By KBB.com Editors
If you have a large family and owning a full-size SUV holds no appeal, the next best method for getting them to and fro is the venerable minivan. Though it probably won't garner many admiring glances or flashing thumbs-up, Ford's Freestar is more than competent at carrying large numbers of passengers and/or vast amounts of cargo. The Freestar offers a roomy and highly versatile interior, has a good safety and crash-test record and features a long list of optional equipment demanded by today's multi-media-savvy families. What the Freestar lacks is class-leading horsepower (though its torque ratings are excellent), the option of an extended body, all-wheel-drive and a strong resale value.
Big families will like the room, versatility and entertainment features inside the Freestar. Moms and Dads will like the optional fold-away rear seat, adjustable pedals and the Safety Canopy side-curtain airbags.
If you need the kind of cargo space found on extended-wheelbase vans, the Freestar may be too small for you. Unlike some competitors, the Freestar does not offer the option of all-wheel drive.
All Freestar models feature a standard third-row Tailgate Bench Seat.
Driving Impressions The Freestar's 4.2-liter V6 provides 201 horsepower and 263 pound-feet of torque, a significant improvement over the Windstar's old 3.8-liter engine. It is matched with a new smoother-shifting four-speed automatic...transmission. When fitted with the optional tow package, the Freestar can pull up to 3500 pounds. On the road, you can feel the difference between the old Windstar and the new Freestar: There is absolutely no rattling or vibration. The Freestar feels as solid as granite and the ride, handling and overall performance are greatly enhanced by the stiffer, more rigid body.
Safety Canopy System
The Safety Canopy System includes side-curtain airbags for all three rows of seating..
Flush-Folding Third-Row Seat
The flush-folding third-row seat can be put away with little effort.
The Freestar's interior includes a handsome and functional dash, with all controls within easy reach of both driver and passenger. The interior is chockfull of bins and under-floor storage as well as no less than nine cup holders. Flexible seating choices include a fold-away third-row bench seat that can be flipped to face rearward, providing the perfect perch for tailgate parties or watching a sunset. Instead of the second-row bench seat, customers can choose a set of mid-row captain's chairs, ideal for kids who don't like to sit too close to each other. The mid-row captain's chairs also fold and tumble, permitting easy access to the rear-most seat.Exterior
The Freestar has a look consistent with the newer products from Ford. Compared to the old Windstar, the Freestar's body is more squared-off, although Ford's signature egg-crate grille and broad lower side cladding are still present on the high-end models. Alloy wheels and bright colors can go only so far at overcoming the stereotypical minivan look, but Ford designers have done their best to create an appealing vehicle. Like most minivans, the Freestar features dual-sliding side doors that are available with power operation. The rear hatch is a one-piece flip-up unit with an integrated wiper/washer and defroster.
The Freestar SE features a 201-horsepower V6, air conditioning, four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes (ABS), dual sliding side doors, power locks, power windows, cruise control, dual power mirrors, AM/FM/CD stereo, second- and third-row bench seats, tilt wheel, tire pressure monitor and rear wiper/washer. The SEL adds tri-zone climate control, 16-inch alloy wheels, six-way power driver's seat, second-row captain's chair seating and a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls.
There are two trim levels in the Freestar lineup: SE and SEL. Options include AdvanceTrac traction and stability control, Safety Canopy System with side-curtain airbags, leather seats, auto-off headlamps, power sliding doors, Rear Sensing System and a rear-seat DVD entertainment system.
The 4.2-liter engine moves this van just fine. It has plenty of torque, a figure more important than horsepower because torque is what is needed to move a loaded minivan quickly from a standing start, and it also delivers fairly good fuel economy.
201 horsepower @ 4250 rpm
263 lb.-ft of torque @ 3650 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/23
By David on Friday, September 12, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 120,000overall rating 3 of 10rating details
Cons: "Cheap interior....lots of plastic."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"Nothing but problems. Replaced fuel injectors. Electrical issues repeatedly. Electrical issues expensive to fix because of the "smart box" system."
4 people out of 8 found this review helpful
By mac on Tuesday, April 29, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 60,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "best mini-van ever. wish ford still made it."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"Bought this car brand new in 2006 and have only had one major issue and that was the transmission going out at 35,000 miles. other than that, this has been a very reliable car. have had two minor collissions in it and had minimal structure damage done to car(i.e. tailgate replaced and front right buper replaced)."
9 people out of 14 found this review helpful
By George on Tuesday, January 28, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 41,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Room, good handling and mileage"
Cons: "Hard to hand wash without a ladder"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Never wanted to own a minivan but my wife convinced me. It has been our traveling vehicle for summer vacations. It is comfortable and the mileage has been decent. It handles quite well for a van and has more than enough power. It has been basically trouble free and the styling still rivals the newer minivans."
2 people out of 2 found this review helpful
By Mr. Griffin on Wednesday, January 15, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 84,500overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "handles well, nice feel."
Cons: "lots of plastic, no CD player."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"This is my first minivan, and I really like it! Ford makes a quality product! The Freestar has had engine issues. They were recalled that I'm aware of. Mine seems to operate well and no major issues. May need spark plugs replaced soon and fuel filter. I run fuel treatment and injector cleaner in the gas, as well as Murphy's Mystery oil in the oil and gas. Ford could've at least installed a stereo/CD player, instead of a basic stereo radio. But, all and all the van has plenty of room, storage space, and it fits my driving needs! Came with a nice paint job, which was great! I keep it waxed! Keep up the great work Ford Motor Co. :)"
5 people out of 6 found this review helpful
By JR on Saturday, October 05, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 117,135overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Room, Entertainment system for kids,"
Cons: "Low feul milage and the numerus recalls on the van"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 4
"I like this van because of the dvd player that keeps my kids entertained on long trips. the only thing I dont like is that my van gets worse milage than a standard V-8. I would recemend the van to anyone that needs room for a family of 5. but not when it comes to feul milage."
4 people out of 6 found this review helpful
By Guerrero Justo on Tuesday, May 28, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 184,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Vehicle is perfect for big families. Space is just right and the hiding third seat is a plus. Gone far and no problem. Love it."
6 people out of 7 found this review helpful