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Ford Freestar/Mercury Monterey

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  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    Nope, but the replacement will be a bit "different". More like, the Freestar will hang on a bit, after the "vehicle" that replaces it, debuts. Look for it around 2007-2008.
  • Hello -

    I just wanted to say that we recently picked up a very stale 2004 Mercury Monterey (base) for $18.5k - 11.5k off MSRP. I am very happy with the vehicle, really like the new Mercury grille (Montego/Monterey et al.). Vehicle is very powerful, comfortable and exactly what we needed. Considered a used (2 year old) Dodge or 4 year old Honda (didn't want to get much above what we paid for the Merc.), but liked the visibility out of the Ford/Mercury product better than the D.C. twins. A little annoyed that the fuel economy is so low (traded in a VW Bug TDI diesel that got over 40MPG, so this will be a change in more ways than one). Anyway, I think the differences between the varoius minivans are real, but way overblown...especially considering the price I was willing to pay.

    Thanks for your time,

    Eric S.
  • Bought this van yesterday after shopping for quite a while. We bought from Ace Ford in Woodbury, NJ who were very nice people to deal with. They let you take the car out yourself without some salesman breathing down your neck and let you talk in private with no pressure and no corny "what do I have to do..." speeches. All the people were friendly with our kids and you didn't have the circle of salespeople standing at the door looking at you sideways and snickering the way it seems other places. A great experience.

    Van had right at 14K miles on it and was able to get it for a little over $16K along with right at TMV value for my trade. Also upgraded man. warranty to 6 yr/75K PremCare for just under $1300.

    They still had a leftover 2004 new SES that we looked seriously at for $17.5K (after incentives) but we liked the 4.2L engine, rear audio system (along with steering wheel controls), automatic lights, and center console on the SEL.

    Had another deal working for a used '04 SEL for just about the same bottom line at another dealer (they had offered a little more for the trade to go with a little more on cost) although this one was "certified" and they had offered the same warr. upgrade at $1000 inst of $1200. This van had 24K miles on it and felt certified was not worth giving up 10K miles, esp. since I was upgrading warranty anyway.

    We chose the Freestar because we really liked the fold away third seat, roominess,and the fact that the second row captain's chair fold completely out of the way to get to the third row (and can be driven while folded). I also liked that we were upgrading to a Ford warranty instead of some 3rd party vendor that may or may not be there tomorrow (first time I have ever extended a warranty - don't know if it was a good idea or not).

    Had looked seriously at '04 used "certified" Mazda MPVs that were comparable in cost, but just don't compare in room. Other vans we looked at (Ody and Sienna) you had to get a much older van to get in to the same price range. Didn't like the Venture because it seems to fall apart at 60K and we like to keep cars longer than that (although we really liked the 8 pass seating) and the used D/C/P vans we did not like because of the stationary third seat that really cuts down on cargo capacity even folded down (who wants to take that beast out when you have to go to HD?)

    Hopefully, we made a good decision, although it sounds like the consensus is a little mixed from reading the boards before and after my purchase.
  • tamu2002tamu2002 Posts: 758
    were incredible prices you guys paid! For the price, who cares about the petty advantages of the Honda/Toyota! I hope the 04s will still be around this summer when we buy.
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,949
    let you talk in private

    Was this in the sales cubicle? The one with the phone permanently turned "on" so that the sales staff can listen in from the manager's office?

    Hey, it's been known to happen :-)

    Congrats on the Freestar!

    Steve, Host
  • I had heard about that one :-). We conducted all our discussions in the "non-tradein" car that we brought to the dealership.

    When I have gotten up to do this before, some salesmen look at you crosseyed and suggest the wife come over to the desk - not here!
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,949
    "GENEVA, Switzerland — Ford introduced a new sporty prototype that hints at the next-generation European minivan.

    Ford is giving up on minivans in the U.S., but the situation is different in Europe. Although the current Galaxy was developed together with Volkswagen AG, its replacement is being prepared in-house."

    Ford Unveils European Minivan Prototype (Inside Line)

    Steve, Host
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    Yes, the SAV. In Europe, a minivan doesn't have the connotation as it does in the U.S., therefore they sell well and families aren't afraid of saying they own one.

    Unfortuantely, some U.S. consumer's have a perceive biased against minivans, so next generation of Ford minivans will be more about "Utility vehicle" than using the minivan wording... Sort of how the station wagon Freestyle, is penned "Crossover".
  • skrepskrep Posts: 13
    We have a 2004 Freestar Limited (which we are very happy with) with just over 10,000 kms on it and for the last while I have detected a groan which shows up when the brakes are applied and seems to be coming from the front. Any idea what this may be? Apparently Ford is aware of this but has not yet come up with a fix.
  • We used to own a 1998 Ford Windstar Gl, loaded. It was red and was a really nice vehicle with a cavernous interior. We sold it in 2002 with about 85K on it. We were very satisfied with the looks, power, comfort, value and interior of our van.

