Well we have had 2 1998 Windstars and both have been real good. The first was the base 3.0 with power group. We had it for 1 year and put 89,000 miles on it because we travel from Maine to Boston 2 times a moth. It was a good van on the interstate. The 2 was a 98 Northwoods full power and was a real good van to have too. Had no problems with it at all we have had 99 00 and 01 Windstars and all have been good to have.
Power, power seats, room (we are big), gas mileage 22 in town, 31 highway.
At 35,800 miles my transmission went out while my family and I were on a trip. Ford fixed it, but it still never acted like it shifted correctly. Too many recalls. Front coil springs were recalled, of all things. Had multiple sensors go bad. Every garage we took it to warned us of the known transmission troubles. Sold it and bought a new Chrysler T & C.
It's been a great vacation vehicle for us. There are a lot of storage cubbies to put a variety of camping items like flashlights, utensils, and other sundries. There's a lot of space inside; plenty for our family of four on a 2-3 day trip. It seats seven when we're visiting friends and grandparents, aunts and uncles so that we can travel to our destination in one vehicle. We have not had to repair anything in the two years we have owned it. We're the second owner and we bought it from friends that did not have problems with it either.
Captains chairs keep the kids separate so that you don't hear, "She's touching me!" Cargo space and net are great. Lots of legroom and space for extras. Rear heat and air, and separate ear phones for the radio save me from hearing, "Mom! Turn on the....!" Removable seats are great (but heavy).
Would love the fold-down into the floor seat option, and CD player of course. Work on the transmission, they're known for trannie probs! We're only just now getting to that point; the van is almost 7 years old and the transmission is just beginning to have problems. Lumbar support options would be great!
I've been driving Fords for 30 years, and this will be the last one. I only had one problem with this van in 96,000 miles. The transmission blew at 69,000 miles. I think this is inexcusable. I sent a letter to Ford and told them that if they did not chip in on the repair that this would be the last Ford I ever purchased. They did not respond. I thought the least they could do is send me a coupon for my next car. So my next car will not be a Ford, and this was their choice.
This is funny. I see all these bad reviews for a GREAT vehicle. Don't let these affect your purchase. I've put 130,000 miles on mine and only thing that went wrong was a rear wiper motor. The transmissions are fine as long as you service them correctly and aren't pulling your boat behind it. I bet if i asked all these people with tranny probs if they were towing with it, they'd say yes. It's a MINIVAN. Not a workhorse.