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Ford Freestyle - Taurus X

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  • larryqwlarryqw Posts: 52
    The Taurus X has a big advantage in the more modern electronics such as SYNC, Navigation, and the rear Family Entertainment System.

    However, if you don't want these, the FS has an advantage in price and fuel economy. OTOH, many people have trouble finding anyone to repair the CVT, even if it's covered by warranty.

    A used TX may be fine, even as a former rental, if you get enough warranty. We bought my wife's Freestar minivan that way with a bumper-to-bumper 100K warranty, with the car at only 15K miles. The warranty lists like $3K, but you can bargain them down to well under $1500, especially by quoting web sources that sell the same Ford warranty for that. Overall, the Freestar at a year old was about 60% of new, even adding the warranty.

    The bench seats in the second row are nicer for the console and comfort. But if you need 7 passengers, get the bench.

    In my case, I got the bucket seats and console. My kids prefer the third row, where they can sit up high because of command seating. However, the little rascals don't always bother with the flip seats and often just jump like monkeys over the second row seats, folded down or not. They have lots of room in front of them to look around. Like the back of the bus when you were a kid. For bigger people the bucket seats in the second row are indeed nicer. Each can recline independently and there's a console and cup holders, etc.
  • I've never driven the Tx - but I'm very pleased with our 2005 Fwd FS. We leave the 40 portion of the 40/60 2nd seat down and the kids (9 & 7) step in no problem. We also have a 2 year-old who sits in the anchored seat directly behind the driver.

    I like that the 3rd row on the FS are vinyl. Spilled the chocolate milk? No worries.

    I like the CVT and view it as an enabling technology for the future - which I believe to be electric engines. We live in a VERY hilly/mountainous area and that played into my desire for the CVT. I do a lot of biking and wish I had a CVT on my bike.

    I think the improved fuel economy of the 3.0 w/CVT is worth it. There's plenty of power there. On fuel, the Fwd FS is competitive with anything out there that hauls 7 - beats most actually. 10% improvement is a lot at $4/gallon.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,997
    I have an '05 FS FWD with 62,000 miles and I agree with you. The CVT is smoother than auto transmission and you can use the cruise on hilly and even mountain areas on the highways and the CVT will gradually increase/decrease RPMS as needed, versus the hard up and downshifts of an auto.

    And I've had 29mpg on highway trips if I keep the speed between 65-70mph. I have a 2500 mile road trip coming up this fall and I'm going to keep the speed at the posted speed limits to see if I can break 30mpg. Around town I get 20-23mpg consistently and it's rare that it ever goes below 20mpg.

    Personally I'd never buy the TX because the added HP and reduced MPG aren't worth it to me. Plus the price is too high in comparison to other vehicles. When I bought my FS, it cost me $25K and there wasn't much competition out there back in '05 for a 3 row vehicle that could hold adults in all rows with this MPG and price.

    I plan on keeping my FS for many more years (no major problems so far), but if I was in the market, I'd look at a Mazda5 on the small end or a Honda Odyssey at the large end. You can get a well-equipped Odyssey for the same price as a TX and get more space and better mpg with the Odyssey. There are a lot of full-sized crossovers out there, but if I'm going to spend $30K then I'd rather get a minivan with better MPG and more space.
  • amckenz1amckenz1 Posts: 2
    Did you ever find a solution for this? The same thing is happening to me. A very audible clicking sound that comes from somewhere behind the glovebox. When I start the car in the morning it clicks about 5 times and then stops. It happens after I start the car later in the day, but not all the time (more than 10% though).
  • amckenz1amckenz1 Posts: 2
    I have an '05 FWD Ford Freestyle. When I start hte car in the morning I hear a very audible clicking noise that seems to originate somewhere behind the glovebox area. It clicks about 5-6 times and then stops as I slowly accelerate. If I start the car later in the day, it's not guaranteed that it will happen, but probably does 30-40% of the time.
    Has anyone one else encountered this or know where it's coming from?
    Any help/direction would be much appreciated

