6 Best And Worst Years For The Ford Taurus

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The Ford Taurus was introduced to the market back in 1986.

Since then, it has been loved and bought by thousands of people. It is a powerful sedan. It is the perfect option for small families.

Although 2019 was the final year for the sedan, it is still bought by people. They have to settle for older and used models, but they are worth it.

If you are looking to buy one too, you should be aware of the best and worst years for Ford Taurus to make sure you only buy one that is reliable and will last you for a long time.

Fortunately for you, this article will enlighten you with all the models to steer clear of.

Let’s list all of them down before getting into the details:

Best Years for Ford Taurus:

  1. 2017
  2. 2019
  3. 2018
  4. 2015
  5. 2016
  6. 2012

Worst Years for Ford Taurus:

  1. 2003
  2. 2005
  3. 2002
  4. 2001
  5. 2004
  6. 2000

You may have noticed that the most recent models of the Ford Taurus were also the most reliable ones.

If you want to find out more, it is recommended that you continue reading. These models will be discussed in detail. So, without any further ado, let’s get into it!

List Of The Best Years For The Ford Taurus: What Years To Buy

Is Ford Taurus reliable? Which years Taurus should I stay away?

This section of the article will cover the first list, and it contains all of the top models of the Ford Taurus to ever enter the market.

These models have been tried and tested, and they are recommended to buy for everyone.

#1 Best Year: 2017 Ford Taurus

The first model on this list came two years before the sedan was officially discontinued. The 2017 Ford Taurus impressed owners and reviewers alike.

With a V6 engine under the hood, this model is a beast on the road. It is so good that it can provide acceleration that rivals some V8 engines on the market.

The interior of the 2017 Ford Taurus is beautiful and elegant, all simultaneously. The manufacturer has used high-quality materials to last a long time.

The seats are comfortable, and the cabin isolation is also excellent, making driving this car a pleasure.

#2 Best Year: 2019 Ford Taurus

You might be confused about why the 2019 Ford Taurus has earned a lower spot than its predecessor.

It has earned this position because it does not offer as many upgrades compared to 2017 one. So, it is recommended to buy that one, as it is also cheaper.

The drive quality is great, and owners have praised the Taurus’ handling and braking. The comfort level is also one of the best in its class.

The perfect noise isolation means you will not have to worry about road and wind noise. The Taurus also has the Sync 3, Ford’s take on an infotainment system.

#3 Best Year: 2018 Ford Taurus

Next up is the 2018 Ford Taurus. This model is also a great one and should be considered if you are looking for one of the most recent sedan models on the market.

The driving experience is the same as the other two models, with the handling and braking being great. The V6 engine provides a decent driving experience.

The comfort level is also great, with a guarantee that you will not have to worry about taking a break just because the seats are too stiff.

The infotainment system is great and is also simple and easy to use.

#4 Best Year: 2015 Ford Taurus

The 2015 Ford Taurus is next up on this list. It is seven years old as of writing this article, but it is an amazing option to consider, especially if you are on a budget.

The only drawback of this model is that the infotainment system is outdated. It does work, but it cannot be compared with the Sync 3 on the latest models.

The fuel economy of the V6 engine is decent, at an average of 23 mpg. If you choose the AWD variant, that number drops to 21 mpg.

All variants of this model have many safety features. So, you don’t have to worry about compromising on them.

#5 Best Year: 2016 Ford Taurus

Coming in fifth place is the 2016 Ford Taurus. Apart from its interior being constrained and the acceleration not being up to par, the 2016 Ford Taurus is a very capable sedan.

This model has also earned its rightful spot on this list because it is extremely reliable. The main upgrade in this model was the Sync 3 infotainment system, which is delightful to use.

It is delightful to use, thanks to its quick response time. The driving experience is great and closely resembles its successors and predecessors.

#6 Best Year: 2012 Ford Taurus

Finally, coming in the sixth and final place is the 2012 Ford Taurus. This model has earned the last spot on this list for two main reasons.

It is the oldest one on this list, nearly ten years old, and the cabin feels a bit constrained compared to the newer models.

