2005 Ford Freestyle Review

Pros & Cons

  • Truly roomy seating for six passengers, plenty of cargo space, balanced ride and handling characteristics, lengthy list of safety features.
  • So-so acceleration, some low-grade interior materials, no stability control or navigation system.
Other years
Ford Freestyle for Sale
List Price

Used Freestyle for Sale
Select your model:
See all for sale

cash graphic with confetti

Get More For Your Trade-In

2005 Ford Freestyle appraisal values can range from $346 - $1,216.
Find out what your car is really worth in minutes.
See your car's value

Edmunds' Expert Review

With truly comfortable accommodations for six passengers, plenty of cargo space and refined driving dynamics, the Freestyle has everything going for it except power.

Vehicle overview

Ford officially announced the production of this vehicle at the 2002 Chicago International Auto Show. It will compete in the increasingly crowded crossover segment against vehicles like the Toyota Highlander and Buick's Rendezvous. When it does finally hit the streets, the Crosstrainer will provide seven-passenger capacity with three rows of seats, a dual overhead cam aluminum V6, and both all-wheel drive and front-wheel drive versions.

2005 Highlights

The Freestyle is an all-new crossover wagon from Ford. Built on a Volvo platform, it incorporates the Swedish brand's safety and all-wheel-drive technology, while offering six- to seven-passenger seating capacity.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2005 Ford Freestyle.

Trending topics in reviews

Most helpful consumer reviews

Freestyle First Owner with 270,000 miles
Limited AWD 4dr Wagon (3.0L 6cyl CVT)
I bought my Limited AWD new in 2005 and have found the car to be very reliable. Just turned 270K miles as I drive a lot for my work. Gas mileage is consistent at 21 mpg now for mix of highway/town driving. I do alot of general maintenance myself. Things that have been replaced include all wheel bearings, front struts, some front suspension items, normal brakes/rotors/calipers once. I change oil at 5K with ford semi-synthetic and the engine doesnt use a drop of oil between oil changes. Drivers seat heater stopped working a while back. CVT had filter/fluid changes at 190K and as been rock solid. Once a year you should clean the butterfly in the throttle body- if not it can surge at idle.
Great Car
Joel H.,04/25/2010
Limited AWD 4dr Wagon (3.0L 6cyl CVT)
Only had this rig for 5 months now, but have enjoyed owning it this far. It has 100,00 miles on it. I am a service tech, at the dealership where it was sold new, So I have presonally done alot of the service work on it. The CVT is original and has no problems so far. Thinking back I can only remember 3 CVT's with problems at our dealership. I worked on one of them. They are pretty simple and compared to other vehicles, I think the failure rate is probabally average. I am planning to tow a 14' fiberglass boat this summer so we'll see how that goes. Removed the rear center console so our 4 year old can get through to the third row.
Love the design, In for service already
SEL Fwd 4dr Wagon (3.0L 6cyl CVT)
We recently purchased the freestyle from a reputable dealer.We have owned it for a month now and unfortunately it had to go to the shop numerous times right after buying it for shaking at 55-60mph, tires were cupping,rough idle and power steering pump. They put a new engine damper on it and now have had it for days saying it needs a torque converter. I understand with the miles it has it's not gonna be perfect. I'm starting to feel maybe this car should never have been put on the lot. I can say the problems put aside though I love the style and comfort of the freestyle.
Good car, made like a tank
Philippe T.,12/23/2009
SE Fwd 4dr Wagon (3.0L 6cyl CVT)
Didn't want a minivan but needed lots of space for the expanding family. The driving experience is superb, theres a real feeling of security white driving this car, its very stable. When you take a look around the car, you notice its made strong + lots of protective panels/rubber here and there. Performance is low, but who wants to race a 7 passenger car? Fuel economy is good on the hwy. Its has 70k miles with no major issues. A couple of repair on the suspension but previous owner drove a lot on unpaved roads, so I guess its normal. Generally love this car and recommend it. Saw a couple of internet complaits about tranny prob. I tow a 2000 pound popup tent and its holding up pretty strong.


