Aside from six new exterior colors there are no significant changes to the Ford Freestar minivan as it enters its last year of production in 2007 to pave way for a new series of crossovers. The 2007 model year will be the last chance for minivan consumers to purchase a new Freestar, which is still available in three models: SE, SEL, and Limited. (A commercial cargo van version is also available).
Ford introduced the Freestar in 2004 as a replacement for the Windstar minivan. The Freestar is based on the same platform as Mercury's Monterey, which has already ceased production. The Freestar will also make its market exit next year as Ford abandons the U.S. minivan market to boost output of two new crossover utility vehicles. Despite its scheduled demise, the 7-passenger Freestar works well as a people mover. Among other things, it has been appreciated for its flexible seating. Upper-end models offer second-row bucket seats with a convenient fold-and-tumble feature, and the third-row seat can be positioned to face the rear for tailgate parties. Cargo space behind the third row totals 27.4 cubic feet but can be expanded to 135.7 cubic feet by folding the third row into the floor.
Even the base-model Freestar comes well equipped with such standard amenities as air conditioning, a CD player, cruise control, remote keyless entry, and power locks/windows/mirrors. Those wanting more frills can add upgrades like a DVD entertainment system, power-adjustable pedals, a 6-way power passenger seat, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel with redundant audio controls. A tire-pressure-monitoring system, all-disc anti-lock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution, and 3-point safety belts are standard safety features on all models. Freestars equipped with Ford's AdvanceTrac electronic stability system also feature panic brake assist, which applies added brake pressure in an emergency. Other safety options include side curtain air bags and a reverse sensing system.
Powering Freestar SE models is a 194-hp, 3.9-liter V-6 engine. SEL and Limited models get a more powerful, 201-hp 4.2-liter V-6 that generates 263 lb.-ft. of torque. Both engines are mated to a 4-speed automatic transmission.
The Ford Freestar competes in the Midsize Van segment, which consists of 13 models. Buyers in this segment look for reliability, safety, and comfort, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2006 Avoider StudySM and the Escaped Shopper Study. SM
The top sellers in the segment during calendar year 2006, according to the J.D. Power and Associates Sales Report,SM were the Dodge Caravan/ Grand Caravan (211,140 units sold), Honda Odyssey (177,919), and Toyota Sienna (163,269). The Ford Freestar sold 50,125 units in 2006, a decrease of 35.4 percent compared to the previous year. Other models offered in the Midsize Van segment include the Chrysler Town & Country, Chevrolet Uplander, Kia Sedona, Nissan Quest, and Mazda5.
|SE (120B)||4 speed automatic||$23,705||201-hp / 4.2L 6-cyl||17/23|
|SEL (210B)||4 speed automatic||$26,665||201-hp / 4.2L 6-cyl||17/23|