Home » The World’s Nicest 2005 Ford Taurus Just Sold On Bring A Trailer For $12,500

The World’s Nicest 2005 Ford Taurus Just Sold On Bring A Trailer For $12,500

2005 Ford Taurus Topshot
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If I were, say, the supreme ruler of the galaxy, I’d want a reference library containing one perfect example of each car ever made. Obviously, this is an impossible task, but it seems that some human beings are one step ahead of the curve. Case in point? A 2005 Ford Taurus with just 126.8 miles on the clock just hammered on Bring A Trailer for $12,500.

Yes, your mid-aughts holiday rental car, or perhaps your parents’ mid-aughts holiday rental car, is Bring A Trailer material if it’s nice enough, and this one certainly is. This is likely the nicest 2005 Ford Taurus in existence, having dodged Wisconsin salt for the past 18 years.

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

The fourth-generation Ford Taurus wasn’t anything groundbreaking. Ford simply took everything controversial out of the rotund third-generation car, except on wagons, where the bodyshell stayed the same from the firewall back. This was a car, evidenced by the mid-range SE wagon placing third in a four-wagon Car And Driver comparison test. While the magazine praised the updated car’s interior room and refinements to the suspension and steering, it also heaped on plenty of criticism.

Saddled with the poorest power-to­-weight ratio, the Taurus finished last in all the drag-racing categories. It lumbered to 60 mph in 10.9 seconds, accompanied by a coarse growl and vibration felt through the steering wheel and the optional adjustable pedals. Vibrations also rippled through the chassis when traversing rough roads, all of which conspired with a rather plasticky-looking dash to give the Ford a rather low-rent feel.

The other egregious misstep involves seating comfort, especially in back, where occupants find themselves on a hard, flat raised bench. And those carry-over doors mean that adults riding back there still get an eyeful of C-pillar when they glance to the side.

A classmate in my final semester had a fourth-generation Taurus wagon with the 200-horsepower Duratec V6, and while the pace improvement of the top-spec engine took acceleration from slow to average, I can echo Car And Driver‘s sentiments. There are many things about it that weren’t great, but it was a car, and a ubiquitous one at that.

2005 Ford Taurus Right Front Three Quarters

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The fourth-generation Taurus didn’t have what it took to reclaim the midsize sedan throne from the Toyota Camry, but it still sold well to just about every major client group imaginable. Not only did consumers bite, so did rental fleets and so did corporations. If you were in management after Y2K and were offered a company car, chances are a Taurus would be on the list.

2005 Ford Taurus Interior

Admittedly, this Taurus doesn’t have a perfect history. It’s seen a little bodywork, notably in the left rear quarter panel which was allegedly bashed in while it was garaged. Still, it’s as perfect as perfect gets for a car that was a mere conveyance for most people, not a fantastical machine to take pride in.

2005 Ford Taurus Profile

While the person who paid $12,500 for this pretty much pristine Taurus may have bought it to complete a collection or fill a role based on its merit as a car alone, sometimes owning a car isn’t about the car. It’s about the memories and nostalgia that come with it. The fourth-generation Ford Taurus wasn’t on anyone’s bedroom wall, but it was in plenty of people’s driveways. It took you where you needed or wanted to be, and developed individual meaning along the way. You got out of a car like this exactly what you put into it, and since time is the ultimate luxury, wouldn’t it be nice to wind back the clock?

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(Photo credits: Bring A Trailer)

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PunkyBrewstersHubby
PunkyBrewstersHubby
3 months ago

Too bad it wasn’t a SEL wagon. I’ve had two!

Chi_spotting
Chi_spotting
3 months ago

Having driven one of these to get pizza once, I’ll say I liked driving my Buick Century so much more. The Taurus was a grandpa car trying not to be. The Buick was honest (and kinda trashy) in its approach.

Doug Kretzmann
Doug Kretzmann
3 months ago

Here’s my memory – drove a rental Taurus for a week or so in 1990 when we first immigrated, and honestly it was an aspirational car for me – comfortable, powerful, and airconditioned. I felt American driving it. We were used to petrol (gas) at $6 per gallon, and crude econoboxes that got 40-50mpg. Never did get to buy that Taurus..

Chronometric
Chronometric
3 months ago

If you were going to “collect” a Taurus it should be the groundbreaking first gen that ushered aerodynamics into the realm of auto appliances.

