Vote for Your Favourite!
After kicking some tires on used Windstars and figuring out that we would spend pretty close to the cost of a new van on a decent used van, DH and I are considering buying new.
If we buy new, our choices are the Ford Freestar (the model which replaced the Ford Winstar) or a Ford Freestyle (SUV hybrid).
The Freestar is an easy choice because I've driven Ford minivans for 7 years now, have been happy with them and know what to expect. On the other hand, I had hoped to eek a few more years out of the old van and then purchase something smaller, or at least a bit less "trucklike" and easier to maneuver when one of the kids was big enough to sit in the frontseat. Obviously, I fell a bit short of that goal, so I'm stuck buying something big enough to seat three kids (and a dog) in the back. Oh, and 3 rows of seats are optimal...anyone familiar with autistic meltdowns knows the necessity of being able to segregate the children from each other.
The Ford Freestyle has an option of a third row of seats, drives much more like a car than the Freestar and is more fuel efficient to boot (remember $1.00/litre gasoline). On the downside, it is a bit more cumbersome to get into the rear seat (but then the kids are big enough to crawl there themselves, I'm not strapping in bucket seats anymore)...and of course it is a bit pricier than the minivan.
Both come in acceptable colours, (although not quite as nice as the bright blue of my Ex-Windstar) and both can be filled with a wide variety of safety and comfort features.
So...what do you think??