It is a great option for people on a budget and looking to get a decent performing sedan. The 2012 model has some amazing offerings.

The trunk space is huge and will cater to most people’s needs. The ride quality was also one of the best for its time.

List Of The Worst Years For The Ford Taurus: What Years To Avoid

Next up, this list will focus on the models of the Taurus that must be avoided at all costs.

These years were the worst ones for the Ford Taurus and have a lot of reliability issues.

You should read through this section to understand better what makes these models so bad.

#1 Worst Year: 2003 Ford Taurus

Topping this list as the worst model of the Taurus Ford ever produced is 2003. It was plagued with engine and transmission issues, which made owning it a nightmare.

Although it is almost two decades old at this point, it is one that people will never forget.

The transmission system would just fail, which resulted in the vehicle not being driven at all. The replacement is extremely expensive.

The engine had the common issue of stalling while driving when it comes to the engine. This is extremely dangerous because it can result in a serious accident.

#2 Worst Year: 2005 Ford Taurus

Next up is the 2005 Ford Taurus. Ford did improve a bit for this model, but there were still many overall complaints, which led to this model earning a spot on this list.

Transmission issues were reported once again, with the system failing. Some owners also had the issue of the torque converter failing.

The engine was also prone to issues, with the most common problems reported being the accelerator getting stuck and the engine accelerating unintentionally.

Owners also complained that the CEL would stay on at all times. This is extremely dangerous and can result in a major accident.

#3 Worst Year: 2002 Ford Taurus

You may be surprised to know that the 2002 Ford Taurus model, which came three years earlier, was better than its successor.

It did have its fair share of issues, with suspension and transmission problems being mostly reported.

The suspension had problems like the front spring breaking and the shocks producing too much noise when driving on uneven roads.

The engine, on the 2002 model, was also unreliable. There were issues such as the CEL remaining on at all times and the engine misfiring.

The engine would also produce squealing noises when driving, making the experience less enjoyable.

#4 Worst Year: 2001 Ford Taurus

The 2001 Taurus is more than two decades old and on the worst year list.

There were many issues, but the most common ones were again related to the transmission and the suspension system.

The transmission system would fail, while the suspension system would create a lot of noise. The springs would also break, which is dangerous.

The air conditioning was also known to become faulty on the 2001 Ford Taurus. The heater would start to blow cold air.

The compressor head would also fail, which would result in the air conditioning not working at all.

#5 Worst Year: 2004 Ford Taurus

The 2004 model is the next one that proved itself as one of the more unreliable models of the Ford Taurus to be available to consumers.

Most suspension issues were resolved, which has earned a better spot on this list. The most common complaints were related to the transmission and the electrical system.

Just like all other transmission system problems on this list, the system or the torque converter would fail, preventing users from driving their vehicles at all.

The electrical system would malfunction and would cause the alarm to go off. The ignition coil would also fail at times.

#6 Worst Year: 2000 Ford Taurus

Finally, coming in the sixth and final place is the 2000 Ford Taurus. This model is the oldest one on this list, crossing the two-decade mark and was released twelve years ago.

Despite being the oldest one, it is the most reliable on this list. It did have issues with the transmission and the electrical system.

The transmission system would fail, resulting in owners spending a lot to restore their vehicles.

The engine also caused many issues, but it did not fail at any point. It would produce noises and would accelerate unexpectedly.

Although these issues are annoying, they are still better than the vehicle suddenly stopping while driving.

What Are The Most Common Problems With The Ford Taurus?

Now that we are done with all of the important years, let’s focus on all of the common problems that unfortunate Taurus owners have had to face over the years.

You should read through this section completely before making the final decision.

1. Faulty Wipers And Cracked Windshields

Perhaps the most common problem reported by owners of the Ford Taurus was the unexpected cracking of the windshields.

This was mostly reported in cold weather conditions. This is dangerous and annoying because the sudden cracking on the road can lead to an accident.

The crack also lets in air, which is frustrating in cold weather.

Unless you get the windshield replaced by an expert, chances are it will not be installed correctly, resulting in water seeping in when raining.

