I've owned this vehicle since it was introduced in 2004.
This minivan is quite spacious and comfortable and very suitable if you're looking for something to haul your family around... or if you have hobbies where you have gear/items you need to tote around.
The Freestar is a good value if you're looking for a minivan. It's not flashy and it's interior styling is fairly boring. On the basic models, it's extensive use of plastics, while efficient, is a little chinsy looking. But you get what you pay for. If you're looking for a no frills people mover, the Freestar fits the bill.
Ford probably put as much content as they could in the vehicle (stylewise & qualitywise) of the components, fabrics and plastics. But saddled with the staggering UAW anchor, it would seem they didn't have a lot of room to fancy this van up and still sell it at it's fairly low cost.
But Ford did invest in safety on this van. It's very safe, with airbags and a canopy system... I believe it's 5-star crash rated in multiple categories.
For long trips, it's definitely not the most comfy land yacht ever. But it gets the job done at a price that is very reasonable.
The engine is powerful and responsive and you'll appreciate this on the highway for quick accelerations. I have had no mechanical issues other than the undersized brakes needed replaced at 40k miles... I drive mainly freeway miles and was disappointed at this cost.
Fuel economy isn't the greatest. I don't know the exact numbers, but this van holds 25? gallons I think and can make you wince when you fill it up.
The air conditioning is cold and the heater warms up fast. The suspension is okay. Road noise is louder than I would like. Ford didn't do a lot of work insulating the cabin from road noise... and the factor spec tires are louder than they should be.
When you replace the tires, pick a good quality brand tire known for quiet running. This will improve road noise immensely.
The vans depreciate at around 40% a year. But the advantage is that you'll be able to get a relatively newer model (used) for a great value.
The radio controls... the paint has worn off on a few of the buttons which is very annoying. And the rubber pad came off the brake foot lever... I had the dealer re-glue it on with high quality adhesive. Guessing Ford cheapened up on the glue they used.
If you're looking for a no frills dependable and safe minivan... at a good price, the Ford Freestar is definitely worth a look.