Ford blew it...Windstar was a joke! Should have kept Aerostar. Cheap to buy (used)/insure/repair. Very good tow vehicle. I owned a '93 prior to this '97...both 4.0 litre, extended, rear wheel drive. My '97 was 1 of last ones ever built (June of '97). Exhaust flex pipes need replacing frequently.
4.0 litre engine is bullet-proof. New for '97, 5 speed auto is good. Quad captain seats comfortable. Fiberglass hood/hatch/running boards, means no rust. Replacement parts are cheap for DIYers. Front suspension only required new tie rod ends. Roof racks are handy. Stereo is nowhere near my Toyota's.
Electrical items (power windows/locks) work in wet, but intermittent in dry. Fabric wears poorly, esp. driver's seat. Gas mileage sucks (literally!). Larger tires & brakes would be better. Spare tires rusts badly in northern climates. Original all season Michelin were awful in snow (4 snows cured it).