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Old 01-24-2007, 07:34 AM   #1
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2006 Ford Taurus SEL

Background: Rest in Pieces Taurus. As of 2006, you either had to be a fleet owner, or special order it from your dealer to get one. Over my rental miles, I've driven the Taurus more miles than any other rental. It has little personality, but it got you where you needed, and was cheap to buy. You see, the Taurus isn't just another car, it literally saved Ford from doom in 1986 when it first debuted. The "Jellybean" was a huge risk with it's futuristic looks and "Euro-Style" front-end. Luckily, it sold like gangbusters. It was even featured as the "futuristic" police cars in the movie "RoboCop". There was even a high-performance SHO model. They even had the leafy "FFV" engine option that ran on E85. Everybody has a good Taurus story. I remember growing up, my best friend's family had an '89 wagon with the rear-facing seats. If you turn the dictionary to "Family Car", an illustration of the Taurus would be there.

But over time, it lost its lustre. Every fleet was offered a deal, and then re-sale value plummeted. From an EPA fleet sedan to the neighbor's Company Car, they were everywhere.

But, the new ones never let me down. It was after time and that magic 100K mile mark did they start coming apart at the seams. As of this printing, you can't buy a new one as the plants no longer churn them out, but you could pick one up pretty cheap just about anywhere. I did note that the Chicago assembly plant had a higher quality assembly process than the Atlanta facility (yeah, I rented them that much). If you want a Ford, go for the Fusion or its twin, the Mazda 6. Better yet, go small with the Focus.

+ Cheap
+ Simple
+ Safe

- Falls apart after a few years
- Low re-sale due to flooding of the market
- Little Personality

Take note that only interior photo available was that of the '05 SEL with the optional console-shift and leather interior (rare). Most came with the column whipper and cloth.

Vehicle Data:

2006 Ford Taurus
Trim: SEL
Engine: 3.0L "Vulcan" pushrod V-6 rated at 153 HP and 185 ft-lb torque (only engine for ?06) Previous models had the optional ?Duratec? 200 HP, DOHC/24-Valve 3.0L (which got better FE)
Transmission: The good old 4-speed with TC
Drivetrain: FWD
EPA Class: Large Car
Weight: 3322 lb.

EPA: 19/27/22

FE Impression:

I never was never able to get more than 18-23 mpg.

Raw Data:

FE = 22.2 MPG
Average Speed = 43 mph
Time Tested: 0.6 hours
Miles Driven: 27.6
Outside Temp = 65-85.
Location: Little Rock, Arkansas
Driving Style: Average

Vehicle Impression: What can I say? It got around with a low-tech engine, slowly responding transmission and bad FE. It had a TC that liked to lockup early and nearly went into the growling sub-1000 RPM range. On cold starts, the base engine sounded like truck idling. It was average, but got the job done. The Taurus had decent safety items like standard ABS and passenger-weight controlled airbag deployment, yielding a "Best Pick" in safety from the NHTSA. Handling wasn't very good, hard braking was "interesting", and the nose dove and rear squatted at every throttle or brake input.

Conclusion: Its days are over. I wouldn't even recommend a used one unless someone gave it to you.
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