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Ford Freestyle - Taurus X

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  • Like just about any Freestyle owner I suppose, I've made the trek back to a Ford dealer recently to see the Taurus X. I intentionally didn't test drive one, but I did hang around long enough to look closely at several of them. Mixed in with the SEL's and Ltd's were a couple of Eddie Bauer models. I paid special notice to the EB's, but soon came to the conclusion that I didn't like their looks as much as I did the Ltd. & SEL models I saw. Then last night I discovered a Merlot colored Eddie Bauer X parked in a hotel parking lot surrounded by cars and Suv's of all different makes and models. Damn... what a difference. It looked wonderful. I just couldn't get over how much better it looked to me away from the dealer and out in the "wild".

    I would hate to lose my Freestyle's CVT by trading in. It's always been my favorite feature. But darn-it if an X in Merlot wouldn't help me forget about it soon enough.

    There must be some former Freestyle owners out there who now drive a Taurus X and who also read this forum. Any of you care to share some observations about your new T-X and how it compares to the Freestyle?
  • tim156tim156 Posts: 308
    I like my Freestyle for the same reasons you do, especially the CVT. I stopped by my Ford dealer to check out the X and personally I'm not too impressed with the styling changes of the X over the Freestyle. The new three bar grill seems a bit too butch for the overall exterior style and the interior chrome seems like an after thought. I saw a Dark Ink Blue X Limited in a parking lot and frankly I wasn't very impressed. It sure wouldn't have caught my eye like the Freestyle first did. It had no distinctive features from the side and back. Having only one lower cladding color option for the SEL limits its look too and the grey only looks good with a couple of the body colors. I do like the Eddie Bauer lower cladding more and the Merlot and Pueblo Gold is a sharp looking combination. Once again I am wondering if Ford wants to sell any of these cars. I haven't seen a single print or TV add for the X.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,997
    When you think about getting a new Taurus X, what are you going to be getting for your Freestyle? My '05 Freestyle will be paid off Feb '08. It has about 60K miles and runs great. I really like the smooth CVT, especially on road-trips. I average about 24MPG in mixed driving and up to 30MPG on highway road trips if I keep the speed at 65-70mph. Based on KBB, I'd get about $12K as a trade-in, so I think I'm going to keep my Freestyle. I don't see any other vehicle out there that can hold what the FS can hold and get the MPG the FS gets. I've had a couple of minor problems covered by warranty, but nothing big. I have the warranty to 100K miles because of the CVT. It works great but now I'm getting a whine that didn't used to be there, so we'll see how it goes. But right now, I don't see anything out there, especially giving the fact that I'd only get $12K for my FS. I like the $400/month car payment that will soon be ending!
  • Yes, there is a awful lot to say in favor of a paid-off car. Nobody would disagree with that. But in your case your decision to keep your Freestyle is really a no-brainer anyway.. given the 100k warranty that I assume you've already paid for. Most don't have that.

    So anyone out there driving an X model care to share a little?
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,997
    True, but even without the warranty, if I have to pay a couple of thousand to fix the transmission over the next several years, that would be paid for in six months worth of new car payments.

    For me, there would have to be something significant about the Taurus X (or any new vehicle) to make me buy another one as long as the current one meets all my needs in a vehicle and remains reasonably reliable.

    But every situation is different.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,793
    "If anything, the CVT should be more reliable long-term because of it's simpler design. "

    But vastly more expensive to fix if anything goes wrong; the new 6 speed / 3.5L combination is being widely used...
  • freealfasfreealfas Posts: 652
    But vastly more expensive to fix if anything goes wrong;

    there are more than a few cvt's on the road, I would assume no more than the 6spd as just because there are more doesn't equate to lower repair costs.
  • cmunizcmuniz Posts: 604
    Unless there is something wrong with the car or your needs change it is always going to be more cost effective to keep an existing car. The reasons I am thinking about trading my 05 for an 08 Taurus X are: bigger engine, more safety stuff (side air bags, stability control), power lift gate and a few other minor changes. Also, although I really like the CVT, Ford does not seem to be committed to it and that could be problematic in the future for repairs and trade-in value.
  • The trade-in value of the Freestyle is far more affected by the recent name change than it is by what type of transmission it has. Most people buying a used vehicle have no idea what kind of transmission is in the car they're buying, and they don't much care. What they do care about is condition & mileage.
  • mschmalmschmal Posts: 1,757
    Assuming that you did not go over miles or way under miles on your leased vehicle it is almost always not a good idea to buy it out.

