• Jul 19, 2005

The Freestyle name is expected to live on, but it will no longer continue in its current form. This is the surprising word from Ford, sparked by new information coming from suppliers. The Freestyle did not sell nearly as well as was originally forcasted, so the Blue Oval plans to discontinue the model in its current form after the 2007 model year. The Freestyle name will probably shift to a Mazda6-based crossover. With two new wagons slated to enter the Ford line up, the-little-wagon-that-apparently-couldn't has become the unlucky one in the 'board room.' No one likes an underperformer, but we can't entirely fault the Freestyle as a product. It did suffer from a lack of power, but we think Ford's marketing is also partly to blame for the poor sales performance.

Still, the Freestyle's only been on sale for 10 months and they're already considering killing it. Ten months! Honestly, we think the sales issue could've been fixed by a decent V6. Although one could also argue that Ford doesn't have a decent V6, at least not one that can compete with the six-pot powertrains from Honda, Nissan and now even Hyundai.



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  • 23 Comments
      • 9 Years Ago
      I eyeballed this when it first came out, i was in the market for a large wagon like car. If I remember, it was the sticker price that made me not even step foot in the showroom.
      • 9 Years Ago
      We were looking at one of these as well, however the unproven CVT did it in for us as well. I wasn't willing to be a beta tester on a new tranny for 3/36000. If the Freestyle had come with a longer powertrain, we would have bought it.
      • 9 Years Ago
      I was recently shopping for a small SUV/wagon and the freestyle concept was perfect for me. I didn't consider it b/c it was too darn ugly and, more importantly, much too expensive.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Ford isn't "killing" the Freestyle. The current model will be moved to Mercury as a "Meta-One", although probably w/ a different name, in 2007. Ford will keep the Freestyle name, but will use it on either the "Edge" (of the Edge/Aviator/Mazda MX-7 CUV triplets) or Fairlane (the boxy Range Rover-like concept). You can only have so many not-quite-minivan-not-quite-SUV vehicles in your lineup, and this strategy will give Ford more than enough and provide Mercury with a unique vehicle all its own. 2007 should be an interesting year for Ford.
      • 9 Years Ago
      My wife bought a Freestyle to replace her AWD minivan and is thrilled with what she got. We needed to downsize yet still be able to fit 6 passengers in comfortably without clunking around in an SUV. Now where can you get that done?
      • 9 Years Ago
      WOW! There is quite a bit of criticizim here about a car that I feel is pretty interesting. Is the styling really that awful??? How would you go about making this type of car look? Form follows function people. A Mustang doesn't look utilitarian and my F350 dually/crew doesn't look sportry. There are reasons for that. I feel that the Freestyle has it's own ineresting visual identity whic isn't terribly commom in this age of egg shapes on wheels. Many cars today have NO personality. As for towing and horsepower, I count on my truck for that. Someone said Ford is affraid of turbochargers. They sell more turbocharged trucks than anyone else. Average consumers are the ones that are affraid of turbochargers. I haven't driven a Freestyle yet but I bet it has more power than my wifes V70 Volvo with a straight 5 cylinder in it and it costs way less as well. Far less expensive than a BMW or Mercedes wagon too with more seating capacity than any of them. What does the price of gas have to get to before we Americans are willing to do without a few pony's under the hood for the sake of my kids college fund not to mention the environment. I don't need my car to be rocket powered in order to sit in gridlock rush hour traffic and lets be honest, that's where we spend a lot of our time behind the wheel. How can you compare the Freestyle to a Dodge Magnum? The Magnum can only seat 5 people (really 4). They don't have theatre style seating. Cubic ft. of interior space doesn't compare. Hemi used to mean something but it's just slapped on everything that Chrysler makes these days as a marketing tag. How much horsepower do you need to get the kids to daycare and go to the supermarket? The only concern that I see here is the new unproven transmission. That's just the nature of things I guess. They wouldn't have gone through the expense of R&D and put someting into the marketplace that really didn't work. I think they should give the car a little more time. I do agree that Ford should add some powertrain options and give it at least some towing capacity for those who need a little occasionally. Please folks...compare apples to apples.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Why doesn't Ford just license the sweet Lambda V6 by Hyundai and used it. Daimler is using Hyundai 4-cyclinders for their upcoming Neons, Cirrus, etc. couldn't Ford just get reliable, upstart Hyundai to churn out a half-million or so for them. They are already building engines here and it wouldn't be much to add another plant.
      • 9 Years Ago
      We were SUV shopping a couple months ago, and while at Ford looking at the Explorers, we sat in the Freestyle. Even though we needed something to pull our camper, I think we'll be replacing our ford minivan with a used freestyle in the near future. It's a nice concept, too bad it's ugly and over-priced.
      • 9 Years Ago
      That makes no sense. Why invest in creating the car, only to kill it within what, two model years? The Mazda6 platform is Fords GMT 360. It's a good platform, but in two years it will be under what, 60% of Fords cars?
      • 9 Years Ago
      That's a shame, we are due to replce my wifew Mazda MPV next year and the freestyle was already on the short list (if they built it in Hermosillo it would be a almost a sure thing). Of course it sounds like next year you will still be able to by one buy purchasing an already cancelled car doesn't make a whole lot of sense. As far as the V6 goes, I'm surprised that Mazda tolderates the crap that Ford gives them to use. Ford has an outstanding I4 now, among the best in the industry, but their V6 hs barely updated since the early 90s. One solution is to turbocharge the I4 like Mazda did for the Mazdaspeed Mazda6 (and the upcoming Mazdaspeed Mazda3), that way you get the best of both worlds, better than V6 power, better than V6 economy and easier assembly. Of course Ford of North America is deathly afraid of turbochargers for some reason so that's not likely to happen anytime soon. Another option is to drop the Escape Hybrid drivetrain in there, you get power, economy and another Hybrid in Fords stable with minimum investment.
      • 9 Years Ago
      We have owned a 2005 Ford Freestyle Limited for about six months now and my wife loves it. I offered her several different options as far as the Murano, Highlander and even the 330 RX so I can drive it for work. She wont budge. I love the CVT trans. and the way the car handles, the power is more than enough for our family of four who dont haul anything except for groceries and things from Home Depot. We have owned 3 ford explorers and havent used them for anything more than what we do now, it a perfect crossover for the money thanks to Volvo. Its a great car for suburbia.
      • 9 Years Ago
      wow an article about ford and gm gets bashed. how original. what a great comment on stlying and engine. should ford go for different tires also? oh wait I am on autoblog I must spell it tyres.
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