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Crossover SUV Comparison

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Comments

  • hardhawkhardhawk Posts: 702
    You are correct. Not only a reprieve, but an upgrade as well!
  • I'm looking for CUV that has continuous surface in cargo area when 2nd and 3rd rows folded flat (top of 3rd row butt up flush against back of 2nd so dogs' legs and other items don't fall down in). CX-9 does not. Outlook does. Who knows about others? I've had a wagon but want something larger. Thanks.
  • " 3. competitive nimble handling You haven't driven a CX-9 yet, have you?"

    I've heard testers say the ride is stiff in the CX9 (and the Murano), so the Freestyle really has the best handling with reasonably low spring rates for comfort.

    Freestyle has weaknesses, but overall its still the leader.
  • nxs138nxs138 Posts: 481
    Freestyle has weaknesses, but overall its still the leader.

    Well the current Freestyle has no stability control, which is a must for the next car I buy--stability control does make a huge difference if you start fishtailing. So that does not make it a leader in my book, safety-wise.

    I wouldn't jump to the Freestyle-is-the-leader position quite yet: first, we really need feedback from the Veracruz, which we don't have quite yet in the US. Second, although Car&Driver did like the Freestyle, they just recently tested the GMC Acadia and had lots more praise for it in terms of handling, steering feel, and supple ride.

    So who's the "leader"? I can't tell, since I haven't driven any of these new CUVs, and that's really what it comes down to: how much you like it when you drive it. All I know is that the new upcoming Freestyle looks much nicer, mostly due to the new headlights and grille, and I might actually go and take a spin in it.
  • arumagearumage Posts: 922
    image

    It looks like the Veracruz does from the look of this picture someone took at the Detroit Auto Show.
  • wlbrown9wlbrown9 Posts: 839
    "Freestyle has weaknesses, but overall its still the leader"

    Looked around and according to JD Power the Freestyle is 3rd in sales with the leader being the Highlander. Highlander sold about double the volume of the Freestyle. I think the Freestyle might be okay, but there are better choices out there and many buyers tend to agree. I think Ford made a good effort, but due to smaller engine and other factors, just not enough folks want them. With the Outlook and Acadia joining the mix of crossovers, I don't think the Freestyle will make any gains. Where they stand a chance is for folks that need more passenger room and don't want to spend $30K or more...those will to spend a little more easily bypass the Freestyle.

    My comparison of the Envoy XL (yes 2006 was the last year) noted one of the vehicles the Freestyle competed against. Freestyle had a slight advantage pricewise and MPG, but lost out on performance and room. The Envoy XL is quite a bit larger in cargo area than the Freestyle so I would not expect the second and 3-rd row seating to be any better regardless of the measurements. I'm about 6'1" & 200 lbs and have ridden for 2+ hours in the 3rd row with comfort. Not many other 3 row CUVs/SUVs are that roomy. I expect the Outlook/Acadia to be okay back there.

    Anyway, I've discussed the Freestyle enough. If it can compete with a refresh and power upgrade, sales figures will show that.
  • Anyone who calls the Freestyle a leader doesn't get it. Look at Consumer Reports reliability scores -- even though they go back only two years, they already show impending problems. Exactly what you would expect from a Ford. Sure, you save a few bucks up front, only to pay it back later in repairs.

    Plus, there's the looming question of whether the manufacturer is even going to be in business throughout the car's life...

    Chris
  • 07xle07xle Posts: 177
    Freestyle is the leader....to the junkyard.
  • hardhawkhardhawk Posts: 702
    Consumer Reports isn't exactly the class leader in integrity, accuracy, or even looking at vehicles with any sort of enthusiast's viewpoint. They like appliance cars and their latest fiasco on the car seats shows they are not quite as "reliable" as they need to be. I think it is the dreaded full black circle for them!
  • nxs138nxs138 Posts: 481
    Consumer Reports isn't exactly the class leader in integrity, accuracy

    Lol! So who is? In fact, who else actually offers reviews that incorporate some sense of statistics based on consumer feedback? Who else actually goes and gathers up team of experts to test such a wide range of products (like car seats, for example)?

    CR isn't about enthusiasm; it's about bland reporting of fact, which is all that its subscribers need/want. I've always somewhat agreed with their results, be it televisions, refrigerators, or cars (my Audi is in the shop once a month, something CR had warned against!!! I love the car, though).

    Anyways, I'm way off topic ha ha
  • The recent car-seat debacle aside, they're reliable. But when They've steered me well.

    Nope, they're not enthusiasts. But when both they *and* Car and Driver raved about the Pilot, I knew I had a winner.

