[This followup was posted to alt.autos.ford and a copy was sent to the
The January 2008 issue of Consumer Reports reviewed it. It has an OK
review and has a recommended rating, as the previous Freestyle had
average reliability. The Toyota Highlander rated best, but doesn't have
any recommendation due to recent issues with Toyota quality.
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My Mother has a 2005 Freestyle and it has been perfect (no problems at all).
Hers is AWD with the now discontinued CVT. I highly recommend the Freestyle,
although I think it is overpriced compared to the Taurus Sedan (which is
also available with AWD).
I have sat in but not driven the Highlander. It is much improved over the
previous model as far as seaing comfort for me is concerned. It is very well
finished. Similarly equipped it will be more expensive than the Taurus X. I
would not be concerned about the reliability of the Highlander. Most of
Toyota's recent significat problems have been with trucks and not cars.
Although the Highlander is marketed as a Crossover SUV, it is just a tall
Camry Station Wagon. The mechanicals are all related to the Camry and have
been proven in many markets.
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