Last post on Nov 05, 2013 at 4:27 PM
You are in the Ford Freestar
What is this discussion about?
Ford Freestar, Mercury Monterey, Van
#644 of 922 Freestars/Montereys gathering dust on the lot?
Oct 19, 2004 (2:55 pm)
I've been to a few dealers (Ford and Mercury) and they all have a bunch in stock and they keep showing me vehicles manufactured in late 2003 (that have already been sitting on the lot for 10+ months). At least that's the way it seems in Massachusetts. I can imagine that a 2004 leftover can be had for a song come March 2005. But who wants one that has sat so long?
#645 of 922 Re: Customer Satisfaction [laundryguy]
Oct 19, 2004 (8:57 pm)
Original Windstar a success out of the box?
My friends with Aerostars disagree completely. The Aerostar had more room for passengers and luggage.
GM Trio (extended models) had better crusing range with their slightly smaller fuel tanks but much better gas mileage.
#646 of 922 New Freestar Owner
Oct 31, 2004 (6:42 pm)
We took delivery of an 04 Freestar SEL about a month ago. We had been looking at used 2004 Grand Caravans SEs, but for the features we wanted they were in the $16K to $18K ballpark. The Freestar listed at $31,100 and sold for $18,800 after all the discounts and rebates. So far, we are happy with the purchase. After a month with the Freestar, we have the following observations:
Pros: Features for the price, fold in the floor 3rd row seat, good build quality, good ride and handling, minimal wind noise, plentiful interior storage.
Cons: The 4.2L V-6 is unrefined at times and a bit on the thirsty side, 3rd row seat is a bit cramped and bottom cushion is too close to floor for long term comfort.
Suggested Improvements: Get the NVH guys working on the engine, use less hard plastic in the interior, especially the door panels, improve the mileage 10%, raise the bottom cushion of the 3rd row seat by about 4"-6", add reading lights and audio jacks to the 3rd row seating area, get rid of the floor mounted parking brake, make the 3rd row seat a split folding design.
#647 of 922 Freestar is finally reliable!
Nov 14, 2004 (6:13 pm)
First time in years, the Ford minivan is recommended by Consumer Reports!
Reliability is average; Here is the full comment CR writes on the Freestar (2005 Buying Guide):
The Freestar is a freshened version of the Windstar minivan. Like its competitors, it features a flat-folding third-row seat. The 2 V6 engines are still noisy and road noise is pronounced. Handling is more responsive, but the ride is unsettled. Fit & Finish is unimpressive.
#648 of 922 2005 CR reliability rating
Nov 14, 2004 (6:55 pm)
And just to let you know, the Toyota Sienna (and Lexus RX-330 as well) also have only average reliability.
The Mazda MPV and Nissan Quest have sub-par reliability, and therefor not recommended. I'm almost sure the 2005 Quest will be better, since Nissan took good care of the early production problems, as you can see in the Quest board.
The Chrysler & Dodge vans are also recommended, with average reliability as well, and good driving dynamics, but "falls behind competition".
#649 of 922 Re: 2005 CR reliability rating [samnoe]
Nov 15, 2004 (6:54 pm)
Mazda MPV and Nissan Quest have sub par relibility?
Japanese designed vehicles NOT RECOMMENDED? Such heresy at Consumer Reports.
#650 of 922 Who has test drove a Freestar? Feedback?
Nov 15, 2004 (7:02 pm)
I'd love to hear more from owners and test drivers alike. I recently test drove a 2004 Mercury Monteray. It was 11 months old with 25 miles on it. The engine was noisy at low speeds (or when standing outside the vehicle) and the van was rough on bumpy roads (such as speed bumps and the like in the nearby parking lots.
