Midsize SUV; Built in USA
  • 4-door wagon
  • transverse front-engine/front- or all-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $5,000 – $11,200*

2005 Ford Freestyle

2005 Ford Freestyle

2005 Ford Freestyle

2005 Ford Freestyle

  • Instruments/controls
  • Passenger and cargo room
  • Low-speed acceleration

This Recommended choice excels as a family wagon. It leaves off-roading and serious towing to truck-type SUVs, providing instead utility, space, and comfort that match any rival–and some minivans. More power would be welcome, particularly when loaded with people and luggage. But ride and handling are agreeable, as are prices.


Ford launched its first crossover SUV for 2005, a wagon with up to seven-passenger seating. Freestyle came in SE, SEL, and Limited trim levels, each with front-wheel drive or optional all-wheel drive. The AWD system did not include low-range gearing and was not intended for off-road use. The sole powertrain was a 203-hp V6 engine linked to a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) that provided near-infinite drive ratios. ABS and traction control were standard. No antiskid system was available. An option package grouped front side airbags and curtain side airbags. The curtain airbags covered all three seating rows and included rollover deployment. Standard seating was for six and included a folding front-passenger seat, 2nd-row buckets, and a stowable 3rd row. An available 60/40 split folding 2nd-row bench increased capacity to seven. Options included power-adjustable pedals, DVD entertainment, sunroof, and rear obstacle detection. The Limited model came with leather upholstery, rear center console, and 2nd-row buckets that slid fore and aft to adjust leg room. Freestyle shared its basic design and powertrains with the Five Hundred and Mercury’s Montego sedan. All were based on a platform developed by Ford subsidiary Volvo.

Yearly Updates

2006 Freestyle
Freestyle’s only change of note for 2006 was the availability of a navigation system.
2007 Freestyle
Side airbags were standard instead of optional on 2007 versions of this car-type SUV. Front side airbags and curtain side airbags with rollover deployment became standard; they had been optional.


transverse front-engine/front- or all-wheel drive

All Freestyles have a 203-hp 3.0-liter V6 engine that’s shared with the Ford Five Hundred with which it shares its basic platform. The only transmission is a continuously variable automatic (CVT).

dohc V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.0/182
Engine HP 203
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 207
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
CVT automatic



Road Test

Any Freestyle is sluggish on takeoff, but adequate thereafter. A test AWD Limited did 8.7-sec 0-60 mph. The CVT allows engine speed to race ahead of road speed, which helps in passing response. Towing capacity is light for a midsize SUV at 2000 lb.

Including gas-eating performance runs, a test AWD Limited averaged 18.7 mpg. An AWD SEL averaged 19.7 mpg in an even city/highway mix. Both these scores are quite good for an SUV of Freestyle’s size and weight. Freestyle uses regular-grade fuel.

This Ford has a composed ride over bumps, regardless of 2WD or AWD, or 17- vs. 18-inch tires. Freestyle’s car-type platform helps here, and it also aids in its steering and handling response. Though some body lean in turns is evident, steering and brake pedal feel is solid. It’s also a relatively quiet SUV, one that’s on par with other car-type models. Engine noise is Freestyle’s weakness as it roars loudly during even moderate acceleration.

Cabin appointments are slightly above average for the class. The appearance is attractive and upscale, but there are few padded surfaces. Gauges are simple and clear, but climate controls are mounted too low for safest use while driving.

Passenger room and comfort are a Freestyle strong point. Head and leg room is plentiful for all but the very tall. Ingress and egress are easy, both front and rear. Limited models offer 2nd-row seats that slide fore/aft to increase cargo room or passenger space. Unlike many seven- or eight-passenger SUVs, Freestyle’s 3rd row is surprisingly spacious for adults.

For cargo hauling, the fold-flat front-passenger seat is a convenience that stretches the load deck to 9.5 ft. The 3rd row folds into a well in the cargo floor to create a flat surface. Interior storage is very good, with spacious console and dashtop bins to carry lots of small stuff.


Model Tested: 2006 Ford Freestyle AWD 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.


Acceleration - 5
Fuel Economy - 5
Ride Quality - 6
Steering/Handling - 5
Quietness - 6


Controls/Materials - 6
Room/Comfort Front - 8
Room/Comfort Rear - 8
Cargo Room - 9


Value - 8

Total: 66


4-door wagon
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
112.9 200.1 74.9 60.1
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
86.5 19.0 7
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
39.4 39.7 41.1 40.4
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 2005 Freestyle 4-door wagon


(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
Front Passenger Injury - 5

Side Impact Test

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


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

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

Trouble Spots

Brake noise
Description: Noise or roughness from the rear brakes is caused by rust on the brake rotors, requiring refinishing and installation of updated pads. (2005)
Description: The rear brakes may drag after the car has been parked for a couple days causing noise and excessive brake dust on the wheels due to the brake pads. (2005-06)
Cold-starting problems
Description: The engine may be slow to start (long cranking time) in cold weather, requiring reprogramming the PCM. (2005-06)
Cruise control
Description: The cruise control may work intermittently or quit working because the brake light switch is out of adjustment. (2005)
Fuel gauge
Description: The fuel tank may fill slowly with repeated nozzle click-offs due to either a flooded charcoal canister or a problem inside the fuel tank. (2005-07)
Description: The heated seat may quit working because a solder joint on the heating pad breaks. (2005-06)
Steering noise
Description: The steering may squeak, especially at slow speed, requiring steering boot lubrication and power steering fluid replacement with Mercon V transmission fluid, or a defective upper strut bushing. (2005-07)
Suspension noise
Description: Noise from the rear suspension in cold weather (below 15 degrees F) requires revised shock absorbers. (2005-06)
Water leak
Description: Water on the front floor may be due to a grommet in the firewall, through which the rear washer line passes, falling out or place. (2005)
Transmission problems
Description: The engine speed may vary from 50-100 rpm on vehicles equipped with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) requiring reprogramming the powertrain control module. (2005)
Fuel door
Description: The gas cap may be hard to close, but there is a revised cap whose tether must be relocated. (2005)

Recall History

2005 Freestyle
Description: The straps that secure the fuel tank to the body may break on some vehicles, causing the tank and its heat shield to fall. Dealer will replace both fuel tank straps.
2005-06 Freestyle
Description: Freestyles sold in Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming: The side door latch mechanisms may experience water intrusion allowing the latch mechanism to freeze in cold weather. Dealers will inspect and repair or replace affected parts.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.


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.