It sounds like this vehicle is hit or miss with a lot of folks. For us, it's been a total hit with a few caveats. Bought used in '04 for $6k, from day one the cruise control didn't work and every once in awhile the dome lights will not turn off. Spray some W2-40 on all contacts for each door seems to fix (and a hint I read elsewhere). Otherwise, the master cylinder went out but no biggie. This thing holds a ton of stuff and is very roomy. It's been an awesome family car for us. Be aware there is 1 side door, not two like most these days.
Miraculously gets incredible mileage sometimes...can't account for it. I'm talking 25+MPG hwy.
If you own this the transmission gets stuck in gear (ie. stuck in 2nd) DO NOT take to a tranny shop. Buy a $55 part that you can easily replace. It's located on top of the tranny, reachable from the hood, 3 bolts, 15 minutes max. Fords have issues with this..google: TRS Sensor / Neutral safety switch