    Chris
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,909
    has the rear hatch designed as part of the bumper, just like the new cr-v. i don't understand why they do that.
    the acadia rear bumper extends maybe an inch beyond.
    i think it is a bad design.
  • I had an '04 v6 Explorer. The Freestyle would be able to handle all that & more: split third row seating, cargo well behind 3rd row, lower roof to load cargo box, about 5-7 mpg more than my v6 explorer, still has AWD, I use the cargo mat from the Explorer in the Freestyle and it's SHORT in the Freestyle! adjustable 2nd row seating to expand cargo/3rd row room, in short it's light years ahead of the Explorer!
  • albookalbook Posts: 1,282
    Both are in the red, or fighting to stay out of it, but i'm going to say waht I think of they're moves:
    Ford: getting better, but oh so slowly. Let me relate to crossovers: Freestyle. Lets guve you a not freat car. Ayear later: lets give you better interior quality. 2 years later: let's finally give you some power, and a hint of better styling.1 year later...
    GM: Just started hitting grand slams. New MAlibu: great styling and quality. acadis:Great package. You have to give Acdai it's props. THough many have found flaws, some are trading in their acura MDX's for this bad boy!
    About consumer reports-they are great, but sometimes I think they should be limited to refrigerators. Too many make the mistake of not looking at Motor trend before dropping the cash for the new wheels. CR tests airbags. Remember to go to a source thaat tests handling. CR isn't the best source.
  • Freestyle bashers don't know the facts. Nothing currently matches the combination of fuel economy, spaciousness, safety, handling, comfort, & smoothness in a total package. Sure it needs stability control, no doubt, but Ford is correcting that soon. I've driven a Freestyle for 1.5 years now, and have owned everything from an '01 BMW 525i to a '41 Chevy, and the Freestyle is a great package. Ford's marketing has been a no-show and some object to the Freestyle's looks, hurting market share. As for the looks, I see things through an engineer's eye, so to me the rugged good looks say "no-nonsense, just functional here", which I like, similar to the Honda Element, for example.
  • albook, And Car&Driver makes MotorTrend look like amateurs.
  • The Freestyle is a massively underrated car. It is very, very good at what it does--very good.
  • arumagearumage Posts: 922
    Ford's problem with the Freestyle is that they didn't realize how vain people are... myself included. They created a very functional vehicle with few exciting and innovative features aside from the CVT at the time of release... and let's face it, the CVT didn't excite alot of people. On top of all that, they decided not to advertise it well. I think if Ford took a little bit of the wagon look out of it, replaced it with a little bit more of the Edge's styling, and actually advertised it, they'd had a massive hit on their hands. I think it has to do with the styling. Then you'd have a functional, powerful, and stylish vehicle that's still on par with other's in gas mileage. Right now, even the Pacifica, which is far less useful and quite a bit more thirsty than the Freestyle, has sold more units.
  • w9cww9cw Posts: 888
    arumage hit it on the head . . . there wouldn't be a SUV or CUV market if it wasn't due to vanity, image, ego, etc. A logical and practical person who has no one to impress other than his or herself would by a minivan if contiguous horizontal space is a requirement. Of course, minivans have the "mommy vehicle" image and aren't cool. But, they sure are practical. In past years, they were even available with AWD - not that it was needed, just as less than 10% of SUVs and CUVs sold actually use their AWD as designed and intended.
  • nxs138nxs138 Posts: 481
    I agree with you, the reviews for the Freestyle aren't bad at all, it sure seems to be a solid package. However, I know looks are subjective, but that front end just doesn't do it for me, and the interior could use a bit of spicing up. The no-nonsense approach backfired, imo -- I think Ford went after the Taurus wagon crowd, and that car was also good at what it did, but it didn't stand out one bit.

    Let's face it, the marketing team at Ford should be fired for not coming up with a better way to get this car into the public's eye.
  • Greetings:

    Arumage has made several good points. First, Ford didn't even know how to categorize the FS - their 2005 Freestyle brochure said 'Somewhere between a car and an SUV - there's a brand new way to get around'. But they never called it a CUV - their website even had it under the SUV tab. They now have it in the crossover category along with the Edge. Not knowing what the FS was and not promoting it's virtues has hurt sales. The drivetrain was a bit foreign to many potential customers as well. What the FS really is is a large wagon with SUV like styling cues. Yes, it is rather somber looking to some but the overall package is quite good. It has a very composed and comfortable ride, plenty of room and decent performance thanks to the super-smooth CVT. I've had my 2005 FS Limited for nearly 2 years and am extremely pleased. Of course it would be great to have nicer interior appointments, jazzier styling and more power, but the upcoming 2008 will hopefully remedy those deficiencies. The competition in the CUV is heating up which will make it even tougher for the FS to compete. If Ford would only promote the FS properly, then maybe more people might consider it and realize what a good vehicle it is.

    Regards -

    M. J. McCloskey
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,844
    "I think if Ford took a little bit of the wagon look out of it, replaced it with a little bit more of the Edge's styling, and actually advertised it, they'd had a massive hit on their hands. I think it has to do with the styling. Then you'd have a functional, powerful, and stylish vehicle that's still on par with other's in gas mileage."

    One must keep in mind that when the FreeStyle exterior was designed in 2003, the Ford Explorer was one of the most popular SUVs in the country. Therefore styling the FS like the Explorer was an intentional marketing move to enhance FS sales. Ford did not realize that the Explorer (like all the full size SUVs) was going to plummet in sales.