    The residual of most vehicles is subsidized by the manufacturer to make the lease payment more attractive. (the higher the residual-amount the car is worth at lease end-the lower your monthly payment.)

    This means that the residual you have to pay to buy your lease out is almost always higher than a comparable car with the same milage sells for as a used vehicle. Also your leased vehicle is out of warranty.

    In addition, if you do a 3 year lease then buy the lease out for a 5 year purchase to keep the payments basically the same, you will be making payments on a 6, 7, 8 yr vehicle which is when maintenance costs are the highest. Combine the car payment with the repair bill and you could have been in a new car.

    ALSO you most likely will be in a negative equity situtation. For year 1, 2, 3, of your lease buyout payments, you'll owe more on your 4, 5 and 6 year old car than its worth. If you total the vehicle not only will you be without a car, you'll own $$$ to the bank even after the insurance payout.

    Mark
  • "although I really like the CVT, Ford does not seem to be committed to it"

    Although I know you mean the specific CVT found in the Freestyle, Ford is in fact very committed to the CVT in principle. CVT's are used in all hybrid vehicles, including the hybrid versions of the Escape and Mariner. The upcoming hybrid versions of the Fusion and Edge will surely have a CVT in them. Ford also makes extensive use of CVT transmissions in many of their non-hybrid vehicles that they build and sell overseas.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,793
    "there are more than a few cvt's on the road, I would assume no more than the 6spd as just because there are more doesn't equate to lower repair costs."

    Not so much repair as parts. The new 6 speed combo is more likely to continue in production; the CVT is grandfathered, and the parts will be more expensive.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,793
    "Although I know you mean the specific CVT found in the Freestyle, Ford is in fact very committed to the CVT in principle. "

    Yes, but to my knowledge the Freestyle CVT is not used in any other vehicle... Perhaps someone knows of other applications.
  • The bottom line is this. I certainly don't expect to ever have to have my Freestyle's transmission repaired in any way, so I care very little as to what it would cost. Some people obsess over what-if's too much.

    The '08 Taurus X appeals to me too. But I certainly wouldn't buy it just to trade-out transmissions.
  • cmunizcmuniz Posts: 604
    As you know from reading my post, the CVT was only one reason for considering an 08 - not the only reason. Ford got rid of their only CVT producing plant so that is a not good sign. The only other CVT in a Ford product is in the Escape Hybrid and its twins which I believe is built by a third party. I have not heard anything about the other Ford hybrids coming in the future. My sources tell me that Ford is betting the future on fuel cell and flex fuel vehicles and not hybrids which they feel have a short life span merely bridging the time until the new technologies come on line. You only need to read the Escape Hybrid thread on Edmunds to see how frustrated customers are with Ford when it comes to their commitment to hybrids.

    I have a history of trading cars every few years so I probably would trade my 05 Freestyle soon no matter what kind of transmission it had, but the fact that the CVT is being abandoned is not a good sign in my opinion, especially since it such a good product. I am not worried about the mechanical components which appear to be very sound, but I am worried about the support and future knowledge of all the electronics that control and monitor the CVT.
  • mschmalmschmal Posts: 1,757
    Ford IS NOT committed to the CVT. CVT was something they tried and now abandoned. CVT benefits are only on par with a traditional 6 speed automatic. The 6 speed automatic though is less expensive to produce, can handle more torque, and requires less maintenance.

    Ford already closed the factory where the CVT is made. They also are retooling an additional factory to make the 6F trans that was co-developed with GM.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,997
    Is there any vehicle out there that has both folding and removeable 2nd and/or 3rd row. While I really like the folding aspect, it would be nice when you know that you're not going to need the 3rd row (eg a long family road trip)to just remove it and not have the wasted space of the folded 3rd row. Or if you really need to move a lot of stuff, it would be nice to be able to remove both the 2nd and 3rd rows to get a lot more space.

    I really don't think any vehicle out there has this option, but I'd sure like it.
  • bdymentbdyment Posts: 548
    Look at a Dodge Caravan or a Chrysler Town and Country. They both have stow and go second and third row seats.
  • In December, my '05 Freestyle crossover turns three years of age. During that time, the Ford Edge was going to kill it, the Tribeca would outclass it, the Saturn Outlook / Buick Enclave were going to do it better. You get the idea. In three years, I have only had the latch freeze protection shrouds done, and the driver's window motor replaced. That's it. It has been a great vehicle.

