This week I drove the 2004 Ford Freestar Limited Mini Van. If you haven’t driven a Ford lately look again their ad slogan rings out. Cool slogan, and it sticks with you. I wonder who took the credit on that one? If it doesn’t work you can be sure the top guy didn’t make the mistake.
The first thing that will impress you with this Freestar is how easy it is to put the 3rd row seats down and out of sight. Someone has been thinking at Ford. It reminds me that Henry is quoted as saying “The hardest work is thinking, which is obvious since so few people do it”.
Parts – n/a
Assembly – Canada
Class: – Mini Van
Cars: – Crown Victoria, Escape, E-series Van and wagon, Excursion, Expedition, Explorer and sport trac, F150, F250, F350, Focus and wagon, Freestar, GT, Mustang, Ranger, Taurus and wagon and T-Bird.
Handling & Performance:
It handles like a van, which is a good thing. If it handled like a Corvette it would only seat two. But this is equipped with a 4.2 liter V-6 so it is no slouch. It scoots just fine and carries 5 more people than the Vette. We won’t compare 0-60 between the two.
Line ‘em all up from every manufacturer and all the vans look like sisters. Each wants to be the fairest of them all but the competition is fierce. But looking alike is more a function of being in the same class. There isn’t much you can do to be very different. The most venturesome of all is the Nissan Quest, which I liked a lot.
Fit and Finish:
There are nooks and crannies everywhere. If I were to choose from the list of options noted below it would have to be the DVD entertainment system. Whether a parent or grandparent that is the best invention for kids since the hand held video game but it has the advantage of being educational. I’m happy to see power sliding doors standard, because if they weren’t I’d have to buy them as an option.
Kia Sedona has to be on the top of the list for me because it is priced more competitively at this time. It’s the new kid on the block and still the most affordable. I recommended it to my kids. But if Korean made cars scares you the cost difference won’t matter much.
Kia Sedona is my first choice under the present circumstances all things considered, and my choice beyond that would be because of my preference in manufacturer. I suspect your decision would also be based on a similar bias. But frankly there simply isn’t enough history on the Korean made cars to feel totally comfortable recommending them, but I’d buy one.
Ford Freestar $22-37,000, Chevrolet Voyager $21-24,000, Chevrolet Venture $21-34,000, Dodge Caravan $21-32,000, Kia Sedona $20-22,000, Toyota Sienna $23-37,000, Pontiac Montana $23-31,000, Chrysler Town & Country $23-40,000, Honda Odyssey $24-30,000, Nissan Quest $24-32,000, Oldsmobile Silhouette $28-37,000 and Mazda MPV $23-28,000.
Good storage, the best of the pack when it comes to seats that fold down and away.
I noticed a clunking noise that made me wonder if someone forgot to bolt things together properly. I got the same noise in the Mustang that followed. I hope Ford will look at the criticism because that is what has given Japanese car makers a reputation for quality. Gas performance is only slightly better than trucks and it is a little pricey.
4.2 liter 201 hp V6 engine, 4-speed automatic trans, privacy glass, power sliding doors, remote keyless entry system and anti theft, power front seats with power adjustable pedals, power windows, leather wrapped tilt wheel with speed and audio controls, leather trimmed captains chairs, third row tailgate bench seat, message center and compass, climate control, audio system with cassette and CD, rear audio controls, power sliding doors. Optional equipment: 17 inch aluminum wheels, side airbags, traction control, reverse sensing system, heated front seats, DVD entertainment system.
17 City and 23 Highway MPG.
MSRP $32,945 or with options $36,885.