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated

More about the 2005 Ford Freestyle
More About This Model

If you had to make a list of the current trends in family transportation, it would surely include wagons and car-based crossover SUVs. Wagons (the stylish ones anyway) are becoming more appealing to sedan buyers who need more cargo room, as well as would-be SUV buyers who realize they don't need all that ground clearance. Car-based SUVs, meanwhile, are a strong draw for would-be SUV buyers who realize they don't need all-terrain capability but don't want to give up the image or convenience of driving one of these vehicles. In reality, these buyers aren't very different from one another and it's getting harder to draw the line between wagons and SUVs -- features like all-wheel drive, third-row seating and fold-flat seats are available on both sides.

Already several manufacturers have attempted to straddle this line, but unlike others before it, Ford's well-packaged Freestyle does so with few if any compromises.

We consider Ford's Explorer one of the most practical SUVs on the market today, and consumer enthusiasm and incentives have made it the best-selling utility vehicle on the market through thick and thin. When Ford began work on the Freestyle, the company turned to Explorer owners for wisdom. "A lot of customers didn't go off-road but bought an SUV [anyway] because of flexibility and packaging," a Ford marketing official told us.

Like the new Five Hundred sedan, the Freestyle is built on the same platform as the Volvo S60 and S80 sedans, V70 and XC70 wagons and the XC90 SUV. Chassis tuning is similar to that of the Volvos, and Ford makes no attempt to hide the fact that safety and all-wheel-drive technology is shared between the two brands as well. The Freestyle rides higher than a Taurus but lower than an Explorer, and offers the kind of step-in access you get with a minivan. But Ford's new wagon manages not to look like a minivan -- it has four hinged doors and its squarish front fascia strongly resembles the Explorer's. Add on a two-tone paint job and it's easy to convince yourself that you're looking at an SUV.

Inside, the Freestyle offers excellent visibility from the cockpit and "progressive theater seating" for the second and third rows: Each row is two inches higher than the one before it. Depending on whether you select captain's chairs or a 60/40 bench seat in the second row, the wagon can seat six or seven passengers. This kind of seating capacity is nothing remarkable among today's family vehicles, but the Freestyle is one of the few vehicles outside the minivan segment that can honestly seat this many people in comfort.

In our brief time spent with the wagon, we had no complaints about the accommodations up front. We would have liked to see telescoping steering wheel adjustment for the driver, but the optional adjustable pedals are a reasonable substitute. The second row is comfortable for both adults and children, as this 5-foot-10 writer had plenty of legroom and foot room. And the seats themselves are large enough to support the thighs and backs of adult occupants. The captain's chairs can be adjusted fore and aft to provide more legroom for third-row passengers, but the 60/40 bench seat is non-adjustable. Even with the captain's chairs moved all the way up, we still had adequate legroom -- this feature should come in very handy on carpool days. On vehicles with the captain's chairs, buyers can either leave the center walkway open or opt for a center console unit.

Gaining access to the third row should be no problem for older children and adults, as both the second-row chairs and bench are easy to fold and flip out of the way. Third-row legroom is adequate when the second-row seats are in the all-the-way-back position and quite generous when the captain's chairs are scooted up. The seat itself sits a bit low to the floor, but the seat-bottom cushion is deep enough and the back cushion soft enough to allow adults to travel comfortably for short durations. For kids between the ages of 4 and 12, this two-person bench should be ideal.

One of our complaints about SUVs like the Explorer and wagons like the Chrysler Pacifica is that when you're carrying a full load of passengers, there's almost no cargo space to speak of. You might be able to fit a few groceries behind the third-row seat, but what if you're shopping for the whole week? The Freestyle provides a satisfying answer to that question, as it has a deep cargo well behind its rearmost seat, allowing owners to fit at least a half-dozen paper grocery bags without dropping the seat. For those who go by the numbers, cargo volume measures 22.5 cubic feet behind the third row.

In situations in which you do need to fold the seats, it's a simple process. The 50/50-split third-row seats are equipped with easy-to-follow instructions (on their seat backs) and numbered, color-coded straps. (Although the 50/50 third-row seat is available on all trims, lower-line models come standard with a single-piece bench seat that we were not able to try out at the press launch.) Folding the second-row seats is just as straightforward, and once done, you have a smooth load floor that isn't perfectly flat but has no gaps for stuff to fall into and get lost. If you ever need to haul something really long, the front-passenger seat can be folded as well.

