, pipe, etc, but there is no place for a 4X8 sheet of plywood.

This car is reliable as all hell, with all engine components other than the above mentioned camshaft position sensor drive and maintenance items being original, even the hoses. I do need to put in lower ball joints, but all other front end parts are original.

This car does not have the cachet value of a Lexus, but is nonetheless a great car!!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th July, 2015

14th Jul 2015, 08:22

I have had three Tauruses: a 1999, 2001, and 2005. The 1999 was a dud and the other two were excellent. I still kick myself for getting rid of the 2001 and 2005.

Today I drive a 2011 Fusion. Great cars, and I will stick with Ford until they give me a reason not to.

2003 Ford Taurus SES 3.0 Vulcan V6 from North America


Great car


Camshaft synchronizer squeaking. Supposed to have been covered by the warranty, but ending paying $250.00 to replace.

Other than that, no problems so far; just lots of creaks and groans.

Lots of scratches on gauge cluster and radio. Have no idea how they got there, and seem to mysteriously getting more without doing anything. More of an annoyance than a problem though.

Seats wear out quickly, especially in the rear.

General Comments:

Comfortable, but could use more power.

Good gas mileage for its size.

Have noticed the passenger has a lot less legroom than the driver.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th March, 2013

2003 Ford Taurus SE Standard from North America


Great value


Transmission blew at 50,000, but I was driving way too fast and was being an idiot.

Rust in later years right above the rear wheel wells.

At 100,000 - the transmission burps out fluid.

Needed pads and rotors a lot on the brakes, but I often did these myself, and think that not cleaning the caliper slides caused the issue.

Hose tube assembly for heater core rusts; anticipate replacing this after 5 years.

General Comments:

I owned 2 of these one from 2003 to present, and another 2003 bought used in 2009 to 2012. Both were reliable.

Both had predicable maintenance issues, and if you are relatively mechanically inclined, are easy to fix.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th September, 2012