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1996 Ford Windstar

  • 1996 Ford Windstar Cargo Cargo Minivan

    Cargo Cargo Minivan

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      3.0L V6
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  • 1996 Ford Windstar Wagon Passenger Minivan

    Wagon Passenger Minivan

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      3.0L V6
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1996 Ford Windstar Review

Not exciting, but safe and reliable for the family.

Reviewed by Automotive on


The 1996 Ford Windstar classifies as a minivan manufactured by Ford Motor Company. Ford launched it in 1995, and it marks the second minivan designed and sold by the company. It debuted in 1995 as a replacement for the rear-drive Aerostar.

Despite the fact that the Windstar intends to replace the Aerostar, both vehicles sell concurrently. Although the 1996 Ford Windstar sells as part of the Ford car line, it follows the tradition set by the Aerostar in that it does not have a counterpart marketed by Lincoln-Mercury.

The Range

Body Styles: three-door minivan
Engines: 3.0-liter V-6, 3.8-liter V-6
Transmissions: four-speed automatic
Models: Ford Windstar GL, Ford Windstar LX

What's New

The 1996 Ford Windstar gets a bunch of revisions this year. The biggest revision comes in the form of a 3.8-liter engine, that boosts its output from 155 horsepower to 200 horsepower. Moreover, the trim and equipment have been revised.

The tow package available with the Windstar now includes four-wheel disc brakes along with traction control. The options list of the 1996 Ford Windstar adds an integrated child safety seat.


The 1996 Ford Windstar sits on a wheelbase of 120.7 inches and a length of 201.2 inches. It has a width of 75.4 inches and a height of 68 inches.


The 1996 Windstar offers lots of passenger space. Getting in and out of the front seats seems as easy as doing so in a passenger car. However, entry and exit becomes a little trickier for the seats at the back, since it requires ducking and climbing. The rear seat only offers enough legroom if pushed back completely on its seven-inch track.

Most controls have backlighting and the layout of controls on the dashboard looks pretty good. Moreover, the stereo controls prove easy for the driver and front passenger to reach. However, all other controls look small and a little too difficult to decipher. The only exception, the climate control, uses an easily understandable round dial.

The cargo room available in the 1996 Ford Windstar totals 16 cubic feet with all the seats in place. This improves on the space offered by the Voyager or Grand Caravan.

Performance & Handling

The Ford Windstar employs a three-liter V-6 engine that joins the lineup this year and comes standard for the GL. It delivers 150 horsepower and 170 lb-ft of torque. The other model gets a 3.8-liter V-6 that delivers 200 horsepower and 230 lb-ft of torque.

The 1996 Ford Windstar offers good acceleration from standstill with the 3.8-liter V-6 engine, but the heaviness of the minivan bogs down the engine rather soon. The automatic transmission seems a little problematic because it pauses before downshifts, and the shifts themselves feel quite rough. The power upgrade given to the 3.8-liter engine makes little difference in reality.

The three-liter engine feels quite a bit underpowered, and it struggles to keep the minivan going. The ride feels comfortable and stable at highway speeds, but less so in the city. Body lean remains moderate, and the road grip remains good when cornering, but the steering feels a little imprecise and loose.


The 1996 Ford Windstar gets a perfect five-star rating for driver and passenger safety in frontal-impact tests conducted by the NHTSA.

EPA Fuel Economy

Ford Windstar 3.8-liter V-6, automatic: 17/24 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Lots of passenger and cargo room
  • Quick acceleration
  • Good ride and handling

You Won't Like

  • Poor fuel economy
  • Confusing controls
  • Difficult entry/exit

Sum Up

Not exciting, but safe and reliable for the family.

If You Like This Vehicle

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