This is a wonderful minivan. It rides beautifully, very comfortable and easy to drive. Visibility is great and it has room for everything. All the seats are comfy, but especially the two front seats. Long trips are a breeze. We've put 20,000 miles on this car in the past 2 years, both long trips and about town driving. We LOVE it! Paid $12,000 for it and worth every penny!
The only strange thing about this car is a whistling noise through the air vent at certain highway speeds on windy days!
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 24th April, 2004
2nd Jun 2004, 12:25
You are one of the few Windstar owners who is actually satisfied with the vehicle. I am happy to hear that you are having more luck than I am. However, my advice to you is to sell the van NOW, because at approx 30K miles you will need a steering rack, struts, and possibly tie rod ends ($800.00). At 50-60K miles your engine light will come on and you will need an intake manifold/gasket ($800.00), but only after you replace the 4 O2 sensors at $50.00 each. After you have paid to fix these problems, the engine or the transmission will go and result in a huge expenditure.
The engine in my 99 Windstar blew at 80K miles. I had the van for sale during this occurrence. Fortunately I was able to locate an engine with 37K miles on it for $750.00. Installation is scheduled for next week, then I will sell the van at a lower price just to get rid of it (or perhaps trade it in for a Nissan, Toyota, or Honda).
I am a mechanical Engineer by education & experience, and I take great care of my vehicles.
Initially we had multiple recalls on the vehicle. One of the recalls dealt with a defective transmission line which had to be replaced internally. After getting the vehicle back I noticed a shudder in the transmission when shifting from 1st to 2nd gear. When I took it back they found the mechanic did not properly install the filter which caused the transmission to slip.
At 36,800 miles the transmission broke without warning leaving my wife and kids stranded in the middle of a busy intersection during rush hour traffic. The dealership initially tried to say I was at fault for not having the transmission serviced properly until I pointed out that they have done all the service (or lack there of). They agreed to replace the transmission if I purchased an extended warranty.
They also found that the gasket on the "plastic" manifold was leaking and needed to be replaced. After much haggling they agreed to replace that also after I paid them a deductible.
When they replaced the transmission they dropped the axle and broke a part for the anti-lock brakes which caused my wife to loose her brakes completely. I had to drive the van back to the dealership using the emergency brake to stop.
While this vehicle has a 200 hp V-6 engine the throttle response and acceleration is very poor. I believe this is partly because of the poor quality transmission which cannot handle the transfer of power from the engine to the wheels.
I complained from the start to the dealership about the poor gas mileage. They advertised the vehicle 18 MPG city and 24 MPG highway. I have never been able to get better than 16 MPG on the highway and 13 MPG city driving. The dealership checked it out and advised their "computer" showed it was getting 18 mpg which is within their specifications. The mileage did improve slightly with the new transmission, It was getting 12 MPG before.
The driveability is very poor, steering response sloppy for a front wheel drive car. It is also very top heavy with a suspension that is too soft which causes excessive body sway when cornering and turning.
The vehicle is very comfortable and roomy inside. It is a good looking van both inside and out. It is a shame that it has so many mechanical problems and reliability issues.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 18th March, 2004
27th Apr 2004, 20:12
Our experience with our Ford Windstar 2000 is almost identical. Transmission snapped at 36,800 miles and the warranty company tried to pawn off fix even though we have not just the Basic Factory Warranty, but the Extended Warranty. Through all of this though FORD Dealerships have treated us more than fairly. We give kudos to the FORD folks in the field.
Average review marks: 4.5 / 10, based on 92 reviews