The SEL was the cat's meow back then, leather seats, VCR/CD combo, seats 6, slider doors. Over the years we took the car everywhere and it was fairly reliable, 167K miles. It's doesn't handle like a truck and offered smoother and quieter ride, but sometimes stressed systems wore down. Replaced heat coil 2X, alternator 1X, battery 2X, frt. brakes and tires 3-4 times, & one slider failed. Just brought in for recall(s) on the back axle and it failed. It supposedly is a fairly low percentage of failures, but could be catastrophic if your axle fails.
Leather seats, back lumbar support in driver's seat, adjustable front seats, VCR combo/entertainment for kids, roof rack, easy console
Emergency break issues, slider reliability, Check engine light issues, and lately the Check Trans light and O/D warning light came, and now back axle failing. Got our miles out of it. Ford appears to be offering a buy out on car, may take them up on it.
Bought it new as a dealer orphan and got a good deal. Have been satisfied with reliability, economy and utility until now. O/D light started flashing and check transmission warning came on. The dreaded Windstar tranny failure strikes. Very disappointing because we were hoping to push to 100k before major repairs. The van has been dealer maintained, garaged all its life, well cared for, and 50% of the mileage is long distance. We'll suck it in and pay $3k for a remanufactured tranny with 3yrs / 100k miles warranty. And then pray the engine isn't next. Time to start using high mileage additives for safety.
Plenty of space. Excellent for road trips.
Sliding door windows should be able to be lowered. Seating should be re-configurable. For example, turn captain's seats to face rear, or swap bench to front / turn it backwards etc.
When our second child arrived I relented and purchased a minivan..Looked at several others but the Windstar SEL had the most room, the most luxurious interior, and because someone else ate the initial depreciation hit it was also the most reasonably priced for year/miles/options. I paid $9500 cash for our loaded SEL w/ 68K. In a little over 3 years of ownership and 33,000 miles I have replaced the following: Battery, Front tires, Temp sensor, and 1 headlight, that's it. Can't complain about $400 in repairs over a 3 year period. We are averaging 20.5 mpg since we got it and I see no need to replace it even though it just turned 100K. Treat it right and it will do the same to you~
The SEL has leather, tilt, cruise, dual AC, 4 captains chairs, power adjustable pedals, remote entry including power sliding doors, ABS, traction control, rear warning, a decent CD audio system, rear audio and heat/AC controls, alloy wheels etc.. It's like a Lincoln with the room of a full size van.
I can't think of too many things that could be improved on.. Ours is reliable, comfortable, smooth down the road, and is a pleasure to take a trip in. If I had to nitpick, I'd like some more sound insulation and maybe a heads up display for speed.
I bought this Windstar van new & all went well till the Warrenty run out at 60,000 miles. Then the repairs started; Power stering,brakes,engine seals,rack & pinion,warnig lights not going off , set belt light...But the big problem come at 86,000 mi. The engine fell out! All the mounts let loose! So much collaterial damage ,it was not worth the repairs...lost trade in value & charged 6.9% interest on replacement vehicle. NO not the 0% Ford pushes on TV.
The room for taking things on trips,looked good,leather seats & good ride.
Better Motor Mounting So Engine Will Not Fall Out! Needed to be made with more lasting Quality.
Purchased this van new, at less than 50,000 miles, 3 engine seals had to be replaced due to leaking, also the torque converter had to be replaced and the A/C compressor had to be replaced. Today at 85,000 miles the transmission failed and the cost is estimated at over $2,500. I am retired on a fixed income and Ford is killing me.