2005 Ford Freestyle SEL AWD Road Test

By Rob Rothwell
2005 Ford Freestyle SEL AWD Road Test

Lightening the SUV Load

Until the motoring public becomes more conversant with the name "Freestyle" and the term "crossover" as it applies to modern

Personally, I believe the crossover segment has a tremendous amount to offer, but up to now has been under-embraced by consumers. (Photo: Rob Rothwell, American Auto Press)
vehicles, owners of the new Ford had better get accustomed to conversations and smart-aleck remarks such as: "What are you driving these days?" "A Freestyle." "A Free-what?" "A Freestyle." "What the heck is a Freestyle?" "It's a crossover vehicle." "What the heck is a Freestyle crossover vehicle - a car for free-thinking cross-dressers?"

Now that Ford has joined the full-size, domestic crossover fray, it shouldn't take long for the awareness factor to kick in as potential buyers begin comparing the Freestyle with Chrysler's Pacifica, among others. Personally, I believe this segment of the auto

At 199.8 inches in length, the Freestyle is 10 inches longer than its cousin, the Ford Explorer. (Photo: Rob Rothwell, American Auto Press)
industry has a tremendous amount to offer, but up to now has been under-embraced by consumers. The many benefits derived from the distillation of an SUV into a car-like product are worthy of scrutiny by anyone in the market for either a minivan or SUV. The new Freestyle is an excellent example.

Although the Freestyle and other crossover vehicles don't carry the bulk that most midsize or larger SUVs do, it is equally, if not more, spacious than many midsize SUVs. At 199.8 inches in length, the Freestyle is 10 inches longer than its cousin, the Ford Explorer, and an inch longer than its main rival, the Pacifica.

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