I bought this van new and have had it to the mechanics only twice in all these years; easy to fix carburetor problem just 3 years ago, and fan fix for back seats. Extremely reliable. Everything still works perfectly. Gets 17 mpg, better than the mid-sized SUVs these days.
Reliability. Seats are very comfortable. The armrest! Lots of power--I still can pass any kind of car on the freeway, no problems with pick up.
We got van used (55,000) miles. As is, no warranty, BIG mistake! The first week we had the van, the power steering went out. Then spark plugs needed to be changed. Don't attempt yourself. Front brakes have been changed 5 times. We have a hard time putting key in the ignition. Awful dinging sound when head lights are on sometimes. When it's below 30 degrees out, doors freeze shut, then won't close after you get in. Replaced water pump and now I fear we need a new transmission due to van jerking when shifting. I've met 4 people that have trouble with theirs as well! Windstar= LEMON.
Front seats are comfy.
Recall Windstars and stop production of Freestars, until Ford can make a reliable vehicle.
We bought this car new in '96 because everyone else in the world owned a Dodge Caravan. Drove it for 8 years and 130,000 miles before I wrecked it. Never had any major engine/mechanical problems but Ford's electric system is a joke. The speedometer went out at 90,000 miles, and for the next 3 years it waved between 40 and 90 MPH, so it was unclear how fast we were going. Helped us to slow down though. I rear ended someone going 45 MPH and sustained a broken ankle and some minor scrapes and bruises from the airbags which deployed. To this day, almost a year later, I continue to have shoulder problems resulting from this accident. Served us well, but not too protective!
This was a very nice vehicle for 8 years, but things started falling apart after that. Ride quality went downhill fast at 50,000 miles. Still have the original motor and transmission at 113,000 miles, now getting C.E. light, front end needs major refurbishing, losing coolant, power steering acting up, speedometer dances, blinker switch replaced, needs shocks, power window problems, O-2 sensor, transmission is sluggish. The power the 3.8 engine had when new started disappearing at 50,000 miles too. For the short term it is not a bad vehicle; being a good, comfortable travel vehicle and small trailer hauler. If you are thinking about a Freestar, think short term ownership (less than seven years or 70,000 miles).
Captains chairs(4), original power, towing package, rear AC, safety features, cargo room, easy to read dash, rear radio controls, and original ride comfort.
Long term quality, more cup holders, deeper cup holders, quieter ride, softer ride, and lighter weight removable seats.
After driving my first brand new car is was immediately plagued with problems. When we purchased the van we were assured that we would be able to tow a tent trailer (<3,000 lbs). Initially the check engine light came on. Nothing wrong at the dealer. Don't know what the computer has been trying to tell us over the past 9 years but now I've placed a sticker over the light and just ignore it! Right after the warranty ran out 40k miles, the transmission went out! Took to a transmission shop who said you can't haul with a front wheel drive auto! This is my 3rd transmission in 9 years and I poke along the road with my kids! Never, ever buying another Ford even if they give it to me!