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2007 Ford Freestyle

Martha Hindes

2007 Ford Freestyle
2007 Ford Freestyle Interior

So we're fudging a little. With Ford's Freestar minivan now history, the Ford Freestyle fills that nameplate void as a sporty, people hauler that can do much of the same without the traditional MV accoutrements (sliding doors and the like). We won't call it a minivan. Ford probably wouldn't like that anyway.

What Freestyle does, however, is sufficient to include it in this listing: Haul as many as seven, convert to a nifty cargo hauler when moving a load of stuff, travel in smooth comfort, keep everyone safe with a full contingent of standard safety equipment. That includes front-seat, side-impact and Ford's side curtain Safety Canopy air curtain system that covers all rear seating rows, plus adaptive, two-stage collapsible steering for more accident protection.

From its looks, you might call the Freestyle an off-road intender with on-road sophistication. We don't suggest taking it down a steep mountainside but found during an earlier test drive that it could chew up off-pavement with no problem. And appearance-wise, with high beltline, roof rails and aggressive face, it has more kick than the minivan class it competes with.

For 2007, in addition to that standard airbag system, the Freestyle gets four new packages: Interior Convenience with high tech electronics, Interior Power Group including adjustable pedals. Those go memory adjustable along with Reverse Sensing as part of the Limited Convenience Group. The Safety and Security Package includes anti-theft perimeter alarm. Two clearcoat metallics, Alloy and Dune Pearl are new exterior color choices.

The Freestyle comes in two styles. The SEL has leather-wrapped steering and shifter, electronic message center and six-disc CD changer among amenities. The top-line Limited adds heated seats and mirrors and upgraded sound. Under both is Ford's Duratec 30 3.0-liter, 203-horsepower V6 with continuously variable transmission (CVT) that smooths acceleration and kicks in torque as needed. Base pricing is a shade under $30,000 and best EPA mileage is about 19/24.

And for someone who might be thinking of an upcoming '08 Freestyle later on, there's a change to note. That revamped edition will go by the Taurus X moniker. That should clear up any latent "Free what?" name confusion out there.