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Thank God it's over. Goodbye Freestar, you won't be missed. Ford has turned out its last head-gasket-consuming, transmission-torturing, flaccid minivan. It was a good try twelve years ago when it debuted as the Windstar, but time has not been kind to Ford's efforts. Moreover, Ford was not kind to the Freestar, letting it die on the vine while the competition became ever more competent. The Oakville, Ontario plant will continue to build cars, keeping all its employees busy with Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX production.The only folks that will even notice the unavailability of the Freestar (act fast, there's about 2,500 left) are fleet customers, with whom Ford will work to substitute other FoMoCo vehicles. Seems like a win-win-win: a tired horse is put out to pasture, the blue-collar folks kept their jobs and the fleet customers who lose out will be made whole.

[Source: Automotive News]


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  • 16 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      Well, call me crazy, but I've been driving a 2004 Monterey and have been damned pleased with it, considering that I spent about $10K less on it new off the lot than I would have for a Sienna, or $12K for a Quest, and $6K less for a 6-banger Caravan, and the break-even point for the relative gasoline mileage won't hit for another four years at my current consumption (even with the elevated gas prices relative to when I drove it off the lot).

      It's too bad that FMC has gotten out of such a potentially lucrative market, but when your units are drowned out in the noise of other brands, sometimes there is generally little else to do but stop.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I honestly think Ford should leave the engine business. They should source their engines from other companies. GM buys 3.5 from Honda. Its done before. I mean Ford made the recent 3.5 and it was a HUGE deal. They spent 2 years making it, then threw a big party celebrating. I mean comeon. Nobody else does this. You are not suzuki or something. You are FORD. Either make decent engines or get out of the engine building business.
      • 8 Years Ago
      "...are nothing compared to their Mexican made, V10 powered, 5000 LB of torque and 3 MPG minivans."...

      I really hope this was an attempt at sarcasm. If not, you're a blithering idiot.

      There are no "good" minivans. I've driven or rode in all except the Korean's and none of them excited me in the least bit. I couldn't tell the difference in utility or ones styling being better than the other. They are much like mid-sized sedans, they all look alike to me (excpet the ugly Nissan thing).
      • 8 Years Ago
      "There are no "good" minivans." by KT

      Huh? Not "good" in what way? Minivans are the safest class of vehicles on the road (see the NHSTA stats.) Quality minivans are comfortable, ride well and have the room that larger families need. Per passenger, they get better mileage than most SUVs and since they aren't built on a truck chassis, are safer for the other cars on the road. Most can tow your toys or carry 4x8 sheets of plywwod as well.

      Sure, they may not be the best way to compensate for your own shortcomings (buy a Hummer for that,) but they are an excellent idea for those who need a safe vehicle with the room of a Japanese apartment.
      • 8 Years Ago
      This incarnation of Ford's concept of what a minivan is was tired before it wheeled off the production line. It is just another example of why Ford has nothing to offer in the way of truly innovative cars. From form (ugly and heavy appearing) to function (chasing the leading edge other manufacturers are setting), is it any wonder Ford is wasting away?
      Why, oh why, would you buy a Ford (recently dead President notwithstanding)??!!
      • 8 Years Ago
      I wouldn't call this an win-win-win for Ford. True... Oakville CAW workers kept their plant open. But, the Edge/MKZ are (Ford hopes) picking up where the Explorer left off. Ford closed an entire Explorer assembly plant last year, and those people have no jobs. Ditto for one F-150 plant and one of two Taurus/Sable plants (Atlanta), the Wixom (Lincoln cars) plant in 2007 and the Ranger plant in 2008.
      • 8 Years Ago
      #13
      What all new engine? the 3.9 dates to the 3.8 with 1mm bigger bore which dates to the 1970's.
      The 4.2 has been around since 1995 from F150 which is also based on Pushrod V6 junk from the 1970s.
      Every single review on the Freestar 4.2 said they got 13mpg driving it, said the engine was underpowered and gasped on the highway, and said it was noisy. Give 4.2 to Honda and they'll give you a nice solid 300hp or more....
      • 8 Years Ago
      They still made those?
      • 8 Years Ago
      Another of Ford's "We don't know what to do, so let's improve an old vehicle under the surface, and leave the outside about the same" bombs from the early 2000s. (perhaps the worst of them) The sooner these embarassments are off the road, the sooner FOMOCO can get back to some strength in the market.
      Good timing, when Chrysler is about to show its new vans in Detroit. They have no Mustang, let Ford have no Grade C products filling niches.
      • 8 Years Ago
      If you can't compete, don't play.
      • 8 Years Ago
      The Freestyle is a much better vehicle in just about every way.

      The Windstar started out very strong, but had only two good years before Chrysler and then GM introduced four-door minivans. The Windstar's packaging made it impossible to add a fourth door without a large investment, so Ford delayed doing so. Sales suffered. All the head gasket and transmission failures didn't help, either.

      Ford then redesigned and relaunched the Windstar as the Freestar. But they kept the basic package the same, and it was just too tight inside compared to the competition. The handling wasn't the best, but I doubt this is a top priority for minivan buyers.

      My review of the beast:

      http://www.epinions.com/content_119965781636
      • 8 Years Ago
      It would have been a win-win-win if those responsible for this POS had gone to jail.
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