Ford to Stamp Out Minivans

by : Chuck Smith

Ford Motor Co. is planning to eradicate all its minivans in its forthcoming lineup. The automaker's decision to wipe out minivans was triggered by its poor performance in said segment. In view of said eradication, the automaker is planning to create a new class coined as 'people movers'. The latter will be based on Fairlane which debuted at the 2005 Detroit auto show.

On one hand, a Lincoln version for said model is contemplated to be produced by the automaker. The concept and platform of the new car was based on Five Hundred sedan and Freestyle crossover utility vehicle.

This year the sales of Freestar vehicles dropped by 20 percent. Mercury Monterey, its sibling, slumped by 40 percent. Moreover, Ford has finally decided to end the production of minivans. Monterey has ended its production since August this year. Freestar, on the other hand, will follow in the spring of 2007.

Ford Freestar is quite similar to Monterey. In its 2007 version, Freestar is given 6 new exterior colors. Said colors are available for its 3 models SE, SEL and Limited. Also, a cargo van is made available by the automaker.

On its exterior, the vehicle uses sophisticated which include body-colored grille for SE model, chrome grille and 16-inch five-spoke aluminum wheels for SEL. Limited, on one hand, is given chrome exterior trim, 16-inch chrome wheels, power sliding doors and heated signal mirrors with puddle lamps.

Freestar's interior accommodates 7 occupants. It features fold-and-tumble second-row bucket seats, controllable third-row seat, bigger cargo space, covered compartment on top of the dashboard. SEL and Limited models are equipped with compass, conversation mirror, readouts for outside temperature and auxiliary buttons for the sliding doors (if installed). Freestar is also given 9 cupholders. The front-door cupholder is capable of holding 20-ounce beverages. Aside from that Freestar is also equipped with standard equipment such as CD player, cruise control, tire pressure monitoring system, power locks, remote keyless entry and more. The SEL model is given a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls.

Under the is a 194-horsepower, 3.9-liter V-6, which is standard for SE model. On the other hand, 4.2-liter V-6 is given to both SEL and Limited models. These engines are incorporated to come up with an energetic and powerful performance.