FAQsIs the Ford Freestyle underpowered?
If you're planning to haul four healthy adults and their gear across the mountains, yes. If you're planning to tow personal craft like Jet Skis or snowmobiles, yes. If you feel the need for speed on a regular basis, yes. If you're just driving around town running errands, or taking short road trips, it's fine. But in two years, a new engine making more than 250 horsepower is due, which doesn't bode well for 2005 and 2006 Freestyle resale values.
What's the best thing about the Ford Freestyle?
Driving the Ford Freestyle every day is a pleasure, as long as you aren't expecting to derive pleasure from the actual drive. The Freestyle is effortless, comfortable, a sanctuary after a difficult day at the office, especially if the weather is foul. It makes errand-running a breeze, and if you find exactly the Victorian-era end table for which you've been searching at an estate sale, it's easy to convert the Freestyle into a personal-sized U-Haul. It's like a Toyota Camry but better, except for the extremely important fact that it lacks any kind of track record for durability.
Is Ford's CVT reliable?
Reliability of the new CVT is a valid concern since no other transmission is available on the 2005 Ford Freestyle. Saturn's attempts at developing a durable CVT flopped, so it's understandable that some people might be leery of counting on another domestically-engineered CVT - especially when the warranty coverage is a relatively paltry three years or 36,000 miles. If you are concerned about the durability of the Freestyle's CVT, wait a couple of years to see if it holds up. Or give the Chrysler Pacifica a try.
Can adults ride in the third-row seat, or is that just marketing hype?
Our Freestyle evaluator was six-feet tall and weighed 230 pounds, and not only found it easy to climb into and out of the third-row seat, but also claims that a half-day ride would ultimately be as comfortable as traveling in the last row of a Boeing 737 on a cross-country trip. Without people lined up to use the aft cabin bathroom, of course.
Photos courtesy of Erik Hanson and Ford Motor Company