I drive a 1998 Toyota Corolla with about 119,000 miles on it. It’s been reliable for me, though it has its quirks. I now have the opportunity to get a 2003 Ford Taurus for $1000. It has a little more size and comfort, but also has over 113,000 miles. I’ve done some research and got a trade-in appraisal for the Corolla at CarMax ($1500), but the decision is turning out to be really tough. The CarMax salesman thought I should keep the Corolla because he doesn’t like the Taurus once it gets over 100K. I’m a little biased against the early century domestic cars because I had a 2003 Buick Century that was an absolute money-pit.
What do you think? Anyone have experience with the 2003 Taurus over 100K?
Here are the pros & cons of each car as I see them:
- Very reliable engine, good gas mileage
- Will run forever
- Zippy and compact
- Cosmetic flaws (plastic parts are breaking, rust spots, etc.)
- Some warning lights on dash won’t go away (CarMax didn’t like that, especially the airbag light)
- Bigger and comfortable, safety features
- 5 years newer than the Corolla
- Great price for an '03 car
- Over 100K, history of frequent visits to the shop
- Gas mileage isn’t great
- Also has cosmetic flaws