Used 1999 Ford Windstar Minivan

1999 Ford Windstar
List price range
1999 Ford Windstar


  • As the most recent minivan to undergo a major redesign, the Windstar is now king of safety and high-tech features.


  • The competitors, especially Chrysler, aren't known for giving up easily when it comes to minivan crowns.

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Edmunds' Expert Review

vehicle overview

This is the Windstar's first major redesign since it was introduced in 1995. It now boasts a bevy of high-tech features like key fob operated, dual-power sliding doors, head and chest side airbags, and a sonar-based reverse sensing system.

Safety has also been addressed in the new Windstar with a government crash rating of five stars for both the driver and front passenger. The optional side airbags mean you can carry your family in style, comfort, and confidence.

The 3.8-liter V6 offers a robust 200 horsepower while still meeting the current low-emission vehicle (LEV) and Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV) standards, meaning if produces 65 percent less hydrocarbon emissions than required for the average vehicle in its class.

An innovative seating design allows the second-row bench seat to be positioned on either the right or left side of the vehicle, meaning the aisle to the third row seat can be set-up based on owner preference. And speaking of preference, the Personal Audio System means that front seat passengers can listen to one type of media (radio, cassette, CD) while rear-seat passengers listen to a totally separate media, complete with volume control, through headphones.

With a list of standard equipment that includes an anti-theft system, power windows, a 26-gallon fuel tank and antilock brakes, the 1999 Windstar will enter 1999 ready to challenge all comers for minivan supremacy. It should prove an interesting battle

1999 Highlights

This year the Windstar has been totally redesigned. The biggest news for '99, in addition to the completely new exterior and interior styling, is a left-hand sliding door. The second- and third-row seats are now on rollers for easier removal/interchangeability and the instrument panel has been redesigned for improved ergonomics. There's also a more powerful and cleaner-burning 3.8-liter V6 plus upgraded suspension, transmission, brakes and air conditioning components. New options include side airbags and a trick reverse sensing system.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1999 Ford Windstar.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

Windstar - Maybe it will get you there
This van has been a total disappointment. We've had problem after problem, some of which left me stranded on the side of the road with my three kids in the car. Problems range from transmission to electrical to mechanical. Every problem that results in a visit to the Ford Service department takes days to fix. I bought the van because of the high safety rating - I didn't feel safe stuck in the breakdown down lane of I-95. I cheaped out and didn't buy the Toyota Sienna back in '99, I won't make the same mistake this time. I hear Ford is getting out of the minivan business due to lack of demand of minivans. They must mean lack of demand of their poorly built piece of garbage van.
Never Again
Karen E,11/30/2006
Worst, most unreliable vehicle ever. We are looking at cars and won't even consider Ford after our Windstar experience. Nearing 50K miles needed new transmission. Interior lights and locks don't work properly. Noises galore. Check engine light perpetually on - need to clear this for third time at 60K. Clunky metal squeak from rear of car. Windshield cracked twice above rearview mirror which kept falling off. Tires went bald at 20K. Nightmare.
Fix or repair daily ( ford )
unhappy ford,04/01/2010
How can a company like this possibly still be in business? Do they really think that after having a bad experience people are going to keep coming back? They build these vehicles to fall apart so that we will pay them to fix them. I took care of this van and things had to be replaced over and over. Transmission at 110,000 km on its way out again at 124,000 km engine light stays on and I cant even insure it because our aircare program wont test vehicles with an illuminated engine light. Tires wear out quickly. Poor gas mileage. I think the only reason it got a 5 star safety rating is because it spends more time in the shop then it does on the road. I will never buy a Ford again!
Done With Fords
I needed a minivan because we were having twins. It was a great vehicle while the kids were infants. Easy to get babies into and out of the vehicle,and was roomy enough for everything. Too many problems were shared between me and another Windstar owner: both had idling problems in the morning; both have a transmission that slips; both have a stuck temp. control switch; and both have a check engine light due to a vacuum leak. It's a safe vehicle that is great on road trips, but it's time for a more reliable vehicle for me.
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Features & Specs

15 city / 21 hwy
Seats 0
4-speed automatic
200 hp @ 4900 rpm
15 city / 21 hwy
Seats 0
4-speed automatic
200 hp @ 4900 rpm
15 city / 21 hwy
Seats 0
4-speed automatic
150 hp @ 5000 rpm
15 city / 21 hwy
Seats 0
4-speed automatic
200 hp @ 4900 rpm
See all Used 1999 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
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • 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 1999 Ford Windstar
More About This Model

Let's face it: No matter how car-like today's minivans are, they're all still pretty dull to drive. Unlike buying a so-called "lifestyle" vehicle — such as a high-powered sports car, luxury sedan or upscale SUV — purchasing a "lifecycle" vehicle has more to do with pure need than with image. And most minivan shoppers are in the market mainly because their lifecycle dictates the need for practicality, not excitement.

