The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

2004 Freestar is Ford’s Safest, Most Versatile Minivan

September 29, 2003

The new 2004 Freestar, Ford's safest, most versatile, and powerful minivan, will arrive in showrooms next month with a manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) about the same or lower than the outgoing Windstar minivan.Freestar is Ford's second major new vehicle introduction in 2003, following the all-new 2004 F-150. It also is the first in an aggressive rollout of new cars and crossovers, including the Ford GT super car, a freshened Focus, the all-new Five Hundred sedan, the Freestyle crossover, and a completely redesigned Mustang — all of which launch next year.Freestar features advances in safety, versatility, ride, handling, and interior design, as well as several new features and options. These include:* A third-row seat that folds flat into the floor and reverses into a rear-facing Tailgate Bench(tm) seat when parked. * The largest and highest torque engine in a minivan — an available 4.2-liter V-6 with 263 lbs.-ft. of torque and 201 horsepower. * An all-new interior and instrument panel, abundant, easy-to-reach storage, one-hand fold and tumble second row seats, and significantly reduced interior noise levels. * Available Safety Canopy(tm) side curtain airbags with rollover sensor that cover all three rows of seats.Like many side-curtain air bags, Freestar's Safety Canopy deploys in certain side-impact collisions. But only Ford's Safety Canopy is able to detect an imminent rollover and deploy without a side-impact collision, then remain inflated for up to six seconds. Major standard equipment on Freestar includes a new 3.9-liter V-6 engine, four-speed automatic transmission, 16-inch wheels and tires, air conditioning, power windows, locks and mirrors, remote keyless entry, four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes with electronic brake force distribution and the new fold-into-the-floor Tailgate Bench seat.
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Howard Cook began his lengthy career with the Ford Motor Co. in 1926 and attended the Henry Ford Trade School in Dearborn, Mich.

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