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2003 Ford Taurus

2003 Ford Taurus

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$543 — $6,367 USED
3
Photos
Sedan
5-8 Seats
22-24 MPG
(Combined)
Key specs of the base trim
 — 
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2003 Ford Taurus Review

from the Cars.com expert editorial team

Vehicle Overview
New seven-spoke wheels are equipped on 2003-model-year versions of Ford’s midsize Taurus sedan and wagon, and a wood and leather-trimmed steering wheel is now available. All Tauruses now have standard power windows and door locks, a tilt steering wheel and floormats. A new Sport SES model for younger buyers features a monochromatic body and a rear spoiler. Taurus sedans come in LX, SE, SES and SEL trim levels and can seat either five or six occupants, depending on the model.

The Taurus sedan and wagon earned major styling changes for the 2000 model year, and they appeared with a more conservative look than the 1996 – 1999 generation. The Mercury Sable is built from the same design as the Taurus and also is available in sedan and wagon forms, but the Sable comes with more standard equipment and a higher sticker price.

Exterior
Aerodynamic teardrop-shaped headlights and large taillights are the major styling cues on the Taurus. The sedanw rides a 108.5-inch wheelbase, and at 197.6 inches long overall, it’s approximately 7 inches longer than the Chevrolet Malibu and 8 inches longer than the Toyota Camry. Tires are available in 14- , 15- and 16-inch diameters.

t 197.7 inches long overall on a 108.5-inch wheelbase, the Taurus wagon is about the same size as the Taurus sedan and measures 7 inches longer than the Saturn LW — one of its top competitors. All Taurus wagons have 16-inch tires.

Interior
Depending on the model and seating configuration, the Tauru...

Vehicle Overview
New seven-spoke wheels are equipped on 2003-model-year versions of Ford’s midsize Taurus sedan and wagon, and a wood and leather-trimmed steering wheel is now available. All Tauruses now have standard power windows and door locks, a tilt steering wheel and floormats. A new Sport SES model for younger buyers features a monochromatic body and a rear spoiler. Taurus sedans come in LX, SE, SES and SEL trim levels and can seat either five or six occupants, depending on the model.

The Taurus sedan and wagon earned major styling changes for the 2000 model year, and they appeared with a more conservative look than the 1996 – 1999 generation. The Mercury Sable is built from the same design as the Taurus and also is available in sedan and wagon forms, but the Sable comes with more standard equipment and a higher sticker price.

Exterior
Aerodynamic teardrop-shaped headlights and large taillights are the major styling cues on the Taurus. The sedanw rides a 108.5-inch wheelbase, and at 197.6 inches long overall, it’s approximately 7 inches longer than the Chevrolet Malibu and 8 inches longer than the Toyota Camry. Tires are available in 14- , 15- and 16-inch diameters.

t 197.7 inches long overall on a 108.5-inch wheelbase, the Taurus wagon is about the same size as the Taurus sedan and measures 7 inches longer than the Saturn LW — one of its top competitors. All Taurus wagons have 16-inch tires.

Interior
Depending on the model and seating configuration, the Taurus can seat either six people — with a front bench seat and a folding center storage console — or five occupants in models equipped with front buckets. Six-passenger seating is standard in LX, SE and SES sedans, while the top-of-the-line SEL has space for five. All four doors contain map pockets, and the trunk holds 17 cubic feet of cargo.

Standard LX equipment includes air conditioning, a tilt steering wheel, and power windows, door locks and mirrors. Remote keyless entry, cruise control and a cassette stereo go into the SE sedan. Moving up to the SES model brings antilock brakes, a six-way power driver’s seat, a CD player and a split, folding rear seat. At the top of the lineup, the SEL gets automatic climate control, an in-dash CD changer, automatic headlights and power-adjustable pedals.

In the Taurus wagon, seating for six occupants is standard and includes a folding center storage console between the front occupants. Optional front bucket seats limit the seating capacity to five people, while an optional rear-facing third-row seat designed for children can boost that capacity to eight.

Cargo volume behind the wagon’s middle row of seats measures 38.8 cubic feet, which expands to 81.3 cubic feet when the center seat is folded. Power-adjustable brake and accelerator pedals with a 3-inch range are standard in the SE Deluxe and SEL wagons.

Under the Hood
Three 3.0-liter V-6 engines are available. The base engine has overhead valves and produces 155 horsepower, and the SEL sedan comes with a dual-overhead-cam V-6 that makes 200 hp. Both engines mate with a four-speed-automatic transmission. Ford also offers a version of the Vulcan V-6 that runs on a mixture of E-85 ethanol and gasoline, or either substance alone.

Ford’s dual-overhead-camshaft Duratec V-6, rated at 200 hp, is installed in the SE Deluxe wagon and is available for the SEL wagon. Both engines mate with a four-speed-automatic transmission. Safety
Antilock brakes are standard in the SEL and optional in the SE. Front airbags deploy at one of two inflation levels based on crash severity, the position of the driver’s seat and whether the seat belts are buckled. Optional side-impact airbags protect the heads and chests of front occupants.

Driving Impressions
The Taurus sedan is satisfying in most respects, but it doesn’t stand strongly above the midsize pack, which includes the league-leading Honda Accord and Toyota Camry. The Taurus’ ride and handling are acceptable, but it can feel a little ponderous at times and its suspension doesn’t produce a truly gentle experience.

Performance with the dual-cam V-6 is vigorous and responsive. The automatic transmission functions in an easygoing manner, with just a bit of hesitation when downshifting.

Interior space is ample, but large roof pillars impair visibility. The seats are comfortable and supportive. Despite a few drawbacks, Ford’s abundant safety features and attractive prices help make the Taurus a good buy against much of the competition. Like its sedan stablemate, the Taurus wagon has a lot to offer, but it doesn’t excel in most areas. Only a handful of family-oriented wagons with comparable cargo space are available, so Ford has a strong hold on this modestly sized branch of the market.

The Taurus wagon’s ride and handling are acceptable. It can feel a little ponderous at times, and the road-going experience doesn’t rank as gentle. Because the wagon weighs at least 169 pounds more than its sedan sibling, the dual-cam V-6 is a better choice than the Vulcan engine for performance. The Taurus wagon’s seats are comfortable and supportive.

 

Reported by Jim Flammang  for cars.com
From the cars.com 2003 Buying Guide
Posted on 1/24/03

Consumer Reviews

What drivers are saying

4.3
61 reviews — Read All reviews
Exterior Styling
(4.2)
Performance
(4.1)
Interior Design
(4.1)
Comfort
(4.4)
Reliability
(4.2)
Value For The Money
(4.3)

Read reviews that mention:

(5.0)

Very reliable

by Joe Mississippi from Mendenhall, Ms on August 17, 2020

it was the best used car I had owned great for every day use no problems keep oil change it will go anywhere a/c work great 👍 it was loaded with extra 😀 sunroof power leather seats /heated awesome ... Read full review

(4.0)

I love my Taurus

by Dash Riprock from Schuyler Falls, New York on July 20, 2020

I have owned this vehicle since I bought it at the Ford dealership. It now has over a quarter of a million miles on it. I admit I’ve had to shove coins in the jukebox to keep her going but it’s worth ... Read full review

Safety

Recalls and crash tests

Recalls

The 2003 Ford Taurus currently has 4 recalls


Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2003 Ford Taurus has not been tested.

Latest 2003 Taurus Stories

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The Taurus received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker

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