1996 Ford Aerostar XLT 3.0 from North America
Very well built, extremely versatile and capable, and quite inexpensive to operate - I love it!
Lots of light bulbs burned out, but were replaced under warranty.
Battery failed at 33,000 miles and was replaced under warranty.
Power steering (Rack and Pinion) needs to be replaced now.
Air Conditioning had a pesky small leak that was impossible for the dealer (note the low rating he got) to solve. I took it to an independent mechanic and it was solved cheaply and quickly. No problems since then and it blows icy cold. On a related note, if you live in a warmer climate the rear air conditioning system is not optional. The front a/c just doesn't have the gusto to cool the whole van. With the rear a/c, however, you'll swear you're at the North Pole.
This vehicle will not win any beauty contests, nor win any agility contests, but it wasn't meant to. It is simply the most capable minivan ever made. Period. My Aerostar can hold seven people comfortably or (with all the bench seats removed) haul a forest full of plywood or tow a boat or tow a trailer or???
And it does it all very economically. I get 18 miles per gallon in the city and 23 on the highway. Combine that with a real lack of problems and you can see why I rate it so favorably in running costs.
The paint job is still super! I have it detailed professionally every six months and it's shiny and reflective the first day I bought her. The interior is rugged and has taken quite a beating. Yet, it shows no sign of wear.
Ford really built this thing right. I could not be more pleased than I am with this van. Like others who have posted here, I plan on keeping this beauty until it dies. And considering that so many have kept their Aerostar's well beyond 250,000 miles, that's gonna be quite a while. Vive l'Aerostar!!
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 18th September, 2003