[This followup was posted to alt.autos.ford and a copy was sent to the
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.
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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