The new 2004 Freestar, Ford's safest, most versatile and powerful minivan, arrives in showrooms in October with manufacturer's suggested retail prices (MSRPs) about the same or lower than the outgoing Windstar minivan. "Ford will grow its minivan business by offering customers value, features, and by leveraging our one million-strong base of Ford minivan households," said Steve Lyons, Ford Division president. Freestar is Ford's second major new vehicle introduction in 2003, following the all-new 2004 F-150. It also is the first in a rollout of new cars and crossovers which include the Ford GT super car, a freshened Focus, the all-new Five Hundred sedan, the Freestyle crossover and a redesigned Mustang — all of which launch next year. Freestar features advances in safety, versatility, ride, handling and interior design, as well as several innovative 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 available in a minivan — a 4.2-liter V-6 with 263 lbs.-ft. of torque and 201 horsepower. * An all-new interior with a new instrument panel, more storage, fold and tumble second row seats and 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 it is also able to detect an imminent rollover and deploy without a side-impact collision, then remain inflated for up to six seconds.

Originally posted on Fleet Financials