The Ford Taurus is one of the few American-built midsize cars on the market. It is popular with rental car agencies, those companies needing a fleet of vehicles, and those shoppers looking for a car with a lot to offer for a substantial value. The roomy interior, loads of safety features, standard equipment and options are very appealing. Unfortunately, due to the rental car stigma and the glut of these unsold vehicles on the market, resale value is low. Also, it doesn’t feel as well built as some of the competition, especially Japanese-built mid-size sedans. The Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, Buick Century, and other vehicles edge out the Taurus in many ways. Regardless, it is still a great choice for those on a budget that wants a safe family car at a reasonable price.
Body Style: midsize sedan or wagon
Engines: 3.0-liter V-6
Transmissions: four-speed automatic
Models: LX sedan, SE sedan, SES sedan, SES Deluxe sedan, SEL Premium sedan, SEL Deluxe sedan, SE wagon, SE Premium wagon, SEL Deluxe wagon
The 2003 Ford Taurus has a new instrument panel for the SEL trim line. The instrument cluster is redesigned and has a satin-finish background. Dark wood trim is utilized throughout the cabin. The SEL also receives Imola leather seating. A wood and leather-trimmed steering wheel is also available. Power windows and locks, tilt steering and floor mats are not standard on all models.
The 2003 Ford Taurus has a uniform look, making it popular as a fleet car and at rental agencies. The headlights have an aerodynamic tear drop-shape, and the taillights are also large and exaggerated. The sedan comes on a 108.5-inch wheelbase, measuring 197.6-inches overall. The wagon is 197.7 inches overall with a 108.5-inch wheelbase. Both models have 16-inch tires.
The 2003 Ford Taurus sedan is available with a front bench seat that seats three passengers comfortably or two separate bucket seats for a total of five passengers in the vehicle. Six-passenger seating is available in the LX, SE, and SES models. The top-of-the-line SEL only seats five. The Wagon seats six passengers standard and also has available bucket seats. The front bench has a center console for storage. There is 38.8 cubic feet of cargo space between the two rows of seating, expanding to 81.3 cubic feet when the center console is folded. Standard features on the LX model include air-conditioning, power windows and locks, anti-theft system, and a tilt steering wheel. The SE model has power driver seat, cruise control, CD player, and remote keyless entry. The SES gets illuminated visor mirrors, and a split-folding rear seat. The SES Deluxe model has five-passenger seating with two front bucket seats, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. The top-of-the-line SEL model has automatic climate control and an in-dash six-CD changer.
Performance & Handling
The 2003 Ford Taurus comes with the choice of two separate engine types. A 3.0-liter, Vulcan two-valve engine produces 155 horsepower with 185 lb-ft of torque. The 3.0-liter ,Duratec four-valve motor produces 200 horsepower with 200 lb-ft of torque. Both engines use a four-speed automatic transmission. Driving it is fairly pleasant, although the handling and the performance is not quite up to the standards of other sedans on the market.
The 2003 Ford Taurus includes a slew of safety features including dual-stage airbags and seatbelt pretensioners. Optional items on many of the models include anti-lock brakes, traction and stability control, power-adjustable brake and gas pedals. It receives five out of five stars for front impacts and four out of five stars for side impacts from the NHTSA. The IIHS gave the Taurus its best rating of ""good"" for frontal offset impacts.
EPA Fuel Economy
Ford Taurus Sedan: 18/26 mpg city/highway
Ford Taurus Wagon: 17/24 mpg city/highway
- Great value
- Lots of safety equipment
- Good crash scores
- Great family vehicle
- Sedan or wagon
You Won't Like
- Poor resale value
- Refinement issues
Has a lot to offer the price conscious car buyer who wants features galore.
If You Like This Vehicle
- Buick Century
- Buick Regal
- Chevrolet Impala