Ford blew it...Windstar was a joke! Should have kept Aerostar. Cheap to buy (used)/insure/repair. Very good tow vehicle. I owned a '93 prior to this '97...both 4.0 litre, extended, rear wheel drive. My '97 was 1 of last ones ever built (June of '97). Exhaust flex pipes need replacing frequently.
4.0 litre engine is bullet-proof. New for '97, 5 speed auto is good. Quad captain seats comfortable. Fiberglass hood/hatch/running boards, means no rust. Replacement parts are cheap for DIYers. Front suspension only required new tie rod ends. Roof racks are handy. Stereo is nowhere near my Toyota's.
Electrical items (power windows/locks) work in wet, but intermittent in dry. Fabric wears poorly, esp. driver's seat. Gas mileage sucks (literally!). Larger tires & brakes would be better. Spare tires rusts badly in northern climates. Original all season Michelin were awful in snow (4 snows cured it).
After 8 years and 142,000 miles, this old van is the most reliable and practical vehicle I have ever owned. It's the kind of truck I want to hold on to if I can just find a mechanic I can trust to nurse it along. Fortunately, I haven't had to do much to it so far other than normal wear and tear issues. If you can find one with low miles get it. Chances are it's got a lot of life in it. My engine still does not burn oil between changes and I get 20+ per gallon on the road.
This van is a perfect family truxter!
A no frills, no nonsense machine that
can take the beating that the kids give
it on a daily basis and do it without
any break downs or suprises. Sad that
Ford stopped making them.
Looks more manly than other mini-vans
n/a ford does not make it any more.
However, I often think of the
possibilities if they made a van/pick-
up mix like the Ranchero. Bring back
the cruck (car/truck)!
Most trouble free vehicle I have ever
owned. Now have 102,000 mi. No
mechanical failures. Just normal
maintenance, and even that I've
slacked off on. Took the beast on a
4,000 mile road trip with 93,000 on
the ticker. Flawless, safe highway
driving. Got an amazing 23 mpg on the
open road. If you can pick one up with
modest miles on it, do it.