Used 1996 Ford Aerostar

1996 Ford Aerostar
List price range
1996 Ford Aerostar

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Edmunds' Expert Review

vehicle overview

Back in 1986, when Ford launched the rear-wheel-drive Aerostar, front-drive minivans had not yet turned into sales superstars. Chevrolet's Astro was the principal--if larger--competition, and neither ever reached the best-seller list. When Ford finally turned to front-drive with the modern 1995 Windstar, many thought the archaic, pointy-snout Aerostar would be history, but Ford has decided to keep the old-timer around for a while.

As a concession to modest sales, only a single XLT model is available, with seven-passenger seating. An electronic four-wheel-drive system is available, but only as part of a preferred equipment package on extended-length passenger vans. Aerostars also come with a standard-length body, but both ride the same 118.9-inch wheelbase. Rear antilock braking is standard on all Aerostars, and side-impact guard beams have been installed at both the front doors and sliding side door.

Air conditioning is standard fare, and features improved function and controls for 1996. Only a handful of options can be ordered. Manual shift is not available, so all Aerostars have a new four-speed overdrive automatic transmission designed to deliver smoother shifts. Base engine is a 135 horsepower, 3.0-liter V6, but extended-length Aerostars can have a newly enhanced 155-horsepower, 4.0-liter V6 instead. Commercial vans come only in the standard body, with the smaller engine.

For 1996, Aerostars get a new radio design with larger station buttons, new alloy wheels, and standard solar tinted glass. A folding seat bed can be ordered with dual captain's chairs this year.

Aerostars handle capably, with easy steering and light but strong braking action. Acceleration to expressway speeds is excellent, and downshifts arrive crisply. These rear-drivers ride comfortably, too, remaining composed even over washboard surfaces. An Aerostar feels highly stable on the road and in the city.

Yes, it's truck-like in character, but with enough car-type qualities to make for a satisfying experience on the road. On the down side, tiny front windows are no help in terms of visibility, and riders have to climb a little to get inside. Far from state-of-the-art in minivan design, Aerostars still offer a mild medley of virtues.

1996 Highlights

Smoother shifting transmission debuts, along with revised air conditioning controls and a new radio with visible controls. Solar-tinted glass is standard.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1996 Ford Aerostar.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

Best vehicle I have ever owned
Andy,01/13/2010
The best vehicle I have ever owned. It has been very reliable, comfortable, inexpensive to operate, handy and a very useful vehicle. I'm still driving her after twelve and a half years and she has held up well. When ever my family's vehicles break down or they need a van they barrow the old Aerostar.
200,000 and still going
Aero lover,12/14/2007
This is my second Aerostar, and I've had it for 10 years and 182,000 miles. Counting my first one, I've been driving Aerostars for 18 years. Even though this one now has 200,000 miles, last month I packed the family in it and took a 1,500 mile round trip, much of which was in national forests in northern Wisconsin and the Michigan U.P. where cell phone signals do not exist, so I still trust it. At 165,000 miles, my 4.0 V6 dropped a valve so I had a Jasper re-man installed and have been very happy with it, too. Now that this Aero has 200,000 miles, I sometimes kick myself for selling the first one when it had "only" 110,000 miles. Dang.
Big Red
Steve,01/13/2009
I have owned "big Red" for almost 13 years, since it was brand new. It is the most dependable vehicle that I have owned.The 4.0 liter engine still runs strong, giving me about 20 mpg on the highway and 16mpg in the city. Besides normal maintenance and its first tune-up last week at 100,000 miles, I have had to only replace two oxygen sensors and a radiator at a total cost of $600. Since my sons have all grown, I only use the van for traveling; trips to Las Vegas, Laughlin, and the Rose Bowl, for football tailgate parties.
Not so fortunate as others
Al,01/15/2008
Look out for used ones with leaking head gaskets. Typical problem for these. I liked the size and how it ran and even got about 20 mpg on the highway. But the upkeep is too high. Spent $3000 in 30000 miles. And now it is not running at all because of a head gasket which will cost $1000 to fix. And it only has 110000 miles on it. Why can't they make a minivan that is reliable?
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Features & Specs

MPG
15 city / 21 hwy
Seats 0
4-speed automatic
Gas
140 hp @ 5000 rpm
MPG
13 city / 19 hwy
Seats 0
4-speed automatic
Gas
155 hp @ 4000 rpm
MPG
15 city / 21 hwy
Seats 0
4-speed automatic
Gas
140 hp @ 5000 rpm
MPG
16 city / 22 hwy
Seats 0
4-speed automatic
Gas
140 hp @ 5000 rpm
See all Used 1996 Ford Aerostar features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger3 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    RolloverNot Rated
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Poor

More about the 1996 Ford Aerostar
Used 1996 Ford Aerostar Overview

The Used 1996 Ford Aerostar is offered in the following submodels: Aerostar Minivan. Available styles include XLT 3dr Minivan, XLT 3dr Ext Minivan AWD, XLT 3dr Ext Minivan, and 3dr Cargo Minivan.

What's a good price on a Used 1996 Ford Aerostar?

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 1996 Ford Aerostars are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 1996 Ford Aerostar for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the Carfax and Autocheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 1996 Ford Aerostar.

Can't find a used 1996 Ford Aerostars you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Ford Aerostar for sale - 9 great deals out of 16 listings starting at $8,479.

Find a used Ford for sale - 2 great deals out of 10 listings starting at $15,026.

Find a used certified pre-owned Ford Aerostar for sale - 11 great deals out of 16 listings starting at $8,989.

Find a used certified pre-owned Ford for sale - 11 great deals out of 13 listings starting at $21,417.

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Should I lease or buy a 1996 Ford Aerostar?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Ford lease specials
Check out Ford Aerostar lease specials