Taurus vs. Saturn

My husband and I have been offered a 1994 Taurus sedan with 33,000 miles on it. It has had one owner, our neighbor. This neighbor is now 93 years old and moving into a retirement home. So, it has truly only been driven those 33,000 miles by this little old lady. According to the net information the Taurus gets 28 mph. Currently my husband is driving a 1998 Saturn with 113,000. We just put new wheel bearings on the paassenger side of the car. It needs new brakes, a new catalytic converter and a new muffler. This Saturn is getting 37 mph. I am asking for an educated opinion here. If you were us, would you pass on this Taurus because of it’s age and lower gas mileage - or - would you sell the Saturn and take the Taurus because of the condition and miles on it?

I’d go w the Taurus. If it has the 3.8L engine, be aware of the head gasket issues.

Keep the Saturn.

You have to choose between two enviable choices. You won’t go wrong no matter which way the cat jumps. I see no reason to give up the trusted Saturn at this point, especially when looking at that 37 mpg figure.

But why not do your neighbor a favor and offer to sell the Taurus for him? I’m sure he’d appreciate a few extra bucks (even if he uses them to buy some smokes and entertain the ladies).


We already have a buyer for the Taurus if we decide to stay with the Saturn! So, at least we’re thinking the same way on that issue.

I had a 1993 Taurus Wagon that I loved. It had 193000 miles on it when they told me it needed a head gasket. I loved that car so much, but the head gasket would cost more than the car was worth. So, I gave it away and bought an Altima. My question to you then is this, would the Taurus we are talking about need the head gasket just because of the age of the vechicle (even sitting) or at about the 150000 mile time?

Thanks for your help on all of this!

Whenever my cars start getting on in years, I’ve often liked having an extra around. It costs a bit more in registration, insurance, maintenance, but it provides a backup for emergencies, lengthy repairs and such. So why not keep both?


But why not do your neighbor a favor and offer to sell the Taurus for him? I’m sure he’d appreciate a few extra bucks (even if he uses them to buy some smokes and entertain the ladies).

You have an opportunity here that some people never get. You can flip a coin and say that you will be happy with whatever turns up. Celebrate your freedom and flip that coin.

I have a 97 Taurus and it has been a good vehicle… but it is a different animal than a 1994. I wouldn’t touch a 1994 Taurus if it had the 3.8L engine because of the aforementioned head gasket issues. Also be aware of the transmission issues that Ford had with the Taurus that weren’t really fully cleared up until the 95 model year. 94s were notably better than previous years, but still the transmissions were a weak link in that car.

All said, unless you really need a new car, I wouldn’t touch this Taurus… but of course that cat could cost a pretty penny on your Saturn…

New wheel bearings, new brakes, new catalytic converter, new muffler? How badly have you been abusing this poor car for all that to go bad in 113k? My '98 Saturn has 125k and except for rusted out disc rotors, I’ve never had a lick of trouble with it (knock wood… ouch!).

Anyway, something to keep in mind about that '94 Taurus with 33k: that works out to 2 or 3 thousand miles a year (probably more in the early years and less lately). Inactivity can be quite hard on a car, too, especially if maintenance such as oil changes weren’t done for years at a time. Have it checked out carefully, and review the maintenance records.

I am voting on keeping a car that has done well for you, and with some repairs will do it some more, rather than a low-mileage older car that might have unknown problems if you start driving it a lot.

You will have to give that Saturn away at that age.

The areas that use salt are hard on the all the parts listed. Of the items listed they all are considered normal wear items.