20 Best & Worst Ford Taurus Years (With Pictures & Stats)

The Ford Taurus is a large sedan that was first introduced as a 1987 model year and was discontinued in 2019.

It’s a great road trip vehicle with plenty of space for passengers and cargo and is a good-value-for-money option.

In this article, we’ll be going through all of the best and worst model years of the Taurus.

2019 Taurus

Here’s The Short Answer To What The Best And Worst Years For The Ford Taurus Are:

The best Ford Taurus model years are 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2014, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2008, and 2007. The worst model years of the Taurus are 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999, 2005, 1996, 1997, 2013, and 1998. This is based on auto industry reviews, NHTSA stats, reported problems, and consumer feedback.

What Are The Best Years For The Ford Taurus?

2019, 2018, 2017, and 2016 Ford Taurus

The 2016 to 2019 model years are the best and final Taurus models ever produced, and there are no major differences between them. They are more advanced than many of their predecessors and are significantly less problematic.

They are praised for their smooth, quiet and comfortable driving manners, especially on the highway.

They also have huge trunk space, an available all-wheel-drive option, and great handling. 

There are 4 trim levels to pick from: SE, SEL, Limited, and SHO.

Engine options include the standard 3.5-liter V6 and an available 2.0-liter four-cylinder.

Our favorite safety and driver assist features are Active Park Assist, Collision Warning with Brake Support, and Blind Spot Information System. 

These models received excellent results in government and IIHS crash tests and secured a 5-star safety rating from the NHTSA.

2019 Taurus:

  • Edmunds: 4.4 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.5 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 73 / 100

2018 Taurus:

  • Edmunds: 4.4 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.5 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 75 / 100

2017 Taurus:

  • Edmunds: 4.3 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.5 / 5.0
  • JD Power: NA

2016 Taurus:

  • Edmunds: 4.3 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.5 / 5.0
  • JD Power: NA

2016 Taurus, Edmunds review:

“After owning this vehicle for over 95,000 miles, I still love it. Shopped a variety of sedans with V6 engines before deciding on our 2016 Taurus SE. We could not be happier with the quality and features relative to the price. Huge trunk, roomy and great pick-up!”

2016 Taurus

2014 Ford Taurus

The 2014 Taurus is a fantastic option for those looking for a tried-and-tested, big, family sedan. The customer feedback scores speak for themselves and on the NHTSA website, this model received very few complaints.

This model offers a long list of standard features, minimal road noise, a spacious interior, and a roomy trunk for luggage and cargo.

Fuel efficiency is good with EPA estimates at 23 MPG for combined driving, 19 MPG for city driving, and 29 MPG for highway driving. 

The 2014 Taurus is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine (288 horsepower) paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission (with a manual shift button).

Front-wheel-drive is standard, but for better handling and traction, owners can opt for the optional all-wheel-drive configuration. 

Available on the SE, front-drive SEL and Limited trims is an efficient, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine (26 mpg combined).

  • Edmunds: 4.7 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.5 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 79 / 100

2014 Taurus, Edmunds review:

“I have purchased a new car on average every three years since 1968, everything from Corvettes and Cadillac to Volkswagen Beetles. This Ford is the first car that needed no adjustments, no repairs, no squeaks and no rattles since I’ve owned it. All wheel drive and 365 HP make this one fun car to drive, 18 MPG on average with regular gas, 24 on the highway. It has a huge trunk and can seat five comfortably.”

2014 Taurus

2012, 2011 and 2010 Ford Taurus

The 2012, 2011 and 2010 Taurus models were the first installments of the sixth generation. With the start of the 6th generation, the Taurus was completely redesigned – looking sharper than ever and boasting engaging driving dynamics and advanced technologies.

There are a total of 4 trims: SE, SEL, Limited, and SHO. 

These Taurus models are powered by a standard 3.5-liter V6 engine, the Taurus SHO features a 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V6.

Owners have praised the following aspects of these models: interior, comfort, appearance, value, driving experience, reliability, and manufacturing quality.

Both models have also been awarded a 4/5 star safety rating by the NHTSA based on various crash tests.

2012 Taurus:

  • Edmunds: 4.2 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.5 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 81 / 100

2011 Taurus:

  • Edmunds: 4.7 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.5 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 83 / 100

2010 Taurus:

  • Edmunds: 4.5 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.5 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 84 / 100

2012 Taurus, Edmunds review:

“I have had Chevy’s for the past 21 years. Absolutely Love this Taurus. Comfort, dual air, great sound, good mph. Love it.”

2009 Ford Taurus

The 2009 Taurus is the final model year of the fifth generation.

It has excellent safety ratings, a spacious backseat, a roomy trunk, and a comfortable ride.

This car is also available with Microsoft’s Sync system (multimedia integration) which was cutting-edge tech at the time.

New to this particular model year is standard stability control and the introduction of the entry-level SE trim.

This brings the total trim count to 3: SE, SEL, and Limited.