    Then came the Freestar. Car and Driver ranked as fifth out of five in their comparison test, and in the edmunds comparison test, the Freestar "finished dead last without any hope of finishing higher". The reasons given were a steep price, a lack of feature content, an underpowered engine and poor build quality.

    Are these things true? Does anyone who owns a Freestar agree with these things? Is the build quality really that bad, or is this all being exaggerated?
  • skrepskrep Posts: 13
    We purchased a 2004 Freestar Limited and are extremely happy with it. It is our first Ford product in 40+ years (always bought GM) and if I compare it to our 2001 Olds Silhouette van there is no comparison in any aspect except for gas mileage. The Ford falls behind there. The fit, finish, materials, etc. in the Freestar far exceed the Olds in our opinion. I would also say the handling of the Freestar compared to the Olds is also superior.
  • lostlost Posts: 64
    I have an 05 Freestar S.It is the very basic model with no extras as it is a company vehicle. I've had it for 4 months now and put 15,000 miles since new. It has been completly trouble free. MPG is 23 highway and around 18 to 20 local,not bad for a large van. I have driven a lot of minivans over the last 20 years ( about 15). The vehicle is very comfortable and VERY quiet on the road. The interior quality is fine by me, looks nice and rattle free. I am sure it would be even better if it had all the bells and whistles. I would get it again.
    There are very big discounts available right now on this vehicle ,making it WAY less expensive then all the rest.
  • brazucabrazuca Posts: 95
    I have a 2005 Freestar SES, it's now with 6,500 miles and (knock on wood) not a single problem. It's our first minivan....we had our first baby and traded a 2002 Ford Taurus for the Minivan. We use it in town and a few trips, very confortable, quiet ride and reasonable gas mileage for such big vehicle.....20 mpg average with a mix of 50/50 highway and city. I got 22 mpg going 75 mph on highway. We feel now that the car is really big for a couple and a baby, however, it's better to have more room than less and gas mileage for SUVs are much worse. Overall a great van, the 3rd row seat folds flat and the 2nd row flip forward....great option.
  • samnoesamnoe Posts: 731
    Of course if you compare it to the rest, it can't compete, since the other major players (Toyota, Honda, Chrysler/Dodge) have more updated vans, better engines with better mileage, and more comfortable rear seats. But compared to the '98 Windstar, the Freestar is a huge improvement, and you'll like it for sure. I drove the Freestar several times and I was impressed with it. I am not that particular and sensitive, so most things is fine with me. The engine is quite noisy, but more quiet than the '98 and even '02 model I had.

    However, the rear seats in the '98 is much superior to the new Freestar - since the Freestar offers the 3rd row seats which folds flat in the floor, and the seat is too low for adults, and so is the second row seats.

    Except for these few things, the Freestar is much better in every way than the '98 model. Fit & finish, quality of materials, and quality of powertrain, sound system, NVH and more.

    The best answer for your question is very simple: Take a test drive.
  • quentinequentine Posts: 1
    The only thing I don't like about the 2005 Ford Freestar is the radio.
    Ford installed an AM/FM/6 disc Cd player that operates stereo speakers, but they only installed front speakers in the front doors. Older vehicles have back speakers for the stereo sound, and ability to turn off back/front speakers.
    People in the way back seat can not hear AM/FM/ 6 Disc changer with the 2005 Freestar.
    This van only gets 20 MPG highway.
    1997 Winstar got 25 MPG.
  • samnoesamnoe Posts: 731
    Not sure about that. As far as I remember, the Freestar do have 4 speakers, 2 front and 2 rear. The rear speakers are located on the wall between the second and third row seats.

    Not sure about mileage, but since curb weight increased very much since 1997, and so hp and torque, I guess it's normal.
  • I have a friend at a Ford dealership and he has a 2004 Freestar Limited with 10,000 miles for about 24-25k CDN$. THe list is $43k. Is this a decent deal? I don't care about the room in the 3rd seat. I am 6'4" and wonder if there is room for a big driver. I've heard the seats are narrow.
  • skrepskrep Posts: 13
    I am 6" 1" and wide in the girth as old age advances and find the seats comfortable enough for driving. The furthest we have driven in it in one shot is about 350 KMS.
  • Thanks for the feedback. How is the shoulder and headroom? Any idea on the price? My friend the sales guy, thinks it's a good deal but he has a Ford oval on his backside. I looked at Caravans, Ventures, and Montanas but they didn't do anything for me. I saw a blue limited and I think it is a handsome vehicle. Ford does a nice job with the chrome grille and 2 tones.
  • skrepskrep Posts: 13
    I find the shoulder and head room to be find along with an excellent range in the power seat settings. We have a blue limted with graphite at the bottom loaded with leather and all the other extras. I believe ours listed in the 45K range and we got it new for the low 30's. We have been happy with it so far.
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