Ford Taurus: A connoisseur's guide.

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Dec 01, 2006

Dear Tom and Ray:

I retired about eight years ago, and at that time said good bye to new cars (cost and all). I've always driven GM cars; why, I don't know. But now I'm thinking of buying a Ford Taurus. I would like your opinion on the '86, '87, and '88. I need your wisdom and expert advice as to which year is best.


RAY: Well, I thought the '86 had a very pleasant bouquet. It was fruity, yet smooth and full-bodied.

TOM: The '87, on the other hand, was dry and oakey. It had a woody taste and a good nose.

RAY: Actually, Ken, unlike wine, cars don't improve with age. All three Tauruses you ask about are basically the same. In fact, except for optional anti-lock brakes and air bags, the Taurus is still practically unchanged to this day. The'86 and '87 Tauruses did have some problems initially, but they've all been repaired by now, either by recalls or design changes.

TOM: So for you, the year is not really relevant. Find one that's in good shape with low mileage. We like the 3.0 liter six cylinder engine (the four cylinder is under-powered, and the 3.8 liter six is over-powered and so big that it's hard to work on).

RAY: It would be helpful if the seller has the service records. But regardless, have your mechanic thoroughly inspect it before you buy it. Don't rely on a visual inspection. A car that looks good to you could easily need hundreds of dollars of work.

TOM: Finally, when you get it home, treat it like a fine bottle of wine. Store it carefully in a cool, dark place. We suggest the garage.

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