Minivan; Built in Canada
  • 3-door van
  • 4-door van
  • transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $1,700 – $5,000*


2001 Ford Windstar SE Sport


2000 Ford Windstar


1999 Ford Windstar interior


2001 Ford Windstar SE Sport


1999 Ford Windstar SEL

Pros:
  • Passenger and cargo room
Cons:
  • Fuel economy

Chrysler, Honda, and Toyota minivans have been ranked Best Buys, but the solid, easy-driving Windstar also is a fine choice, boasting some significant new safety and convenience features.

Overview

Dual sliding doors as well as some minivan “firsts” were part of a comprehensive 1999 makeover for the Ford Windstar. Wheelbase was unchanged, but interior dimensions grew slightly and styling was fresh. Windstars came in a single body length with a standard right-side sliding door. All Windstars had a V6 engine and 4-speed automatic transmission. The Cargo and base 3.0L passenger models used a 3.0-liter V6. LX, SE and luxury SEL editions got a 3.8-liter engine. A left-side sliding door was standard on SE and SEL minivans, optional on the others. Power operation for both sliding doors was standard on the SEL and optional for the SE. All except the 3.0L could have a power-operated right-hand sliding door. Front seat-mounted side airbags were optional, designed to protect both the head and chest in a side impact. Antilock brakes were standard, though rear brakes were now drums rather than discs. Traction control was an option. Windstars seated up to seven, in a 2-2-3 format. Base and LX models had a middle bench that could be positioned to either the left or the right side of the vehicle, while SE and SEL models came with second-row bucket seats. The 3-passenger third-row bench got built-in rollers to ease removal/installation. Another minivan “first” was the Reverse Sensing System option for 4-door models. It sounded a warning if the vehicle came within six feet of an obstacle, while backing up.

Yearly Updates

2000 Windstar
Adjustable gas and brake pedals became optional for 2000 for LX, SE, and SEL models. Also newly optional on models with second-row bucket seats was a rear-seat video entertainment system, including a VCR and flip-down 6.4-inch LCD screen. Seatback grocery hooks were added to the rear bench this year. Base and LX models had a standard 3.0-liter V6 this year, with the option of a 3.8-liter. A top-of-the-line Limited minivan joined the lineup during the model year.
2001 Windstar
New safety features included an antiskid system–a minivan “first.” Available later in the model year, it applied a rear brake and reduced engine power to enhance control in turns. A low-tire-pressure warning system was now standard in passenger models.
New sensors deployed the dashboard airbags according to crash severity and the positions of front occupants. A strobe light in the driver’s outside mirror now warned approaching traffic that the left-side sliding door was open.
The base 3.0-liter V6 was gone, making the 3.8-liter standard for all models. Both the nose and tail were slightly restyled this season. The 2001 lineup consisted of LX, SE, SE Sport, SEL, and Limited minivans, the latter fitted with a wood/leather steering wheel. SE, SE Sport, SEL, and Limited models had 16-inch tires. A new model this year, the SE Sport featured a black grille.
Dual sliding side doors were standard, except on the base LX. Head/chest side airbags were standard in the Limited, optional in other Windstars. A center console now was included with the available second-row bucket seats. The available back-seat video entertainment system now included a removable VCR.
2002 Windstar
Former option packages became separate trim levels on the 2002 Windstar. SE, SEL, and Limited models returned, while LX models offered new Base, Standard, and Deluxe versions. Dual sliding doors were now standard.
2003 Windstar
An available anti-skid system was added as an option midyear. Windstar was replaced in 2004 by the Freestar.

Engines

transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive

All Windstars had V6 engines and 4-speed automatic transmissions, but the engines came in two sizes. Initially, Cargo and base 3.0L passenger minivans used a 3.0-liter V6, whereas a 3.8-liter engine went into LX, SE, and luxury SEL models. The LX minivan got the 3.8-liter V6 in 2000, and for 2001 the smaller engine was dropped.

ohv V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.0/182
Engine HP 150
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 186
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
4-speed automatic

17/23

ohv V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.8/232
Engine HP 200
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 240
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
4-speed automatic

17/23

14.8

Road Test

Windstar has been, and continues to be, one of the better all-around minivan performers. The 3.0-liter engine struggles to provide adequate acceleration, making the quieter, smoother 3.8-liter V6 a stronger and better choice. That engine furnishes sufficient power even with a full load of passengers, and should not consume much more fuel than the overworked 3.0 liter. Both engines are gruff under hard throttle. With the longest wheelbase of any minivan, Windstar provides a stable, carlike ride, though it does not absorb bumps quite as well as a Toyota Sienna. Handling is confident and better than Sienna’s. Even so, steering feels artificial and does not respond as quickly as General Motors minivans or the Honda Odyssey. Brake-pedal feel is good, but overall stopping power is about average. One test SEL exhibited annoying torque steer in brisk take-offs. A friendly dashboard and comfortable, roomy seating carry over from the previous (1995-98) Windstar, with improvements evident in several areas. Power sliding doors are a true convenience. Even the manual sliders are unusually easy to open and close, thanks to easy-to-grip interior handles. Rear hatches raise and lower easily, though separate-opening rear glass was not available. Substantial, supportive seats are heavy, so removal and installation demand muscle and technique, despite new rear rollers. Seatbacks do fold forward and recline, allowing great cargo and passenger versatility. Audio controls are too “busy,” but the climate system’s ability to run air conditioning in all vent modes is a benefit. If installed, the Reverse Sensing System is a valuable safeguard against unseen objects directly behind. That’s helpful, because the base of the Windstar’s rear window is not visible to the driver, complicating backing up.

