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1997 Ford Windstar

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1997 Ford Windstar Review

A competitive family ride.

Reviewed by Automotive on


The 1997 Ford Windstar is another minivan in a very crowded class. It has plenty of engine power and acceleration, but the lack of a rear passenger door on the driver's side makes it a little less desirable. With plenty of comfort and seating for seven, the Windstar provides plenty of interior room and holds its own against the competition.

The Range

Body Styles: minivan
Engines: 150-hp 3.0-liter V-6, 200-hp 3.8-liter V-6
Transmissions: four-speed automatic
Models: Ford Windstar, Ford Windstar GL, Ford Windstar LX

What's New

The 1997 Ford Windstar sees little revision. They've added a tip-forward driver's seat to let people enter from the driver's door. This is a poor substitute for a driver's side passenger door, and was featured on the early versions of the 1998 Ford Windstar.


The exterior of the Ford Windstar comes standard with a rear windshield wiper and 15-inch wheels. Paint comes in twelve color options. The Windstar LX comes with alloy wheels and power exterior mirrors. Exterior options include roof rack, towing package, fog lights, and two-tone paint. It measures 74.3 inches wide, 68.0 inches tall, 201.2 inches long with a wheel base of 120.7 inches.


As with most minivans, the interior of the 1997 Ford Windstar allows seating for up to seven passengers. Massive amounts of cargo room ensure the Windstar is perfect for carrying large loads. Overall comfort is very generous, and the Windstar comes standard with cloth seating. Leather seating is optional. The bench seats can be replaced with captain's chairs. Other interior options include a center console, air-conditioning for the rear, and a JBL audio system with an AM/FM/CD stereo.

Performance & Handling

The Ford Windstar LX comes standard with anti-lock brakes and the beefed up 200-horsepowr (hp), 3.8-liter, V-6 engine that makes heavier loads easy to handle. Other options include self-leveling suspension for a smoother ride. The standard 150-hp, 3.0-liter V-6 in the base and GL models has ample power. Power steering and brakes make the Windstar extremely responsive.


The 1997 Ford Windstar comes standard with a four-wheel anti-lock brake system for better stopping power. Also standard in the Windstar are driver- and passenger-side airbags. During crash tests, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) rated the Windstar five out of five stars for passenger and driver frontal-impact collisions. This perfect safety rating makes the Ford Windstar an extremely safe ride. Child seats are an optional safety feature. GL and LX models have optional traction control for less slippage on the road.

EPA Fuel Economy

Ford Windstar: 17/25 mpg city/highway
Ford Windstar GL: 17/23 mpg city/highway
Ford Windstar LX: 17/23 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Tons of cargo space
  • Decent fuel economy
  • Powerful V-6 engine options
  • Standard anti-lock brake system

You Won't Like

  • No passenger door on the driver's side
  • Outdated radio system

Sum Up

A competitive family ride.

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