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2003 Ford Windstar

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2003 Ford Windstar Review

Offers a lot of safety and power, but has too many flaws to officially recommend it.

Reviewed by Automotive on


The 2003 Ford Windstar is a minivan that was first introduced in the 1995 model year. It has used its safety features to leverage itself into the competitive minivan market, since safety in the family market is all-important. Unfortunately, there are a lot of problems with it that even a good safety rating can’t change. The interior space isn’t properly utilized. With the third row bench installed, there is very little room for cargo, and the third-row seating isn’t really suitable for adults.

The Range

Body Style: minivan
Engines: 3.8-liter V-6 engine
Transmissions: Four-speed automatic
Models: Ford Windstar, Ford Windstar LX, Ford Windstar LX Deluxe, Ford Windstar SE, Ford Windstar SEL, Ford Windstar Limited

What's New

The 2003 Ford Windstar gains the AdvanceTrac stability control system. This feature was meant for the 2002 model year, but integration was postponed until 2003. The LX trim line is introduced again to the Windstar line.


The 2003 Ford Windstar rides on a 120.7-inch wheelbase with a 201.5-inch long body overall. It has sliding doors on both sides making entering and exiting the vehicle a breeze. The SEL and Limited trim lines have standard power sliding doors. There is even a strobe light in the rear view mirror that warns approaching vehicles that the left-hand door is open.


The 2003 Ford Windstar is one of its major drawbacks. The front seats are pretty comfortable with decent ergonomics. The instruments are easy to read and read, and simple to use as well. The rear view mirror, called the ""conversation"" mirror, has a shape that allows the driver to see every single seat. The big problem is the space between the second and third rows, and the front seats and the second row. Legroom is cramped. The third row seating is only suitable for small children. The van feels annoyingly small inside. Standard features on the Base model include power door locks, power mirrors, one-touch power windows, front door pockets, power steering, tilt adjustable steering wheel, clock, tachometer, tire pressure monitoring system, and an AM/FM radio. Other features include power adjusting seats, a rear parking sensor, reverse sensing sonar system, heated signal mirrors, and more.

Performance & Handling

The 2003 Ford Windstar comes with a 3.8-liter, V-6 engine that produces 200 horsepower. It is equipped with a four-speed automatic transmission. Due to the powerful engine and the four-speed automatic, drivers can feel comfortable passing and merging. Unfortunately, the stiffer suspension gives the vehicle a very stiff and truck-like ride, which is very unpleasant when carrying passengers. Although the V-6 engine gives it a lot of get-up-and-go, the noise from the engine when on the freeway is a bit of a headache. The transmission is even truck-like when downshifting. The front seats aren’t very comfortable either when going around curves.


Safety is one of the shining features of the 2003 Ford Windstar. Even the base model comes equipped with four-wheel anti-lock brakes, child seat anchors, front seatbelt pretensioners, electronic brake force distribution, front integrated headrests, and a tire pressure monitoring system. Adjustable brake and gas pedals are also available, creating a custom fit for the driver, especially when it is fitted with the adjustable seating. The NHTSA gave the Ford Windstar a five out of five star crash rating for front impacts on the passenger and driver side. The rating drops to four stars out of five for front and rear-side impacts. It also receives four stars for rollover. The IIHS gave the Ford Windstar its best rating of ""good"" for frontal-offset impacts, and a grade of ""acceptable"" for side impacts, which is its second best.

EPA Fuel Economy

Ford Taurus Windstar Base: 16/22 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Great safety standard equipment and crash test scores
  • Lots of interior features and optional equipment
  • V-6 engine

You Won't Like

  • Ride and handling is not very responsive
  • Poor interior cargo space
  • V-6 is noisy
  • Reliability is terrible

Sum Up

Offers a lot of safety and power, but has too many flaws to officially recommend it.

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