Aerostar XL 4.0 with front & rear ac. Purchased with 125000 miles, wrecked with 259,790. Excellent foot room driver/passengers. Rapid rear and middle bench seat removal for hauling cargo. Battery, pass headlignt, tail lightbulbs, air/oil/trans/fuel filters easy to change. Filler neck for fuel is beside drivers door,(excellent location for security) Fuel mileage 23mpg at sustained 70mph Fuel mileage 16mpg in town stop n go. Excellent acceleration at all speeds. Excellent load capacity. Minor points of iritation; Alternator is right below oil filler neck. Have to guard aginst drips. Driver side headlight bulb requires tools time and care in changing. Ignition switchproblem
Being a rear wheel drive, makes the weight distribution front to rear with smaller turning radius justification enough. However, opening the driver door and simply sliding the right, into the seat did away with back and sprained ankle pain I suffered in other vehicle designs.
Aerostar mini van no longer in production. Bring it back.
Great van to own and drive around the place. Very comfortable to sit in the driver's seat. Only problem is with the ignition switch that has problems with the ears where you have to line it up just right to get the key in to start the vehicle. 3.0 engine has an excellent track record, which makes this a much better and reliable van than the sorry 3.8 liter V6 that Ford put out for the Windstar. That Windstar was a failure and disgrace to the FORD name. Ford should bring Aerostar back with a few improvements. The best thing about it is: you guessed it "REAR WHEEL DRIVE" -- that is music to the ears of mechanics and people like me that are not big fans of front wheel drive! GREAT VEHICLE!
Good radio. trouble free transmission, nicely laid out dash, roof rack, easy to change battery, comfortable seats, great handling, plenty of room, fold down read seats makes it easy to carry lots of things without taking out the seats, good paint characteristics, easy to wax.
Ford's design of the seals for the air conditioning needs improvements. GM and Chrysler have them beat on the reliability of air conditioning. Problems with the brakes -- you have to get FORD brake pads to get trouble free service. Flimsy design of power window switches. More lighting for interior of van.
I bought this vehicle to use for a courier service. I have put 10k on it since the purchase over 2 months ago. Was doing pretty good, then the transmission went. Such are the joys of a used vehicle without maintenance records! If you need a cheap minivan that's cheap to maintain, these are still a good purchase. Just look out for body rust (especially along the seams on the roof), electrical problems (power windows and locks) and transmission noises/leaks are bad news in this van. Braking is good, but these vans are known for chewing up front pads/rotors, since the front brakes do all the braking. The AWD (also known as E4WD) version can be expensive to fix.
Ride is a good mix of truck and car, better when loaded. Economy from 3.0 V6 (19 mpg in 50/50 mix of city and highway). Excellent view outside. Can fit a lot inside, floor is completely flat when seats are removed. Simple, cheap, RWD truck-based mechanicals.
The Aerostar died in 1997 due to the rise of SUVs, the general disdain for owning a minivan and the cost for Ford to bring a 1980's design up to date. Too bad, the Aerostar is good for hauling people and things places. I'd much rather have an updated Aerostar over the Windstar (uh, er... Freestar).
Van has 271,000 miles on it. Still drives well, extremely reliable. Only minor repairs. Nothing exciting about the design, but very practical with lots of storage. Gas milage is very good, considering it is a box.
Storage, fuel mileage, and dependibility.
Door panels, and side door system is cheaply constructed.