For sure, minivans are an American automotive icon. The everyday utility and people-hauling capability of the minivan have made it the vehicle of choice for millions of "soccer moms" with young, growing families on the move. Unfortunately, driving a little "box on wheels" can be uninspiring, particularly to those who have enjoyed a sports car or sport sedan in a previous life. Consequently, we know of many "soccer fathers" who truly believe that the words "high performance" and "minivan" are mutually exclusive.

But well-known Ford performance tuner Kenny Brown isn't one of them. Brown, whose claim to fame has long been turning out race-bred, street-legal high-performance variants of just about any Ford product produced to date, is one of the few people who doesn't think that the term "muscle minivan" is an oxymoron. In fact, he's built one just to prove it.

All those years of turning out wickedly fast Mustangs for the racetrack have helped Brown develop his own formula for upgrading the performance of nearly anything on four wheels for the street. Many of his creations are custom-built dream machines that find their way into every enthusiast publication on the planet. But the fact is, Brown's Indianapolis-based Project Industries shop pays the bills by building high-performance versions of everyday cars and trucks - if not exactly for people like you and me, then at least for some of our well-to-do friends.

This time around, Brown assigned himself a difficult mission: "To build a sporty, eye-catching fun-to-drive minivan that is cool enough for dad to drive yet civil enough for mom to love." While that may sound a tad sexist, we think the appeal of a minivan like the Kenny Brown Supercharged Windstar crosses the gender lines - man, woman or Dennis Rodman. So when Edmund's was offered a test drive, we jumped at the chance to bring you a glimpse of what might well become a new niche within the minivan segment.

You've probably seen performance minivan prototypes before. They've been shown at major auto shows for years now - in fact, a sporty Dodge R/T show van and a high-tech Ford Windstar concept are making the rounds on the auto-show circuit as we speak. Some high-ranking auto executives think now that luxury minivans have been successful, sporty versions may be the next trendy spin-off.

But Kenny Brown's business depends on going beyond what the auto companies can do - especially when it has something to do with performance. So Brown applied his own brand of sporting enhancements to a 1999 Ford Windstar SE to see how it would work in the real world. Except this time, Brown's objective was not delivering his trademark tire-smoking, foot-to-the-floor power. After all, this is a front-wheel-drive minivan and NOT a rear-drive SVT Mustang Cobra.

Instead, the challenge was delivering the right amount of extra oomph at the right time. Adding a sudden burst of power through the front transaxle at launch would bring uncontrollable torque steer - not very practical. And putting the kick in the wrong place in the rev band could cause a loss of vehicle control at speed - not very safe. Brown's solution? A positive-displacement Eaton supercharger and custom intake. This setup bumps the Windstar's already-potent 200-horsepower 3.8-liter V6 to about 250 horses. Better still, it comes on seamlessly, providing just enough part-throttle, midrange power to make those merges onto the freeway a little easier, or those passes with a full complement of passengers and cargo a breeze.

On the exhaust side, Brown discovered that the Windstar comes from the factory with zoomy-looking 3-into-1 cast-iron manifolds, so an upgrade to tubular headers didn't seem worth the expense. But because most small-bore single exhaust systems are an engineering afterthought, he opted for a new, high-flow system with just the right look and sound. All new from the catalytic converter back, Brown's system utilizes a large, multi-chamber muffler that dumps into a massive, 3-inch primary tube to take spent gasses back to just above the rear axle. There, it splits into twin tubes that exit on either side of the rear fascia, via Mustang GT 2.5-inch polished stainless tips.

The sound isn't anything like the Mustang's V8. It has a distinguishable burble at idle fading to a muted bass tone on acceleration that competes with the supercharger's telltale whine. But because racy, dual-split polished pipes are absolutely unheard of on a minivan, the look alone is worth the price of admission.

Next it was a matter of putting that newfound power to the pavement. The answer was a Kenny Brown-tuned sport suspension featuring custom Eibach springs, a performance handling front sway bar and Koni Sport shocks. Bringing things to a quicker halt is a high-performance, four-wheel-disc brake system comprised of 13-inch Cobra rotors with twin-piston Cobra calipers and Euro-spec Windstar rear discs. It all rides on classy, five-spoke 18-inch chrome wheels wrapped in ultra-high-performance rubber.

Finally, to keep the four tires planted during hard cornering, Brown added another trademark upgrade with his own chassis support system, using his branded Extreme Subframe braces and heavy-duty front and rear cross-chassis load braces to dial-out flexing and stiffen the entire platform.

Overall, we found the ride too stiff and harsh for mom to love. But this vehicle's handling ability proved almost intoxicating for dad, who caught himself heading into corners faster and harder than minivans should be allowed to go. While such road prowess certainly adds to driving enjoyment, it also wreaks havoc with any groceries you may have piled into the rear cargo hold. (If only Ford had those plastic bag holders built into the rear seatback like Chrysler's minivans, maybe we wouldn't have clanged all the jars and cans together, crushed the potato chips and flattened the bread. Oh well.)

