Ford Windstar 3.8 V6 test drive of 1995

The owner is Vladimir Nosikov, 28 years old Muscovite, a driver and a staff member.

The car is a 1995 Ford Windstar GL. Mileage – 230 000 km. The first generation was produced from 1995 to 1998. Purchased for 150 000 rubles.

Vladimir tells the story of his car.

– Such a car was in our family for many years – my father was engaged in distillation of used cars from Europe and brought Ford Windstar from Germany in 1999.

Relatives liked the minivan very much, and they asked to help them find a similar Windstar, which was done – in 2004, their father brought them a very successful and well-groomed copy of 1995, the first year of production of this model. Our Windstar was sold a long time ago, and I haven’t heard about the fate of the second one for a long time, because relatives didn’t live nearby and we didn’t talk too often. However, in 2014, I came across one of the largest car ad websites, the very familiar Ford. “Isn’t that Uncle Viti’s car? – I asked my father, and he also recognized her. At that time I had a VAZ-2113, but I wanted a Windstar – I knew this minivan well (both in general and in particular), its merits and convenience. The car was sold for 180,000 rubles, but by family friendship it was given to me for 150,000. For exactly the same amount of money I sold VAZ and, in fact, just changed!

Despite Ford’s age, the exchange was great: after a primitive and close “zhigulenka” old “American” seemed just a high-tech ship! However, after the purchase in 2014, I had a chance to ride it for only three days – and I was taken into the army. And since 2015, I’ve been riding it all the time, and the car doesn’t let me down or bother with repairs.

Today, Ford Windstar is quite rare in Russia, although its classmates, such as Dodge Caravan, still meet. Windstars for the whole country are usually on sale on the largest car resources – not more than a dozen. The usual price for such cars today is from 100-150 thousand for cars in average condition and up to 200 thousand for well-preserved copies.


Probably hardly anyone would call Ford Windstar handsome today, but at the time of his appearance in 1995, when he changed his angular and stupid predecessor, the biodesign with its licked inexpressiveness was at the peak of fashion. Windstar is fully consistent with this style, both on the outside and inside.

Our Windstar’s driver’s door swings open at almost 90 degrees, which is noticeably more than the front passenger’s – it’s easier to get behind the wheel. Passengers in the second and third row enter the cabin through a sliding door on the right.

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Interestingly, by the end of the 90s minivans started to have sliding doors from both sides of their competitors, but on Windstar the Fordovtsy, when preparing the next package of modifications for the new 1998 model year, went for a temporary trick – an additional entrance to the cabin for passengers on the left side was realized through the driver’s door, which was enlarged for this purpose, and the driver’s seat was made with a folding backrest, as it is practiced in all three-door hatchbacks. A full-fledged second sliding door appeared only on the second generation of Windstar after 1999.


The dashboard and centre console are solid and monumental. At the wheel you feel like you’re on a bridge or at least a driver of a large full-size coach. The console is extended to the driver, the barn is vertically adjustable, all buttons and handles are visible and easily accessible. The interior is very well thought out.

The electronic dashboard is a rarity on Windstars. The model was equipped with such an instrument only in 1995 – then, strange as it may seem, they switched to a more traditional arrowhead. The main advantage of the “digital” variant is easy switching through the route menu from miles to kilometers and from gallons to liters!

Windstar is a seven-seater car. It has two front seats, a sofa for two on the second row and a passage past it to the third three-way. The seats are excellent – soft, high enough, with plenty of legroom.


There are few electrical adjustments in the seats, but the driver has a pneumatically controlled lumbar support, which is extremely useful in long-distance travel, for which Windstar is ideal.

У задних пассажиров есть собственная панель управления музыкой – с кнопками настройки радио, памяти станций, громкости. Штатная магнитола дает возможность слушать разную музыку: у водителя играет кассета через передние колонки, а задние пассажиры могут подключить две пары наушников со стандартным 3,5-миллиметровыми штекерами и слушать радио.

The mirror has an auto-blackening function, and its sensor is responsible for automatically turning on the light when dusk comes. Also on the mirror there is a slider to adjust the time delay of headlights off after leaving the cabin – a polite light.

Antisolar visors – double, allowing you to cover yourself from the rays and from the front, from the side.

Different niches and containers for Windstar’s things, oddly enough, aren’t too rich. The glove box volume is quite modest, but there is a very large tray for audio cassettes. There is a retractable cup holder for two jacks, pockets in the doors and a drawer under the front passenger seat.

