ford freestar vans

Hello,
My wife and I are torn between the Freestar by Ford and the MPV by Mazda. Any feedback on either van would be most appreciated.
snipped-for-privacy@ca.inter.net
Thanks
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[This followup was posted to alt.autos.ford and a copy was sent to the cited author.]

Consumer Reports gives a 'recommended' rating to the MPV (along with the Sienna, Odyssey and Quest.) The Ford Freestar/Mercury Monterey is rated the same as the previous Windstar, next to the bottom, just above the Kia Sedona. The Freestar is just a restyled Windstar with a new 'begins with the letter "F" so you know it's a Ford' name. The MPV's engine is the very common Duratec 201hp 3.0L found in virtually every other Ford/Mazda vehicle. The Freestar has two new big engines (3.9L and 4.2L), but about the same HP as the 3.0L Duratec.
CR test reports (check your library or on-line if you don't get CR): MPV = Oct 2003 Freestar = March 2004
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That's an interesting question. We have an old MPV that we like a lot, and we've seen no end of problems others have had with Windstars, especially with the transmission. However, I see the modern MPV's look hardly as distinctive as they used to, and Mazda seem now to be pretty much under Ford's umbrella anyway, so now I'm wondering if the modern MPVs are much like the old ones, if they're much different to Freestars, and if Freestars are much different to Windstars.
-- Mark
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wrote:

Win(d)Star. Or LoserStar if you happened to own one of the piles of junk. The Aerostar, although it had it's problems was twice the van the WindStar ever was. Changing the name from Windstar to Freestar doesn't make it a better vehicle - and until they have accumulated a few years of history I'd be wary
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Not so, the only thing the Freestar has in common with the Windstar is the body shell. Even at that the last of the Windstars were very good vehicles.
mike hunt
snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

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