The one complaint we have about the Freestyle's cargo-hauling capabilities is the weight of the rear liftgate. It seemed unnecessarily heavy even to a physically fit adult, and the interior grab handle isn't large enough to allow you to get the proper leverage to close it. You have to put a hand on the outside of the gate to get it fully closed, and that's not something we'd want to do when the liftgate is crusted with slush and gunk in the winter. A lighter gate or a better grab handle would be a big help.

As in the Five Hundred, designers made sure that the Freestyle's cabin would be a generally pleasant place to spend time. Beyond its comfortable, roomy seating, the wagon has a crisp, attractive dash design with well-organized controls. The gauges have cream faces and are easy to read. An overhead console houses the flip-down conversation mirror found in Ford's minivans and SUVs, so that parents can get a quick read on what's going on in the second and third rows. A rear-seat DVD entertainment system is available to keep the troops entertained in back while rear climate controls should help minimize the number of "I'm too hot" and "I'm too cold" complaints. And to keep everyone safe, you'll find both side-impact airbags (for the front) and head curtain airbags (for all three rows) on the options list.

Unfortunately, as in other domestic-brand vehicles, interior materials quality is inconsistent. The available leather upholstery has a durable coarse grain, and looks and feels good to the touch. The standard cloth upholstery isn't quite as impressive -- it seemed like it would hold up under family use but didn't strike us as very attractive. Even less appealing were the brittle plastics elsewhere in the cabin -- it's nothing that will offend an Explorer owner but if you're accustomed to import-brand quality, you might not like what you see. Lower-line models offer faux carbon-fiber dash trim, while top-of-the-line models get warmer wood grain trim -- both of these materials are passable in a family wagon, import or domestic.

For power, the Freestyle offers the most updated version of the 3.0-liter Duratec V6, which now includes electronic throttle control. Horsepower comes in at 203, while torque measures 207 pound-feet. If you've shopped for a wagon or SUV recently, then you know these are not great numbers for a 4,000-pound vehicle. Still, the Freestyle does weigh over 500 pounds less than a Pacifica, and it has the benefit of a more advanced transmission -- a CVT.

A CVT, or continuously variable transmission, functions basically like a regular automatic (all you have to do is press the gas pedal) but has no fixed gear ratios. Instead of shifting, it varies the gear ratio continually, choosing from an infinite number of possibilities. When properly programmed, a CVT feels more responsive than an automatic and does a better job of keeping the engine in the sweetest part of its power band.

Although the Freestyle (along with the Five Hundred and Mercury Montego) represents the first application of a CVT in a Ford product, the transmission components are sourced from the same supplier Audi uses for its CVTs -- which hopefully bodes well for reliability. Actual performance is quite good, as this transmission is one of the smoothest CVTs we've ever experienced and far more responsive than the four-speed automatic Ford has previously used with the Duratec V6.

We found acceleration acceptable for the most part with ample power down low for easy city driving. The Freestyle has little difficulty getting up to highway speeds, but we expect that owners will wish for a little more juice for passing maneuvers, especially when the vehicle is loaded up with passengers and gear. The Freestyle did feel faster than the Pacifica, but other potential competitors like the Dodge Magnum, Honda Pilot, Subaru Outback and Toyota Highlander would offer brisker acceleration still.

Although the Freestyle offers just one engine/transmission combination, you do have the option of getting front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. Opting for all-wheel drive adds about 150 pounds of curb weight to your wagon; we didn't notice a big difference in acceleration, though the CVT seemed a tad busier on AWD Freestyles. The extra weight does have an impact on mileage, but the EPA figures are encouraging nonetheless -- front-drive models earn a 20 mpg city/27 mpg highway rating and AWD models rate 19 city/24 highway.

