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View Full Version : Real World Review of the Ford Freestyle:


Shomare
03-27-2005, 04:11 PM
Real World Review of the Ford Freestyle:<p> <IMG SRC="http://www.imagestation.com/picture/sraid162/peb77d907a9e8e79b1af06e591d28e936/f4b15e06.jpg" BORDER="0"> <p>We just picked up our 05 SEL AWD with CVT today and made our first road trip from Syracuse, New York to Oswego, New York and back for a round trip total of about 100 miles.<p>We purchased the car with back up sensor, side airbag curtain, moonroof, and a DVD player. The SEL comes pretty loaded otherwise, with more bells and whistles than I have had on any other previous car. <p> <IMG SRC="http://www.imagestation.com/picture/sraid162/p0f456544874b7b831dbcfd539a743313/f4b15dc0.jpg" BORDER="0"> <p>Positives:<p>All the concerns / criticism and negative press associated with this car seem very on fair to me. With all the reports of it being equiped with an "underpowered" motor, I was concerned and consoling myself with the thought that we were only keeping the car for three years. Not to worry. These criticisms are not deserved. <p>This car was made to haul families, not ass. That being said it is certainly capable of getting out of its own way. With my wife, one year old son, myself, and the usual onslaught of baby paraphernalia that accompanies a young family, this car's performance was better than I had been lead to believe. <p>It accelerates smoothy and confidently. On ramps and passing were done without effort or intrusiveness of motor noise. There was just enough engine noise to let you know it was up to something, as it should be.<p>I left several cars (4 cyl & 6 cyl equiped cars) that had been in front of me, behind me as I merged with traffic which left me wondering, what's all the complaining about. Granted it's no 300 bhp gass sucking monster, but with the price of gas these days, I'll be smiling compared to SUV drivers.<p>One of the most notible features is the ride hight. It's a delight. After riding in the canyons of SUV's, Pickups and Mini Vans for the past three years in our Jetta wagon, It's nice to see the faces of other drivers again! <p>There is an excellent forward view of the road and the side mirrors are generously sized and provide very good side visibility. <p>The CVT transmission is smooth as silk. It transfers the power so effortlessly that there is no hint of the usual hurried sensation one associates with the shifting of an automatic transmissions as it searches for the "right gear". In fact, you'll have to watch your speedometer because you may find as I did that when you look down you're already doing 70.<p> <IMG SRC="http://www.imagestation.com/picture/sraid162/p2f0e0cd8e6463481ddc3217995a3c1d8/f4b15d7e.jpg" BORDER="0"> <p>When we got to Oswego we stopped at a local Fish Fry on Lake Ontario (Rudy's). The place was packed for the Good Friday Holiday which necessitated parking in the adjacent overflow lot which is a grassy area that is used for such purpose during the summer. <p>At this time of the year it was a bit sticky with wet grass and mud, but the wife pulled up onto it, and the Freestyle just proceeded along as though it were on pavement.<p>The ride soaks up the big and small bumps in the roa. Handling is also very good for a vechicle this large. Lane changes are smooth and uneventful and I noticed no body lean while cornering at family car speeds.<p>The brakes are phenomenal on this car! They bring it down from speed smoothly and firmly and make quick work of it. We had traffic stop suddenly in front of us at one point and I was surprised by how quickly the car slowed. Not nearly as much room as I had anticipated in such a large vehicle. <p>The stereo is also very good. It has good sound, better than the"premium" Monsoon unit in our Jetta which always sounded tinny unless you turned the treble and midranges way down.<p>It allows for you to listen to the head unit or split the audio between the DVD and the head unit such that rear passengers can use wireless headphones to watch the DVD player while mom and dad can listen to CD's or the radio which allows mom and dad to enjoy Bjrk while the kiddies take in Bob the Builder. <p>The unit switches audio to the front speakers only when the headphones are in use with the DVD player or you can create a surround sound effect by playing the DVD throughout the cabin.<p>Now for the negatives:<p>These are minor things that I'm sure will be addressed quickly.<p>The CD player skips. It seems a bit sensitive as we experienced this four times during our trip and there was not much of a bump or jar necessary to trigger the skip.<p>My passenger side rear seat (third row) will not latch into the floor. It folds flat but when unfolded back into seat mode, it would not lock into the floor and as such would not be usable by a passenger.<p>When the DVD player is folded down, you can't see out the rear view mirror which I suspect is the case in any vehicle with a DVD player.<p><br>Very pleased so far. Don't miss the Jetta Wagon at all! This is a great car for my family at this stage of life. <p>Too bad more people aren't giving them a chance.<p><br> <IMG SRC="http://www.imagestation.com/picture/sraid162/p527e754a34f9cccee2493b7d0624c105/f4b15d42.jpg" BORDER="0"> <p><br>

Charger
03-27-2005, 04:16 PM
Nice review but I dislike this car. It's bland and boring and should be called Stylefree. I like the Mercury concept version better.

