Ford compromised quality. C-
This is more of a first impression review. Our 1995 Windstar GL is in the shop getting the head gaskets replaced. We're using my in-laws 2000 LX in the meantime.
Pros: From the outside, the van looks nice, and the doors close snug. Nice to have sliding side doors on both sides. The motor has nice pep and a more raspier sound than the 3.8L in our '95 model. The climate controls are better than our '95, in that you can actually control the temp in the rear whereas on ours the rear setting is either heat on (tied to heat on in front), a/c on (tied to a/c on in front), or off. In the 2000 I think it may actually be thermostat controlled, and it seems as though you can have cool air in the back with heat in the front, and vice versa. The controls for the rear windows (right by the other window controls!) and the rear wiper (on the front wiper arm) are nicely placed compared to the '95 model.
Cons: The side mirrors seem cheap in finish with the plastic shiny paint. They don't swivel as well either. The transmission in clunky when shifting between park, D, and R. The interior in general is chintzy, from the controls to the seat belt harness covers that have fallen off, to the overhead console that seems like it may break or rattle. The rear windows squeal loudly when opened or closed. The seat arm rests are hard plastic compared to the luxurious fabric in the lower trimmed GL from 95! The road noise is loud compare to our older '95.
Conclusion: If not comparing this to a model that's 5 years older, I might be naive enough to bite, given the in-laws may sell it to us $4k under blue book. However, I would rather put my money into a new engine if I have to and drive our soon-to-be 9-year-old van than deal with Ford's apparent compromises. I expected it to be of higher quality given it was LX and it was 5 years newer. I can only hope the 2003 model is nicer as the Fleet car sales are about to begin where I work.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know
Review Date: 17th November, 2003