The Freestar line has been trimmed to three models (SE, SEL, and Limited) for 2006; all feature additional standard equipment, including cruise control, CD player, roof rack, and a tire pressure monitoring system. Front inner door panels have been redesigned, and a metal partition is available for cargo versions.
First introduced in 2004, the Freestar was an updated version of the Windstar minivan. While competitors introduced newer versions of their vans, Ford continued to update the Windstar/Freestar with features pioneered on other models, including dual power-sliding doors, rear-seat DVD entertainment system, and a third-row seat that could be folded into the cargo floor.
Standard features on the SE include a 193-hp, 3.9L V-6 with a 4-speed automatic transmission, anti-lock brakes, power windows/mirrors/locks with remote keyless entry, air conditioning, and a CD player. SEL models add a 201-hp, 4.2L V-6 (also with a four-speed automatic), air conditioning, alloy wheels, chrome grille, fold-and-tumble second-row seats, and a power-adjustable driver's seat. Top-of-the-line Limited models include upgraded interior and exterior trim, heated side mirrors with integral turn-signals and puddle lamps, climate control, leather seats, and power sliding doors. Options include self-sealing tires, upgraded stereos, power liftgate, traction control, side air bags, a DVD entertainment system, and a 3,500-pound trailer towing package.
The Ford Freestar competes in the Midsize Van segment, against 14 other entrants. Buyers in this group are looking for value, accommodations for up to eight passengers as well as cargo versatility, in-vehicle entertainment options, and a comprehensive safety package.
According to the J.D. Power and Associates Sales Report,SM the Dodge Caravan/Grand Caravan led the segment in 2005 with 226,771 sales, followed by its near-twin, the Chrysler Town & Country (180,759), Honda Odyssey (174,275), and Toyota Sienna (161,380). Ford's Freestar was next on the list, selling 77,585 units in 2005. Other competitors include the Chevrolet Uplander, Nissan Quest, Pontiac Montana SV6, Buick Terraza, Mazda MPV, Saturn Relay, Mercury Monterey, and recently redesigned Kia Sedona, along with Hyundai's new Entourage.