    Thanks!
  • elibrunoelibruno Posts: 16
    had this same noise and Ford dealer quickly diagnosed and fixed it under warrantee - it is some type of A/C machinery part that Countryside Ford of Clearwater told me is common, not dangerous and easy to replace part. So discuss it with your service dept and tell them where I got quick resolution!
  • coldcrankercoldcranker Posts: 877
    Should current Freestyle owners be upset about this? Ford found a way to get more power and fuel economy out of the 1995-vintage Duratec V6 design. I have an '05 Freestyle with 203 HP and 18/25 EPA rating (new rating method here), and the '09 Ford Escape is getting a 240 HP version of the same engine that is said to get 1 MPG more. Since the basic engine design goes all the way back to the early 90's, why couldn't Ford have "discovered" the way to make this engine more powerful and slightly more fuel efficient just 4 years earlier, in time to take away the critics of the Freestyle who say 203 HP is just not enough.

    I wonder if Ford will allow me to trade my 203 HP 3.0L Duratec for the new 240 HP one? Should bolt right in. A little extra power with more fuel economy is always welcome.

    Also, why not drop the 240 HP 3.0L Duratec in to the Taurus & TaurusX for more fuel economy with gas at $4 per gallon? That would give the Ford Edge the more powerful, newer 3.5L Duratec for some differentiation with the TaurusX at least, making the Edge the "sporty" one and the TaurusX the more serious utility model. Ford would still have the larger Flex with the newer/bigger V6; more differentiation there for the luxury crossover. Ford, are you listening to my wise opinion? ;-)
  • ronsmith38ronsmith38 Posts: 228
    Who knows, maybe the only difference is a new chip!
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,793
    " I have an '05 Freestyle with 203 HP and 18/25 EPA rating (new rating method here), and the '09 Ford Escape is getting a 240 HP version of the same engine that is said to get 1 MPG more."

    I think ford has added a version of VVT to the new engine, that technology wasn't available until this year for the 3.0.

    Also, note that the Escape is 600 lbs (at least) lighter than the FS, and the engine might not yield the same 1 MPG advantage in your FS.

    Any "engine swap" would also have to modify the CPU code so that the transmission and engine were matched correctly.
  • coldcrankercoldcranker Posts: 877
    Replying to the last post, remember that the variable valve timing version of the venerable 3.0L Duratec was available in Jaguars and Lincoln LSs since about 2002, and even the lower-cost 2006 Fusion had the VVT version of the Duratec V6.

    I got some more info on what Ford did to evolve the 3.0L Duratec for the '09 Escape from Motor Trend: new intake and exhaust manifold shapes, new fuel injectors, higher compression ratio ( I think from 10.0 to 10.3), new heads, variable valve timing, and revised valve cams. Those changes would have been great just a little earlier. Ford could not find the budget to do this over the period from 1994 to 2007 to the Duratec 3.0L V6 while it was being put into everything on the planet. Now other V6s are taking over where it used to be, while the 3.0L V6 finds its way into fewer and fewer applications. Maybe it will make a comeback as fuel efficiency gets priority. Fusions and Escapes still get it, although Taurus no longer has it.
  • mschmalmschmal Posts: 1,757
    I think the new features for the 3.0L Duratec were thing that Ford developed for the 3.5L engine and then has adapted backwards to the 3.0L.

    Mark
  • coldcrankercoldcranker Posts: 877
    The 2001 Jaguar S-type had a 240 hp 3.0L Duratec version. Mazdas have had a variable valve timing version for a few years now. Also, remember the 3.5L is a new and completely different design compared to the old 3.0L Duratec. Not sure where the new '09 Ford Escape 240 hp version came from. Its difficult to follow, but the design history, dating back to the 1994 Ford Mondeo, is at Duratec history to now link
  • Can anyone tell me how to disable the Freestyle alarm? Thanks so much!!
  • selooseloo Posts: 606
    Current rebates are up to $5000!
  • coldcrankercoldcranker Posts: 877
    Ford's own website says you can only get $2000 owner-loyalty rebate (which means you have to already own another Ford/Mercury of '98 or newer model), or you can get $1500 cash rebate for non-current Ford owners, and then you can add $500 to that if you finance through Ford Credit. Nowhere near $5000. You might be looking at what some dealership contributes extra, which means they just jack the price up by the extra amount, so you can't win that one.
  • selooseloo Posts: 606
    Look again!

