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Ford Five Hundred/Mercury Montego

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Comments

  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,415
    AWD costs more, gets worse gas mileage, has more components and weighs more. For those reasons, some people will not buy it. That doesn't mean they are "right" and you are wrong. It means there are more choices for more situations. For many, the ideal would be FWD (or RWD) with EBD, traction control and stability control. Those systems all weigh less than AWD, so they will have a place as an alternative to it.
  • johnclineiijohnclineii Posts: 2,287
    This article is so important I am not quoting any part of it. You will want to read it!

    http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060407/AUTO01/604070379/1148-
  • lzclzc Posts: 483
    Thanks for the link to the Detroit News article. Unfortunately, I think Ford is wrong if it believes style is the primary reason for the Five Hundred's disappointing sales. After all, Toyota has done rather well with styles universally thought to be "boring."

    I agree that the Five Hundred needs a new engine, one that's smooth and quiet. As to acceleration, it comes with the price of reduced gas mileage. Once again, I wonder if Detroit isn't fighting the last war.
  • johnclineiijohnclineii Posts: 2,287
    By all accounts, the 3.5L is MORE economical than the 3.0....
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,415
    The engine should help, but small styling changes will do little. Yes, the Ford 3 bar grill is more distinctive, but it is hardly "sexy," especially when attached to the rest of the bland (some might even say dumpy-looking) body. Ford sure missed the boat on that clean sheet design. And when is stability control coming? With many cheaper sedans offering it--some even as standard equipment--why buy a vehicle without it (unless perhaps the dealer cuts the price to the bone)?
  • lzclzc Posts: 483
    The 3.5 might well be more economical. Modern engines are more efficient. That doesn't mean, though, that most of the improvement won't be directed to more power rather than fuel economy.

    The NY Times recently had a good article on how today's family sedan will match (or better) the 0 to 60 mph times of many muscle cars of the 70s. Americans want speed, not fuel economy.
  • fsmmcsifsmmcsi Posts: 792
    To me, the Five Hundred and Montego, from the side, and the Montego also from the rear, are handsome and classy, certainly not dumpy, and definitely not fashion victims as is the Chrysler 300. The fronts of both are the problem, and the substantial collection of spy photos now up on Edmunds and other web sites make it clear that the new designs will be just what is needed, along with the new engine, new transmission, and feature / option upgrades to make these vehicles top sellers. The discussion one year from now should be most enjoyable. :)
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,415
    IMHO, the 500 from the rear suffers from the same awkward rear glass to trunk transition that marred the previous Passat design from that angle. Park next to an Audi A6 to get the contrast on how it can be done so much better.

    The side is just bland, taking a graceful Audi-like look and making it more anonymous. Yes, of course it is not high fashion. However, it will only look even less inspired as it gets more out of date.

    Chrysler's approach, creating a "fashion victim" works quite well actually. By the time everyone is tired of it, they will have issued a complete redesign--something they frequently do. Like it or not, it encourages people to buy new. As an aside, when cars get old enough to become classics, it seems to be the odd and bold that garner attention, at least as much if not more than the understated designs do.

    Ford is famous for putting new front clips on previous designs and calling it a redesign. In no case that I can recall, has that approach turned a lukewarm seller into a hot commodity. I do hope in this case that it does spur sales (especially too if they plan to fix that too-wide console that robs driver room). It's a decent ride, and Ford could use the sales. Thus, in this case I sincerely hope you are right and I am wrong.

    It just strikes me as another example of too little too late. In the first place, why didn't they use an overall shape more like the widely acclaimed 427? (And why didn't didn't they do a quick reskin a Crown Vic in that fashion for another specialty model, rather than that half-a**ed effort Mercury called the Marauder?) Issuing a design that looks a lot like a 1998 German car is hardly an attempt to lead with something new.
  • barnstormer64barnstormer64 Posts: 1,106
    Americans want speed, not fuel economy.

    I wonder at what gasoline price this attitude will change substantially?
  • gened1gened1 Posts: 256
    My wife just recently aquired a Chevy Impala with the 3.5 engine. While it seems to be a little more energetic than my 500 3.0 it also uses more gas. I just read that GM and Ford collaborated on a 3.5 liter engine and transmission. and was wondering if anyone knows if this engine will be used in upcoming Ford products? It is probably the one now in the Impala. I still feel that when I press the 500 gas pedal down with authority the car takes off sufficiently for my needs. I think the cars computer learns the driving habits of the driver. On a recent four hour trip to NYC I averaged 28+ mpg at 70 - 80 mph.
    Gene
  • barnstormer64barnstormer64 Posts: 1,106
    I know that GM and Ford collaborated on the new 6-speed transmission. I wasn't aware they'd also collaborated on the 3.5L Duratec, though.

    Sounds like it could be the same engine/tranny to me. Certainly the transmission.
  • johnclineiijohnclineii Posts: 2,287
    a. The Impala does NOT use the GM/Ford Six Speed Transmission. In fact, it still has only a four speed automatic!

    b. The 3.5L engine coming from Ford was NOT developed with General Motors.

