2006 Ford Taurus SEL 3.0 V6 from North America
A good, affordable solid car
The A/C clutch is noisy and needs to be replaced (just bought the part).
Left rear turn signal bulb blew out at 71,000.
Twice, the windows wouldn't go down. I turned the car off and back on again, and they worked fine after that. Weird.
When I first got it, I felt like I bought a firm leather chair on wheels with a killer stereo.
This car has every available option except the sunroof. It's black, with gray leather, wood accents, and I sometimes feel like I am driving a Lincoln.
If you can find a fully loaded Gen 4 Taurus with low miles, seriously consider it. I love the ABS, traction control, and the automatic climate control. Also make sure you get the Mach stereo with 6 disc changer in the armrest.
The ride is smooth, but not too squishy around the corners, and the brake pedal is firm. I wish Ford had included a rear anti-swaybar and rear disc brakes; that is the advantage my old '94 Taurus had over this one. But overall, I am satisfied with the handling and brakes.
Acceleration is OK. If you want a little more pep, I suggest looking for an '05 model with the Duratec engine (which is sadly not available on the '06). But the 3.0 Vulcan engine in the '06 is one of the best V6 engines Ford ever made. Also, from 2004 on, all Taurus models received the better transmission, the AX4N. It shifts very smoothly, and it seems to know when I want it to downshift, or maybe I adapted to it. I don't know, but it is the first auto I have ever not hated.
Maintenance is easy and affordable so far. If you keep the fluids and filters changed, and don't drive like you're always in a hurry, then it will last you a long time.
Overall, it is a great family car, very safe, comfortable, and roomy for our needs.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 19th February, 2012
31st May 2015, 23:39
UPDATE: Now my Taurus SEL has 132,000 miles and it drives better than when I first got it due to regular maintenance, and a few key upgrades. The weird window issue turned out to be a short in the wire harness in the door. I bought a spool of wire from the auto parts store and spliced it. This would have probably been an expensive repair if I took it to a shop, but I fixed it for less than $10 in parts.
I installed new ceramic brake pads and shoes, and Centric rotors, which cures the issue with warped rotors. Definitely get high quality rotors, it's worth the extra money. I also installed new struts all around, Moog Cargo springs in the rear, a stacked plate transmission cooler, and a class II trailer hitch. With my trailer towing upgrades, I am able to tow a fully loaded 4x8 trailer over mountain passes with no problems. When not towing a trailer, the fresh struts and stiffer rear springs really tightened up the handling, making it fun to toss around corners.
The thing to watch out for is the starter when changing the oil. The oil filter is directly above the starter, and clumsy mechanics will bathe your starter with oil as they remove the filter. This causes premature starter failure. I was left stranded by the starter suddenly giving out on me, but luckily I have towing coverage on my insurance. The starter was not too expensive and easy to replace. My alternator went out two years ago at approximately 98,000 miles, but it, too, was relatively easy and cheap to replace.
One fun upgrade I did was the speakers. I put a pair of 2-way Pioneer 6x8s in the rear deck and they really brought the Mach stereo to life. I have yet to replace the door speakers, but they will probably need to go soon as they are approaching 10 years old.
Overall, it's still a very good car. I have done my best to keep it clean and it still looks good. Sometimes I have to deal with trim pieces that come loose in the interior, but that's a small price to pay for a car that has been very affordable and comfortable for my family.
3rd Jun 2015, 00:51
These are great cars, very underrated. My parents have a 2005 Taurus with over 220000 problem free miles on it. It still drives like a new car. Other than some paint scratches from tree branches, it still looks new too. The only maintenance it ever needed was tires, battery, brake pads, and a rusted out gas tank. It's also a very comfortable car with lots of leg room for rear seat passengers too. There is a reason you see many on the road, lots of people love these cars, and it's hard to find a spacious sedan these days.