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  #1  
Old 12-18-2005, 11:34 PM
dagren99 dagren99 is offline
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Question Calling all FreeStyle Owners Out there

Folks,

Test drove a Freestyle the other day. We are considering this as a replacement for our 01 Jetta TDI. We liked it but, want to hear what a few owners have to say 1st.

Pluses we saw: Roomy, AWD, Decent power, CVT Tranny (Smooth), Price wasn't bad.

Minusus: Interior seemed a little cheap looking, Limited options - only three trim levels, Third row seat doesn't come out, Our test Vehicle had a couple of rattles when you closed the doors, continental tires (we have had very bad luck w/ these on our F150)

Looking to hear from Freestyle owners - How do you like your Freestyle? - Any warranty issues? - Fit & finish troubles? - How's the AWD system in Snow? Continental Tire Problems?

THX
DG
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Old 12-19-2005, 01:09 AM
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Test drove a Freestyle the other day. We are considering this as a replacement for our 01 Jetta TDI. We liked it but, want to hear what a few owners have to say 1st.

Pluses we saw: Roomy, AWD, Decent power, CVT Tranny (Smooth), Price wasn't bad.

Minusus: Interior seemed a little cheap looking, Limited options - only three trim levels, Third row seat doesn't come out, Our test Vehicle had a couple of rattles when you closed the doors, continental tires (we have had very bad luck w/ these on our F150)

Looking to hear from Freestyle owners - How do you like your Freestyle? - Any warranty issues? - Fit & finish troubles? - How's the AWD system in Snow? Continental Tire Problems?


Sounds like you drove a SE or a SEL- you lose the Contis on the Limited. The third row not coming out shouldn't be an issue- they fold flat into the floor. You do have to get at least a SEL to get a split-folding third seat, something I'd recommend. I'm surprised to hear about rattles- haven't come across that. To tell you the truth, we haven't come across any warranty issues on these cars.

I really liked the combination of CVT/AWD on slick roads- very smooth, predictable, easy to control. I also like the Limited interior better than the other offerings. Nothing wrong with the base/SEL versions, but not very fancy either. My fave would be a Limited without too much other stuff- Rr Climate control is overkill unless you live in an extremely hot climate, the Moonroof makes a lot of noise at anything over 45 mph. Park-Sense and the Safety Canopy might be items to consider, though.

edit: I just noticed you're in Hillsboro. Suburban in Sandy is a FTE sponsor- pm me if you want a FTE price on one of those.

Last edited by polarbear; 12-19-2005 at 01:15 AM.
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Old 12-19-2005, 06:59 AM
OSin86 OSin86 is offline
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The Freestyle is by far my favorite station wagon out today. I like the feel, room and build of them. If your's was rattly then just make sure the one you buy is a different one.
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Old 12-19-2005, 09:38 AM
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1) Make sure the rattles aren't from loose rear seat belts- the metal clips wil rattle against the plastic side panels if they aren't stowed properly.

2) Cheap-looking interior? I had one customer purchase an after-market wood dash kit, and he applied enough of the pieces supplied with the kit until it looked right to him (some of those kits get a little carried away). What a difference! The kit cost him around $300, but it made the interior look like a million.
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Old 12-19-2005, 10:10 AM
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We have a 500 SEL AWD (the sedan version of the Freestyle)....and I really like driving the car.

I did replace the junk Continentals with Michelin HydroEdge. Excellent tires!
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Old 12-19-2005, 03:23 PM
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i'm looking at the freestyle too. i want versatility of an SUV with gas mileage of a car. my only question about these is the CVT. i have nothing bad to say, just a new concept. i'm also the kind to buy relatively new and drive for 150k miles, taking care of it the whole way, so reliabilty is probably my #1 issue.
any notes on this? i know audi has a model with cvt. have we seen it run for 100k+ miles?
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Old 12-19-2005, 03:23 PM
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Smile Freestyle

Thanks for the feedback guys.

The rattles on our test vehicle seemed to come from the rear of the vehicle - Almost reminded me of a loose trunk lid but, it was definately shut tight while we were driving.

DG
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Old 12-19-2005, 05:02 PM
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CVTs were invented in the early 20th-century, and have been used extensively in foreign makes (Subaru, Honda, DKW) for years. They're not a new concept, just new to our shores. Since the 500/ Freestyle was introduced over a year ago, it's my understanding that Ford has had to replace ONE of these CVTs. Show me another tranny with that record!
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Old 12-19-2005, 05:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1956MarkII
Show me another tranny with that record!
ZF 6 speed?
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Old 12-19-2005, 05:29 PM
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I dunno about replacing ZF 6 speeds but I've seen quite of few of them rebuilt.
In the dealership I work at the only problem we've seen with the Freestyle is Check Engine Light concerns caused by fuel tank problems. It appears that it was only the very early build ones that had the problem. The cure was to replace the tank.
If I was in the market for a station wagon/SUV the Freestyle is one I would sure look at.
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Old 12-19-2005, 09:29 PM
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The question I have is with depreciation of the Freestyle. I have been considering checking them out myself, but have read where a lot of leasing companies only give the Freestyle a 35% residual after three years.

I would hate to lose 65% of the value in such a short time. I think it has a lot to do with the short lifespan of the Freestyle in its current forum, the 3.0 engine, and the unknown lifespan of the CVT.

It is fairly easy to trace the depreciation of the F150 and Expedition because they have been around so long. After the first big hit they seem to hold their own.

