Taurus vs. Malibu

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23,728
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CA
If both were the same price, which is better and why. I can buy either one (Taurus SE or Malibu LT) for about $13K after one year, with less than 10K miles from Carmax.
 
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34,151
Location
Southern NJ
I'd go to www.edmunds.com Just curious but have you looked at the Civics, Corollas and new VW Rabbitt? New Scion Tc is also a good deal. I think the Taurus/Malibu are not that good. IMO. I think I'd go with the Malibu if I had to chose between the two.
 

The Critic

Thread starter
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No Civic, too $$$ for what you get. No Corolla, outdated compared to the competition. I avoid VWs with a ten foot pole. The Scion tC does not offer very good fuel economy, nor do I care for the attention and high insurance. If I were to pay $20K for a car, either an 07 Camry or Sonata would be on the list. But for $12-$13K, with about 7500 mi on the clock, these one-year old Taurus/Malibu vehicles are too tempting. It just makes me wonder why these cars have such low mileage. [Confused]
 
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Location
USA
Hi In my opinion, each has its merits. The Taurus is tried and true design and can offer a nice value at more than fair prices. The Malibu, if its the current one you're talking of, offers a modern design and excellent economy, esp with the 2.2 Eco engine. I drive over 50k a year, and would never consider either of the alternate choices given above, especially if reliability and comfort enter into the equation.
 
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7,256
Location
USA
Find out their previous lives. The one that was not a rental car or fleet car is the better one. The reason for poor resale is this very fact, the market is flooded by them in fleet sales and they are not the top of the masses desirable. Personally I think you can't go really wrong with either. They both offer average reliability and inexpensive repairs overall compared to non-domestic brands as a whole.
 

ALS

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1,862
Location
Pittsburgh
I know a woman that had a Taurus. It was reliable and she never had a problem in the two years she owned it. She got rid of the Taurus and bought a Passat. Her only complaint with the car was the amount of the fuel she was putting in it each week. I would go with the Malibu over the Taurus due the better fuel mileage.
 
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Location
Cincinnati
I'd personally go with the Malibu. I think the overall long-term reliability will be just slightly better on the powertrain and the styling is better. But that's my opinion only.
 

JTK

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13,371
Location
Buffalo, NY
The malibu will have a hardier transaxle, steering and suspension components. Those three areas are weak on the taurus. Always have been. IMO, the interior on the taurus is nicer, I've always like the OEM sound systems on fords better and I *think* the taurus rates better in a crash. You hear lots of positive crash survival stories in regards to taurus's. G/luck Joel
 

JHZR2

Staff member
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New Jersey
get a 4cyl malibu... the 4 cyl gives the malibu superiority over the taurus in and of itself... the taurus is likely a bit larger though. My grandparents have a taurus (one of the first years of the last bodystyle). Its a nice car and has lasted fine so far... but it is a v6. If it is for YOU - see which has the better insurance rates and buy it. JMH
 

The Critic

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Both cars have a V6. The Malibu has the 3500 V6 and the Taurus has the 3.0 Vulcan V6. It's amazing how cheap either one can be had, about $13K for the Taurus and $15K for the Malibu. (Correction from earlier) Both have about 7500 miles on them. I'm just stunned by the low mileage on either of these cars...I'm just curious how they ended up on the CarMax lot. [Confused] Very few rental car companies have 4-cyl Malibus. Nearly all fleet/rental Malibus are V6. Does anyone know when the Taurus will be discontinued? Btw, I'm not sure about the "weakness" of the 4F50N transmission in the Taurus. It seems to have gone through a significant upgrade in 03 when upgraded hubs (IIRC) were implemented. The 4T45E tranaxle seems to be solid. The Malibu's 3500 V6 has questionable intake gaskets though, as the LX9 engine still has the plastic ones without the separation between coolant and engine oil.
 

JHZR2

Staff member
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New Jersey
the only rental malubu ive had was a 4cyl. Id look for a 4cyl in a FWD car. Maintainability will be enhanced greatly, and you really dont need the extra power. 120 hp in a car that size is more than enough. JMH
 

The Critic

Thread starter
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CA
4-cyl Ecotec is buzzy as heck. Noisy too. I had one as a rental when the Saturn was in the body shop several years ago. The fuel economy seemed to be less than my Saturn as well. Fwiw, the V6 Malibu or Taurus can pull 30-31 on the HWY, so I can't imagine the fuel economy difference to be THAT much. Not sure where you're coming from on the maintainability part ??? It doesn't have a timing belt...
 

JHZR2

Staff member
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New Jersey
two valve covers, two banks (equally shrouded) to replace spark plugs and wires on... an overall shoehorned in engine... I think youll find that those with ecotec engine cars are very happy with them... though I only have an ecotec block, Ill be the first - saab used that ecotec block architecture to make a power dense, smooth, quiet engine that has an EPA spec of 34 and real life average of about 36. No buzz whatsoever. As I said earlier, probably the best deal is the one with the best insurance rates! JMH P.S. unless the GM trans is far superior to the ford... then the GM product is the way to go IMO... Intake manifold gaskets can be repaired and only cost $400 or so... trans rebuilds start at $1500.
 
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Location
snowblind in TX
The one thing I noticed between them was the amount of road noise and "buzziness" of the Malibu. I drove a Malibu on a short 4 hour road trip and got tired of it quick. The Taurus/Sable is a much quieter ride. Fuel mileage has to be really close between the two, I know the Ford Vulcan 12V has no problem with 30 MPG on the highway. Not a big fan of the Duratech 24V 3.0 in the Tauruses.
 
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671
Location
Houston
You know, it's funny this post has come up because I've been looking at the used Ford Tauruses quite a bit lately. I, too, am thoroughly amazed at what a bargain you can get with one of these cars! There are VERY clean 2006 models all over Ebay with less than 10,000 miles (from Florida mainly - so probably ex-rentals), selling for $11,500 to $13,500. I normally would shy away from ex-rentals, but how bad could the renters really ruin these cars in less than 10,000 miles? Most people advocate driving it like you stole it during the break-in period anyhow. Heck, these things are still brand new cars in my mind. And the Ford Taurus is a very reliable, safe, and low-insurance vehicle. (It was listed as the "least stolen vehicle" on a CNN.com article I read a few weeks ago.) I don't know much about the Malibus but I like their styling okay. My mother-in-law has a Malibu with the V6 and it seems like a pretty nice car overall. Still, I prefer the overall look and feel of the Tauruses so that's what I'd probably (and might) buy. What other 2006 model car with less than 10,000 miles can be readily found for less than $13,000??? Certainly not any foreign brand, and certainly not anything that would be good for a reliable and inexpensive family car. This is what's pushing me toward a Taurus - cheap, reliable, low insurance, decent fuel economy, and a fairly roomy and comfortable family car. I'm on a very tight budget, so the thought of being able to buy an "almost new" car for $12,000 is VERY appealing! I say go for whichever one you like the best! [Smile]
 

JHZR2

Staff member
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New Jersey
quote:
Originally posted by AstroVic: but how bad could the renters really ruin these cars in less than 10,000 miles?
well I have a rental ford focus long-term for work. I got it with factory oil fill in it at 2800, and currently have 10k. Ill turn it in at 13 or 14k miles, without having an oil change - still factory fill. Depending on how you feel on keeping factory fill in the engine, this might be a 'ruining' situation. JMH
 
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842
Location
Ohio
"I'm just stunned by the low mileage on either of these cars...I'm just curious how they ended up on the CarMax lot." Are you certain they are not **Katrina** cars? GrtArtiste
 
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