Probably a lease return as the car had approximately 18,000 miles when I purchased. Problems began with defective radiator hose which was replaced by the dealer. After that I bore the brunt of all repairs including intake manifold gasket (luckily not the head gaskets since it was only $600 to repair rather than $1200). Front end extremely noisy and have made multiple trips to the mechanic with little change. Things are better for a while and then back to normal (clunking noise). Have experienced similar problems with door ajar indicator-heavy doses of WD 40 in all of the locks usually cures this ill. Brakes a shaky at best. First and last purchase of any Ford product.
Good gas mileage and comfortable on long trips. Lots of cargo space.
We purchased the vehicle new from the dealership and had great luck until about 30,000 miles. We then kept having basic problems including continual brake problems, Blown head gasket, Intake manifold, Electrical problems on windows and door locks. I have spent an additional $6,000 over 7 years to keep it running with no help from Ford. At this point, 113,000 miles, I will keep it because it's not worth anything unless the transmission or something else goes. This is my last Ford, they have made a loyal Toyota customer from me.
The space has been nice to use to carry people around, however the seating requires significant strength to move around if you are removing seats to carry cargo.
Quieter more reliable engine, better brakes, improve the styling, improve the power transmission system. Or put a Ford Emblem on a Toyota or Honda and call it done.
We have had more costs for repairs for this car than the car itself cost 5 years ago, and way more than it's worth today. Everything from the engine to the wheel covers have been trouble. We have had to repair or replace the radiator, wheel bearings (all of them), power steering pump, windshield wiper motor, oxygen sensors, exhaust manifold gaskets, head gaskets, serpentine belt pulley, front axle, dozens of lug bolts and the silly sunburst wheel covers 6 times. Why they have a wheel cover on an alloy wheel is beyond me. I would never recommend this car to anyone.
Power. The sound system was nice, but doesn't play burned CDs. Roomy and comfortable.
They have already rebuilt it (to the Freestar), but the list of needed mechanical improvements is too long to fit in this box. They should junk the whole "-star" lineup and start over.
I bought this van with 32k on it and it's been very reliable. I change the fluids regularly. We live in Denver and love skiing so we take it up in the mountains 20-30x a year. No transmission or engine problems ever. It has good power with the 3.8l. I think we're only replaced the water pump and brakes a couple times.
Don't believe everything you hear about Ford quality and reliability. This vehicle (7 yrs, 140,000 miles) has been proof that Ford builds good vehicles. Of course there have been repairs, but all were inevitable based on the age of the vehicle.
Utility. This vehicle has helped me transport three children from infancy through primary school. Engine performance excellent.
Lighter or fold-down-flatter seats. Exterior design; Freestar is not an improvement. Interior fit and finish and quality appearance of materials.