  • Edmunds: 4.7 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.7 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 79 / 100

2009 Taurus, Edmunds review:

“I purchased this car used at 80k miles and now have put on another 80k miles. The only thing I’ve had to do (besides scheduled maintenance) is ….now that I think about it, I haven’t done anything besides the usual stuff! It’s been a wonderful car and I love it. Whenever my friends get inside my car, they are shocked that they are in a TAURUS. Even though the thing is 6 years old, it still has a modern design.”

2007 Ford Taurus

The 2007 Taurus is a timeless, dependable sedan that can comfortably seat six passengers.

Due to its reliability, it was a very popular choice of fleet vehicle with companies and organizations.

According to owners, these were the car’s best traits: appearance, comfort, value, interior, fuel efficiency, and engine power.

According to EPA estimates, owners can get up to 20 MPG for combined driving, 18 MPG for city driving, and 25 MPG for highway driving. 

This model is powered by a 3-liter V6 engine, rated at 153 horsepower. 

  • Edmunds: 4.4 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.1 / 5.0
  • JD Power: NA

2007 Taurus, Edmunds review:

“I’ve had my SE for a year or so now and it’s still the best value of any used car I found. It’s funny that the editors or Edmunds rate this car low ’cause it doesn’t handle like a BMW or Acura but it starts, gets pretty good mileage, has pretty good acceleration, has a lot of room, good safety rating, kinda cool looking, American made, cheap parts that are easy to find, good visibility and head room, comfortable on the road. Sure it’s not exciting or flashy but it’s very easy to live with and does its job very well.”

Consumer Scores For Best Ford Taurus Years

Model YearEdmunds
Consumer Rating
Kelley Blue Book
Consumer Rating
JD Power
Consumer Rating
2019 Ford Taurus4.4 / 5.04.5 / 5.073 / 100
2018 Ford Taurus4.4 / 5.04.5 / 5.075 / 100
2017 Ford Taurus4.3 / 5.04.5 / 5.0NA
2016 Ford Taurus4.3 / 5.04.5 / 5.0NA
2014 Ford Taurus4.7 / 5.04.5 / 5.079 / 100
2012 Ford Taurus4.2 / 5.04.5 / 5.081 / 100
2011 Ford Taurus4.7 / 5.04.5 / 5.083 / 100
2010 Ford Taurus4.5 / 5.04.5 / 5.084 / 100
2009 Ford Taurus4.7 / 5.04.7 / 5.079 / 100
2007 Ford Taurus4.4 / 5.04.1 / 5.0NA

Related: Ford Taurus Beeping? (7 Causes & Solutions)

What Are The Worst Years For The Ford Taurus?

2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, and 1999 Ford Taurus

Statistically, the most problematic model year is the 2002 Taurus, which was awarded the title “Beware of the Clunker” by CarComplaints.com.

This was then followed by the 2003 model year, which secured “Avoid Like the Plague” from the same institution.

Similarly, the 2001, 2000 and 1999 Ford Taurus models should be avoided despite not winning any “awards”.

These vehicles shared some common problems, the most serious being suspension and transmission related.

These models were notorious for their coil springs breaking (an integral part of suspension) which can puncture or even shred tires whilst driving.

Here’s how owners described the issue:

“Front passenger coil spring broke causing a blowout on the tire in motion on a city street.”

“Driving down the interstate coil spring on front drivers side fractured. Coil spring punctured tire and the tire immediately deflated resulting in loss of control of vehicle.”

Transmission failure was widespread, with many owners reporting that they had to have their transmission replaced well before the 100,000 mile mark.

Repair costs were typically in the region of $2000.

  • The 2003 Taurus had a total of 1,335 problems according to CarProblemZoo.com and 569 complaints at CarComplaints.com.
  • The 2002 Taurus had a total of 1,467 problems according to CarProblemZoo.com and 220 complaints at CarComplaints.com.
  • The 2001 Taurus had a total of 1,061 problems according to CarProblemZoo.com and 184 complaints at CarComplaints.com.
  • The 2000 Taurus had a total of 1,222 problems according to CarProblemZoo.com and 167 complaints at CarComplaints.com.
2000 Taurus

The 1999 Taurus had a total of 881 problems according to CarProblemZoo.com and 127 complaints at CarComplaints.com.

Common problems:

  • Transmission failure
  • Torque converter failure
  • Transmission slipping
  • Broken front spring
  • Broken rear coil springs
  • Air conditioning compressor head failure
  • Heater stopped working
  • Not shifting properly
  • Power steering failure

2005 Ford Taurus

The 2005 Taurus, which CarComplaints.com recommends to Avoid Like the Plague, has given hundreds of owners a headache due to acceleration issues.

Symptoms of this included acceleration even when not stepping on the gas pedal, sudden surging and lurching, and significant spiking of revs. 

Here is what owners had to say:

“As I was driving to work on the highway the car began to accelerate by itself, the brakes were not able to slow the car down, and the rpm’s were over 3000. I managed to get the car off the highway, pull into a parking lot but the car would not stop and so I wound up having to hit a pole to stop the car.”

“Random and sporadic acceleration while driving on a city street.”

“The car will start accelerating while parked going up to 4000 rpm, it will also while driving accelerate without foot being on petal.”

