Used 1997 Ford Windstar Minivan

1997 Ford Windstar
List price range
1997 Ford Windstar


  • Excellent cargo space. Outstanding V-6 engines. Attractive design.


  • Not available with a driver-side rear-passenger door.

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Edmunds' Expert Review

vehicle overview

Until mid-1994, nobody had seriously challenged Chrysler's domination of minivan sales. All previous attempts by domestic and imported manufacturers couldn't match the Chrysler standard for user-friendliness. They were either underpowered, too high off the ground, or the wrong size. When Windstars rolled into Ford showrooms, Chrysler finally had been bested at its own game.

For a while, at least. The Windstar's superiority proved to be short-lived. The totally redesigned Chrysler minivans are best-in-class in terms of style and convenience features; the main reasons people buy minivans in the first place. The Windstar is still a good minivan, but the stiff competition in this segment is forcing Ford to offer sweet lease deals and big incentives.

Not everyone favors the Windstar's styling, but the interior is an ergonomic delight. With room for seven, dual airbags, and a commodious cargo area, the Windstar keeps passengers comfortable. Controls and displays are housed in an attractively swept dashboard, lending a well-crafted tone. The radio is crammed with buttons and tiny lettering; it's time for the new family of Ford radios, complete with big buttons and a volume knob, to debut in this van. Climate controls are mounted low, but are easy to modulate without glancing from the road. An optional center console adds generous amounts of much-needed storage, but cuts access to the rear seats. There's little to complain about, and quite a lot to like. Construction quality is fine and the interior is spacious and attractive. A single body size and style is offered, in cargo van, Base, GL or luxury LX guise, with four-wheel antilock brakes.

The Windstar receives few changes for 1997, but early-release 1998 models show a few stop-gap features designed to appease potential buyers who can't live without a left-side passenger door. The most notable is the tip forward driver's seat that is intended to allow passenger access from the left side. To people who feel that it's important to have a left side passenger entry, this is a poor substitute. Fortunately for Ford, the Windstar has other features which make up for this missing portal. Namely its awesome horsepower available with the optional 3.8-liter engine. Cranking out 200 horsepower, the 3.8-liter equipped Windstar is the fastest minivan on the market.

If you're searching for a minivan with good towing ability, fast acceleration, gobs of interior space and comfortable seating for seven, the Windstar is definitely worth a look. Especially because your local Ford dealer should be offering deep discounts to keep them competitive with the Caravan and new Chevy Venture.

1997 Highlights

Not much is new for the 1997 Ford Windstar. Caught flatfooted by the Chrysler and GM minivans that feature sliding left-side doors, Ford has installed a tip forward driver's seat, on early release 1998 models, to give passengers the option of entering from the driver's side. Hmmm, seems like that won't be enough to satisfy the fickle buyers of the minivan market.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1997 Ford Windstar.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

Careful with this one.
Mr. Mike,04/06/2002
This vehicle is a big headache. Nothing but problems. 70,000 mile vehicle with a BLOWN HEAD GASKET, SENSORS NOT WORKINGAND A TRANSMISSION THATS STARTING TO SLIP. VERY POORLY BUILT VEHICLE. What is sad is that it is my second windstar that has done this to me. There will be no third FORD vehicle.
Engine Reliability?
Purch van in 97 with 4,500 miles. The vehicle has been fairly rugged, except the 3.8 L engine, 200 hp and tows well. The intake and timing chain cover gaskets failed at ~ 110,000 miles (should not fail), about $2,000 from a private mechanic including water pump. Gas mileage is 22/17, handles and drives well Problems: Speedo bounces @ 40,000 did not repair ($500) 3 sensors $250 for parts Intake, timing cover gaskets, water pump @110,000 ~ $2,000 Alternator @120,000, $130. Power steering pump hose $60. Weld front suspension supports $250. Intake manifold gaskets 2 hours Labor, $25 for gaskets Need to clean the sliding door contacts every few years (10 minutes a little steel wool)
Mixed bag
Have owned the car since it was new. Now have 180,000 miles on itso we know the good and the ugly. The good: great concept and design, very comfortable, great highway vehicle (primary use for us - never was a city car which is prob why we have so many miles on it),tranny is orig and fine engine/trans/systems well conceived (but see the bad...) now has 180K on it and runs great - still not burning oil. The bad: it was made so poorly!!! We have replaced virtually every seal in the engine, rebuilt all the brakes, cruise control and ABS computer quit working years ago. Have replaced many parts - it has been an expensive car to maintain.
The doors sensors act up every so offend. On our past vacation the door ajar light would come on an the interior lights would stay on. While out of the van the light would just come on so we had to take out the fuse which by the way so work the power windows. When we got home, I was told to spray all door latches with WD40. It seemed to have worked
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Features & Specs

15 city / 23 hwy
Seats 0
4-speed automatic
147 hp @ 5000 rpm
15 city / 23 hwy
Seats 0
4-speed automatic
147 hp @ 5000 rpm
15 city / 21 hwy
Seats 0
4-speed automatic
200 hp @ 5000 rpm
See all Used 1997 Ford Windstar Minivan features & specs


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 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

More about the 1997 Ford Windstar
Used 1997 Ford Windstar Minivan Overview

The Used 1997 Ford Windstar Minivan is offered in the following styles: 3dr Minivan, GL 3dr Minivan, and LX 3dr Minivan.

What's a good price on a Used 1997 Ford Windstar Minivan?

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Which used 1997 Ford Windstar Minivans are available in my area?

Used 1997 Ford Windstar Minivan Listings and Inventory

Simply research the type of used car you're interested in and then select a prew-owned vehicle from our massive database to find cheap used cars for sale near you. Once you have identified a used or CPO 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 1997 Ford Windstar Minivan.

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 1997 Ford Windstar Minivan for sale near you.

Can't find a used 1997 Ford Windstar Windstar Minivan you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Ford Windstar for sale - 12 great deals out of 23 listings starting at $17,042.

Find a used Ford for sale - 5 great deals out of 21 listings starting at $20,177.

Find a used certified pre-owned Ford Windstar for sale - 2 great deals out of 14 listings starting at $11,228.

Find a used certified pre-owned Ford for sale - 7 great deals out of 15 listings starting at $12,635.

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Should I lease or buy a 1997 Ford Windstar?

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 Windstar lease specials