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1999 Ford Windstar

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1999 Ford Windstar Review

A strong challenge for market leaders Honda, Chrysler, and Toyota.

Reviewed by Automotive on

Overview

The 1999 Ford Windstar is a second-generation minivan. It debuted and has been manufactured by Ford Motor Company since 1995. The Windstar represents the second minivan from the company and launched as a replacement for the all-wheel-drive Aerostar. All models of the 1999 Ford Windstar come from Oakville, Ontario, Canada.

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, Ford Windstar LX, Ford Windstar SE, Ford Windstar SEL

What's New

The Ford Windstar begins its second generation with the 1999 model year, with the addition of sliding doors on the outside. On the inside, the 1999 Ford Windstar now has its second- and third-row seats on rollers for easy interchangeability and removal. The instrument panel has also been redesigned for better ergonomics. The 3.8-liter V-6 improves to provide more power and also produce less emission. The suspension, transmission, air-conditioning components, and brakes upgrade as well. A reverse sensing system and side airbags provide new safety features for the 1999 Windstar.

Exterior

The 1999 Ford Windstar shows off a redesigned exterior for the first time, and the most visible difference concerns the inclusion of dual sliding doors. Other than this, the new Windstar gets slightly more aerodynamic than its predecessor. Apart from these minor differences, the exterior of the Windstar still reflects the same principles followed by Ford in its previous version.

Interior

As a minivan, the interior of the 1999 Ford Windstar definitely feels roomy. The seating mostly carries over from the previous model, although it shows some improvements. The addition of a power-sliding door adds a lot of value to the 1999 Ford Windstar. In fact, even the manually sliding doors prove quite easy to open and close due to their easy-to-grip handles.

The rear hatch opens and closes easily, although a separately opening rear glass is sorely missing. The supportive seats feel rather heavy, so you can expect a decent amount of work to remove or install them. Seatbacks can be reclined or folded backward, providing access to even more space.

The audio controls can be a little confusing, but the climate system has been well designed.

Performance & Handling

The 3.8-liter V-6 engine in the 1999 Ford Windstar offers a decent 200 hp while still keeping within the Low Emissions Vehicle, or LEV, and Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle, or ULEV, standards. This means that the minivan produces 65 percent less emissions than required for a vehicle in its class. The three-liter engine does not provide adequate acceleration either, which makes the 3.8-liter engine a favorable choice. The engine runs smoothly and quietly, and provides adequate power even when the van carries a full load. Nevertheless, both engines get less responsive when throttled hard.

The Windstar has the longest wheelbase in its class, and it offers a stable and carlike ride quality. The suspension, however, is not as good as the Toyota Sienna. Handling characteristics prove better than the Sienna, however, even though the steering feels a little artificial and sluggish when compared to the GM minivan or the Honda Odyssey. The brake pedal offers a good feel, but stopping power remains just about average.

Safety

The 1999 Ford Windstar earns a full five-star rating from the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration in terms of driver and passenger safety in a front-impact collision. The Windstar also includes optional side airbags for carrying the family safely.

EPA Fuel Economy

Ford Windstar, front drive: 15/21 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Modern design
  • List of high-tech features
  • Good safety features

You Won't Like

  • Reliability may be a problem for some

Sum Up

A strong challenge for market leaders Honda, Chrysler, and Toyota.

If You Like This Vehicle

  • Honda Odyssey
  • Plymouth Voyager
  • Chevrolet Venture
  • Toyota Sienna
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