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Real World Test of the Ford Freestyle:

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The Scotts
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Location: Syracuse

Real World Test of the Ford Freestyle:

Post by The Scotts » Sun Mar 27, 2005 9:37 am

Real World Review of the Ford Freestyle:

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We just picked up our 05 SEL AWD with CVT today and made our first road trip from Syracuse, New York to Oswego, New York and back for a round trip total of about 100 miles.

We purchased the car with back up sensor, side airbag curtain, moonroof, and a DVD player. The SEL comes pretty loaded otherwise, with more bells and whistles than I have had on any other previous car.

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Positives:

All the concerns / criticism and negative press associated with this car seem very on fair to me. With all the reports of it being equiped with an "underpowered" motor, I was concerned and consoling myself with the thought that we were only keeping the car for three years. Not to worry. These criticisms are not deserved.

This car was made to haul families, not ass. That being said it is certainly capable of getting out of its own way. With my wife, one year old son, myself, and the usual onslaught of baby paraphernalia that accompanies a young family, this car's performance was better than I had been lead to believe.

It accelerates smoothy and confidently. On ramps and passing were done without effort or intrusiveness of motor noise. There was just enough engine noise to let you know it was up to something, as it should be.

I left several cars (4 cyl & 6 cyl equiped cars) that had been in front of me, behind me as I merged with traffic which left me wondering, what's all the complaining about. Granted it's no 300 bhp gass sucking monster, but with the price of gas these days, I'll be smiling compared to SUV drivers.

One of the most notible features is the ride hight. It's a delight. After riding in the canyons of SUV's, Pickups and Mini Vans for the past three years in our Jetta wagon, It's nice to see the faces of other drivers again!

There is an excellent forward view of the road and the side mirrors are generously sized and provide very good side visibility.

The CVT transmission is smooth as silk. It transfers the power so effortlessly that there is no hint of the usual hurried sensation one associates with the shifting of an automatic transmissions as it searches for the "right gear". In fact, you'll have to watch your speedometer because you may find as I did that when you look down you're already doing 70.

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When we got to Oswego we stopped at a local Fish Fry on Lake Ontario (Rudy's). The place was packed for the Good Friday Holiday which necessitated parking in the adjacent overflow lot which is a grassy area that is used for such purpose during the summer.

At this time of the year it was a bit sticky with wet grass and mud, but the wife pulled up onto it, and the Freestyle just proceeded along as though it were on pavement.

The ride soaks up the big and small bumps in the roa. Handling is also very good for a vechicle this large. Lane changes are smooth and uneventful and I noticed no body lean while cornering at family car speeds.

The brakes are phenomenal on this car! They bring it down from speed smoothly and firmly and make quick work of it. We had traffic stop suddenly in front of us at one point and I was surprised by how quickly the car slowed. Not nearly as much room as I had anticipated in such a large vehicle.

The stereo is also very good. It has good sound, better than the"premium" Monsoon unit in our Jetta which always sounded tinny unless you turned the treble and midranges way down.

It allows for you to listen to the head unit or split the audio between the DVD and the head unit such that rear passengers can use wireless headphones to watch the DVD player while mom and dad can listen to CD's or the radio which allows mom and dad to enjoy Björk while the kiddies take in Bob the Builder.

The unit switches audio to the front speakers only when the headphones are in use with the DVD player or you can create a surround sound effect by playing the DVD throughout the cabin.

Now for the negatives:

These are minor things that I'm sure will be addressed quickly.

The CD player skips. It seems a bit sensitive as we experienced this four times during our trip and there was not much of a bump or jar necessary to trigger the skip.

My passenger side rear seat (third row) will not latch into the floor. It folds flat but when unfolded back into seat mode, it would not lock into the floor and as such would not be usable by a passenger.

When the DVD player is folded down, you can't see out the rear view mirror which I suspect is the case in any vehicle with a DVD player.


Very pleased so far. Don't miss the Jetta Wagon at all! This is a great car for my family at this stage of life.

Too bad more people aren't giving them a chance.

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AZ Freestylin'
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Post by AZ Freestylin' » Sun Mar 27, 2005 9:27 pm

Nice Pics.
Peter

05' SEL Norsea Blue / Light Gunmetal / Shale Cloth / FWD / DVD / Moonroof / Remote Starter and other cool things.

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sharpcolorado
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Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2005 10:51 am

Test in the Mountains of Colorado

Post by sharpcolorado » Sat Apr 02, 2005 7:34 am


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