Second choice would be the third gen oval cars, known for their bizarre use of flattened circles. Some junior designer noticed that the Ford logo is an oval and replicated the shape into places where it never belonged, like the radio and windows.

Lokki
Lokki
3 months ago
Reply to  Chronometric

Quite seriously, if this were a first generation in the same condition, I would happily pay a lot more for it. It’s hard to imagine how sophisticated and modern those seemed when they appeared at the end of 1985. They had actually been engineered as an entire vehicle, rather than just built from whatever parts were handy in the bin.

For comparison, take a look at this 1984 Ford LTD wagon:

https://barnfinds.com/58k-miles-1984-ford-ltd-wagon/

It seems like they’re different decades, not a year apart.

Chronometric
Chronometric
3 months ago
Reply to  Lokki

And that’s why the first gen were runaway hits. Then Ford mailed it in on subsequent models… and it showed.

FunkMoose
FunkMoose
3 months ago
Reply to  Chronometric

Ah that’s not fair at all. The 3rd gen Taurus was a legit attempt at bringing something groundbreaking to the table. Look a that crazy back window (that the Sables never got). The problem is that it was just too extreme. That’s how you got the mechanically identical but stylistically dead fourth gen.

Chronometric
Chronometric
3 months ago
Reply to  FunkMoose

I did say 3rd gen were the second most desirable if only for the bold but questionable design choices. And you are right, I’d rather have goofy than bland.

Last edited 3 months ago by Chronometric
GreatFallsGreen
GreatFallsGreen
3 months ago
Reply to  FunkMoose

Yep, most reviews I’ve seen of the 1996 models support that they actually did make a car that was more refined and a step forward dynamically than the outgoing model – more refined and comfortable and such. It was a step back in some measures like a smaller trunk despite being bigger outside, but I do wonder if that might have been forgiven by some buyers if they hadn’t also made it much more expensive, so you had to spend more to get less in some ways. And that came just as Toyota cost cut the new Camry and made it more affordable. Not to say styling didn’t play a part, the 1997 Camry was a more conservative design too, almost looking more like the older Taurus. A Camry was smaller than a Taurus, but your other option in a Ford showroom for that pricing was the Contour which was much too small (Corolla-sized inside) and had less power, so definitely getting less for your money.

GreatFallsGreen
GreatFallsGreen
3 months ago

There’s been a lot of low-mile examples of the Taurus/Sable popping up on the auction sites but this has to be the lowest. It isn’t the last ever Taurus of this generation, so I guess maybe a Taurus fan that had bought one of the last retail examples, or a spare in case their primary one gave out?

As one of those fleet uses, white Tauruses were the vehicle of choice for the driving school in my area, so many people learned to drive on them, myself included. At least officially on the open road. I think Impalas followed after this Taurus left production and then years later they changed the program up and now I see nicer-trim Corollas and Accords with driver’s ed signs on the top.

Citrus
Citrus
3 months ago

I made a joke about this down thread but something like this is typically an older person’s last car.

For example, my mother bought a new Caravan a few years ago, but her driving ability was already declining. So it went to the grocery store and the doctor’s office and it’s extremely low miles, and now she’s moved to assisted living so she doesn’t drive it anymore. It would be basically like this if it hit the market – including having some damage repair, since a brother I’m getting increasingly suspicious of has been lending it to friends.

An extremely low miles boring car in a nice but not amazing spec is pretty much going to be a story of someone’s last car.

Last edited 3 months ago by Citrus
GreatFallsGreen
GreatFallsGreen
3 months ago
Reply to  Citrus

Yes, that’s surely the case with the many other examples that have been selling, especially Sables or wagons that are much older yet have <50k miles. I’m familiar with it as well, from my late grandmother’s Saturns (which she’d just trade in as the need for tires or brakes approached), her best friend’s last 2 Impalas even moreso.

However 127 miles seemed too low for that to be the case here. Even something like a 1 mile round trip per month since new would have added up to more miles. I found the seller mentioned in the comments it was a “last Taurus ever” thing like I posited:

The original owner purchased it as it was supposed to be the last year Taurus, and stored it immediately as a collector item, where it stayed until his widow donated it Rawhide. The same family donated the low mileage Windstar sold in a previous auction on BAT.

