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Ford Freestar/Mercury Monterey



  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Well, I had the Aerostar from hell, I guess. After having the heads removed and re-milled, and about everything on the car leaking oil, my wife gratefully totalled it, and I was delighted. It was an 87.
  • samnoesamnoe Posts: 731
    Well, I also owned a '92 Aerostar which was very bad, but refused to dye even it had a lot of mileage and abuse. In Consumer Reports is rates the Aerostar for average reliability, and I think the same for satisfaction.

    Well, Windstar was the worst for both, reliability and satisfaction, both earned a fully black circle, which means very bad. But in 2003 Windstars, they reported just a 1/2 circle black for satisfaction, which is slightly better.

    So I hope that the new Freestar should have AT LEAST average reliability & satisfaction.
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    Which engines were those Aerostars? Ironically they do well down here in S.FL, I see many many of them from early 90's. Know of someone personally that has a 92 with the 3.0L, only reason she still has it is because it's still in great condition. Only replacement was the A/C compressor a year ago. I myself am skeptic and tell her to get rid of it. Although she does need it to actually tow something, and a FWD Windstar will not be up to the task. Nor would I tell her to upgrade to that either.

    Shame there's very few RWD vans....
  • samnoesamnoe Posts: 731
    Ford just released the data of the 2004 vehicle lineup fuel economy:

    Unfortunately, the Freestar will be: (City/Highway)

    * 3.9L Engine: 17/23
    * 4.2L Engine: 16/22

    Ooch... that hurts... Toyota Sienna is rated for 19/26 (although premium fuel is recommended for that mileage)...
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    Yep, surely quite a porker overall. This is related to the weight gain the vehicle underwent, all for NVH issues, as well as overall structural reinforcement. Although in this category the worst fuel user is the Kia Sedona, at 15/20, that too attributed to it's weight.
        This is another example of what I've mentioned in other forums/posts...When there's major weight gains on a vehicle, without no noticable size increases to justify it, then it's a hint that a new platform needs to be re-engineered. (like the Mustang) Luckily this is the last generation for this platform/engine. I look forward to 2007-ish then we'll see a highly competitive van from Ford.
  • samnoesamnoe Posts: 731
    Anybody knows on what date the Freestar will arrive at the dealerships?
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    My Aerostar was an 87 with the 3.0L Vulcan. Now, that engine has a good rep around town, and you're right, ANT, there are a MILLION Aerostars still running around this town too, which just amazes me, given that mine was such a mess. They are preferred to the GM box vans or the Chrysler tin vans, I think because they are built on the truck frame and are fairly substantial, but also they seem to be hard to kill. Now that wasn't my experience, but I may have just had a bad one. Incidentally, my 87 Aerostar was my last Hertz purchase :)
  • trainboytrainboy Posts: 66
    Well today I sent my request to my Ford dealer. I had picked up his ordering info, less pricing, so I had the codes and options. We picked out all of the codes and I faxed it in. The long and the short is pricing is not available. My dealer was willing to order the van now, without price info, and I had no obligation to take it when it arrives.

    I work for GE and we have a fixed pricing on the "X-Plan". So nothing yet as of today.
  • svofan2svofan2 Posts: 442
    Congrats Andy...what did you order?...please share the expirience with us as well as your taste......we all learn from each other...
    Good luck to you and the family....
  • trainboytrainboy Posts: 66
    Being a 3 kid & car seat family unit, we went for the family stuff. I ordered an SE with cloth seats, safety canopy, power side doors, cdx6, floor console and throw in a cargo net. We live in Calif so we didn't get the slippery road stuff. Previously I had a Hertz rental with the adjustable pedals and we had them in the normal position, so we passed on them. The SE comes with the larger engine so that was a given. My only disappointment was the heated mirrors with the signals; those are only available in a package with some things we deemed unnecessary for us, therefore we did not order those or the electronic message stuff. We opted for a new color for the vans, Arizona Beige, which is currently offered on the pickups and hides dirt pretty good.

