Bought van in '99 with 33,000 miles. Transmission rebuilt right after purchase under warranty. (Thank you, Ford!) Bought extended warranty, never used it. Items replaced so far - tie rod ends, power steering pump. We tow snowmobiles with it, no problems pulling. Check engine light comes on occasionally, usually after long trips. Very comfortable ride, no major engine problems to date w/ 120,000 miles. Only paid $13k for van in '99, and it has served us well. Not a Honda by any means, but we didn't pay Honda prices. If I get another year or 2 out of this van I think I will have got more than my money's worth.
Seating is excellent, quiet comfortable ride. CD stereo system has better sound than my wifes $30K Honda, Tons of room, we removed the back seat and use it like a pickup.
This was a very nice vehicle for 8 years, but things started falling apart after that. Ride quality went downhill fast at 50,000 miles. Still have the original motor and transmission at 113,000 miles, now getting C.E. light, front end needs major refurbishing, losing coolant, power steering acting up, speedometer dances, blinker switch replaced, needs shocks, power window problems, O-2 sensor, transmission is sluggish. The power the 3.8 engine had when new started disappearing at 50,000 miles too. For the short term it is not a bad vehicle; being a good, comfortable travel vehicle and small trailer hauler. If you are thinking about a Freestar, think short term ownership (less than seven years or 70,000 miles).
Captains chairs(4), original power, towing package, rear AC, safety features, cargo room, easy to read dash, rear radio controls, and original ride comfort.
Long term quality, more cup holders, deeper cup holders, quieter ride, softer ride, and lighter weight removable seats.
After driving my first brand new car is was immediately plagued with problems. When we purchased the van we were assured that we would be able to tow a tent trailer (<3,000 lbs). Initially the check engine light came on. Nothing wrong at the dealer. Don't know what the computer has been trying to tell us over the past 9 years but now I've placed a sticker over the light and just ignore it! Right after the warranty ran out 40k miles, the transmission went out! Took to a transmission shop who said you can't haul with a front wheel drive auto! This is my 3rd transmission in 9 years and I poke along the road with my kids! Never, ever buying another Ford even if they give it to me!
We bought it to accomodate our family outings, but it has been a constant problem. It has a constant miss, that to this date, we have been unable to find a mechanic that can fix it. Also has the issues of the door ajar alarm staying on, power windows work occasionally. This van has spent MONTHS in the shop and is still not fixed. Really gives Ford a bad name. I'm sure I won't be buying anything else with Ford on it. I can't believe this entire vehicle hasn't been recalled for all the extreme problems they have.
It's a van, wanted the 7 passenger seating.
Throw this one away and start completely over. This van is beyond "improvements."
This has been a great vehicle, absolutely no problems. I have only done routine maintance and I plan to buy a new Freestar this year to replace this. Too bad the resale is not a bit better but I have certainly gotten my money's worth - almost ten years old and paid less then $20K new, that ends up less than $175 a month including maintenance.