This week I tested the new for 2005 Ford Freestyle SEL AWD SUV Crossover. Boy, that’s a mouthful. And just what I needed – another new model name to remember. What happened to the ‘Good old days’ when there were only a few brands and models?
This Freestyle is lower to the ground yet SUV’ish and a new breed that is a good evolutionary (natural selection) example of how cars get better because of what you and I vote for with our car purchasing dollars. Simply put only the fittest survive. If you ever thought buying or not buying makes a difference and you didn’t have that much of an impact on what is available for sale, forget it. Your vote “Does” matter.
Another example of this is that “Now” manufacturers are beginning to advise us they are building more Hybrids … because people want them now that gas prices are on the rise. Well dahhhhh! Are they brain dead or what? What it says is that until we actually put our money on fuel efficient Hybrids, car builders will continue to produce and sell big gas guzzling SUV’s. Make a difference – vote.
Parts – n/a
Class: – Special Purpose
Cars: Crown Victoria, Escape, Escape Hybrid, E-series Van and wagon, Excursion, Expedition, Explorer and sport trac, F150, F250, F350, Focus and wagon, 500, Freestar, Freestyle, GT, Mustang, Ranger, Taurus and wagon and T-Bird.
Handling & Performance:
I was relatively impressed because the Freestyle was not too scary on the mountain curves! The Ford Five Hundred that I reviewed recently had AWD with a very similar power train and was very impressive in the mountains as well. This Freestyle is a FWD (front wheel drive) vehicle and for a higher profile vehicle it pulled the corners better than a rear wheel drive vehicle. All models (SE, SEL and Limited) are available in either front or “ALL” wheel drive configurations.
This Freestyle is pretty simple in design. It has clean lines which are my preference but I gotta tell you I get excited as do many whom I’ve talked with about the bold lines of the new Cadillac’s and Chrysler products today. They are more interesting and memorable.
Fit and Finish:
Cars and trucks today are, for the most part, well engineered to fit together better than ever. This Ford is quite good amongst a sea of cars on the menu. I, for one, expect cars to be assembled with realistic tolerances so tight seams don’t have to be too close. Remember the German designed Lugar handgun used in WWII? They fit so well together, with very close tolerances, they would jam at the slightest hint of dirt. The American’s, on the other hand, built the 45 Cal handguns with much looser fitting parts and because of that it would function even in a mud puddle.
A little on the high side. I expected it to be better-priced – meaning less money.
More and more people will make all car purchases in the future with fuel economy in mind. 20-27 mpg isn’t all that bad for an SUV, but it is a consideration not to be overlooked.
Ford Freestyle $25-30,000, Mitsubishi Endeavor $26-33,000, Nissan Murano $27-31,000, 2006 Buick Rendezvous $27-30,000, 2006 Toyota Highlander $25-32,000.
Great cargo area with easy fold and hide away seats, decent fuel economy.
Pricey for the look and feel – but Ford devotees won’t care. Pricing of the model I drove was for a FWD and of course would have been more with AWD.
3.0 liter V6 203 horsepower engine, front wheel drive, 17” bright aluminum wheels, roof rack, fog lights, keyless entry keypad (to punch in special code to open doors for the ladies who are notorious for losing their keys), auto headlight control, 6-passenger cloth bucket seating, AM/FM with in dash MP3 / CDX6 player, 6-way power driver’s seat with lumbar support, center console, leather wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, air conditioning, dash storage bin, map pockets on front seats, power windows and locks, power steering, cruise control, anti lock braking system, child latch safety system, anti theft system and remote keyless entry with remote perimeter lighting.
20 City and 27 Highway MPG
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