If you want to know one of the biggest secrets in the auto industry, stop by your local Ford dealer and stroll through the lot.

Youíll find some of the best products on the market. From the Mustang muscle car to the incredible mid-size Fusion sedan to the all-new Edge crossover to the best-selling full-size truck in the world, there are a lot of models that quite frankly, havenít gotten the attention they deserve ó mainly because media attention has shifted from the products to the companyís financial reports.

Thatís too bad, because Ford is producing several high-quality models that make a statement.

Itís no secret that Iíve been a fan of the Freestyle crossover since its introduction in 2004 as a 2005 model.

So much so, I went out and bought one.

Available in front- or all-wheel drive and with seating configurations for up to seven passengers, the Freestyle is a stylish blend between a sedan and sport utility vehicle.

Itís flexible seating makes it ideal to shift from passenger carrying mode to cargo capability.

Having helped our son move to and from his college dorm room in Lubbock (go Red Raiders!), the Freestyle was more than up for the challenge.

On vacation mode, it was also nice having the extra passenger seats for the whole family while the kids enjoyed the rear seat entertainment system.

For the 2007 model, Ford has added the Safety Canopy side air curtain as standard equipment, as well as 18-inch wheels for Limited trim line models.

Several new packages are available, each providing a popular selection of features.

The only thing I wish were available is a six-speed automatic transmission.

With a base price starting around $25,000, the Freestyle is a solid performer and highly recommended for a test drive.

Neal White has been covering the automotive industry for more than 15 years and is affiliated with the Texas Auto Writers Association and the Midwest Automotive Media Association. E-mail neal.white@waxahachiedailylight.com.