Ratings

Model Tested: 2001 Ford Windstar LX

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.

Performance

Acceleration - 5
50%
Fuel Economy - 3
30%
Ride Quality - 5
50%
Steering/Handling - 4
40%
Quietness - 5
50%

Accommodations

Controls/Materials - 6
60%
Room/Comfort Front - 7
70%
Room/Comfort Rear - 6
60%
Cargo Room - 9
90%

Other

Value - 6
60%

Total: 56

Specifications

3-door van
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
120.7 200.9 76.6 66.1
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
145.7 26.0 7
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
39.3 41.1 40.7 36.8
4-door van
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
120.7 200.9 76.6 65.8
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
148.5 26.0 7
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
39.3 40.7 40.7 38.6
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 1999 Windstar 3-door van

NHTSA

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
100%
Front Passenger Injury - 5
100%

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
100%
Rear Passenger Injury - 5
100%

HLDI

(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision 64
Injury 65
Theft 27

Trouble Spots

Air conditioner
Description: Insufficient air conditioning may be due to a loose fitting at the condenser allowing the refrigerant to escape. (1999)
Climate control
Description: Lack of climate-control temperature adjustment may be due a defective heater-control head or binding blend door. (1999)
Doors
Description: Corroded relay contacts in the controller prevent the power sliding door from closing. (1999-00)
Engine knock
Description: Engine knock may be due to oil getting into the intake manifold leading to a buildup of carbon in the cylinders. A redesigned valve cover alleviates the problem. (1999-00)
Engine knock
Description: Knock during heavy acceleration on 3.0-liter V6 equipped vehicle may be cured by reprogramming ignition from “no retard” to “retard.” (1999-00)
Heater core
Description: Installing a restrictor in the heater inlet hose may repair heater cores leaks. (1999-2002)
Seat
Description: Drivers weighing more than 275 lbs. can pinch the electrical harness between the seat and frame shorting out the power seat circuit and blowing the fuse. (1999)

Recall History

1998-03 Windstar in certain states
Description: After many years of vehicle service in these areas, corrosion can weaken the rear axle, making it susceptible to torsional stress. Corrosion and stress can lead to cracks which if undetected can propagate and result in a complete fracture of the axle. A fractured axle can affect vehicle handling and increase the risk of a crash. As parts become available, dealers will inspect and if necessary install the rear axle reinforcement brackets free of charge. This service will be performed free of charge.
1999 Windstar
Description: On certain vehicles, brake-fluid warning statement embossed on top of filler cap, and also on side of master-cylinder reservoir body, is not entirely visible by direct view.
1999 Windstar
Description: Brake master cylinder on certain vehicles is oriented so warning statements are not entirely visible by direct view.
1999-00 Windstar
Description: Certain instrument clusters without a “message center” fail to comply with Federal safety requirements.
1999-01 Windstar
Description: Wiper-motor gear case could malfunction and overheat, causing loss of wiper function or fire.
1999-01 Windstar
Description: Auxiliary air-conditioning blower motor stops turning while in the medium-low blower speed setting, there is the potential that the resistor may become hot and smoke.
1999-03 vehicles equipped with the Texas Instruments speed control deactivation switch (SCDS)
Description: The SCDS may leak internally and then overheat, smoke, or burn. A vehicle fire could occur. Ford will notify owners and dealers will install a fused wiring harness for the SCDS. Dealers will also inspect the abs control connector and repair as necessary. Repairs will be completed free of charge.
1999-2003 Windstar in certain states
Description: A separation of a front-lower control arm rear-attaching bracket may result in a lower-control arm separation. A separation of both front subframe rear body mounts may result in separation of the steering intermediate shaft. This could result in reduced steering control increasing the risk of a crash. Dealers will inspect both front lower control arm rear attaching brackets and both body mount attachments at the rear of the front subframe and make the necessary repairs free of charge.
1999-2003 Windstar
Description: Over time, corrosion can weaken the rear axle, leading to cracks which could completely fracture the axle.
2000 Windstar
Description: Some minivans may have incorrect urethane, resulting in an adhesive bond rather than the intended molecular bond for the front windshield and rear liftgate glass. If the bond deteriorates, it could provide less than the intended level of glass retention in a crash.
2000 Windstar
Description: Certain minivans may have incorrect fuel-line end forms that result in insufficient pull-apart force for the fuel-line connection.
2000-01 w/adjustable pedals
Description: Driver’s floormat could interfere with accelerator pedal, potentially resulting in stuck throttle.
2001 Windstar
Description: Driver- and/or font passenger-outboard seatbelt buckle may not fully latch.
2001 Windstar
Description: Restraint-control module or crash sensor may have one or more screws missing, which could affect performance of occupant restraint.
2001 Windstar
Description: Certain vehicles were built with a newly designed restraint-control module that, in some cases, does not recognize certain system faults that could result in airbag or seatbelt pretensioner unexpectedly activating during the self-test sequence at start-up time.
2001-03 Windstar
Description: Lower seat-to-floor latches on second- and third-row seats may fail in a crash, resulting in occupant injury.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.

Pricing

Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.