That Windstar had 2400 mi, more expected as a low-mileage senior car.

Dinklesmith
Dinklesmith
3 months ago

My father in law had a pair of 2004 Taruses (Taurii?) in the same color. Good lord what a shit box those cars were. The one was absolutely rusted out by 2010. I’ve never seen a modern car rust so fast, even being in the snow belt. Major suspension work was needed, interior trim pieces were falling off, the drivers side window didn’t work. The thing was just a hunk of junk.

His other one fared only slightly better. That leaked water into the interior and the dealer could never fix it. It also had major rust issues and bits and pieces liked to fall off.

He traded it in for…..another Ford. The man likes his Fords I guess

Vanillasludge
Vanillasludge
3 months ago

Whatever it is, there is always a worlds best version of it..

“Worlds nicest herpes flare up!”
”Worlds finest septic tank”
”Worlds best Turkish prison!”

SkyRise
SkyRise
3 months ago

With all these ultra low miles old cars, I have to wonder how “nice” they are really.

Sitting for over a decade can’t be great for a car. The interior and paint are obviously pristine, but I wonder how reliable the moving bits and rubber bits will be.

I would love to hear some experiences with folks who try to drive these things.

Kurt Hahn
Kurt Hahn
3 months ago
Reply to  SkyRise

There’s a non-zero chance of catastrophical engine or gearbox failure if you start using it regularly, after decades of sitting. Particularly bearings don’t like sitting still for years, and they are expensive to repair/swap. Unless it’s for a museum, I would prefer a car that had been doing at least 100 miles per month.

Dinklesmith
Dinklesmith
3 months ago
Reply to  SkyRise

Considering these had trim pieces fall off from the factory, I’m guessing it’s still a shit box

E Petry
E Petry
3 months ago

It was quite a surprise to me when I got older and realized these cars were hated. As a kid I loved them and they were everywhere. I thought they were still the beat selling in the segment. They definitely didn’t last as you hardly ever see them around anymore.

GreatFallsGreen
GreatFallsGreen
3 months ago
Reply to  E Petry

I liked them as a kid too but it probably helped that they were always the rental car we got on family trips, so I associated them with fun times, but I still dug things like the Integrated Control Panel and the flip-fold console. And my parents were not Ford people so it’s not like they sought out a Taurus at the rental counter, that’s just what we always got. I always hoped we’d rent a wagon with the 3rd row and ride in the wayback but if those were in rental use by the late ’90s I never saw one.

Citrus
Citrus
3 months ago

Whenever I see a deal like this all I can think is “my condolences on the loss of your grandma, sellers.”

Dogisbadob
Dogisbadob
3 months ago

Key highlight from the Car and Driver article you linked: the wagon has only one cubic foot less space than the Explorer of the time.

The V6 only making 155 hp should’ve been replaced with a 4-cylinder instead.

Last edited 3 months ago by Dogisbadob
Nlpnt
Nlpnt
3 months ago
Reply to  Dogisbadob

The wagon also had a third row (the traditional rear-facing kind) which combined with the front bench seat for 8-passenger capacity. And IMO it looked better, carrying over more of the oval model’s shape while the sedans had been dialed back too far.

Dogisbadob
Dogisbadob
3 months ago
Reply to  Nlpnt

yeah those third seats are awesome 😀

Tesla had one in the Model S, and Mercedes still has one in the non-AMG E-class wagons, but other than that, they’re gone, and that’s sad 🙁

Electric would be a great opportunity to bring back the front bench and 8-passenger cars 😉

E Petry
E Petry
3 months ago
Reply to  Dogisbadob

They’d need to engineer a center airbag. Which wouldn’t be hard. But the cost over desirability I’m guessing is why they haven’t. Somehow pickups are still allow to have a middle seat though.

FuzzyPlushroom
FuzzyPlushroom
3 months ago
Reply to  Dogisbadob

I spent a fair amount of time driving a Sable wagon (loaded, with the Duratec, so quick enough) and can confirm that they’re excellent for moving house. A Volvo 700/900-series wagon will let you bring a twin mattress and box spring with the disassembled bedframe on top and the hatch closed; the Taurus/Sable will let you stuff a low bookshelf in beside it. Not quite the venerable 4×8-sheet capability of an old B-body or Panther wagon, but quite roomy. Even the sloping hatch is no big deal, since the rear window opens separately.

