My father bought the van new in 2002. He lived in Montana and and had 54,000 miles of rough road driving on it. I inherited in 2005 & drove it to Florida. It never let me down. I would still be driving it if, it was not totaled in an accident in Sept. 2009 with 99,800 miles on it. I was rear end at 60mph and I walked away without a scratch. I was bummed they could not fix it. My only issue with the van was the ABS lights. Nothing wrong with the brakes but the light would stay on. Never had to spend $$ on repairs that were not normal maintenance.
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.
The Ford Motor Company has been notorious for building poor quality cars that do not last past 100,000 miles. This van is no exception to their "Fix Or Repair Daily" reputation. We purchased the Windstar used with 60,000 miles on it, figuring we'd at least make it to 100,000 before anything substantial went wrong. I use the van to drive my homeschooled children to their many activities and I drive the speed-limit while doing so. Aside from the various annoying problems, we have just experienced transmission failure at 83,000 miles. And from my research, we were lucky to get that much from the van. I've seen reports of failure on this model starting at 30,000 miles!! Ford should pay, yet...
There is no feature in this car that cannot be had for the same money in any other brand vehicle that will maintain quality and reliability.
Ford must declare their transmissions to be faulty or admit to the poor craftsmanship and extend the warranty of transmissions to 100,000, at least. Never buy any Ford, Ever!
I bought mine used with 27,000 Miles on it.I flushed transmission at purchase and added X-1R additive to motor also.So far done this 4 times. It now has 228,000 miles. Only repairs so far are alternator, power stearing pump, 2 front bearings, throtle body sensor, MAF sensor, cruise control cable. All other systems are still going so far. I believe good maintenance is the secret and changing fluids regularly including flushing AC system.
We had no problems with this van up until 5 months ago and it has been a money pit since. Th OD lights has flashed while going through TN and EGR Valve light will not stay off even after replacing the valve and sensor. Now it is reading clylinder 1 missfire which is in the rear of the engine and not easy to get to. I will never buy another Ford mini van ever again.Oh yeah..the ac compressor went out and the control switch to the heater and ac went out also. BIG $$$$$. Oh yeah...I will never buy another Ford mini van ever again.