    The Taurus X and the Freestyle are the same package. They are a step forward in the Ford technology chain. Accelerate by wire, electronic brake force distribution, Haldex electronic AWD, and leading safety ratings in front, side, and rear-end collision tests due to computer-designed crush zones and seat design, and excellent handling are just a few of these forward tech steps. Based on the CVT, I would say the Freestyle is more technologically advanced than the Taurus X, but that is just the opinion of a proud Freebie owner. And that theater seating...

    Ford had to take the chance with a new technology leap on some vehicle. In the 21st century, the rose was pinned on the Freebie. For some, the grass is always greener on the other side, but not for me. I am keeping the Freestyle. I actually prefer it the way it is. This week, three different people admiringly asked, "What is it?" It is a Ford, it is a Freestyle. :shades:
  • The Edge was never going to "kill it".. but the Flex just might.
  • Chrysler discontinuing the Pacifica will hopefully boost the Taurus X sales. With the Flex coming, it seems possible that the Taurus X could end up being a one year model. I hope not.
  • mschmalmschmal Posts: 1,757
    I'm still trying to figure out why the Flex will be built off of the same platform as the Taurus and Taurus X in Ontario instead of in Chicago.

    Ford is going to all the trouble of bring a platform to Ontario JUST FOR THE FLEX when Chicago is barely making enough cars to stay open.

    If Chicago closes, what will that mean for the Taurus/Sable and the Taurus X?

    Mark.
  • Well, I have over 3000miles on my TX now and absolutely love it. Drove Freestyle as test drive before buying TX and of course it is to short to compare CVT to new trans, but I have no problems whatsoever with new transmision. It is quite smooth and not as invasive as in other cars I drove and MPG is just slightly less then other Feestyle owners are getting. Plus I like the interior and exterior of TX more.
    I am just surprised that Ford is not doing anything to promote this car. In Calgary I saw only one more TX on the streets so far :confuse: , and I see at least couple Freestyles everyday.
  • Chrysler discontinuing the Pacifica will hopefully boost the Taurus X sales

    I don't see how ANY rational person could choose the Pacifica over the Freestyle or Taurus X.
  • "I don't see how ANY rational person could choose the Pacifica over the Freestyle or Taurus X."

    hit your head on the "a" post/top of door frame enough times getting in and out and you might find yourself dazed and confused enough to buy one.
  • People (mostly women) bought the Pacifica based on it's looks. It was the only thing the car had going for it.
  • Funny that you mentioned that.. my wife hit her head twice (forget whether it was getting in or out) on the Pacifica when we were taking a look at it, which nixed that for us.

    I disagree with the person who said looks were the only thing going for it. I thought it was decent overall, and if my wife hadn't hit her head on it like that, the decision between the Pacifica and Taurus X would have been much more difficult.
  • I remember reading about road test Freestyle vs Pacifica and Freestyle was better car overall, even beating Pacifica in 60miles test. How come it can even be close to Taurus X?Less space, poor mileage, not even comparable acceleration, driving and so on...
  • We actually rented a Pacifica last year (forget if either of us hit our head back them), so I speak from actual experience with the car. The financial incentives on the Pacifica were better than the Taurus X, and we would have saved some money. Mileage on the Pacifica was not all that different from the Taurus X. We get around 17mpg on the T-X, and got around 16 on the Pacifica if I recall correctly.

    Overall driving experience with our Pacifica rental was pleasant. Yes, we liked the Taurus X more, but we also paid more. Your decision should depend on how you're going to use and drive the car, and how much you're willing to pay. If the Pacifica meets your requirements and is cheaper than the Taurus X, then it's a reasonable decision not to spend the additional money if you don't want to.

    And people seem to be pretty happy with their '07 Pacificas.. 9.2 average rating on Edmunds. You make it sound like the car is junk or something.

    Oh, and another thing.. the '07 Pacifica with the stronger engine (i.e. not the base model) does 0-60 in 7.4 seconds. That's much quicker than the Freestyle.
  • thats the review I was talking about, you are right about new Pacifica engine it is more powerful than old one in this review: http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/suv/112_0501_2005_ford_2004_chrysler/freesty- le_pacifica_price.html

    I am just confused how you getting such a low mileage? I was getting about 24MPG in summer and even now when it is below O Celsius most of the time here I am still getting anywhere from 21.5 to 22.8mpg.
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