    The trim stuff that was new this year is the fold down / reversable 3rd row seat, vinyl seats in the 3rd row until you get to SE then vinyl 3rd row with leather (why?), side safety air curtains and a couple of migrated colors, Arizona Beige and a medium blue. The LE gets an analog clock in the center of the dash to add civility. Late offerings are the trailer package, 17" wheels, and some kind of cargo handling package. The LE can opt out of leather. We didn't take the DVD system, which looked cool on the Merc Monterey website. We live in an area with a bunch of twists in the road, so I rather have my kids look out the window and hold onto their last meal. Been there, done that....yuk!
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    So, the big question is: When is delivery projected?
  • trainboytrainboy Posts: 66
    Howard, I don't know. I asked the dealer and he said he would get back to me soon. They couldn't tell me the price, so why should I expect a date? All I know is my wife's van's registration is due 10/23, so that is the goal.

    As soon as they tell me, I will let you know. I may try to hedge my bet with the Mercury dealer next door to Ford. If there is no obligation, then we can order there as well.
  • samnoesamnoe Posts: 731
    Will the SE model have an analog clock?

    At it states that only the Limited will offer this (non)feature (I hate the analog clock without numbers), as well the Mercury Monterey. But SE? Are you sure with that or your dealer just told you?
  • trainboytrainboy Posts: 66
    Sam, from what I saw on the order sheets, the analog clock comes with the LE and is not an option on any other model of Freestar. All models, EXCEPT LE, have the digital clock in the radio. We did opt for the CDX6 player, verses CD+cassette (does anybody have those any more?). I might have been a bit unclear, we ordered an SE. I would have liked to be able to order the analog clock and the heated signal mirrors separately.

  • Does anybody know when the Ford Freestar will come out? I am very currious to see what it is like.
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    Look towards the end of Sept, into October.
  • samnoesamnoe Posts: 731
    Are there any pictures available of the new Freestar, other than those 5 or 6 pictures available all over the web (including Edmunds) from the Limited model? I would like to see the lower-end models, LX & SE, without 2-tone exterior and digital clock interior... any other exterior color besides Red...
  • trainboytrainboy Posts: 66
    I know that this is not a bunch of help, but you can go to the fleet site:

    Select the tab that is Products, then vehicle showroom, then passenger vans. When the chart comes up, you can move the cursor over the color swatches and the van changes colors (cool?). In the middle of the left side under trim, click on the "5 trim levels" and this will give some of the standard stuff.
  • samnoesamnoe Posts: 731
    I have some additional names for the new Freestar minivan, if Ford wants to listen.

    Ford's minivan names have a tradition to be 8 characters, with the last 4 called 'star'. It all started up with the Aero-Star (perhaps because it was very roomy), and then changed over to the Wind-Star (probably because of the wind noise you notice in the Wind-Star driving on the highway). Now they're changing everything to start with the letter 'F', so it's changed again to Free-Star (probably because you can get them almost for FREE, with such kind of rebates and low financing).

    So I have some additional ideas. Of course all names must be not more and not less than 8 characters, starting with an F letter, and ending with 'star', as I stated above.

    Ford's minivans earned five stars in the government's crash tests, so Five-Star is a good name. They also earned 4 stars for side impact crash tests (without the side airbags), so Four-Star is next on the list.

    If Ford will make it run fast enough (something which doesn't seem to happen with the current engine) the name is Fast-Star, Full-Star or Fine-Star. But if not, we will call it Fool-Star or Fail-Star. If it will be just average, call it Fair-Star.

    Since the EPA mileage for the 4.2L is 16/22 (city/highway), we could call it Fuel-Star, or Feed-Star (b/c you feed a lot of gas). If you'll need to replace the fuses as much as the Windstars, call it Fuse-Star.

    Or, we can go by features. It has a fold away third row seat? Call it Flat-Star, or Fold-Star.

    And my last option will amaze you: FORD-STAR ! :-)

    Do you have anything to add to this list? Of course I also have a few other names I don't want to mention them here..., and I hope we will never have to use them :-) LOL
  • svofan2svofan2 Posts: 442
    LOL...Sam you definitely have TOO much time on your hands. I know that the wait time for the Freestar is killing most of us, specially the price list, but you take the cake...there is medication as well as treatments for those cases like you decide to buy a GM van and I can't wait for the names that you can come up
  • samnoesamnoe Posts: 731
    You're either a doctor or a patient... ;^)

    (BTW, if Ford has so much time to search for new names beginning with the F letter, then I have some time, too...)