    Ford's Website: Brought to you by: Atlanta District Ford Dealers

    Offer Details:
    With up to $5,000 Cash Back, Now's a Great Time to Get into the Safest Seven-Passenger Crossover in America!*

    1 "$1,500 Customer Cash + $3,000 Owner Loyalty Cash + $500 Ford Credit Bonus Cash. Owner Loyalty Cash available to customers that currently own or lease a 1998 or newer Ford car, SUV, or truck through F-550 and purchase a new 2008 Taurus X. Offer not available on Red Carpet Lease or with Lease Renewal Cash. Proof of ownership required. Trade-in not required. Ford Credit Bonus Cash requires Ford Credit financing. Not all buyers will qualify. Residency restrictions apply. Take new retail delivery from dealer stock by 9/2/2008. See dealer for qualifications and complete details. *Based on both NHTSA five-star crash-test rating and, with optional electronic stability control, IIHS Top Safety Pick. Star ratings are part of the U.S. Dept. of Transportation's Safercar.gov Program (www.safercar.gov)."

    *2 Offer available to current owners of '98 or newer Ford vehicles with valid proof of ownership. Trade-in not required. Not available on Red Carpet Lease. Take new retail delivery from dealer stock by 7/31/2008. See dealer for complete details.

    Confirmed with the Ford dealer today $5K off! We were talking about at least $5.5K below the invoice price likey more, but a Ford Program Car maybe even a better deal.

    Prices are very soft on Ford Products!

    It was just extended to 9/2/08!
  • selooseloo Posts: 606
    Has anyone had any problems with the Taurus X?
  • raezmom3raezmom3 Posts: 20
    I received my Taurus X in May and drove it cross country ( Florida to California). It was great and such a comfortable drive especially with 3 kids. I haven't had any problems with it. The only thing I didn't like is that I was not able to purchase a box for the roof rack. Manufacturer does not recommend having one on the vehicle. Overall I really love my TX. :)
  • larryqwlarryqw Posts: 52
    My Taurus X has been great for the six months I've had it now. Everything about it is wonderful. I've driven it 2500 miles across country on a mountain biking trip with camping gear and four bikes on the hitch. It had lots of room, we could even see out the rear window. The comfort was like riding first class for everyone. I've also taken the family of five on trips, and also had six bikers on a two hour carpool with six bikes on the car (four on the hitch, two on the roof) all six big bikers in full comfort.

    The electronics are super, as well as the car engineering.

    The Taurus really is a secret phenomena that's a super deal right now.

    See more details on my very extensive review of the Taurus X here.
    (PS. My Taurus X Limtied is Ice Metallic Blue, not red like in the pictures.)
  • larryqwlarryqw Posts: 52
    Actually, you can get a roof rack and carry a cargo box. The roof rack is limited to 125 lbs. I got a 16 cubic foot cargo box (Yakima SkyBox Pro 16) which at 45 lbs allows me to carry about 80 lbs of light but bulky goods like clothes and sleeping bags. The cargo box has almost zero effect on mileage, less than 0.5 MPG from what I can tell. This is because I mount the box fairly far back, in the slip stream.

    I also carry two big mountain bikes on the roof, along with four on the back hitch, to go with the six riders in the car.

