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Test drive impressions

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rex
Regular Member
Posts: 26
Joined: Tue Nov 23, 2004 8:28 pm

Test drive impressions

Post by rex » Tue Nov 23, 2004 8:46 pm

My wife and I took a Freesytle for a test drive today, and this note describes our experience. I was very impressed by the smoothness of the CVT and the tightness of the handling. Acceleration was surprisingly good considering the vehicle's weight (nearly two tons) and relatively low-power engine (about 200 hp). The high seating position (even higher than the 500 sedan) affords an excellent view and the seats are very comfortable. Although the Freestyle is no longer than the 500, it looks bigger from the inside, probably due to the large open interior space. It seems pretty easy to maneuver in city traffic. The only drawback was a very loud squeaking sound that resonated throughout the cabin with every bump. This squeak was so loud that had we ordered this Freestyle, we would not have accepted it. Perhaps this problem was one of the early production quality problems that have been reported for the 500, Montego, and Freestyle at

http://www.blueovalnews.com/2004/cars/f ... 092804.htm

which include flawed paint and body panels.

Overall, we would seriously consider buying a Freestyle. This is saying a lot for people who two weeks previously would have never considered buying a Ford due to lack of modern, reliable cars. However, we would not buy one right now due to uncertainty about quality control. This is especially true for the CVT, which is biggest unkown about the Freestyle (i.e., whether it is durable). Also, Ford does not have a good history concerning quality of early production models (e.g., the first few model years of the Focus). With some evidence that production quality is not a serious concern, though, I think the Freestyle could be our next family car.

Bruin
Regular Member
Posts: 50
Joined: Sat Nov 13, 2004 4:59 am

Post by Bruin » Thu Nov 25, 2004 9:25 am

The squeak isn't something I experienced. Perhaps a seat was loose or something. I think the problems reported two months ago were nothing significant as reported in another forum. Eg reprogramming the computer...that happens commonly during services on many cars. I did see a Silver SEL with a glaring paint fault on it, a wrinkle on the roof by the drivers door. But this was not repeated on other vehicles.

rex
Regular Member
Posts: 26
Joined: Tue Nov 23, 2004 8:28 pm

Post by rex » Thu Nov 25, 2004 3:18 pm

Bruin: I don't know from where the noise was coming or whether it was something simple (e.g., a loose seat) or more serious (e.g., the suspension).. Apart from this, driving the Freestyle was very enjoyable. Also, the practicality of the vehicle is very attractive to us. We have two small children, and the Freestyle could do virtually everything (get groceries, camping, haul building materials, etc.). We are very seriously considering it.

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