Wish Ford still made their Freestar!
March 9, 2012
I bought my 2006 Freestar SE from a national rental agency. It had 16,000 miles on it. I used it as my service vehicle for 4 1/2 before I retired. I retired, but my Freestar hasn't. It now has 185,000 miles on it and it just works as advertised; day in, day out.
While in service use, I did drive-thru oil changes every 5k; and performed coolant & trans fluid changes at recommended mileages. Only problems I had were 1) at around 95K I had a front rotor warp 2) at around 170K I had an injector start acting up, necessitating a replacement. It has been driven on a number of vacations; no complaints from the family. It just seems to work, and work well. The cloth interior has worn extremely well; being comfy and easy to take care of.
Its' predecessor was a 1999 Windstar that lasted about 150K; it didn't seem as refined as the Freestar. The Windstar's transmission seemed to be weaker than the Freestar; it's overdrive started slipping, necessitating it's retirement. I have had no problems with the Freestars transmission. The Freestar was the final evolution of the product and it was the best!
During my Freestar's service days, it regularly returned a 20mpg average getting a few mpg better on longer hwy 5 trips. I drove many miles in the mountains and coastal foothills on twisty roads and all weather; the Freestar handled safely and competently. Suspension and brakes endured a full load of tools and inventory without a whimper or stress.
My only real complaints are the fact that Ford no longer makes it and it has gotten such a bad rap throughout its production life. Underrated, underappreciated, and the closest to it now is the Kia Sedona (which looks like a copy). I wish Ford still made the Freestar, as I will eventually have to retire it. If you expect to recreate your entire living room and playroom in your minivan , look elsewhere; if you want a good, comfortable, reliable people-mover, then this is it!