- July 2, 2012
- Reaction score
- City, State
- Here, There, and Everywhere
- Year, Model & Trim Level
- 93 Aeros: 430 & 289,000mi
From what I've read, it seems like the government wanted a passenger's side airbag in 1998, and Ford didn't want to redesign the dashboard, so the Windstar took over where the Aerostar left off.
Actually, the Aerostar was originally scheduled to be discontinued in 1994 to be replaced by the Windstar in 1995. The Windstar came out in 1995, but the demand for the Aerostar was sufficient to continue making it side-by-side with the Windstar until Ford was forced to quit making it.
You are correct about the air bags. Ford did not want to redesign the Aerostar to use passenger side airbags. That is the reason for the Windstar in the first place.
In hindsight, Ford should have not made the Windstar at all, but instead should have redesigned the Aerostar. The Windstar is junk, not much better than the Caravan, and completely fails as a workhorse for business purposes. And to this day Ford has not produced a van comparable to the Aerostar.
I normally carry a ton or more payload in my Aerostar, commonly exceeding 6,000 pounds curb weight when loaded, which is most of the time. There is no way a Windstar would last with loads like that. And worse, the Windstar has NO headroom, NO legroom, and NO steering wheel room. And it drives and rides like a tank - No way I could drive one for more than 500 miles without being totally exhausted, whereas I can easily drive an Aerostar 1,000 miles in a day, and still feel good.
I vividly remember the last day the Aerostar was made. It was National news on TV, radio, and even in my local (circ 20,000) newspaper. I remember wanting the last one that came off the assembly line in St Louis, but of course someone else had spoken for it long before it became news.