We have owned this vehicle for 7 years and change the oil every 3,000 miles. We have had no major repairs. It has been very reliable. It has 163,000 miles on it and going strong. However, despite routine underbody flushes with a car wash, it is extremely rusty and it has eaten its way through completely under the driver side sliding door. Never mind the warning lights on the dash, it doesn't mean a thing. We have driven with the engine light, ABS light, and traction control light on for 3 years. When only the check engine light was on, the mechanic said "it shows its running lean". He said it would be reflecting in MPG.
Extra comfortable seating and upholstory.
Figure out the electrical issues! Have a horn that works when its pressed.
Bought it little over 4 years ago with 108k miles. Now has 139k. Prior owner kept it up very well. But now we noticed that it was in a wreck since clear coat is peeling and overspray found on pass door weatherstrip. We had no problems with the transmission or prior owner had it replaced. Check engine light came on back in '07 and we bought manifold gasket and bolts and we replaced all in our garage for $80 otherwise dealer wanted $400. Last week we replaced rack and pinion due to noise from turning and paid $650 to have it repalced along with fuel filter, coolant and trany fluid flush. We also replaced all four tires last summer for $250. Will keep our Windstar for another 3 yrs or so.
Room. Good deal to buy back in 7-04 with only 108k miles for $4400. It has the back up sensors, heated side mirrors, Left side door, clean, Gets 22 miles on the highway, and paid cash for it and did not have to replace tranny or engine.
Engine noise, and fuel economy. But Ford killed it anyway. Would consider 2003 Mercury Villager instead..
This van started off serving us well but quickly became a nightmare. At 75k mi. the transmission failed requiring rebuild. At 85k mi, the speed control deactivation switch caused a fire at the ABS module while the vehicle was off and parked in the driveway. Along the way, electrical system issues caused the power windows, power door locks and horn to stop working. This vehicle has major electrical system flaws causing a dangerous safety issue!
Well designed interior, lots of room.
Transmission appears to be a known problem and the electrical system problems are common. The ABS / Cruise control system fire makes this a dangerous vehicle to own
While the exterior design is very good and the interior is adequate the overall quality of this van is horrible. Shortly after purchasing it the transmission went out. It is extremely noisy on the road and in town. Idles rough, the service engine light and the ABS light stays on. The "door open" light stays on and the automatic locking system works intermittently. I wanted to but a Toyota or Honda but I let my wife talk me into this Ford because she liked the exterior better than than the Toyota/Honda. She agrees now that tis Ford has really lived up to its name "Found on road dead". Can't make this mistake again since the Windstar is no longer made which is a GOOD thing.
As I get ready to pass along this, my second Windstar, I want to relate how very pleased I have been with this minivan. Through 200,000+ miles it has performed like a champ, very dependable, very easy to drive, very much the family car. Like other Fords of its ilk, the transmission was shot at about 140,000, but the rebuilt is doing fine. The only other major mechanical problem was replacing the steering rack at about 165,000. The engine is well sized, giving a lot of power and zip while at the same time consistently delivering 20+ mpg on evenly mixed city/highway driving.
The design of the middle and bench seats is great and it is easy for one adult to remove or install them. Drives very much like a car, and if a mini-van can be fun to drive, this one is it. We took a 6,000 mile "American West Vacation Tour" with four adults and two teens and all had a great time.
Ours doesn't have the optional driver's side (fourth) sliding door or a roof rack - both would be very welcome. The lifters on the hatch door could be stronger - as they age, I have clunked my head a couple of times when they fail to fully life the door.