The 2005 Taurus had a total of 950 problems according to CarProblemZoo.com and 313 complaints at CarComplaints.com.

Common problems:

  • Transmission failure
  • Torque converter failure
  • Pops out of gear while driving

1996 and 1997 Ford Taurus

The ’96 and ’97 Taurus models suffered from engine and transmission problems including improper fluid circulation, excessive oil consumption, and coolant leakage.

Owners reported gear shifting issues, loss of power, vehicle stalling, and overheating.

Here is one unfortunate experience by an owner:

“Heat gauge went up and down. Took the vehicle to the dealer who flushed coolant and found coolant had broken down and damaged the engine. Vehicle still at dealer at this time. Blown head gasket.”

The 1996 Taurus had a total of 826 problems according to CarProblemZoo.com and 35 complaints at CarComplaints.com.

1996 Taurus

The 1997 Taurus had a total of 777 problems according to CarProblemZoo.com and 99 complaints at CarComplaints.com.

Common problems:

  • Stays in neutral
  • Check engine light is flashing
  • Battery keeps draining
  • Transmission failure
  • Cracked heads
  • Secondary drive sprocket on camshaft failure

2013 Ford Taurus

The 2013 Taurus had a large number of complaints from owners who experienced power steering failure whilst driving, making it extremely difficult to steer.

Here is what owners had to say:

“While driving 65 miles an hour on a highway corner, the power steering went out requiring immediate manual power steering which resulted in lane swerving, almost an accident.”

“While driving my cars steering wheel locked up and would not turn.”

A recall was issued however a number of 2013 Taurus owners with steering issues reported they were not included in the recall.

The 2013 Taurus had a total of 603 problems according to CarProblemZoo.com and 97 complaints at CarComplaints.com.

Common problems:

  • Power steering assist failed
  • Water pump failure
  • Windshield cracked

1998 Ford Taurus

Owners of the 1998 Taurus experienced various acceleration issues.

A number of reports state that the vehicle would accelerate on its own after the owner applied the brakes or took their foot off the gas or simply when stopped.

Here is what owners had to say:

“Inconsistent speed control, vehicle will not decelerate, will pick up speed on hills, absolutely no engine braking, requires excessive use of brakes.”

“Two separate times brought vehicle to normal stop and engine began to race on its own. Had to keep brakes applied full strength. Rpm were approx 2000 to 2500. Had to shut the engine off both times to stop the surging.”

The 1998 Taurus had a total of 555 problems according to CarProblemZoo.com and 71 complaints at CarComplaints.com.

Common problems:

  • Transmission died
  • Speed control issues
  • Massive problems with cooling system
  • Check engine light is on

Related: Ford Taurus Tune-Up & Maintenance Costs (Complete Guide)

What Years Have The Most Complaints?

Model YearComplaints
2019 Ford Taurus120
2018 Ford Taurus4172
2017 Ford Taurus1273
2016 Ford Taurus13482
2015 Ford Taurus152485
2014 Ford Taurus392445
2013 Ford Taurus9760310
2012 Ford Taurus13945
2011 Ford Taurus642114
2010 Ford Taurus882363
2009 Ford Taurus16870
2008 Ford Taurus914151
2007 Ford Taurus621860
2006 Ford Taurus793921
2005 Ford Taurus3139500
2004 Ford Taurus1684591
2003 Ford Taurus5691,3352
2002 Ford Taurus2201,4670
2001 Ford Taurus1841,0615
2000 Ford Taurus1671,2224
1999 Ford Taurus1278811
1998 Ford Taurus715551
1997 Ford Taurus997771
1996 Ford Taurus358260

What Problems Do Ford Taurus Have?

  • Transmission failure
  • Torque converter failure
  • Transmission slipping
  • Pops out of gear while driving
  • Broken front spring
  • Broken rear coil springs
  • Water leak onto front passenger floorboard
  • Air conditioning compressor head failure
  • Heater stopped working

What Are The Best Alternatives To The Ford Taurus?

Make & ModelScoreMSRPFuel Economy (MPG)
Kia Cadenza8.6$24,985 – $34,168City: 20 /Highway: 27
Toyota Avalon8.4$28,932 – $32,958City: 22 /Highway: 31 – 32
Chevrolet Impala8.2$22,250 – $26,226City: 19 – 22 /Highway: 28 – 29
Buick LaCrosse8.1$23,927 – $32,599City: 20 – 25 /Highway: 29 – 35
Chrysler 3008.0$22,978 – $32,058City: 16 – 19 /Highway: 25 – 30
Nissan Maxima7.8$24,766 – $30,210City: 20 /Highway: 30
Dodge Charger7.3$25,259 – $61,351City: 13 – 19 /Highway: 22 – 30
Ford Taurus7.2$20,977 – $31,981City: 16 – 18 /Highway: 24 – 26

Source: cars.usnews.com, edmunds.com











  • Ian Sawyer

    Growing up with a father who was a mechanic I had an appreciation for cars and motorcycles from an early age. I shared my first bike with my brother that had little more than a 40cc engine but it opened up a world of excitement for me, I was hooked. As I grew older I progressed onto bigger bikes and...

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