|Ford Motor Company|
|Successor||Ford Taurus X|
|Class||Mid-size Crossover SUV|
|Body Style||5-Door Wagon|
|Transmission||Continuously Variable (CVT)|
|Engine||3.0 liter V6|
|Power|| 203 hp @ 5750 RPM |
207 lb-ft @ 4500 RPM
|Similar|| Chrysler Pacifica |
Hyundai Santa Fe
The Ford Freestyle (code name D219) is a mid-size crossover SUV, introduced for the 2005 model year to compete with other mid-size crossover SUVs such as the Toyota Highlander, Honda Pilot, Nissan Murano and Hyundai Santa Fe. In Ford's lineup, it replaced the Ford Taurus station wagon, and currently slots between the compact Escape and the midsize Explorer. The vehicle uses the Ford D3 platform, shared with the Ford Five Hundred, Mercury Montego, and various Volvos including the XC90, and is assembled in Chicago, Illinois. Although it shares its platform with the XC90, the Freestyle is significantly different from that crossover utility vehicle. It has three rows of seats, with seating for seven, like many larger SUVs (e.g. Ford Explorer) and minivans. Previous car based wagons were the Vista Cruiser and Eagle Medallion.
Ford's post-Bronco SUV names have begun with the letter "E" (eg: Ford Ecosport, Escape, Explorer, Expedition, and Ford Excursion). Ford has also been using the letter "F" for passenger cars and minivans (eg: Focus, Freestar, Five Hundred, and Ford Fusion) while Mercury uses "M" (eg: Montego, Milan, Mountaineer, Monterey, and Mariner).
The Freestyle, along with its sibling the Five Hundred and the Ford Escape Hybrid, are the first American Ford vehicles to use a continuously variable transmission (CVT). To Ford's surprise, 55% of buyers are selecting the Haldex-equipped all wheel drive model rather than the expected 40%. However, overall Freestyle sales are below Ford's original projections (though sales have been increasing every month). Some buyers are selecting the Freestyle as an alternative to the best selling Ford Explorer. The Freestyle also occupies a niche once dominated by the Ford Country Squire, the 3+ row family station wagon, though there is no known conversion of a Freestyle to fake wood paneling.
Although the Freestyle resembles the larger Australian Ford Territory crossover SUV, that model is based on the different rear-wheel drive EA169 platform, used by the Ford Falcon.
The Freestyle was nominated for the North American Truck of the Year award for 2005 (second behind Escape Hybrid).
Ford was initially reported to be considering ceasing the production of the current D3-based Freestyle early, due to initially slow sales, and replacing it with the Mazda-engineered (CD3 platform) Ford Edge crossover utility. A 2008 model year Mercury crossover utility would have continued on the D3 platform, essentially taking on the general body styling of the Freestyle, with Mercury-style front and rear fascias, interior, and badging. However, AutoWeek reported on January 24, 2006 that suppliers have been notified that the Freestyle will continue in production through 2008, with a major facelift, possibly along with a Mercury version. There are also indications that Ford may be developing a new crossover vehicle based on the Ford Fairlane concept utility vehicle, as revealed during the 2005 auto show circuit.
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