This has been our first American car. We bought 2 years ago When it had >100K miles. We have had only minor annoyances but no major problems. The engine runs strong, we got good gas mileage, the ride is comfortable, the braking is good...it has been an awesome buy! The biggest issue is that it has just 3 doors. This is bad for a family with 2 small kids as it is really difficult to place an infant/toddler behind the driver. Considering the fact that a minivan is supposed to be a family car, I find a 3-door design just absurd. Sometimes, the car wrongly thinks that a door is open and the interior lights stay on - there is no way to manually turn them off!
The armrest along the door.
Ford dropped the minivan...so no point making suggestions.
I don't recommend a Ford windstar van, at least not a 1998. When I first got the vehicle the transmission was bucking and when I went to have it replaced with a new trainny, it did the same thing, and they told me this was normal for '98 Windstar vans. Visiblilty is not great on highway. I had to replace the whole ABS system costing me over $1100 and nearly everything else except the engine has had to be replaced. On a more positive, it is a very comfortable car to drive, and it rides very smooth with a quiet engine. Safe car to drive if you do well with poor visibility on the highway. I would not get a Ford Windstar van again, and may not even get a Ford again.
We bought our Windstar as an upgrade from a Honda Accord, only because that's all that we could get financed for, unfortunately! From day one, the "door ajar" arlam constantly goes off and the dome lights don't turn off. No mechanic can seem to figure out how to fix the door ajar problem. We've had a "clunk" sound coming from the front end since day one as well, we can't find the problem. The AC cuts out all the time, our brakes squeel even when brand new....We paid a little over $9200 for this vehicle and will never buy another Ford again!This is the worst vehicle I've ever owned!
It's roomy, the gas mileage is pretty good. We have driven 430 miles and over a mountain pass on 1 tank of gas.
We purchased our Windstar new almost 10 years ago. It has been almost trouble free the whole time. We pull a 3,500 pound camper with it and it pulls great. We went from WI to Montana 2 years ago with camper fully loaded 80 to 85 MPH all day with temperature outside in the 90's. It ran great. The mileage averages about 18 MPG, which isn't that good but it has never had any major problems. Have heard a lot of bad things about engine and transmission problems, but we have not had any. I use synthetic oil and flush the transmission every 30 to 40K miles. Very comfortable front seats. Great for those long rides.
Great seats, good power, handles well
Better gas mileage. Last model year before 2 sliding rear doors, which we realy could use.
If I had only known. We thought we were getting a deal purchasing this in '00 with only 20K mi. for $11K...since then we have spent more than we would have to purchase new! Transmission 2 times; once at 30K and now at 80K, chews up brakes, tires annually and is driven less than 12K per year! Lost brakes completely 3 times, something to do with the ABS/traction control. Does not hold an alignment, creeks, squeaks, clunks still after everything replaced...bearings, struts, bushings, steering rack. And than there is the elusive fix to the interior lights staying on, no one can figure it out so battery needs to be replaced frequently! Wish I had known...never would have bought it.