    The only issue is getting cross bars to go on the back part of the rails that aren't raised. Ford's cross bars won't be out until the end of the year, if then. The solution I and others have used for the cross bars is discussed in detail here.
  • cmunizcmuniz Posts: 604
    I have had no troubles at all in 9 months and 13,000 miles. Just got back from a 3,800 mile trip from Texas to California. It did great. Average mpg was 25.2 and that included a lot of miles thru Utah canyons, Death Valley and the Sierra Nevadas. I discovered that the 6 spd transmission has a great "hill holder" feature that automatically downshifts when going downhill to hold the speed. It works even better if you press the "O/D" button on the shifter. It surprised me how well it worked. Very similar to how the CVT did on the Freestyle.
  • No problems after 14,000 miles. I've been very happy with the X.
  • "... average mpg was 25.2 .." (TaurusX highway MPG)

    Under those same conditions, the Freestyle probably gives 27 MPG in my own experience and what others report, in addition to EPA MPG comparisons. I'll take the 3.0L with the CVT, especially in hilly or mountain driving here in the Rockies. That CVT is unbeatable when varying ratios like butter up and down hills.

    If Ford knew gas would be hovering near $4/gallon now, they would have reduced the bore in the new 3.5L V6 to make it around 3.0L, like the old V6, and made the TaurusX beat everything out there on fuel economy. Add direct injection and get another 1 MPG out of it (as Acadia/Outlook/Traverse are doing now) with more power. Then, the TaurusX could beat the old Freestyle on fuel economy.

    Discussing our experiences with the Freestyle/TaurusX's V6s, remember Ford plans to put something like the Mazda CX7 4-cylinder turbo 2.3L (or so, maybe a 2.0L) into the future CUVs in the Freestyle/TaurusX/Explorer class. Currently, the CX7, a smaller CUV, running direct injection, a turbo, and VVT, gets horrible fuel economy. I don't know how Ford will change that with the Ecoboost theme of putting 4-cylinders in where smoothe V6s used to be, but stay tuned. We may be telling youngsters in a few years that the glory days of smoothe V6s were better than the followong period of thrashy 4-cylinders, so enjoy your V6 while it lasts.
  • selooseloo Posts: 606
    Great feedback!

    It looks like this car is mostly trouble-free.

    Thanks!!!
  • steverstever Ex Yooper, en route to New MexicoPosts: 40,504

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  • I can see the TaurusX/Sable getting axed. The Edge and the Flex fill the size classes OK. However, sales figures so far in the first month for the new Flex are dismal. Looks like the Flex's controversial love/hate style is more hate than love for most folks. The Edge sells well, but Ford needs both to sell well!
  • volkovvolkov Posts: 1,302
    But much like the Freestyle and Taurus X, I've havent seen any advertising support for the Flex in Canada. I'll bet most consumers don't even know about it.
  • bdymentbdyment Posts: 548
    I don't think it is the style but the fact it is the wrong vehicle for the times. It is too big, too heavy and does not give the gas mileage that people want these days,
  • We just picked up an 08' Taurus X SEL FWD, with leather, SYNC, SEL Interior Convenience and Power Packages, 50/50 3rd row, and Sirius for $26,400 inc freight - about $2k under invoice. For the feature content, practicality, safety, and yes - efficiency (given the vehicle size), I think it's a screaming bargain.

    We had to replace our ~8 year old MPV, and like many families, we need the space of a full size vehicle with three rows. As much as I like more efficient people movers like the Mazda5 and the Kia Rondo, they are simply too small (good luck getting two or more hockey gear bags, cooler, and folding chairs behind the third row in either of those cars). Not to mention the third rows in those vehicles are clearly kid-sized only, which limits their usefulness IMO.

    As for the fuel mileage of the Taurus (and Flex for that matter), relative to the competition, it's right in line or better. Show me another full size, 7 ADULT seat vehicle that is more fuel efficient (and I'm not talking about insignificant 1mpg differences either).

    The fact is, there will always be a market for vehicles like this. There will always be people that need the space, and can afford the gas, even at $4/gal. Let's also not forget that people getting out of big body-on-frame truck-based SUVs like the Expedition or Suburban will see the mileage of the Taurus-X / Flex as a huge improvement.
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