With improved power and handling comes the need for better seating to keep the driver firmly in place behind the wheel. So Brown's choice here was a set of Recaro LXF sport seats with inboard-mounted flip-up armrests. Nothing is lost to the factory's front captain's chairs, for not only are the Recaros covered with the same gray leather as the OE interior for a perfect match, but they're even mounted on Ford's own six-way adjusters. Beyond offering superior bolstering and comfort, seat warmers are included in case toasty buns are desired on cold mornings.

Of course, no interior upgrade would be complete without the latest in electronics. Brown's Windstar was fitted with a full-boogie Alpine Integrated Mobile Multimedia System with a dizzying array of concert-quality speakers. Included are an AM/FM stereo, in-dash mini-disc player and equalizer/amplifier, as well as six-disc CD changer (mounted in the center console for easy access), with controls built into the pop-up LCD video monitor and GPS navigation system.

Rosen Technologies supplied the rear-seating entertainment system, which includes twin ceiling-mounted, drop-down LCD-screen TVs, a VCR/player, remote control and a pair of wireless stereo headphones. TV signals are acquired from string-type web antennas mounted on the inside of both flipper rear-quarter windows. A few quick-reference cards helped acquaint us with use of the electronics, but the cost ($11,425 added to the sticker price) and complexity of all the gadgetry made them a case of pure overkill.

To set off all these upgrades with the right exterior look, Brown decided on a monochromatic theme painted in the factory's sinister metallic black. Shunning the boy-racer route, all the brightwork was removed except for the new-for-99 chrome grille, and a tasteful, body-colored rear roof-edge spoiler was added. And just in case the beefy chrome wheels and tires, twin exhaust ports and lowered stance didn't turn your head, Brown topped it all off with some windshield header/rear liftglass graphics and a set of understated front door and rear liftgate decals that simply read, "Kenny Brown / Supercharged."

If you think you've seen this van before, you probably have. It was tucked away in one of the many Ford displays at last year's SEMA show in Las Vegas, parked next to a placard that read, "Cool Enough for Dad to Drive." While it generated a positive response there, Brown's not sure there's enough interest in this kind of conversion to add it to his regular production lineup alongside Mustang Cobras, Expeditions and Explorers, and the odd F-Series truck or two. Packaging and price remain open issues to be resolved.

Brown starts with a 1999 Windstar SE with an MSRP of $27,060. His Base Performance Package adds the supercharger, exhaust and sport suspension for $11,560. That puts you at $38,620 before adding the rest of the performance options. Those include the wheel/tire upgrade for $3,530, the Recaro seats for another $3,500 and the bigger brakes add $1,990. When you toss in the chassis support system for $350, you're looking at another $9,370 in options, pushing the price tag to $47,990. Should you decide to go whole-hog and add all the high-tech electronic goodies, the as-tested price hits an eye-popping $59,415.

Wisely, Brown's not expecting many takers at that price or equipment level. "This Kenny Brown Windstar is an exercise to demonstrate — albeit at the upper end — that an exciting driving experience can be had in a minivan," Brown explained. "Its purpose is to show potential to minivan owners that, with a few well-chosen components, an otherwise ordinary minivan can take on a new spirit, a new look, and a new life to provide extraordinary driving feel."

As of this writing, Brown's Project Industries shop is planning to make many of the components available for those wishing to enhance their Windstar just a little bit - or a whole lot. And while the supercharger unit is a one-off, Brown said he'd commit to producing it if there's enough demand. He's also considering a naturally aspirated 4.2-liter V6 engine upgrade in case a customer would prefer having more cubic inches and torque in lieu of supercharging.

For those of you who are still shaking your head and asking, "Why a high-performance minivan?" Brown's answer is rooted in compassion for enthusiasts stuck driving one of the millions of minivans on America's highways. "I think some people unjustifiably surrender to the notion that once they are forced into a minivan by life changes, they are compelled to totally abandon the simple pleasures of a great driving experience," he said. "I just wanted them to be able to get out of a minivan and say, 'That was fun.' "

Well, Kenny, we'll be perfectly honest with you: We got out of your 1999 Kenny Brown Supercharged Windstar, and caught ourselves saying, "That was fun." We just wonder if Ford is listening.

Used 1999 Ford Windstar Minivan Overview

The Used 1999 Ford Windstar Minivan is offered in the following styles: SE 4dr Minivan, SEL 4dr Minivan, 3dr Minivan, and LX 3dr Minivan.

What's a good price on a Used 1999 Ford Windstar Minivan?

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Can't find a used 1999 Ford Windstar Windstar Minivan you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Ford Windstar for sale - 9 great deals out of 14 listings starting at $25,083.

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Should I lease or buy a 1999 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