2003 Ford Windstar LX Standard 4dr Minivan (3.8L 6cyl 4A)
When I told my parents I would like my first car to be a truck, they figured I was looking for a 4000lb thing and picked up this van. I thought it was going to be a terrible pig that got a gallon to the mile and turned with the precision of a brick. What I found instead was that, compared with my mom's Suzuki Grand Vitara, the beast had gobs of torque and an orgasmic sound above 4000 revs. My only complaints are the transmission (all cars should be manual) and the fact that it won't haul a motorcycle. In terms of reliability, the only worrying thing is a sort of clicking under the dash depending on the A/C setting. Take control of the shifter yourself and burnouts are easy.
I love the torquey, American power delivery and it has the best brake feel of anything I've driven. Listen, all you car engineers, learn from the Windstar's brakes, they're not on/off devices! Anyway, even though it is a minivan and intrinsically uncool, I've come to appreciate the tail lights!
The steering is too vague; even if you snap the wheel 90 degrees it will turn in a lazy fashion as if it were yawning. When you snap it back it feels like it's got a hinge in the middle. The steering wheel itself looks like a watermelon and it won't stay in 3rd gear more than 6 seconds.
† Edmunds.com received the highest numerical score in the proprietary J.D. Power 2014 Third-Party Automotive Website Evaluation Study℠. Results based on responses from 3,381 responses, measuring 14 companies and measures third-party automotive website usefulness among new and used vehicle shoppers. Proprietary study results are based on experiences and perceptions of owners surveyed from January 2014. Your experiences may vary. Visit jdpower.com.