Talking about rain, the wipers would not turn off. This is a simple issue to fix and require replacing the multi-switch. But it can drain the battery completely.

2. Gasket Leaks

Leakage in the gaskets is the second major and common problem on this list.

The problem was reported by owners of various model years, with the most common ones being the 2012 and the 2014 models.

Owners of the 1990 to 2017 Taurus also had similar complaints. They reported that their engine would have oil leaks due to the faulty oil pan gasket.

Now, how is this dangerous?

Well, if the leakage is not detected soon enough, the oil level may drop too low, which can cause the engine to stall.

The leaked oil can end up in the exhaust system, resulting in the engine stalling. Fortunately, fixing the problem does not cost a lot and installing a new gasket can be done for under $50.

3. Engine Issues

You cannot talk about Ford Taurus issues without discussing its engine problems.

The engine has been unreliable on many models of the sedan. It has frustrated many owners and resulted in thousands of dollars to restore their vehicles to a usable state.

The most common complaint was that the engine would completely stall while driving.

This is extremely dangerous because an oncoming car can hit you and result in serious injuries or even death.

Some people also reported that the engine would stop accelerating and enter limp mode. This is mainly due to a faulty throttle body, costing up to $800 to repair.

Read these articles on the engines issues that Ford Taurus have:

4. Issues With The Headlights

The final problem on this list is related to the headlights.

Although this is the least serious problem on this list, it is the most annoying one yet. The automatic turning on feature would not work as intended.

As the feature is something that people rely on, the fact that it does not work or works partly means that it is not dependable.

This is dangerous because if the lights do not turn on, it can affect visibility during the night. It can also cause an accident if the upcoming driver cannot see you.

So, if you have the 2008 to 2013 models of the Taurus, this is a problem you should be aware of.

Related: Why Won’t My Ford Taurus Start?

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Why Did Ford Quit Making The Taurus?

2019 was the year the Taurus was officially discontinued. It had a good run, but Ford did not think it was viable enough for them.

There is only one reason for Ford halting production for the Taurus, and that is, they wanted to focus more on designing trucks and SUVs, as they are in more demand nowadays.

There were rumors that the manufacturer wanted to cut costs, so the Taurus lineup was axed.

Q2. Are Ford Taurus Expensive To Fix?

I don’t know who told you that, but I assure you they were wrong. Although it does cross the annual average of $50, the overall costs for the Ford Taurus are relatively low.

You can expect to pay $700 on an annual basis. This number is considered after taking into account all maintenance and repair costs. This is pretty decent.

Q3. Do Ford Taurus Hold Their Value?

If you are buying the Taurus for reselling purposes, I would suggest checking another vehicle. Unfortunately, they do not. This is good and bad.

The bad thing is, if you want to buy one, you can get one for a relatively lower price. But when you want to sell it, you will not be able to sell it at the rate you bought it.

So, it has pros and cons for different people.

Q4. What Is The Difference Between A Ford Taurus SE And SES?

Although the term SES was dropped in 2005, there are still some people who would like to know the difference between the SE and SES variants.

There are minor differences, but the main standing out point was the engine.

Both featured V6 engines, but the one on the SES produced 45 more HP, which many people appreciate. This does drive the cost up a bit.

Q5. Are Ford Taurus Fast?

The Taurus has not been designed as a sports vehicle. With that said, it still manages to reach 60 mph, from a complete stop, within 5.2 seconds, which is actually really impressive.

This is possible due to the 3.5L twin-turbo V6 engine that is present under the hood. It is the most powerful engine Ford has put in a sedan.


With the Ford Taurus discontinued and no new models available, buyers have no choice but to go for used ones.

Well, that is not an issue if you are aware of the best and worst years for Ford Taurus. This article has covered the top and the most unreliable models of the sedan.

If you are serious about buying it, I can assure you that you will not find a more detailed article out there that has covered everything there is to know before buying an older model of the sedan.

I hope it helped you in deciding which model is suitable for you and if the Ford Taurus is worth your consideration.