    BTW, until last year, the Freestyle was listed on the Ford website in both the SUV and the Car areas.

    I find the FS to be one of the best vehicles I have ever owned (after one year of ownership). It is the exact perfect combination of form, efficiency, and function that a family of four needs.
  • arumagearumage Posts: 922
    I don't think it's the front or rear that scares people away from the Freestyle as much as it is the profile. For me, I'd say it has efficiency and function... but not form. The CX-9 and Enclave to me are perfect examples of "form". Unfortunately for me, the CX-9 was just too much form over function.
  • wlbrown9wlbrown9 Posts: 839
    "Consumer Reports isn't exactly the class leader in integrity, accuracy "

    I have not trusted CR for a number of years. A lawsuit by Isuzu "the court ruled that Consumer Reports had made "numerous false statements" and had put the Isuzu through tests that competitors were not subjected to, but though eight of ten jurors wanted to assign punitive damages, they did not find enough evidence of malicious intent and did not assign Isuzu cash damages"

    My Trooper has gone over 110K miles and has not rolled yet.
  • nxs138nxs138 Posts: 481
    I remember that lawsuit, and in my view the issue was that the test was too dependent on the driver. It involved taking two sharp turns in opposite directions, and only one particular driver could get it to tip up. Then again, the Ford Bronco II they had tested earlier had also tipped up, and I don't recall Ford suing them for reporting that.

    CR has been sued numerous times by companies attempting to silence it, but that doesn't make CR less trustworthy. Corporations with deep pockets are well known to sue lesser companies or individuals in order to silence them, so at least CR fought the battle.

    But to get back on topic, most if not all of the CUVs now have stability/antiroll control, so we're all safer!
  • wlbrown9wlbrown9 Posts: 839
    "CR has been sued numerous times by companies attempting to silence it, but that doesn't make CR less trustworthy. Corporations with deep pockets are well known to sue lesser companies or individuals in order to silence them, so at least CR fought the battle. "

    Okay, but publishing untrue statements including one with "reckless disregard for the truth" is different. Not a case of trying to silence CR, just trying correct inaccurate reporting, but the damage had already been done. Since then, IMHO, I have difficulty trusting CR. Lie to me once and you might do it again.

    "In 2000, a jury found that seven statements in the magazine article were untrue and one was published with reckless disregard for the truth. However, it did not order any monetary damages. Isuzu had claimed $244 million in losses."
  • srangersranger Posts: 106
    Considering the vast number of product that consumer reports test each year, and the very few cases where they have been proven to be in error, I would say the CU is still the best independent source of information that you can find...

    I believe that this one Magazine has done more to improve the safety and reliability of our cars ( and other products ) that any other source period...

    P.S. I do understand why the domestic auto manufactures hate them though... ;)
  • albookalbook Posts: 1,282
    albook, And Car&Driver makes MotorTrend look like amateurs.
    SO that's why Motortrend is the top selling and most trusted automotive source. That's probalby also why I see C&R top 10 list advertised heavily by Silverado (Oh wait-no that was Motortrend Truck of the year!) Thanks for Clearing that up!
    And about the Freestyle being the clear winner, whoever said back to the dealership lot was right. Let's look at the numbers of oh say- the Outlook. Waaayyy more interior space cargo and passenger. More third row space and comfort. 75 More power and better handling. Better interior, and more "toys" and features. Gas mileage- the same. Price- the same. FS is So not the winner. Oh- and about styling-to be an SUV you should at least have that. If you think it should be about bland, get a minivan-they beat CUV's in everything but in some cases towing. You obviously wanted some style but most think FS doesn't have nearly enough. We're glad you like your car-If you didn't, there is something wrong with you for paying that monthly note-But some don't like it. I think it's an okay allaround car. But I'm not ggoing to spend my money on okay! Or okay with a few improvements('08 freestyle) i want the best I can get.
  • nxs138nxs138 Posts: 481
    Does anyone really buy a car based on what C&D or Motortrend have to say? They're fun little magazines, but I'd rather go online and look at the Edmunds forums than really trust what a car magazine has to say. Sure, in the days before the internet you had to rely on their opinions (and hope that advertising dollars didn't affect their judgement), but now I just read them to get excited about cars I couldn't possibly afford ;-)
  • Does anyone really buy a car based on what C&D or Motortrend have to say? They're fun little magazines, but I'd rather go online and look at the Edmunds forums than really trust what a car magazine has to say. Sure, in the days before the internet you had to rely on their opinions (and hope that advertising dollars didn't affect their judgement), but now I just read them to get excited about cars I couldn't possibly afford.
    ================================

    To be nice; oft-repeated, this is patent nonsense. Please reference a claim made about any vehicle by these magazines that was influenced by advertising and turned out to be false later.

    Where are these magazines' equivalents of the Isuzu/baby seat flaps?
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