You can't trust many car reviews; because they are often written by people who haven't lived with the car; but just are giving their first impressions of what it feels like to drive it. If you look through the Edmunds brand specific forums: (http://townhall-talk.edmunds.com/direc
x?@46.FKtLadpbAaA@) you can find real world experiences of people who own these models; but it takes a lot of time to go through these discussions and you need to know what kinds of comments not to take seriously; which can only be learned from experience.
SUVs are not generally considered as reliable or economical vehicles.They are trend vehicles; which are selling because people feel compelled to adopt that image, or to compete with their neighbors who have bought these vehicles. In the words of a recent poster who was bound and determined to buy another type of trend vehicle (a Volkswagen) and was totally disinterested in the reliable and practical Toyotas we suggested; "Toyotas are so boring; I want something that everybody else is not driving." This kind of emotional reasoning inevitably leads someone to buy junk vehicles.
If you feel the need to buy another SUV; then you'll have to accept the fact that you will not be buying a reliable or economical vehicle.
The most reliable vehicles are built by Toyota. Scion is also a Toyota product, has a surprisingly low new price, and is made in several boxy models which have more interior room that a sedan. The current xD model has not been sold long enough for the price to drop below $10,000; but the 2006 Scion xB wagon is a top quality, reliable and economical vehicle; and now sells for $9,215: (http://www.edmunds.com/scion/xb/2006/?s
u...). That would be my recommendation to replace your Freestar.