Tuesday, December 19, 2006

I miss my Camry :-(

I finally took my car to the bodyshop to get the bumper damage repaired. It was rear-ended more than a month ago. [See, I'm trying to whittle down my list of stuff I procrastinated on.] I hope they can fix it quickly, because my rental car completely sucks. It is a Ford Taurus, and if this is the kind of crap they're churning out to compete with Camrys and Altimas, it is no wonder they are losing market share. In Ford's defense, their trucks are pretty good. PDM has a Ford truck and is happy with it. But their mid-sized passenger cars need some work.

First of all, the gas pedal is so far back that I had to pull the seat nearly all the way up to reach it. So now the steering wheel is almost in my lap and I am way too close to the dashboard. I don't think it has an airbag, which is a good thing because if it went off at that distance the bag would probably kill me itself. The brake pedal is way higher than the gas, so switching my foot between them is awkward and I keep hitting the side of my foot on the side of the brake pedal. Sure hope I don't need to brake fast, because in addition to not being able to get to the pedal quickly, the brakes have much more resistance than I am used to and I feel like I have to really stomp on them to make the car slow down. And another thing... the seat is too hard. And the steering wheel material is kind of rubbery/sticky, which makes me want to break out a can of lysol seeing how this is a rental car and god-knows-who has had their mitts on it.

It is a real shame that Ford didn't update the Taurus design to keep it competitive. I remember when it was a very popular car and people seemed to like it. I rented one on a business trip years ago and didn't have any problems with it. The Ford plant in Hapeville (just south of Atlanta) used to make the Taurus. Now it is shut down and the Taurus has been discontinued. Ford should try making a comfortable car with good gas mileage and better ergonomics. I bet it wouldn't suck.


trinamick said...

I had an '89 Taurus and it lived a good long life. Sure, the clear coat peeled off and it looked like someone had poured acid on it, but man, the seats were comfy!

I love my Sunfire, but it has the most uncomfortable seats in the world for a long trip. 27 hrs to Reno, and I wanted to die.

dr sardonicus said...

My Taurus was the car from hell, and this was around 1990. In fact, it damn near got me killed - not so much for what it did, but for where it did it. I was in insurance sales at the time, and that car up and quit in the middle of a rough neighborhood in East St. Louis. (Without going into a lot of detail, all of East St. Louis is a rough neighborhood.) I found a pay phone (this was the pre-cell phone era), but every wrecker service I called said that going to where I was would be suicidal for them. The sun was going down, and it appeared the only choice I would have would be to make the risky walk back to the pay phone to call a friend to get me the hell out of there, abandoning the Taurus to its fate. At that point, a man pulled up behind me. I prayed he wasn't a mugger or worse. But he asked me what was wrong, then said, "Don't worry - I'm a mechanic at the Ford dealership." He got the Taurus running, and showed me what to do in case it quit again - which he assured me that it would. He said, "I sure don't know what Ford was thinking when they built these things." That Taurus had some glitch in the ignition system, and as the mechanic predicted, about once a month it would just quit. Then I would get under the hood, play with some wires, and get it to run again. After about four months of that, I sold the thing.

I'll always be grateful to that Ford mechanic. He just might have saved my life that day.

fermicat said...

Holy cow!! I hope they fixed that particular defect.

Your comment reminded me of the movie Vacation where the Griswolds end up in East St. Louis and people are taking stuff off the car while Chevy Chase is asking for directions.

wa11z said...

I love my Camry!!

Beth said...

I actually own a Ford Taurus. Well, I drive a Ford Sportrac, but I own a Taurus. It's a '96 and I liked the seats. That's the only thing I liked about it though. "Liked" as in "I don't drive it anymore, but passed it to hubby when I got a new vehicle." He's selling it to buy a Jeep. He likes hard seats, hard vehicles, and a rough exterior.
I'll be selling my Sportrac too, but just for better gas mileage. That's all I really want.

fermicat said...

wa11z - you have good taste!

Beth - Good riddance!

Today I noticed a few new things to hate about the rental Taurus. The frame and body constantly make noises while driving at any speed, and the car responds sluggishly. Bleah.