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Other nice chips include electrically operated rear windows, elastic plastic in the cabin and keyhole lighting on the outside – if you approach a locked car and pull the handle outside, the lights in the cabin and the well will turn on!


The Ford Windstar was equipped with a 6-cylinder injector V-shaped V-rays from the Vulcan and Essex families. In 1995, there were two engines: a 3-liter engine with a capacity of 147 hp and 3.8 liters with 155 hp. In the following years, engine power gradually increased.

On our Windstar, we had a 3.8-litre Essex, a front-driven, transversely mounted 3.8-litre engine. The range of these engines is as large as it is old. They lead their lineage from the late 60’s and over the years have found many variations for dozens of Ford models and other brands. Carburettor and injector, positioned longitudinally and transversely, with a wide range of capacities and attachments.

The ACP is a 4-stage “classic” with torque converter, controlled by a handle on the steering wheel with an overdrive button. This combination of engine and transmission is known to motorists for its much more common combination than Windstar’s Ford Taurus. The engine and gearbox are considered to be afraid of overheating – the engine requires a proper cooling system, and the “machine” does not feel sorry for long runs at high speed.

This Windstar hasn’t surprised anyone in four years of operation. All the work that was carried out was related to maintenance and expenditure and concerned mainly the suspension, which is quite simple (front McPherson, rear torsion beam). Front brake discs – 5000 rubles, pads – 1700 rubles, steering rods and tips – 1300 rubles each, stabilizer racks – about 1500 rubles of steam, shock absorber racks – 9000 rubles per pair. The availability of almost all of the marketable spare parts. But, according to the owner, Windstar may soon need to replace the mass flow rate sensor. And this is a detail of those that can’t be bought “around the corner”: it is custom-made and expensive – about 7000 rubles.

On the move

As it happens when you meet almost all the old Americans, the first effect of Windstar – amazing softness! The energy-intensive pendant of this “bead” swallows any city roughness, including log-like “lying policemen”, and what is “under swallowed” is damped by soft velour pillows of seats.

At the start the car reacts to gas very cheerfully – classic American V-shaped models are famous for their low speed traction. The catch after a hundred is already sluggish. And cotton brakes require pressure from the soul, not sorry.

Large and massive car confidently holds the road, up to 120 km / h do not have to taxi, the steering wheel is held by a finger. Standard tires of Windstar are 205/70 R15, and on our copy there is rubber with the same diameter, but slightly wider – 215/70. At partings in ruthlessness the back is shaking: the suspension there, as it has already been said, is dependent, with a beam. The car does not leave the trajectory, but slightly “sausages”.

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On parking lots it is a little bit more difficult: the body is long (5110 mm), and the angle of rotation of wheels is small. Because of this, where an ordinary sedan is pulled out at the first time, Windstar requires 2-3 receptions. The visibility, in spite of the abundant glazing, is so good. Do not add visibility and blinded flat mirrors rear view, in the blind areas of which too much is lost.

The consumption is just as pleasing: in mixed mode city-track it is a very moderate 12 liters, which is for such a “crocodile” – and not the consumption at all!

Model history

In 1986, the first 7-seater minivan – the rear-wheel drive model Aerostar – appeared in the Ford range of cars. By 1994, the angular Aerostar had become obsolete and was replaced by the Windstar front-drive biodesign in the 90s.

First of all, the car was positioned as a minibus for family and travel, but it also had a practically unknown in our country commercial cargo-version without glazing and with a cargo body.

The new minivan quickly gained popularity as the safest among classmates – in the crash-test it gained maximum points and already had two airbags and ABS in the base. The car was produced until 2004, having gone through a restyling process in 1998 with the renewal of bumpers and optics, as well as with the addition of a second sliding door on the left.

Changes were made to the model all the time, not only during restyling. Each year, Windstar has been improving the model by adding various options. Gradually, the list of options included electric closing/opening of the sliding door, electric height adjustment of the pedal unit, the system of course stability, air balloons in the suspension, a separate air conditioner for rear passengers, tire pressure control system and much more. Changes also touched the engine compartment: in due course the 3-liter engine was removed from the range, and the 3.8-liter engine was forced to 203 hp.

In 2004, the model was replaced by a minivan Ford Freestar, which was produced until 2007. Since then, there have been no full-size minivans in the Ford range – the segment was completely absorbed by crossovers.


By Max W. Obama

Hey, there! My name is Cris W.Obama and I’m obsessed with travelling especially in Spain. Ever since I visited the country, I’ve become a frequent guest. On this blog you’ll see which places i visited and my travel guides.

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