Shomare
03-27-2005, 05:43 PM
It does what it advertises it does and does it well.<p>I think that it is handsome not bland and suits my purposes well.<p>Drive one for more than 30 min and tell me if you don't see just how practical this car is.

Ascariss
03-27-2005, 05:51 PM
Interesting review, I expected the car to be smaller, but it is rarther large in person, not that it's a bad thing. Wonder if ever Ford would over this with a diesel.

Naga Royal Guard
03-27-2005, 05:53 PM
w/ regards to the DVD player screen, im quite suprised manufacturers dont realize this as a bit of a hazard; just not something i see as being incredibly practical, headrest or seatbacks seem like a better place i guess

Charger
03-27-2005, 06:00 PM
<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>Shomare</b> &raquo;</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">It does what it advertises it does and does it well.<p>I think that it is handsome not bland and suits my purposes well.<p>Drive one for more than 30 min and tell me if you don't see just how practical this car is. </TD></TR></TABLE><p>I honestly wouldnt want to drive one or be seen in one. I can find many other cars that are just or more practical.

Ascariss
03-27-2005, 06:08 PM
<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>Charger</b> &raquo;</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote"><p>I honestly wouldnt want to drive one or be seen in one. I can find many other cars that are just or more practical.</TD></TR></TABLE><p>Care to post a list charger? <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.germancarfans.com/images/forums/beigesmilewinkgrin.gif" BORDER="0"> <p><TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>Naga Royal Guard</b> &raquo;</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">w/ regards to the DVD player screen, im quite suprised manufacturers dont realize this as a bit of a hazard; just not something i see as being incredibly practical, headrest or seatbacks seem like a better place i guess</TD></TR></TABLE><p>I'd agree, but what is stopping anyone from ripping them out of the headrests, hey even when roof mounted. Maybe stick them in the back of front middle console between the seats. <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.germancarfans.com/images/forums/nixweiss.gif" BORDER="0">

Charger
03-27-2005, 06:35 PM
<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>Ascariss</b> &raquo;</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">Care to post a list charger? <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.germancarfans.com/images/forums/beigesmilewinkgrin.gif" BORDER="0"> <p><br></TD></TR></TABLE><br>The Pacifica for starters. It has a better and bolder design and more power.<br>Practically any minivan, especially the new DCX minivans.(Id take a minivan over the Stylefree anyday)<br>Dodge Magnum, may not be the same size but it sure is practical.<br>Any suv can pretty much be as practical as the ford. If I wanted an explorer look-a-like Id get an explorer.<br><BR><BR>
<i>Modified by Charger at 8:40 PM 3/27/2005</i>

Andre
03-27-2005, 08:05 PM
Hey shomare. V50 would have been cheaper and more efficient <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://images.zeroforum.com/smile/emwink.gif" BORDER="0"> Looks great, hope you are enjoying it<p>Computer and family problems have kept me off of MSN and AIM for a little bit, I hope be be back on this week.

Ascariss
03-27-2005, 09:31 PM
<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>Charger</b> &raquo;</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote"><br>The Pacifica for starters. It has a better and bolder design and more power.<br>Practically any minivan, especially the new DCX minivans.(Id take a minivan over the Stylefree anyday)<br>Dodge Magnum, may not be the same size but it sure is practical.<br>Any suv can pretty much be as practical as the ford. If I wanted an explorer look-a-like Id get an explorer.<p><i>Modified by Charger at 8:40 PM 3/27/2005</i></TD></TR></TABLE><p>True, but I don't think too many vans will be able to go offroad, maybe the pacifica, but it looks a bit low. I don't think people would want an SUV if fuel cost was an issue. magnum is a wagon, imo. But you do make a point charger, what does actually this thing compete against.

