2003 Ford Windstar LX Standard 4dr Minivan (3.8L 6cyl 4A)
I bought my 2003 Windstar from a used car dealership with 88,000 miles on it. When you're a single Mom on a very tight budget, you will accept little flaws in exchange for overall reliability. Lots of annoying electrical problems, rear windows work randomly, interior lights flash, etc. But mechanically, this car takes all the punishment I give it and more. Very solidly built. Great pickup (I have the 6 cyl. model), and acceptable gas mileage. A few moderate repairs, alternator, wheel bearings, etc. (but it did come from coastal NJ so that was understandable). I have 170,000 on it now and it still starts up every morning, and runs great! Best car I've ever owned. I'll drive it till it dies.
Removable seats for cargo (though they are difficult to remove/replace.) Rear seat mirror for monitoring the kids. Change dispenser for tolls, etc. Ability to move boarding space near middle seat to left or right. Reliable performance, even with lack of maintenance. Long wheel base for hauling large items or lots of camping equipment. Rear D/C charging ports. Great sounding stereo. Cruise control. Available 6 cyl. engine. Acceptable gas mileage for a 6 cyl. vehicle of this size (approx. 20mpg Hwy/17mpg in town). Excellent turning ratio, can turn on a dime. Narrow enough body to fit into tight parking spaces. Rear windshield wiper/washer. Excellent Heat/AC system. Comfortable seats/seatbelts.
Secondary electrical issues. Have to keep interior light switch in off position when not using to prevent battery drain. Rear windows work intermittently and can't be opened manually when switch isn't functioning. Fixed middle passenger windows don't open. Flimsy driver console cupholder dumps drinks. Insufficient small item storage. Under console storage space is useless, dumping things out when making turns,etc. Emergency brake in center floorboard instead of under dash. CD player often won't eject CD's. Outside lock on driver's door only. Very inconvenient when remote keyless entry keyfob is out of battery or lost. Ride isn't especially smooth. Can feel every bump and crack in the road.