The Freestyle's all-wheel-drive system is the same electronically controlled system used in various Volvo models, and it is notable for its ability to respond quickly to traction loss. Ford had set up a light off-roading course at the introductory event we attended, and the Freestyle efficiently made its way up steep dirt grades -- as the AWD system identified front wheel slippage and rerouted power to the rear wheels before much tire spin could occur. In ideal traction conditions, the AWD system sends power to the front wheels only to promote better fuel economy. Traction control is standard on all Freestyles; on AWD models, it allows for side-to-side power transfers.

Volvo's influence is also apparent in the Freestyle's ride and handling characteristics. The wagon's fully independent suspension delivers a smooth, refined ride for comfortable travel with the family and responsive handling in the corners. We wouldn't go so far as to call the Freestyle sporty, but it does feel smaller and nimbler than the Pacifica and many competing SUVs. The steering is nicely weighted to keep things easy in the parking lot while providing a secure heft at highway speeds. We were also impressed by the wagon's four-wheel disc brakes, which felt solid and progressive in their action. ABS and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution are standard on every Freestyle, but curiously, stability control is not available. We say "curiously" because both Ford and Volvo have this technology at their disposal.

Even with its Swedish mechanicals and space-efficient cabin design, the Freestyle is reasonably priced as family vehicles go. The range stretches from $25,595 for a base SE to $29,195 for a loaded Limited. The SE comes with all the essential equipment, including 17-inch alloy wheels, privacy glass, seating for six, air conditioning, a CD player, a six-way power driver seat, full power accessories (including a one-touch up-and-down driver window) and cruise control. The midgrade SEL adds an in-dash MP3-compatible CD changer, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with auxiliary audio controls, automatic headlights, foglights, heated side mirrors, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a trip computer, extra sound insulation and body-color door handles and mirrors.

If you go for the Limited, you'll get 18-inch wheels, leather upholstery in the first and second rows, wood grain interior trim, dual-zone automatic climate control, an upgraded sound system, power adjustments for both front seats (along with memory for the driver), front seat heaters, the 50/50-split third-row bench and a rear cargo net. Note that SE and SEL models come with two-tone exterior paint, while the Limited gets a monochromatic paint job.

Options on the Freestyle include power-adjustable pedals, a three-person bench seat for the second row (provides seven-passenger capacity), a rear air conditioner, a rear entertainment system, a moonroof and reverse parking sensors. One obvious omission on this list is a navigation system, an item Ford should definitely think about adding.

If you've got $25,000 to $30,000 to spend on a car this year, you could buy the V8-powered Chrysler 300C that everyone's talking about. Or you could go ahead and buy another SUV. But if you've got three kids and want a practical, safe vehicle that isn't a minivan, the Freestyle could be one of the smartest buys for 2005.

Used 2005 Ford Freestyle Overview

The Used 2005 Ford Freestyle is offered in the following submodels: Freestyle Wagon. Available styles include SEL AWD 4dr Wagon (3.0L 6cyl CVT), SEL Fwd 4dr Wagon (3.0L 6cyl CVT), Limited AWD 4dr Wagon (3.0L 6cyl CVT), SE AWD 4dr Wagon (3.0L 6cyl CVT), SE Fwd 4dr Wagon (3.0L 6cyl CVT), and Limited Fwd 4dr Wagon (3.0L 6cyl CVT).

What's a good price on a Used 2005 Ford Freestyle?

Price comparisons for Used 2005 Ford Freestyle trim styles:

  • The Used 2005 Ford Freestyle SE is priced between $5,900 and$5,900 with odometer readings between 88799 and88799 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2005 Ford Freestyles are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2005 Ford Freestyle for sale near. There are currently 1 used and CPO 2005 Freestyles listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $5,900 and mileage as low as 88799 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2005 Ford Freestyle.

Can't find a used 2005 Ford Freestyles you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Ford Freestyle for sale - 12 great deals out of 23 listings starting at $22,857.

Find a used Ford for sale - 7 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $25,597.

Find a used certified pre-owned Ford Freestyle for sale - 6 great deals out of 23 listings starting at $23,115.

Find a used certified pre-owned Ford for sale - 6 great deals out of 18 listings starting at $19,438.

Should I lease or buy a 2005 Ford Freestyle?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Ford lease specials
Check out Ford Freestyle lease specials