Shomare
03-28-2005, 04:03 AM
Charger,<p>It seems that one of your qualifiers might be that the car is a Chrysler product and on that particular point the Freestyle misses the mark. <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.germancarfans.com/images/forums/moon_1_D.gif" BORDER="0"> <p>I'd rather be castrated than own a minvan but I needed the space for my family of three and as such there are very few options out there. I don't know what the freestyle competes against for sure but I would guess the Pacifica is one of its main contenders. Also, any of the mini suv's come to mind. To me its a glorified station wagon no matter what Ford calls it. I grew up in the 70's with my dad owning mutiple Ford LTD wagons so I've always had a soft spot and good memories of Wagons and the fun times that they transported my family to.<p>To each their own. I find the Pacifica to be a homely and poorly executed design. It looks like its a minivan which is a turn off to me right away. My ex wife had a Dodge stow and go minivan nine months ago. She just traded it in because of all the problems she was having with it. Leaking transmission and cooling fluid, door not opening, lighting system failed..... The build quality just was not there. Having ridden in her van and my parents Honda van, there is no comparison. The Dodge is a CHEAP mini van for sure and that is whee the similarities end. <p>I did actually think about the Volvo XC70 (cross country) but the real world seating for seven of the Freestyle sold me. Plus, it really is a XC70 under its skin.<br>

Charger
03-28-2005, 08:34 AM
<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>Shomare</b> &raquo;</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">Charger,<p>It seems that one of your qualifiers might be that the car is a Chrysler product and on that particular point the Freestyle misses the mark. <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.germancarfans.com/images/forums/moon_1_D.gif" BORDER="0"> <p>I'd rather be castrated than own a minvan but I needed the space for my family of three and as such there are very few options out there. I don't know what the freestyle competes against for sure but I would guess the Pacifica is one of its main contenders. Also, any of the mini suv's come to mind. To me its a glorified station wagon no matter what Ford calls it. I grew up in the 70's with my dad owning mutiple Ford LTD wagons so I've always had a soft spot and good memories of Wagons and the fun times that they transported my family to.<p>To each their own. I find the Pacifica to be a homely and poorly executed design. It looks like its a minivan which is a turn off to me right away. My ex wife had a Dodge stow and go minivan nine months ago. She just traded it in because of all the problems she was having with it. Leaking transmission and cooling fluid, door not opening, lighting system failed..... The build quality just was not there. Having ridden in her van and my parents Honda van, there is no comparison. The Dodge is a CHEAP mini van for sure and that is whee the similarities end. <p>I did actually think about the Volvo XC70 (cross country) but the real world seating for seven of the Freestyle sold me. Plus, it really is a XC70 under its skin.<br></TD></TR></TABLE><p>Its good that you have your opinions. I just dont like the plain style of the freestyle. I like minivans and my mother has one with stow and go and has not have any problems with it. My mom used to also have a Pacifica but traded it in for a Grand Caravan SXT. The Pacifica was a great car and I find it a lot better looking than the bland freestyle. like I said before, Id take an Explorer over the freestyle

62Lincoln
03-28-2005, 11:11 AM
Shomare, I've seen several Freestyles on the road, and they are much more attractive in person than in photos. It is a very competent looking vehicle that is very much in Ford's styling portfolio for SUV's. I expect that we will see Ford begin to migrate towards a new style as the Fusion-based SUV's begin to appear.

Hornbag
04-01-2005, 05:53 AM
Im glad u like ur Ford dude! The Freestyle is a good car. But ur missing out on the better Freestyle...the Territory!<p><A HREF="http://www.ford.com.au/territory" TARGET="_blank">http://www.ford.com.au/territory</A><p>Oh, and how is the Frestyle selling? Can any one tell me, thanx in advance...

SV
04-02-2005, 11:00 AM
<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>62Lincoln</b> &raquo;</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">Shomare, I've seen several Freestyles on the road, and they are much more attractive in person than in photos. It is a very competent looking vehicle that is very much in Ford's styling portfolio for SUV's. </TD></TR></TABLE><p>i completely agree. i saw one in the parking lot at my school, and i have to say it looks quite nice, bland but nice. i also really like the pacifica, which i think is one of the most capable mass-market american cars out there. IMO i like the pacifica and the freestyle equally, i just hope the freestyle gets the duratec 35 soon.<br>

JBlair
04-02-2005, 03:38 PM
<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>Charger</b> &raquo;</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">The Pacifica for starters. It has a better and bolder design and more power.<p><i>Modified by Charger at 8:40 PM 3/27/2005</i></TD></TR></TABLE><p>If I recall correctly, isn't the Pacifica slower than the Freestyle, even though it has 49 more horsepower?

Hornbag
04-02-2005, 05:40 PM
YES JBlair!!! Same with the 500 and 300 3.0! I have both brochures on my table next to me!!!<p>But its only by a VERY small margin...

