1996 Ford Aerostar XLT 4.0 from North America


The best!


Wheel bearings - front - frequent.

Trans axle at 400,000 K.

Tranny - at 556,000 K - motor still strong!!

General Comments:

Best vehicle I have owned.

Plows through snow like a tank.

Very safe.

Very strong.

Very reliable.

Bought a 1995 after the 96's tranny went. Now looking for another 1996.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd March, 2011

1996 Ford Aerostar XLT 4 L from North America


All in all a great vehicle - inexpensive to own and run and highly reliable with a great view of the


Other than minor things like a broken antenna, a clock that I could never reset and the air conditioner that needs recharging, it has only been regular maintenance. Once after being out at night in heavy rain during a camping trip a 10 cent electrical connection rusted out and it caused the transmission and several other things to mulfunction simultaneously. It took the dealer about three hours to locate the problem - and a costly labour charge. Now I keep the electical connections well greased!

General Comments:

I have now owned this vehicle almost 8 years and will soon be 12 years old.

It has been well taken care of, garaged and carefully driven, plus it is treated every two years under a lifetime rust warranty. It still shines and looks in better condition than most vehicles in any parking lot.

I bought this vehicle to provide ample room for both 7 passengers and all our gear for long trips and holidays. It seems like the kids will grow up and be gone before this vehicle is ready to call it quits - I am sure I can drive it for another ten years, but will likely get fed up of it before then.

Fully loaded on long steep hills in summer it does complain a little, but other than that it's a super mover.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th December, 2007

1996 Ford Aerostar XLT 4.0L Gasoline from North America


Best Minivan ever


Air Conditioning did not work well when purchased. The headlights were also somewhat dim due to deterioration of the lenses; I've noticed this comment from another owner, and I've also noticed after-market 'super' headlights for this vehicle, so it must be a common problem. I have not fixed the headlights.

General Comments:

The Air conditioning was weak when purchased. We had it serviced at the local Ford dealer; they did not fix it correctly the first two tries, which was frustrating. To their credit, they credited us for the second try and added considerable labor and parts at no charge to repair it on the 3rd try; it's been working fine since.

Other than this the headlight problem noted above is the only major problem. The vehicle has fabulous seats. I judge the seats before I will purchase, and have to say the air adjustable lumbar support and the height of the armrests is the best of any vehicle I've owned.

Fuel consumption with the 4.0L engine is about 22mpg, better than anything newer for the size and carrying capacity, Front and rear seat head and legroom is much better than any newer 'mini' van and the seating position gives a nice view. Ride is good; there is some sway if you push it hard on mountain turns. Performance is not hot, but adequate and feels 'just right' in most circumstances. Ford's idiosyncracy of calling 4th gear 'overdrive' and making a separate button to shift into this gear is a nuisance, but I've gotten used to it.

Reliability is very good; I'm not good about maintenance, and, fortunately, this vehichle hasn't needed any since we got the A/C fixed right after purchase.

We have the 4x4 version and live above 10,000 feet. I've owned probably over 30 4x4 vehicles, and I will state without reservation that this one has the best traction. With studded tires on all corners, it's almost impossible to make it spin, even on ice. It has never once started to slide in a turn, regardless of surface conditions, something I can't say for any other vehicle I've owned, 2x4, or 4x4. Brakes are excellent as many still living deer and elk (and unrolled vehicle) will attest.

On the downside, the tires are really small, about like a bunch of doughnuts, which limits ground clearance and tire selection. However, the clearance is still better than any of the newer vans that have replaced it. I replaced the stock tires with wider ones of same diameter, which greatly improved ride and gave it a little more 'lift' over uneven objects, like fallen trees and gulleys. I've bottomed it a few times, but I should have been driving my Jeep at the time.

Aerostar is still made and sold new in Mexico, where people tend to be very rough on vehicles. They are the most popular vehicle on the road down there, which attests to their durability.

I disagree with others who say this is a nice looking vehicle. It's just plain ugly, and that suits me fine.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th March, 2006

26th Jul 2007, 23:52

Further to this person's comment about 'small' tires. I have a 1996 AWD van, and I replaced the wheels with 8" wide x 16" dia. wheels from a Jeep. They fit perfectly, and allow me to install 225/60-16 tires. This setup is the best available.