Last week I went to my local Ford dealer (Sunday AM before they opened) and looked at all 15 2004 Freestars they had. All were built between 9/03 and 3/04. None were built 4/04 - 8/04. I suspect they just stopped ordering them once they did not sell well. They had a couple 2005 Freestars, that were all shipped on 09/09/04 (the first week of the 2005 model year). One guess is that the models shipped in the Spring of 04 (with free factory DVD) sold quicker ... anyone else have an idea?
Another indication that sales are low is that you just don't see very many on the road. I've seen dozens of the 04/05 Sienna but only 2 or 3 Freestars.
Since I am not ready to buy, and the inventory is so large, I intend to wait until Jan/Feb/Mar when the lot is full of snow/ice. What are the risks (mechanical wise) to buying a new car that has sat on the dealer lot for 12-14 months?
I am in Massachusetts ... anyone from other parts of the USA or Canada wish to share their thoughts on 2004 leftovers or inventory?
#651 of 922 Re: 2005 CR reliability rating [hansienna]
Nov 16, 2004 (2:21 am)
Although Japanese vehicles are usually built with good quality. you must agree that the new Nissan Quest is an exception. It had endless problems. Just look over in the Quest board.
Of course, they take good care, and even extended the warranty for the 2004 models.
All this because it was a brand new van, and first year bugs was the main problem. I foresee that 2005's will have better rating.
That makes me understand how the Freestar is now more reliable than ever. Since everything is "OLD", engine, transmission, suspension (tweaked a bit), power doors, and more, they worked out all bugs already, and is now more reliable.
#652 of 922 Re: Who has test drove a Freestar? Feedback? [sterling22]
Nov 20, 2004 (10:31 pm)
I test drove the Freestar about a year ago when i began my search for minvans. it was the first one we drove. My experience with the Windstar is that I drove a rental (only had 100 miles on it) over 3400 miles roundtrip to Disney World. I thought the Windstar had some nice features and drove pretty well. What I disliked most about the Windstar is the gas mileage and it was bit noisy. I could live with everything else since it was a rental. I expected the Freesatar to be better and I was very disappointedd with the vehicle. I thought the interior of the Windstar was better overall. The second and third row seats were tight and the seats were not comfortable. I thought the engine was loud. The 3.8L we tested had good inittial pick-up but lacked in passing power. It was apparent to me that Ford had a bunch of 3.8L and 4.0L engines laying around and had to do somethign with them. Who knows? The real kicker was the price and the options. Once I started looking at other vans, the Freestar was about $3k-$4k more than comparable vans (this was prior to the rebates). And their option packages made no sense and really drove up the price. After test driving a few other vans, the Freestar was quickly removed from the list. It's a shsme since I really wanted to like this van. We've had 3 Ford products and have had great success with each one.
It's not a bad van but there are about 7 or so other vans that are better on the market. That just one man's opinion.
As far as availabilty for 2004, I think there will be some 2004 on the lots but not as many as you think. Ford will dump these vehicles to the rental companies instead of leaving 9 month old vehilces on their lots. They have to bring the 05 to the dealers so they have to create room. I think rebates and incentives will still be in place for either a 04 or 05 in the late winter, obvilusly more for the 04. The consumer is hooked on rebates and Ford and GM can't sell cars without them. It's becoming a huge problem but that is another topic.
#653 of 922 Thanks dtownfb: Rental Fleets may be the destination
Nov 21, 2004 (5:20 pm)
Thanks for the feedback on your test drive. I hadn't thought of the vans being dumped into the rental market ... it makes sense.
I agree that the MSRP on the Freestar is way too high. While a year ago you might have gotten a $2K rebate and a $3K discount, today it is much higher. For the features I want (2nd row captains chairs, dual AC, side curtain air bags) the MSRP is $31K. I cound not see paying $26K a year ago when the 2004 Toyota Sienna (with the same 3 features) could be had for $26K - $27K. But now I'm reading about higher end Freestars selling for $12K - $13K below MSRP. That puts my $31K MSRP Freestar at $18K - $19K. So I am going to take another look at them!