2005 Freestyle w/ CVT Transaxle

We were looking at the Ford Freestyle this weekend, a new model for 2005, as a potential candidate for a family car. It comes standard with a CVT Transaxle, which I am not sure if it is a known/proven
quantity in the field. Any opinions on this technology? I've always heard that first year models should be avoided.
Thanks, Matt
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A relative of mine leased one a couple months ago and loves it. Got an SEL with AWD. Has had no problemos with it at all.
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I was leaning towards the FWD version with the side air bags, I don't see much need for AWD even in the winter. The FWD costs less and gets better gas mileage. I've driven my Escort through a foot of snow or more, in the Northeast that's not unheard of, so pretty comfortable with FWD.
Thanks for the input!
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snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

I have a Honda Civic Hybrid with CVT and a 2005 Escape Hybrid with CVT. The CVT has been around for quite a while, but usually on low powered cars. Look in the EPA guide for "AV". Several available in the US, more in Europe. The new Fords are the most powerful.
I love it in the Honda. It makes the car smoother and better accelerating in normal driving. It doesn't sound like a four cylinder automatic. In the Escape, the engine RPM goes up too quickly, and the engine is quite a bit noisier than the Honda. I think it is a good thing, and with a trend toward six-speed automatics, which is the alternative to the CVT in the Ford 500, CVT will probably show up in more cars, as it is probably cheaper than a six speed.
A six speed might be nearly the same as a CVT, but the CVT is so sweet. No shifting, no straining engine at low RPM, not much overrevving engine at high demand loads. Reliability? Dunno. My Honda is at 40K+. The Escape is still problem free at 4,000 ;-)
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Clarence A Dold - Hidden Valley (Lake County) CA USA 38.8,-122.5
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Yes, the reliability question comes to mind. I can get an employer discount and wondering if I should wait until next year for the factory incentives as well. That would also allow for some more time to see how they fair out in the real world.
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snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Get a good extended warranty with rental coverage if you want peace of mind in any car... From what I've heard CVTs 'overall' aren't any less reliable than your typical undersized/overworked modern automatic...
I'm pretty sure its about optimal for the engine and the rest of the drivetrain since theres no 'whiplash' from shifting and the engine should not ever get 'lugged'...
Plus I hear they're really simple/cheap to overhaul... I have no actual proof of this.
JS
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snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

There are already factory incentives!
Ed
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Where, what zip code? How much? None of the vehicles listed in my area show them.
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To be specific, they're not offering cash back yet, the only incentive I'm interested in. The 2004 Explorers have a $4000 cash back incentive. Freestars $5000...
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snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

27944
Looks like I am wrong (at least for the moment). When my Father bought his Freestyle there was a Factory to Dealer incentive of $1500. The dealer was quick to drop the price after I mentioned it to them (we were using the Supplier Discount too). The dealers in my area are still advertising large discounts on 500's and Freestyles. I just looked at Edmunds, and don't see any general rebates or the Factory to Dealer incentives listed. I assume they all expired. There were a bunch of special category rebates listed, but you probably don't qualify. Sorry. Maybe sales have picked up for the Freestyle. The one my Father purchased was the first one his salesman had sold.
Ed
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On 22 Feb 2005 12:59:39 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

mat look in the technicians parking lot see on drive a ford they are JUNK dude do yourself a favor only IDIOTS buy fords i know ....i made a lot of $$$ off of IDIOTS
hurc ast
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I hear the stereos in new Fords are pretty bad... Guess you see a lot of them at the Circuit City Road Shop...
JS
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My own take is to leave the first year production alone to allow for any teething pains. This is Fords first foray into production line CVTs and pre-production testing can only go so far. While most customers are generally pleased with a first year purchase, the gamble is a little high .. especially with new vehicle pricing, these days.
The CVT concept has been around since the mid eighties but I'm not sure that consumers were quite ready for it back then. The driving experience is certainly unique but I'm not sure I'd want to try towing with one of these...
Good luck, whatever your choice.
HTH

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snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

My Father recently bought a Freestyle AWD with the CVT. I am very impressed with the vehicle. I persoanlly own a Saturn Vue with GMs attempt at a CVT. I have always found the Vue CVT to be quirky but lovabale. In other words, it works well, but takes some getting used to. The Freestyle was a revelation. Unless you really looked for the missing shift points, you'd never know it was a CVT. The CVT in my Father's is very smooth and seems will matched to the 3.0L V-6. I've seen people in this newsgroup berate the Freestyle and 500 becasue they only have a 3.0L V-6. After driving my Father's Freestyle, I believe this is utter nonsense perpetuated by people who have not actually driven one of the cars. The accelration is very good. You aren't going to out run any hemi powered Chrysler 300's, but I'll bet you can easily keep up with a Pacifica or a V-6 powered 300.
As for first year problems - I don't know. My Father has had his Freestyle for about a month and there have been no problems. The CVT is based on a Volvo design, so it is not really "new." The engine is a know quantity. The suspension and body structure are new but also based on Volvo designs. So far my Father's seems solid.
Regards,
Ed White
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FWIW, Subaru offered a ECVT in its old Justy. They were not known for their reliability. I think the transmission has benefits in theory, but to my knowledge, no one has produced a truly reliable one. Hopefully that's changed with more modern technology, but time will have to be the judge.
CJB

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