Sooooooooo many great things about this vehicle!
We bought it to replace a Trooper whose lease was expiring. I loved my Trooper for lots of different reasons, but one of the main things was the high seating and good overall view of traffic. No other van in this class compared to how high you sit in an Aerostar which, I feel has its safety advantages.
The other main selling feature, for me anyway, was the fact that it's built on a truck chassis giving it added strength, durability and overall performance. So many of today's minivan offerings, which are built on passenger car chassis, aren't aptly equipped nor designed to confront all of the things we minivan owners throw at our family workhorses and they really show their lackings when loading them up with people and/or cargo.
The payload is phenomenal! I've helped several friends move over the years and am always amazed at how much stuff can be manipulated into it.
I coach girls' softball. You'd be hard-pressed to find another vehicle that can accommodate two-thirds of the team and all of the team's gear comfortably, even on semi-lengthy trips.
My kids love it because we can always provide the transportation for them and their friends on kid-related functions.
Living in the Phoenix metro area, I can attest to the functionality and performance of the dual A/C's. Ford really did their homework in this area. Not only does this system work, but it works exceptionally well. On a summer day here the interior temperature can reach 165+ degrees - seriously! Within 5 minutes of starting the engine, the interior will cool to a very comfortable temperature.
Lastly, but certainly not least on my list of positives, is the performance and reliability of this vehicle. I can only speak for the van equipped with the 4.0L V6, but it can get up and go when you need it to! The power remains present even when it's loaded down.
I own a business with two locations, one of which is in Yuma, AZ. It's 187 miles of nothing, but desert and power lines each way. I make a trip to this location twice weekly. And although the posted speed is 75 MPH, the occasional cop you may encounter isn't interested in stopping you unless you're exceeding 90. So four times a week I drive my Aerostar at 90 MPH for about 2 hours at a shot, and it handles, performs and rides like a dream.
Things that needed a bit more Research & Design:
- Access to the spark plugs.
- Achieving a turning radius of less than a football field :)
Regarding the heater control valve mentioned above: This is an OEM part costing $41.00 and wasn't stocked by any of the dealers in my metro area. If you ever have to replace one, ask for the same part, but request it for the same year Explorer. The cost was $23 less and was readily available. Accessing it under the hood is no fun though!