We have 2 96 Aeros. One shortie, one cargo. Both are very reliable and run and handle great. No major problems in either one. We use them for our commute and business. Also have an 89 Eddie Bauer, very comfy. The Bauer is so well made and sturdy. A friend has several that are almost at 300K miles, and loves them. We rotate ours, and they all perform well. Will buy another one or two soon. They are inexpensive to buy, and are very reliable. They aren't hot looking (the Bauer is nice, though), but they are a lot of vehicle for the money - and - they are paid for!
Comfortable seats, great performance, nice ride, handles well, more comfortable than the Astros by far. Windshield is well away from driver and passenger, more legroom.
Easier access to engine, but with this reliability, you don't need it that much. Wish Ford would bring another version of the Aero back out - they need the biz! Door panels, as someone mentioned, tend to get loose, and one is falling off. The Bauer is better made and reinforced.