GreatFallsGreen
GreatFallsGreen
3 months ago
Reply to  Dogisbadob

I don’t think Ford had any fours at the time that would have been up to the task of moving the Taurus around, and the key benefit of that low-hp V6 was the torque.

Plus swapping out an engine would have required funds that Ford wasn’t willing to spend on the Taurus, when the Vulcan was already long since paid for. And proven, which probably helped for the fleet buys.

Alan Christensen
Alan Christensen
3 months ago

Nice color.

Lokki
Lokki
3 months ago

Your mother must be so proud. You have obviously taken the “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything” lesson to heart. Well done!

I’ve spent almost fifteen minutes biting my tongue and trying to do the same.

Here’s my best effort, after some struggle: I think those aren’t the base option wheels.

Jnnythndrs
Jnnythndrs
3 months ago
Reply to  Lokki

All I can come up with is that the 3.0 Vulcan is pretty close to unkillable, although the transmission is a steaming pile, reliability-wise,

Bizness Comma Nunya
Bizness Comma Nunya
3 months ago

2005 was a bit odd, because there were some very old platforms still being built for a few years while brand new ones were coming out, industry-wide.

These Taureses were decent overall, but they just felt SOO OLD even when driving a brand new one.

Jack Trade
Jack Trade
3 months ago

Yeah, didn’t the Five Hundred come out in 2005? (and later renamed Taurus)

Bizness Comma Nunya
Bizness Comma Nunya
3 months ago
Reply to  Jack Trade

Yeah in 2005 you could by a brand new:

Ford Taurus (OG taurus platform) or Ford Five Hundred (new Volvo platform)
Chevy “Classic” (old Malibu) or Malibu (new Epsilon platform)
Dodge Neon or Dodge Magnum (new LX platform)

Other honorable mentions of old ass platforms that could be bought new in 2005:

Panther cars (which I still love)
Chevy Astro/GMC Safari (which are still awesome)
VW Cabrio that was actually built on the Mk3 Golf, which debuted in 1991

E Petry
E Petry
3 months ago

Neons and Magnums were not even close to the same size. Did you mean Dodge Caliber?

GreatFallsGreen
GreatFallsGreen
3 months ago
Reply to  E Petry

And Caliber was a year off still. But the old Stratus/Sebring were still in production, and those and the Neon still anachronistic for the new product and image. Actually not unlike ~10 years before when those cab forward designs were rolling out – the LH cars first amid the boxy old designs as more replacements rolled out, some with overlap too:

Sundance/Shadow went through MY94, and Neon was early ’94 as a MY95 so those likely overlapped.
Spirit/Acclaim through MY95, same as the Stratus (LeBaron sedan ended ’94 and Breeze was ’96).
LeBaron Coupes were gone for ’94 and Sebring convertible wasn’t til ’96, but the outgoing LeBaron convertible and new Mitsu-based Sebring coupe were both ’95s.

Clark B
Clark B
3 months ago

That has been my takeaway after putting hundreds of miles on a couple Tauruses owned by friends. They weren’t new at the time, for sure, but compared with their contemporaries they just felt old-fashioned, and not in a good way. That, and their transmissions were made of wet newspaper and they fell apart like something out of a comedy skit, with interiors made of Fisher Price plastics. Oh, and the rear suspensions would wear out abnormally fast and leave the rear end damn near dragging the ground if you put a couple people in the backseat. I think I can safely say that the Taurus is my least favorite car ever built.

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
3 months ago

The phrase, ‘The world’s nicest 2005 Ford Taurus’ is not something I ever expected to see in print or pixels.

I love this site

Squirrelmaster
Squirrelmaster
3 months ago
Reply to  TOSSABL

Having had several friends with one of these, “The world’s nicest 2005 Ford Taurus” is sort of like saying “The best STD is Syphilis” – no matter how nice of an adjective you append to it, nobody gets jealous when you tell them what you’ve got.

Shooting Brake
Shooting Brake
3 months ago
Reply to  Squirrelmaster

“Taurus, for the rest of us” ヽ(͡◕ ͜ʖ ͡◕)ノ

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
3 months ago
Reply to  Squirrelmaster

“nobody gets jealous when you tell them what you’ve got”

Not a bad thing if you live in a place or time where that’s the prelude to a pogrom.

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