If the new Ford Freestar/Mercury Monterey minivans demonstrate anything, it's that a new name is a lot cheaper than new sheetmetal. The Freestar and Monterey monikers attach to one of the most innocuous "redesigns" in automotive history. Even serious minivan enthusiasts, were there such a thing, would have a tough time telling the new Freestar from the old Windstar. Ford says that what counts in a minivan is the inside and that people don't care about a minivan's looks, or why would they buy one in the first place? Touch, Ford. There's so much spin on that argument that it almost fully rotates back to the truth.
So the Freestar and the upscale Monterey-Mercury having ditched its Nissan Quest partner and Villager nameplate-deliver a minivan with all the emphasis on the interior.
The cabin has been gutted and the Windstar's blobs and swoops replaced by a very J Maysian execution of strict horizontal lines, small buttons, and high-quality materials. Interior noise levels have plummeted, offering the Freestar/Monterey driver a calmer perch and less intrusion from either the 3.9- or the 4.2-liter OHV V-6.... Read full article