RepairmanJack
04-06-2005, 08:13 PM
It looks like a Mustang wagon to me, kinda cool <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.germancarfans.com/images/forums/cool.gif" BORDER="0">

knicks125
04-07-2005, 12:42 PM
<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>RepairmanJack</b> &raquo;</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">It looks like a Mustang wagon to me, kinda cool <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.germancarfans.com/images/forums/cool.gif" BORDER="0"> </TD></TR></TABLE><p>I am confused...it looks like a mustang wagon? really? how so? <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.germancarfans.com/images/forums/nixweiss.gif" BORDER="0">

Shomare
04-07-2005, 01:08 PM
<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>SV3</b> &raquo;</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote"><p>i completely agree. i saw one in the parking lot at my school, and i have to say it looks quite nice, bland but nice. i also really like the pacifica, which i think is one of the most capable mass-market american cars out there. IMO i like the pacifica and the freestyle equally, i just hope the freestyle gets the duratec 35 soon.<br></TD></TR></TABLE><p>January.... <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.germancarfans.com/images/forums/banana.gif" BORDER="0">

Superfresa
04-07-2005, 02:08 PM
This is actually a good Ford. It comes from Australia and cars are better there... lol... well most times...

Shomare
04-07-2005, 05:00 PM
<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>Superfresa</b> &raquo;</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">This is actually a good Ford. It comes from Australia and cars are better there... lol... well most times...</TD></TR></TABLE><p>You say it comes from Australia but I don't know if that is true. <p>While it looks like the Territory, is it built on the same platform?<p>This is built on a Volvo platform and uses the Haladex all wheel drive system and or is front wheel drive.<p>Isn't the Territory rear or four wheel drive.

Superfresa
04-07-2005, 07:50 PM
Oh, Sorry I'm not really informed, I thought it was the same car (the Territory) but never seen it in detail...

Naga Royal Guard
04-07-2005, 07:52 PM
think its based on the falcon, not sure tho

Pavilion
04-07-2005, 09:08 PM
The Freestyle is really popular where i live. On the military base i live on, there are damn near thirty of them. They look great and I only hear good things about them. <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.germancarfans.com/images/forums/driver.gif" BORDER="0">

Hornbag
04-08-2005, 12:08 AM
Territory amd Freestyle share nothing. The Freestyle was only built when Ford Australia showed the idea of the Territory to Ford US. When Ford US saw how good the concept idea was, they agreed to fund it, and then started work on the Freestyle. They shame NOTHING tho...<p>Territory - Falcon platform<br>Freestyle - Volvo platfrom, same one as the 500.

Shomare
04-20-2005, 09:40 AM
The joys of ownership continue<p>Have owned this car for five weeks now and have (or should I say my wife has) managed to put on 2000 miles.<p>On a trip back from New York City, my wife averaged 22 MPG while driving 70  75 with the AC running. This is for an AWD version.<p>No complaints about the car at all. It rides very well, is quiet and has plenty of power despite what the press has said.<br>

Hornbag
04-21-2005, 12:28 AM
I wouldnt expect it to fall apart!!! Its a ford! lol, glad its doing so well, danm good fuel consumption 4 an awd?

Verdegrrl
04-21-2005, 11:09 AM
<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>Charger</b> &raquo;</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote"><br>The Pacifica for starters. It has a better and bolder design and more power.<br>Practically any minivan, especially the new DCX minivans.(Id take a minivan over the Stylefree anyday)<br>Dodge Magnum, may not be the same size but it sure is practical.<br>Any suv can pretty much be as practical as the ford. If I wanted an explorer look-a-like Id get an explorer.<br></TD></TR></TABLE><p>There are a few pluses on the side of the Freestyle. It's got a CVT transmission, which means better acceleration and fuel economy. It's also lighter than the Pacifica (Freestyle 3600 to 3800lbs depending on equipment vs 4300 to 4600lbs for the Pacifica). Sure a more powerful engine can help offset that, but handling usually suffers and tires and suspensions usually wear out faster.<p>I agree that that the Pacifica looks more interesting, but sometimes beauty lies with function <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://images.zeroforum.com/smile/emwink.gif" BORDER="0">

boston
04-28-2005, 06:53 AM
Pleased to see this review. I am so close to pulling the trigger and getting one. Just need the time to get the wife and kids out to look see and ride. I've ignored the pacifica considering it one ugly lump. Pilot is only competition IMHO. Both cars achieve similar goals in different ways and with differing levels of success. We have two Volvos inc an xc70 and Freestyle handles just like the XC, no surprise there. Love the CVT smoothness. Performance for my tastes more than adequate. Govt safety results are good and would be even better with SABs. I hate Minivan's "aura", would love a Sequoia sized SUV but my conscious says no to the mpg. I've decided to hang on for the 06's as there are many improvements coming, small but ones I value. In Boston area, price reductions are 10-15% off sticker.