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 Guerrero Justo (PA) 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."
By Greg (WI) on Tuesday, May 21, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 80,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"The Ford Freestar Limited is the best mini van I have ever owned with all the goodies like heated memory seats dual zone air, leather seats, tow package, navigation and blue tooth."
By Mushroom (PA) on Wednesday, May 15, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 84,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Smooth ride and comfortable seats."
Cons: "Some scratches on the body. Color is gold."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"My husband & I used this van as our truck. The back seat folds right into the car. The 2 captains chairs are removable and we were able to fit 8 ft sheets of plywood into it by tying down the back door. We have also used it numerous times to move lots of furniture. It seats 7 and gets at least 20 MPG. It has a very smooth ride and the keypad on the exterior of the driver's door is something that we used all the time."
1 person out of 1 found this review helpful
By MomG (KS) on Saturday, March 30, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 77,000overall rating 5 of 10rating details
Pros: "Good handling, quick accel, good storage"
Cons: "low quality, hard riding"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"This is the first Ford vehicle that I have owned that I have not loved. The transmission has a known issue that we experienced, and, though it was eventually covered under a recall, we had to finance the initial repair. The CD player quit working before we hit 50k miles. It also has a problem with the "clock spring" which can be a very expensive proposition to fix, therefore we currently have no cruise control, passenger side airbag or horn. The middle bench seat is in the middle of the van, making it equally difficult to actually get into the back seat from either side of the car. It also does not seat more than two people, so I see no reason for the bench seat rather than captain's chairs. In fact, we don't even use the third seat as it is uncomfortable and hard to enter. I do like that it folds completely into the floor, though. The color of this one is silver and the paint is horrible. It chips and fades VERY easily(even being garaged most of the time) and I'm never going to get a silver vehicle again. The ride is pretty rough, not a real comfortable van, and the road noise makes it a very noisy vehicle to ride in as well. It handles well for a van, and with the V6, passing is a breeze as it really goes when you floor it. Visibility is very good. Overall, I would definitely give another minivan of this type a pass."
2 people out of 2 found this review helpful
By Goody (SC) on Friday, February 15, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 48,000overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Pros: "Spacious, smooth ride, great braking/handling."
Cons: "MPG is below average to today's vans, VERY bland."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7
"A very good minivan for what you need it to do. It's spacious, smooth ride, great braking and handling. Replacement parts are numerous and not overly expensive. It's very, VERY bland, but if you are looking for style...why are you looking at minivans? It isn't the world's best when it comes to gas mileage (just under $80 a tank for regular $.95/gal fuel & gets a combined 20mpg for me.) If you are taking a road trip, if you NEED to get there quickly and cheaply, I'd recommend taking a second vehicle with better gas mileage if you need it. But if it's a family vacation, this is a sure pick with its cavernous interior for the kids. One more thing. Guys, just take this thing to a shop for an oil change. Trust me. Also, this IS a 2005 vehicle...as in...no XM,DVD Standard, AUX jack. This is a "working-family" minivan."
3 people out of 3 found this review helpful
By Miadesta (OH) on Monday, September 17, 2012
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 122,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Comfortable to drive and lots of leg room"
Cons: "Better middle console for holding things"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"This is my 3rd mini-van so far. I love the stow away 3rd row seating and although the automatic door was a nice feature on my last van, I opted to not get that this time since it seemed like it caused more issues. I like that the passengers side has more room to get in and out of the third row and that the middle seat slides forward/back and also the seat leans forward to give someone int he back more room to get in and out."
6 people out of 6 found this review helpful