Generation 4 - 2000 to 2007

[ Compiled by: Bull Geek ]   [ First Posted: February 20, 2005 ]   [ Last Modified: February 17, 2010 ]

Thank you to everyone who contributed information for this section.

All Gen 4 Models

  • Taurus trim levels:
    • 2000-2004: LX, SE, SES, SEL
    • 2005-2007: SE, SEL
  • Sable trim levels:
    • 2000-2001: GS, LS, LS Premium
    • 2002-2004: GS, LS Premium
    • 2005: GS, LS
  • Appearance revamped for a more conservative style.
  • Upgraded powertrains for better durability, performance, and fuel economy.
  • Suspension was softened up in the front and rear for a softer ride.
  • All models now received 16 inch wheels standard. All sedans had front disc and rear drum brakes, while wagon models had front and rear disc brakes.
  • The SHO model was discontinued for this generation.
  • The Taurus and Sable received new front fascias featuring headlamp assemblies that also housed the turn signal; a larger grille opening for better cooling; and a SHO style lower valence.
  • The Taurus lineup had the Vulcan engine standard on the LX, SE and SES model. It could be equipped with either the AX4S or AX4N transmission. The SEL had the Duratec engine standard, while the SES model had it optional.
  • The Sable lineup had the Vulcan engine standard on the GS and LS models, while the LS Premium had the Duratec standard. The LS model could have had the Duratec as an option.
  • The Sable LS Premium featured integrated fog lamps (a first on a Sable).
  • The rear of the Taurus now featured a squared-off rear window and a scalloped rear deck lid design.
  • Both the Taurus and Sable featured an integrated brake/turn signal taillight. The license plate bracket was also moved to the deck lid from the rear bumper. The rear badge's font was new along with the new trim badging.
  • Both cars' interiors had been completely redesigned. The light switch, pedals, and the gauge cluster were a carryover from the previous generation. The seats were brand new, featuring a better design and much more support. The headrests were now able to reduce whiplash, and the new Personal Safety System helped reduce the risk of injury in an accident. All models had rear seat map pockets and molded door pockets.
  • The new interior featured a redesigned integrated control panel (ICP), which was more of a boxy shape. The ICP was aimed more at the middle of the car instead of at the driver. A new cubby hole is located below the ICP along with a secondary power point.
  • The flip/fold sixth seat now folded flat to the floor when opened. Newly designed cupholders now had a rubber grip to hold the drink, coins, and cassettes. The improved seats now had larger headrests and better support. The rear passengers now had cupholders that swung out of the housing for the flip/fold seat.
  • The new floor-shift console featured a special adjustable-size cupholder for the front passengers, a rear fold-down cupholder in the rear w/venting, a pocket on the passenger side, an armrest that could hold the optional CD changer, and a new storage placement for the coins under the dash.
  • Both the Taurus and Sable's trunks were now back to class-leading trunk size. The new sill on the trunk ledge featured 4 hooks for bags.
  • Both vehicles featured many new safety features such as side impact airbags, traction control, BeltMinder, tether straps in the rear, and a glow in the dark trunk release. The BeltMinder system included sensors mounted in the front seatbelts which detected whether the front passengers had their seatbelts buckled or else a warning chime activated every 30 seconds
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2000

  • The SE-SVG model was known later as the SES. The SE Comfort was known later as the SEL. While the original names were intended for dealer use, the SES and SEL nomenclature was intended for customers. To eliminate confusion, Ford changed the naming to LX, SE, SES and SEL in the end
  • Tauruses were badged LX and SE, even when they featured the SES or SEL package up until late May for Atlanta built vehicles, and late June for Chicago built vehicles. After these dates, SES and and SEL models were labeled properly. Sables' badging was unaffected.
  • All models featured a 16 gallon tank (unless FFV), until the last few months of production as well.
  • Duratec engines featured a coil on plug (COP) design, much different from the previous year Duratec.
  • Instrument cluster layout for the 2000 models featured a rear lamp out light.
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2001

  • An in-dash CD player became available and was optional on the Sable GS/Taurus SE while standard on the Sable LS/Taurus SES
  • Alloy wheels became standard on SE.
  • CD changer became standard on Taurus SEL
  • Front disc brakes were upgraded from 10.8" to 11.6" on all models, the same size as the brakes on the previous generation SHO.
  • Power door locks became standard on the Taurus LX.
  • New intake design for the Duratec and the Vulcan. The Duratec lost it's COP design as well.
  • Instrument cluster now featured a gas cap light in place of the Rear Lamp Out light.
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2002

  • Reorganization of the option listing and packages for both the Taurus and the Sable. The Sable LS was dropped; the GS Plus took its place.
  • A new slim LED rear high mount brake lamp replaced the larger incandescent brake lamp.
  • A new stitching pattern and design for the seats, along with a new headrest design.
  • A new auto dimming mirror featuring a compass (from Gentex) became optional on middle and high series models.
  • The "Sport Package" became optional mid model year (January 2002) on the SES Deluxe model. It was built at the Chicago factory only. Click here for information on the Sport package.
  • A special package on the Sable, known as the "Platinum Edition" became optional mid model year on the LS Premium and was produced only at the Atlanta factory. Click here for more information.
  • New molded cupholders in the front seat replaced the adjustable ones mid-year on the floor shift models.
  • New under-the-mirror lights, called puddle lamps, became standard on middle and high series models (unless deleted by fleets). They turned on/off with the interior lighting.
  • Some of the last 2002 SEL models can be found having the woodgrain interior and wrapped steering wheel along with chrome strips on the bodyside molding. Some of the last 2002 models also featured the uncoming addition on 2003 models, illuminated cruise control.
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2003

