Flexibility is the inspiration behind the all-new Ford Freestyle. Bridging the gap between SUV and sedan, this innovative crossover is ideal for active families and their evolving lifestyles, combining real-world utility with impressive fuel economy and comfort.
Ford Freestyle sets an impressive benchmark for comfort, versatility and safety. It can carry up to seven adults in comfort. Its versatile fold-flat third-row seating provides flexible cargo-carrying capacity. Furthermore, it has the security of optional all-wheel-drive and the available segment-exclusive Safety Canopy™ side-curtain air-bag system.
This year, Freestyle comes with a new navigation system option and two new exterior colour choices: Silver Birch and Titanium Green.
Freestyle offers three levels of comfort and luxury: the SE, the SEL and the top-of-the-line Limited, all available in both AWD and FWD. It is built in Chicago , Ill.
Design and Equipment
Freestyle is designed to stand apart with its long hood, high belt line, large wheels and tires, aggressive “grille-guard”-style lower fascia, flared wheel arches, large side mirrors and hefty strap-style door handles.
It is offered in three series, starting with a well-equipped SE that includes premium features like 17-inch wheels. The SEL adds appearance accents, electronic message centre, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob and a sound system with six-disc CD changer. The top-of-the-line Limited series includes a monochromatic exterior, heated memory exterior mirrors and interior amenities like an Audiophile sound system with subwoofer, perforated leather seating surfaces and heated seats for driver and passenger.
Freestyle’s instrument panel gives the driver and passenger the look, feel and attitude of an SUV, complete with a robust grab handle mounted on the passenger side. The contrasting centre stack contains all climate and audio controls and is topped with two round air registers. The flow-through centre console houses the floor shifter, two ample cup holders and roomy centre storage console.
Freestyle has best-in-class legroom in the second and third rows. The second row is a comfortable place to be for long trips, with standard reclining bucket seats or a 60/40 split-fold bench for seven-passenger capability.
The standard third row is uncharacteristically comfortable thanks to an innovative package design that includes a raised roofline and a well-packaged independent rear suspension below the floor.
Clever storage solutions abound. A recessed lid atop the instrument panel hides a convenient storage bin. A standard overhead console in the front row provides room for sunglasses and garage door openers and includes a convex “conversation mirror,” a popular feature borrowed from Ford’s minivan family that lets the driver direct an eye toward rear-seat passengers.
The first-row console features a power point, handy for recharging portable devices like mobile phones or laptop computers. A small cut-out prevents the charger cord from getting pinched when the console lid is closed.
Powertrain and Chassis
Freestyle’s power comes from Ford’s proven Duratec 30 3.0-litre V-6 engine, matched to an all-new Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). The combination of stiff chassis, high-torque V-6 and wide-ratio transmission adds up to surprising performance and drivability for a vehicle that can haul passengers or cargo in any weather.
Freestyle’s CVT offers advantages not found in traditional automatic transmissions. It uses two variable-size pulleys – one for input from the engine, the other for output to the drive wheels – connected by a steel link belt. It varies the effective sizes of the two pulleys to meet the driving demands of the moment.
Electronic powertrain controls, including a sensor on the electronic throttle, constantly monitor the demand for power. When more torque is needed for acceleration or to maintain speed up a steep hill, the transmission seamlessly responds by creating the right drive ratio from an infinite number of possibilities, allowing the Duratec 30 engine to operate at optimum performance.
The Duratec 30 does not require a tune-up in its first 160,000 kilometres (100,000 miles). The CVT does not require maintenance for its first 97,000 kilometres (60,000 miles).
Freestyle’s platform is inspired from a Volvo design, with independent suspension to assure quick, responsive handling and a quiet ride.
It has an optional all-wheel-drive system. This application uses an electronically controlled, electro-hydraulic Haldex™ limited-slip coupling positioned just ahead of the rear differential to transfer available torque to the rear wheels whenever the front wheels slip.
Electronic controls that gather information from the anti-lock braking system and other sensors allow the all-wheel-drive system to react within 50 milliseconds – much faster and more seamlessly than systems that rely on viscous couplings. Traction control, which is standard on vehicles equipped with all-wheel-drive, provides torque transfer from side to side. When all-wheel-drive isn’t needed, Freestyle functions as a front-wheel-drive vehicle. All wheel drive is engaged only when needed so fuel economy is not unnecessarily compromised.
Safety and Security
In addition to earning top marks in frontal and side crash tests, Freestyle is available with Ford’s innovative Safety Canopy™ system, an industry-exclusive safety feature that offers head protection for all three rows of outboard occupants in side-impacts and rollovers. The Freestyle is the top performer in its category in the government’s rollover stability test as well.
Freestyle’s side-impact protection raises the industry bar by using laser-welding techniques for side pillars that redirect crash forces underneath the vehicle’s seats. This energy is further channelled through a cross-car tube.
Ford also breaks new safety ground with Freestyle’s innovative adaptive steering column that collapses horizontally at two different speeds, based on whether the driver is belted or not. Air-bag deployment is tailored to the position of the driver’s seat on the seat track.
Major Features and Options
SE includes: Four-wheel ABS, 17-inch seven-spoke painted aluminum wheels, folding power exterior mirrors, halogen headlamps, interval wipers, power windows and locks, remote keyless entry, roof rack side rails, two-tone cladding, three-row seating for six, six-way power driver’s seat, fold-flat front passenger seat, reclining fold-flat second-row captain’s chairs, fold-flat third- row bench seat, three 12-volt power points, AM/FM/CD stereo with CD, air conditioning, 12 beverage holders, tilt steering wheel with speed control, front air bags, occupant classification system, passive anti-theft system and LATCH child-seat mounting points in second-row seating positions and the passenger side of the third-row seat.
SEL adds: 17-inch five-spoke bright aluminum wheels, automatic headlamps, chrome grille surround, heated exterior power mirrors, fog lamps, body-colour door handles and mirrors, AM/FM stereo with six-disc in-dash CD changer, leather-wrapped shift knob and steering wheel with remote audio controls and message centre with electronic compass and exterior perimeter lighting.
Limited adds: 18-inch bright aluminum wheels, body-colour cladding and mirrors, perforated leather seating surfaces, eight-way power driver’s seat with memory, four-way power front passenger seat, heated front seats, second-row floor console (six-passenger only), second-row fore-aft seat adjustment (six-passenger only), 50/50 split third-row bench seat, Audiophile stereo with six-disc CD changer and subwoofer, cargo net, dual-zone climate control and wood-grain interior appliqués.
Options include adjustable pedals with memory, all-wheel-drive with traction control, navigation system, DVD family entertainment system with two wireless headphones, power moonroof, seven-passenger seating with 60/40 second-row bench, auxiliary climate control, reverse sensing system, three-row Safety Canopy™ side-curtain air bags, side-impact air bags and an anti-theft system.