But, if I could see the future I wouldn't be so poor.
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Old 12-19-2005, 09:51 PM
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My Wife drives an SEL. It has decent power, quiet, handles well. No issues with the Continental tires on wet or dry pavement. It gets just over 22 mpg on highway drives, averages about 16.5 with her mostly lead foot in city driving.

Our only complaint is the seat material gets dirty quite easily. It has a sunroof but I haven't noticed any noise from that area. She just passed 10K, seems good so far.
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Old 12-19-2005, 11:58 PM
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yardbird "The question I have is with depreciation of the Freestyle. I have been considering checking them out myself, but have read where a lot of leasing companies only give the Freestyle a 35% residual after three years.

I would hate to lose 65% of the value in such a short time. I think it has a lot to do with the short lifespan of the Freestyle in its current forum, the 3.0 engine, and the unknown lifespan of the CVT.

It is fairly easy to trace the depreciation of the F150 and Expedition because they have been around so long. After the first big hit they seem to hold their own.

But, if I could see the future I wouldn't be so poor."


There's no tactful way to say this- with very few exceptions (Powerstroke Crew, Corvette, Porsche Carrera), depreciation on any new car or SUV is going to be shocking. There was a time where Toyota and Honda owners could pat themselves on the back and say they bypassed that pain- but those days are over too. The fact is, 35-45% of new value is a reasonable expectation after three years/45,000 miles on darned near anything you buy- don't care who made it, or what the country of origin was.
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Old 12-20-2005, 12:33 AM
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I bought a new Freestyle about a week and a half ago for my wife since she was tired of lifting our son in and out of my Excursion.

My Vehicle: 2006 AWD Limited with the second row bench, safety canopy system, rear climate control, reverse sensing system, and the Home Link System.

What we considered: Subaru Outback, Chrysler Pacifica, Honda Odyssey, Ford Freestyle

Why we did not buy the others: First and foremost, the Ford dealer gave us what I believe was fair for my trade-in. The Subaru has no 3rd seat. The Chrysler looks and feels very nice, but its unique shape caused too many blind spots. Very unsettling not having true perspective out of the rear glass. As for the Honda, I feel it is the best value out of the bunch if you go with an EX-L. However, they are very hard to find on dealer lots, they will not budge on the price (and since they sell, they do not have too) and they would not give me jack for my trade...

The other, and probably most important aspect is that the wife loved the Freestyle. It hit her where she was comfortable. She liked all the safety features. And the fact it incorporated Volvo technology was very important.

What we (I) do not like: The exhaust exits out the rear, which on cool to cold days, causes it to set off the reverse sensing system. The mirror adjustment **** is in an awkward place to adjust the mirror, while looking out to get it set properly. I found myself constantly leaning up and back to get it right. There is plenty of headroom, but little side to side room. It is adequate for me, but larger people may find this annoying. The acceleration is adequate, but it is faster than it feels. Lack of a rear glass liftgate. You have to open the whole door in the rear. Also, no power tailgate option. No sliding doors. To me, this is good as it takes away the minivan comments. However, no sliding doors means no power sliding door option. Momma liked that on the Honda. Very limited towing capability.


What we like: This thing has a very nice overall feel. The handling is very tight and precise. I notice very little body lean in turns. The CVT is a little weird to get used to. It makes the vehicle seem slow (which it is), but the acceleration is adequate. It is deceptively slow. You feel like you are not moving, but then you are at 65. And the nice thing is, once you level out at that speed, you are turning only around 1500-1700 rpm's. Much less than my Nissan Altima (around 2000-2100). I for one like the interior. Many people say it is cheap, but I like it. The seats have a very nice feel and I am very comfortable (5'11", 200). Visibility all round is very good. The lack of a removable rear seat does not bother me because it folds flat. I had a removable rear seat, what a pain the butt.
My opinion. Since it is the three of us, we drive with the rear seat down almost all the time. Lots of storage. We put a stroller back there and still have plenty of space. The dual zone front climate control is very nice. And the wife absolutely loves the heated seats in our winters. Our vehicle has Pirelli tires and they seem to be ok. We have snow and ice on the ground. With the AWD and traction control, no problems at all. The seats are at the exact right height to get in and out, no up or down, just put your rear end there and you are in. We also love the programmable memory settings for the seat, pedals, and mirrors. We have it programmed so it will adjust for the driver according to the remote used or the keypad code used (each unique).

So far, we have had no issues to speak of with the car. The rattles I heard were the rear seat belts and I have since fixed that. I wondered how I would feel from going from such a large vehicle (that I loved) to this. The more I drive it, the more I love it. IT does take getting used to, but I think for what it is, it is great. There is room for improvement, but we are pleased with our purchase. I am not as concerned about depreciation, as we plan on keeping this for more than 5 years (7-10). I feel very confident in this vehicle. I am basing that off of my experiences with my past three Ford vehicles, and what I perceive to be a better product line and attention to detail as evidenced in the Fusion/Five Hundred/Mustang and others. Time will tell if my perceptions are misplaced.

I would be happy to answer any questions you have.

WigWag
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Last edited by WigWag; 12-20-2005 at 12:57 AM.
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Old 12-20-2005, 08:39 AM
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excellent post man. really appreciate all that input. i think i've decided that i'll probably pull the trigger on the freestyle. since i'm in no hurry, i'm going to sell the wife's toyota solara on the street rather than trade in, and then go buy the freestyle. the only thing i haven't decided on is the 6 or 7 seating arrangment, i.e. the 2nd row bench or bucket seats. how do you like your bench--i guess you don't really have experience getting into the 3rd row, as you said, since you mostly ride with that down (as i expect we would too).
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Old 12-20-2005, 08:39 AM
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