Page 1: Intro
It’s likely that, as with so many cars and trucks that have gone before, the 2005 Ford Freestyle will eventually slip silently into the mist of time, a forgotten family conveyance, an appliance, a transporter of people and goods.
Gone. And utterly forgotten.
We won’t think ill of the car. We just won’t think of it, instead marveling over such “cultural” statements as the Dodge Magnum. No one will say, in the throes of a midlife adjustment, “golly, I’d really like to get my hands on one of those old Ford Freestyles. I remember when Mom and Dad used to take us to soccer practice in that car. What a great ride.”
But maybe, on second thought, we should. While the 2005 Ford Freestyle is normal and fairly uneventful in its design and driving performance, its place as one of society’s first true crossover vehicles is quite remarkable and opens up a door for a family vehicle that offers the driving character and fuel economy of a large sedan, the cargo capability of a minivan and the driving height and comfort of an SUV. It turns out that you can get good fuel economy, family elbowroom and a nice ride out of an SUV – and without the hefty hybrid price tag or luxury up-sell. Its something car-based SUVs were supposed to offer to begin with, though most have failed in one criteria or another. Either they didn’t offer a third row, or suffered in fuel consumption comparison, were too boaty, or lacked the same step-in height that makes driving an SUV such an easy thing to do. The Freestyle actually manages to do all of it, thanks to a sort-of-new architecture developed in conjunction with Volvo. It’s basically the same architecture that the Volvo XC90 uses, and the one that the Volvo S80 was constructed around. With its combination of rigid chassis and fully independent suspension, it provides the Freestyle with the basis to be one of America’s first true crossovers.