Minivan; Built in Canada
  • 4-door van
  • transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $3,300 – $11,700*


2005 Ford Freestar


2005 Ford Freestar


2005 Ford Freestar


2004 Ford Freestar

Pros:
  • Cargo room
  • Passenger room
Cons:
  • Fuel economy

Neither Freestar nor Monterey can match such rivals as Honda Odyssey or Dodge Caravan for driving enjoyment, or Toyota Sienna for refinement. An aging basic design mars their overall appeal. On the upside, these revamped minivans boast some laudable safety and convenience features, and prices have been competitive.

Overview

Ford revamped its minivan for 2004, giving it new styling and features, and changing its name from Windstar to Freestar. Mercury got an upscale version called the Monterey. Freestars came in a single body length that was similar in size to such rivals as the Toyota Sienna and Dodge Grand Caravan. Ford also competed against Honda’s Odyssey.

Freestar came in S, SE, SES, SEL, and Limited trim levels. All had seven-passenger capacity and included two second-row bucket seats. The third-row bench folded into the floor–a first for a Ford minivan. It could also be flipped for rear-facing “tailgate” seating under the open liftgate. Power operation was available for the sliding side doors.

Ford offered two engine choices. S, SE, and SES models had a 193-horsepower 3.9-liter V6. SEL and Limited versions used a 201-horsepower 4.2-liter V6. A four-speed automatic was the sole transmission. All-wheel drive was not offered, but antiskid control was optional on all but the base S model. Antilock four-wheel disc brakes were standard.

Curtain side airbags that covered all three seating rows were optional; they were designed to deploy in a side impact or when sensors detected an impending rollover. Self-sealing tires were available on all but the base S model. DVD entertainment was optional. Ford added other options later in the model year, including a power liftgate, a rear cargo organizer, and 17-inch alloy wheels vs. standard 16s.

Yearly Updates

2005 Freestar
Ford’s minivan was virtually unchanged for 2005. A two-passenger cargo van was available, in addition to the selection of passenger models.
2006 Freestar
Again, little changed for Ford’s minivan, which was selling slower than hoped and faced possible extinction before long.
2007 Freestar
Freestar carries over unchanged during its last year.

Engines

transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive

Two powertrains are available in Freestars. In S, SE and SES models, a 3.9-liter V6 engine develops 193 horsepower. SEL and Limited editions hold a 201-horsepower 3.9-liter V6. Both engines team with a four-speed automatic transmission.

ohv V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.9/238
Engine HP 193
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 240
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
4-speed automatic

17/23

ohv V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 4.2/256
Engine HP 201
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 263
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
4-speed automatic

16/23

Road Test

With the 4.2-liter V6, Freestar and its Monterey counterpart have sufficient power for most driving situations. Even so, the engine feels coarse and strained under full throttle. On the plus side, the transmission delivers smooth, prompt shifts.

Gas mileage is not a benefit. A Monterey with the 4.2 V6 averaged 16.6 mpg in a mix of city/highway driving. Both V6s use regular-grade fuel.

Freestar’s long wheelbase provides a stable and mostly absorbent ride, at least with 16-inch tires, though sharp bumps and ruts register sharply. However, the body structure transmits minor but unpleasant vibrations on coarse pavement. With 16-inch tires, handling is merely competent, with noticeable body lean in turns. Brake feel is smooth and progressive, but stopping power feels unexceptional.

The 4.2 V6 emits a ragged growl and feels strained during full-throttle acceleration, but it quiets while cruising. Little wind noise is noticeable at highway speeds, but rough pavement produces marked tire roar. Road noise is modest in front, but much louder in the back. Despite its upscale positioning, Monterey seems only marginally quieter overall.

Freestar and Monterey share their dashboard design, with a clear instrument layout. Most controls are handy and well-marked, but those for the climate system are mounted too low for easy driver access. Both Freestar and Monterey cabins abound with budget-grade plastic.

Height-adjustable front seats and power-adjustable pedals, standard on uplevel models and optional on most others, allow ample seating adjustment. Very tall drivers may wish for more rearward seat travel, however. Outward visibility is good to all directions. Only rear-obstacle detection has been available as a Freestar option, whereas a Monterey might have front and rear parking assistance.

Seats are nicely padded and supportive in both second and third rows. Second-row buckets slide fore and aft a few inches, but leg room is limited for tall adults. Fold-and-tumble second-row seats help ease third-row access. The third row is best suited to children and small adults, but the rear-folding “tailgate” capability can be a fun feature.

Cargo space is abundant even with all seats in place, thanks to the deep floor well required to house the folded third row. Second-row seats remove or can tumble forward, without the need to remove headrests. The third row folds easily into the floor well, but doing so exposes two metal sidewall brackets that intrude into cargo space. Freestars offer no excess of interior bins and pockets. Usefulness of the center console between front seats is undercut by an intrusive parking-brake lever.

Ratings

Model Tested: 2005 Ford Freestar SEL

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.

Performance

Acceleration - 5
50%
Fuel Economy - 4
40%
Ride Quality - 5
50%
Steering/Handling - 4
40%
Quietness - 5
50%

Accommodations

Controls/Materials - 6
60%
Room/Comfort Front - 7
70%
Room/Comfort Rear - 7
70%
Cargo Room - 9
90%

Other

Value - 5
50%

Total: 57

Specifications

4-door van
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
120.8 201.0 76.6 70.8
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
130.6 26.0 7
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
38.9 40.1 40.7 38.0
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 2004 Freestar 4-door van

NHTSA

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
100%
Front Passenger Injury - 5
100%

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
N/A0%
Rear Passenger Injury - N/A
N/A0%

HLDI

(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision N/A
Injury N/A
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

Brake wear
Description: Original equipment rear brake pads have a short service life. (2004-05)
Dashboard lights
Description: The antilock brakes and traction control system warning lights may come on and the ABS may activate unintentionally, requiring replacement of the ABS module and/or the hydraulic control module and/or the brake pressure switch. (2004-05)
Transmission leak
Description: Transmission fluid may leak from the filler tube due to a restricted vent valve. (2004-05
Transmission problems
Description: The transmission may shift late or engage harshly, and the engine may have rough idle or misfires due to water leaking from the fresh air intake area and onto the transmission vent or PCM. (2004-06)
Transmission problems
Description: The transmission may not upshift from first to second due to a damaged clutch piston seal inside the transmission. (2004-05)

Recall History

2004 Freestar
Description: Front wheel hub assemblies on some minivans were not heat-treated correctly, which could result in small cracks in hub and possible separation of wheel.
2004 Freestar
Description: Power steering low-pressure line on some minivans could disconnect, possibly allowing fluid to contact exhaust system.
2004-2005 Freestar
Description: Torque converter output shaft may fail, resulting in sudden loss of engine power.
2004-2007 Freestar in certain states
Description: Stowable third-row seat can corrode and degrade where the seat anchors to the rear wheel wells, preventing the seat from latching securely.
2005-06 Freestar w/ power liftgate
Description: Electric motor could disengage after liftgate was opened; if strut failed, liftgate could fall.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.

Pricing

Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.