  • Special edition Ford Taurus, known as the Centennial Edition; a package available in the SEL Premium trim. Only 4000 were built. Click here for more information
  • As of 12/02 Ford made some deletions/changes:
    • Change in exterior door handle design
    • Loss of interior chrome door handles in favor of black plastic door handles
    • Loss of ashtray and glovebox light
    • Loss of carpeted trunk lid liner and upper trunk liner
    • Loss of rear seat vents for the floor shift model.
    • Loss of passenger side exterior lock cylinder.
    • Loss of passenger side secondary visor on higher series models
    • Moonroof models lost the maplights over the front seats and were replaced by a single lamp.
    • Articulating rear grab handles replaced by fixed grab handles
  • Phasing out of the AX4S transmission around October 2002 during the 2003 model year.
  • A chrome stripe was added to the body molding on SEL models
  • All models lost the black instrument panel in favor of an interior color one.
  • Power pedals button moved to the opposite side of the traction control button, under the tachometer
  • The cruise control buttons now lit up.
  • New sound dampening material and new door seals to keep noise down.
  • Models equipped with the wood package featured a new grain and look. A leather and wood-wrapped steering wheel became optional.
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2004

  • The Taurus had a slight revision on the front bumper making the grille larger but removing the chrome spear. The rear of the car had a new crease on the bottom lip of the bumper. The badging in the rear was changed as well. The taillights had a new clear area in place of the reflector. The spear above the license plate in the rear was now body color.
  • The Sable had similar revisions. All grilles became chrome striped. The foglamps were now round shaped. The rear badging script changed location to the trunk lid and had a new script. The tail lights now had separate turn indicators. The Sable retained its chrome spear above the license plate in the rear, except on LS Platnium models.
  • Inside both cars was a new steering wheel, which looked like an upside down taco. The gauge cluster was reorganized and featured a new digital computer which had features that could calculate your miles per gallon, miles till empty, etc. It also housed the compass and temperature read outs for models that featured those options. The ICP featured a passenger airbag indicator light. This light indicated whether the airbag was on/off based on the sensor's readings.
  • Both vehicles had new sun visors. The dual visor feature on the driver side of SES, SEL and LS Premium models was lost. SES, SEL and LS Premium models had non adjustable lighted vanity mirrors. LX, SE and GS models had standard sunvisors with a mirror.
  • The Sport package, available on the SES Deluxe package in the Taurus, was discontinued halfway through the 2004 model year.
  • Taurus SEL models lost the standard power pedals. Taurus SES models lost body color exterior mirrors and folding rear seats became optional.
  • Chicago Assembly Plant produced it's last Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable on April 23, 2004. Chicago was closed for retooling so it could assemble the Ford Five Hundred, Ford Freestyle and Mercury Montego. All production was moved to the Atlanta Assembly Plant.
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2005

  • Ford Taurus LX and SES models were dropped from the lineup. SE models continued to be the step up from the dropped LX model, featuring a tape deck, cruise control and keyless entry. SEL models dropped many standard features and made them optional. Options such as ABS, EATC and the Duratec engine all became optional. It however gained a standard auto dimming rear view mirror and a HomeLink unit built into the visor. The SEL had a power driver seat, floor shifter, wood accent wheel and shifter, a CD player, a leather wrapped wheel, body color mirrors, and puddle lamps standard.
  • A new SEL Premium package became available with a power passenger seat, EATC, leather seating surfaces, rear spoiler, Automatic lights, and a 6 disc cd changer.
  • SE models had an available preferred equipment package including: the optional 5-Spoke aluminum wheels, Rear spoiler, Power driver seat with lumbar, 60/40 Split-folding rear seat
  • Sables had no significant changes, as it was the last model year. The Sable went back to having 3 separate models, the GS, LS and LS Premium. The LS had many options that the LS Premium package held such as the Duratec, fog lights, power drivers seat, a keypad, and a floor shifter. The LS Premium package added a EATC, AutoLamp, and leather trimmed seats. The Sable LS finally came standard with Anti-lock brakes, which was optional on other years.
  • The glove box light, ash-tray light, and upper trunk lining made a silent return for all models.
  • Both models had a Safe and Secure package which included traction control, side air bags, and ABS. All options could be had separately, but traction control required the ABS option.
  • Interior colors were renamed. Medium Graphite, Medium Parchment and Dark Charcoal became Medium Dark Flint, Medium Dark Pebble, and Ebony Black respectively.
  • The last Taurus wagon was built December 6, 2004 in Atlanta.
  • The last Sable was built April 29, 2005 in Atlanta.
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2006

  • The cigarette lighter became standard equipment.
  • HomeLink feature was moved to the SEL Premium package on the Taurus.
  • The Fuel Flex Vulcan (FFV) became a fleet only option.
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2007

  • Fuel Flex engine dropped from options
  • Taurus became fleet only for this model year
  • Last Taurus built October 27, 2006 in Atlanta, GA
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Misc. Pictures

Sedan:

Wagon:

Taurus:

Sable:

Misc:

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Proceed to Generation 5 (2008-2009)


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