February 14, 2003

Ford unveils all-new Freestar minivan

2004 Ford Freestar
Click image to enlarge

Toronto, Ontario – The 2004 Ford Freestar minivan, unveiled at the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto, will deliver the best driving dynamics, most versatility, comfort and highest levels of safety and quality of any Ford minivan ever, said the company on Thursday. ‘

The Freestar and the Mercury Monterey, which debuted on February 12 in Chicago, will be built by Ford of Canada’s Oakville (Ontario) Assembly Plant. Both minivans go on sale in the Fall.

“Freestar is a very important product for Ford of Canada and shows our commitment to Canada as a great place to do business,” said Alain Batty, Ford Motor Company of Canada president and CEO. “That’s why we invested $600 million in the Oakville Assembly Plant for the production of Freestar,” Batty added.

Ford of Canada’s Essex Engine Plant in Windsor will supply V-6 engines for the all-new Ford Freestar and Mercury Monterey minivans.

The 2004 Freestar will include major new features like:

  • An available segment-exclusive Safety Canopy(TM) side curtain air bag
    system offers protection in side impact collisions and rollovers for
    all three rows of seating

  • Improved access to the third row seat, which can fold flat into the
    floor without having to remove the head restraints

  • A new cabin and instrument panel design that reflects Ford
    Motor Company’s major investment for vastly improved
    interior quality

  • The largest engine in a minivan – the new 4.2-litre V6, standard on
    all Canadian models – offering best-in-class torque for improved
    passing and towing performance

  • A new power liftgate, which will be available later in the model year
  • Latest generation Ford four-speed automatic transmission with
    fast-acting hydraulics for seamless shift quality and improved
    downshift response

  • New, larger four-wheel disc brakes with a new “Panic Brake Assist”
    system as standard on models equipped with Ford’s AdvanceTrac
    stability enhancement system

The Freestar is based on the Windstar which was the only minivan to receive the U.S.
government’s highest frontal crash test rating for seven years straight. Even
with this record, Freestar engineers redesigned the front structure to make
the new vehicle among the best in offset crash performance.

There is storage everywhere in the Freestar — on top of the instrument
panel, in the centre below the sound system, a larger glove box, large two
tier compartments in each front door, a driver side kangaroo pouch, second-row
storage behind the front seats, third-row storage compartments on both sides
and nine cupholders.

“When you sit in this van, when you take your children to school, when
you drive on a cross-country vacation, you will see this is the most flexible,
most comprehensive safety package, most powerful and highest quality minivan
Ford has ever produced,” Alain Batty said.

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