    GM will not make minivans anymore. They will make some SUV like van. They don't release any info, so I await some surprises. Maybe something similar to the Aztek ????? :<)
  • svofan2svofan2 Posts: 442
    ..LOL...yes I am a "patient" ....a patient prospective buyer of the you are awaiting for GM "Aztek" type SUV/minivan, you are in deeper need of medication than I must be the ugliest things in the planet. Besides GM has a history of launching new vehicles and pulling them out just about the time that they were about to get it right..remember the Fiero?...I believe it was 86 the last year and THAT year was the best of them but GM decided against it..time will tell...
  • wsag26wsag26 Posts: 124
    What's up with Ford and there 'F' kind of thing. By 2006 practically all of there vehicles except Explorer, and Mustang and Expedition and Escape will have 'F's in it. Not to get offtopic though...

    The Ford Freestar will be pretty behind all of the competition because of it's 200 hp engine. People will just keep on putting it behind because of that.

    I don't expect to buy a minivan, because I won't need one. I just look at them and see which one is ahead. Right now, it looks like the Quest and Sienna are getting the big buzz. Chevy/Pontiac/Saturn which will be the last to get redesigned will have a whole lot to think about from here to the time for the release in fall 2004, when it is due to come out.
    Ford, I think is rushing it too much. They need to come out with a more powerful 240 hp V-6 for the Freestar and maybe a extra digit for the Monterey minivan.
  • The Freestar, compared to the Windstar, is quite portly. Ford needed to add a torquey engine to compensate for the extra weight thus the use of a big cube, slow revving engine.

    I, too, am a little disappointed that the 4.2V6 only puts out 201hp. However, the 265 lb-ft of torque is impressive and usable. I would argue that the Ford's 265 lb-ft of torque is more useful than Toyota's 230hp.

    However, we will all have to reserve judgement until we get a seat of the pants experience.
  • wsag26wsag26 Posts: 124
    Mostly, families look for a minivan not because it is the strongest of the pack, like many people look at horsepower on sports cars/convertibles. In this case though, torque is something worth looking at. The 265 will, yes definitely be something better than the 230 or 240 hp on the Toyota Sienna/Honda Odyssey Nissan quest
    Update you with more info when I can
  • svofan2svofan2 Posts: 442
    Someone here pointed to the fact that that we look or want is hp but what gets us going is torque...and that is the truth. Even in the Mustang world (where I am from) hp numbers are impressive but torque is what we are all looking for, granted that usually hp and torque go pretty much hand in hand, but when it comes to minivans torque is the most important thing to have when we get in the highway from a ramp or changing lanes..that is the difference. From what I have read from people test driving the Odyssey, Quest and Sienna they were dismayed at the poor "acceleration" and extreme "laboring" or "noise" of the engine..uhmmm..I wonder why?....maybe lower punds of torque?..I think so, is just that most of us do not know to describe this when it happens and we tend to think that it is hp.
    ...just my opinion, not trying to be confrontational...
  • svofan2svofan2 Posts: 442
    For those that want some comparison...Sienna...242lbs@3600rpm.(2004)
       2003 Windstar......240lbs@3600rpm.
       2004 Freestar......265lbs@3750rpm.
    ..just a note for the "curious"...
       2002 Explorer V8....282lbs@4000rpm.
       2002 Explorer V6....254lbs@3700rpm.

    My 2002 Limited sure pulls a lot (V8).....
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    Heavier the vehicle, the more torque it should have (Even better if it's down low under 4000RPM). That's what moves the mass at first, whereas HP shines upon upper RPM acceleration, at points where passing power is needed.

    The Freestar's 4.2L has quite a bit of very usable torque down low, and that will help offset the weight gain.

    This WILL be the last generation of these 3.8(now 3.9L and 4.2L) engines. The next generation of Ford minivans will be powered by the 3.5L V-6 Duratec coming out in a bit over a year from now in other Ford vehicles. That will be quite a major leap above the current 3.9L, 4.2L offerings.

    As for the name game. Passenger cars will start with "F" names, while SUV's will stick with "E" names. With the Exception of the F-150 naturally. And then their "Heritage" vehicles will be Mustang, Tbird, GT Etc. Mercury's line will have "M" names as well throughout all vehicles.
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