At $9,900, Is This 2002 Ford Taurus SE Simply a Deal?

Nice Price or No Dice 2002 Ford Taurus

The ad for today’s Nice Price or No Dice Taurus asks “Tired of paying extra for technology and features you never use, but always need fixing?” Then it suggests that the answer to that very problem is this 20-year-old Ford. Let’s see if we are in agreement.

We all know the famous line from Jurassic Park which I’ll paraphrase as “just because you can doesn’t mean you should.” A lot of you voiced that exact same thought over yesterday’s privately-imported 1996 BMW 318i Touring. Its never-sold-here appeal was outweighed by bargain-basement specs and some questions about its provenance that were left unanswered. Pile on a $12,000 asking price and it was a recipe for disaster, at least as far as the voting went. The result was a massive 95 percent No Dice loss.

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I have a somewhat embarrassing admission that I will reluctantly share. When seeing just the acronyms, I sometimes confuse the AARP and ASPCA. Pair either with a picture that has both an older person and a pet and I’m all kinds of confused. That being said, I’m really happy that there are advocacy groups for both animals and older Americans. Actually, I’m just realizing that my family dog fits into both of those categories.

One of the perks of being of retirement age is not having to worry too much about piling a lot of miles on your car. Being retired means no more driving to work, and if you go on vacation you can travel on one of those tour buses and no one will bat an eye.

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That results in cars like today’s 2002 Ford Taurus SE, which while 20 years old, rocks a mere 74,935 miles on its mechanical odometer. According to the ad, this Taurus was indeed once owned by a grandfather. Following his passing, the seller says it was used sparingly by other family members and kept in tip-top condition all along. That includes a good bit of maintenance and repair work done within the last 15,000 miles, to make it, as the seller claims, “perfect today.”

Is it perfect? Well, no. It’s a fourth-generation Taurus and those were fairly basic transportation cars in their day. That being said, it could offer that same service today, and in fact, the seller touts its lack of complicated systems and features as a notable plus.

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Under the hood lies a 3-liter Vulcan V6, which I believe was the last OHV engine Ford offered in its U.S.-built cars. That makes 155 horsepower and 185 lb-ft of torque and is paired with a four-speed automatic transaxle.

The transmission is shifted by way of a column-mounted lever, freeing up the space on the center tunnel and allowing for a padded section to bridge the two seats in front. In the ad, the seller claims this makes the car a full six-seater, but there doesn’t seem to be a seatbelt or airbag for that skinny center section.

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The upholstery and plastics inside all look to be in terrific shape and basic or not, this does seem to be a fairly inviting and comfortable space. All the features that the car has—A/C, power windows, etc.—are said to work without issue and there are no diodes of doom evident on the dash.

The exterior seems just as nice, although there is a noticeable dent on the hood, a scrape on the front bumper, and what the seller says is some surface rust in the rear arches and door bottoms. None of those issues seems egregious in the photos, however. The title is clean and the car has a history that is free of accidents.

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The price? Well, that’s $9,900, and before you all go and hit the vote button, let the seller explain the rationale for that price:

Now, for the logic of pricing. In 2002, this car’s sticker was $20,495.00. That’s $33,299.65 with inflation to 2022 dollars.

This excellent car can be purchased, with just shy of 75k miles, for just shy of 10k. $9,900. That’s less than the dealer’s “market adjustment” on the 2022 version, and less than half the original price in 2002.

Okay, with that explanation rolling around your thought process, let’s get back to the voting. What’s your take on this plain-Jane Taurus and that $9,900 asking? Does that seem like a fair deal for the car as it’s presented? Or, will that simply not do?

You decide!

Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to Ben Tiensvold for the hookup!

Help me out with NPOND. Hit me up at [email protected] and send me a fixed-price tip. Remember to include your Kinja handle.

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