"I love this car. I am disappointed that Ford stopped making them. Technically that was their marketing department's fault, no name recognition when introduced and then they re-branded it Taurus X, big mistake.
I never had any major issues, only replaced front shocks, power steering unit and the air compressor. This all happened beyond 150K miles. Besides that only oil and tires changes.
Originally it came with Pirelli P7 tires, which made the car handle great. (I corner fast, I own several sports cars too).
Engine performance is good, good fuel economy for sucha big car, approx 23 mpg average. But the CVT transmission was not tuned to my expectations. Note it is solid, but its shift pattern does not allow swift overtaking, kick down results in 7000rpm and nothing really happens. Just change your driving style to match that and be proactive.
This car is fantastic in the snow. My high odometer mileage is proof to its capabilities as I drive to Mammoth Mountain ski resort 1~2 a month from LA. Only a few times did I have to use chains. This beast really plows through everything. Sufficient ground clearing.
Due to its large and very comfortable interior, traveling with lots of luggage, passengers and dogs have been very comfortable.
A suitable replacement; only a Subaru Outback 3.6R Limited would match my Freestyle's quality, perks and style."
"As my family grew our four door sedan just wasn't cutting it anymore. We needed more room, but a minivan was too square for to handle and an SUV just seemed to politically incorrect (and too pricey at the gas pump), but we really wanted 3 rows of seats and some cargo room. What I would have loved is the station wagon from my youth, the big long wood paneled kind that they had in the Brady Bunch. But alas they seemed to have stop making those over 20 years ago. The Freestyle for me is the next best thing. It's got all the room for kids and their friends, it's got cargo space...and with the CVT transmission it's pretty good on the gas (I think I average a little over 22 MPG). This is classed as a crossover, which I think means it is in between a car and an SUV. What I like about that is it is higher off the ground than a car. I love the visibility. I've only had this about 6 months, but so far it has been great."
"Eight Years on, the car has been incredibly dependable. Its had most of the same problems that are typical for Ford. I have found there are only few things I could not get into the back area, with a little wiggling. Cargo capacity is fantistic vs my older 1995 Explorer.
Brakes are an annual headache, and costly repair $750/yr
Transmission Check Light Sensor has a propensity to act up at about 29F/-1c. Its a sensor problem only. Happens at least once each winter.
The engine and transmission have a propensity to vibrate the steering column in the 55-62mph range. It clears up 65-70+ and seems to like the faster speed. Handling +75 is not as good as expected at the aerodynamics for some strange reason, the car feels like it wants to break left in the +75 zone. Not an alignment problem. So I tend not to take it above 70-75 at all.(where allowed) ;)
Tires wear on this car something fierce around 40-60K. Brand types seems to be irrelevant. Always a cupping wear issues. Needs new tires on avergae every 18-24 months due to the cupping which effects vehicle vibrations and handling.. (Yes I drive alot also), so I suspect there is an anomaly in the Volvo suspension system in this car related to braking.
On the plus side, I'm still on the origianl CVT, the engine is solid, with little compresson loss at all. And I just put only the second set of plugs in the car in 8 years.
I hope the car will make to to 500K and 10 years, and seems to be on track to do so. I got a good car, and maintain it on a conservative schedule. (Oil changes every 3,000)."
Pros: "fairly good gas mileage, versatile, comfortable"
Cons: "costly repairs"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6
"I have mixed reviews. This vehicle is incredibly versatile and comfortable. It gets good gas mileage. But, we have experienced most of the problems associated with this car. The dash went out and that was $1K and then the engine mount needed replacement which was another grand. If not for these problems, then I would fully reccommend. We do have over 141,000 miles on it and plan to keep for another 100,000."
"We bought our 2005 SEL 2 1/2 years ago after driving Windstars for years. Very comfortable to me but Hubby complains about front seat leg room in the passenger seat on long trips, he is 6'3" though. We get reasonable gas milage averaging 21 in city when not running A/C and 19 with. On the highway it is a gem, driving 1500 on 3 tanks of gas averaging $63 a tank at $3.99/gallon. Ours has captains seats second row that recline and easily flip up if needed to access 3rd row, although with younger kids it is not necessary as they can climb in minivan style. We have 4 kids so this set up is dream not having the two oldest touching each other in the second row. Brakes were replaced at 35000 per recall, have had the "float in the passenger vent replaced per warranty as it kept rattling, and the Hydrolic lifts went out on the rear gate right after warranty expired. Was not a big deal to us as Hubby replaced easily but that door sure is heavy to lift without them. The only downside we really feel with this vehicle is the depreciation. This car has worked for us toting kids, remodeling a bathroom, and going on long trips thanks to the DVD system!"