    So, nothing from the Impala experience will translate to the new Five Hundred.

    And I used to own a 00 Impala LS and now have a 05 Five Hundred, which I intend to trade when the new 3.5L comes out...
  • fsmmcsifsmmcsi Posts: 792
    Other than the fact that both are 60 degree V6 piston engines, and they both displace 3.5 liters, there is nothing else in common between the GM 3.5 and the Ford. I now own a 2005 model car with the GM 3.5 engine. GM substantially revised it and their 3.9 liter V6 for 2006. The GM engine is a pushrod engine (not a bad thing, as the Corvette Z06 engine proves), and the Ford 3.5 is a double overhead cam engine, as is the present 3.0.

    GM and Ford will both use the new front wheel drive six speed automatic they jointly developed, but neither is yet selling a car in the US equipped with it. However, by one or two years from now, all GM and Ford front wheel drive or front wheel drive-based all wheel drive cars will probably be using that new transmission. The programming of the control electronics is different for each company.

    Ford and GM both have completely unrelated six speed automatics for rear wheel drive, or rear wheel drive-based all wheel or four wheel drive vehicles. Ford is now using their old four speed automatic in the Crown Victoria, Town Car, F-150 and Grand Marquis, their newer five speed automatic in the Explorer and Mountaineer equipped with the V6, and their newest six speed automatic in the Navigator, and Explorer and Mountainer V8s, and will use it in the 2007 Expedition and Navigator. GM is now using their new six speed automatic in the Escalade and the Yukon Denali, but it will soon spread to the rest of their GMT-900 vehicles (Sierra, Tahoe, Silverado, Etc., replacing their old four speed. GM also has a five speed automatic for some vehicles (e.g. the CTS).
  • evandroevandro Posts: 1,108
    The NY Times recently had a good article on how today's family sedan will match (or better) the 0 to 60 mph times of many muscle cars of the 70s. Americans want speed, not fuel economy.

    If that newspaper were any honest, it would also state the mileage figures of today's family sedan and 70's muscle cars.

    As a matter of fact, Americans want speed and get fuel economy as bonus. ;)
  • lzclzc Posts: 483
    Yes, mileage has increased since the days of the 70s muscle cars. Most of that gain came early, though, because of vehicle weight reduction.

    Since then, total U.S. vehicle mileage has remained virtually unchanged. During that time improvements in engine performance have gone to improved acceleration.
  • fsmmcsifsmmcsi Posts: 792
    In the Edge and MKZ, the new 3.5 is rated at 265 Hp and 250 Ft-Lbs.

    In post 3124 I said " ... since the 3.0 in the Fusion, Zephyr, and Milan now produces 221 horsepower on regular, if the 3.5 is only just as efficient, it will produce 257, not the 250 horsepower Ford estimates. However, it seems almost impossible that such a long delayed new engine will not be much more efficient than the unit it replaces, so 270 horespower on regular seems entirely possible, even likely." Ford - where is my 5 horsepower? ;) Just kidding - Ford has done an outstanding job, especially in light of the simplicity (less to go wrong), and the fact that it only requires regular gasoline.

    From what I have been reading, the new 6-speed automatic is equally outstanding.
  • evandroevandro Posts: 1,108
    No, most of the gain came from improvements to fuel delivery. As a matter of fact, cars are in average heavier nowadays than in the 70's due to crash regulations, yet are thriftier and faster.
  • lzclzc Posts: 483
    >>>As a matter of fact, cars are in average heavier nowadays . . . .

    You are mistaken.

    " . . . . . passenger cars over in the 4,500 pound weight class and above made up 50% of the 1975 new car fleet but only 0.9% of the 2000 model new cars. The decline in full-size car weight is not due to introduction of SUV’s since the market share of 4,500 pound and heavier passenger cars had dropped below 1% by 1985. Since adoption of CAFE, small passenger cars got heavier while large passenger cars got lighter . . . . "

    http://www.autosafety.org/article.php?scid=77&did=319
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    Wow, 1/2 the cars weighed over 4500 lbs :surprise:

    Bur your link also indicates the average vehicle has gotten heavier in a more recent time period:

    Advances in fuel economy technology have lead to a gain in overall fleet from 1980-2000 from 22.5 to 24.0 even though the average weight of the fleet went up from 3,227 pounds to 3,868 pounds during that time frame.
  • lzclzc Posts: 483
    My original point was that *most* of the earlier gains in mpg came from the dramatic drop in average vehicle weight, post 1970. The more recent small weight gain doesn't alter that.

    The improved efficiencies of new engines is amazing. I took a test drive today in an Avalon, the Japanese Buick. 0 to 60 mph time is 6-something seconds, and the mpg is decent. I just wonder how much more mpg one might get if the acceleration, however nice, didn't match, and better, the muscle cars of the 70s.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,415
    Depends how you look at it. So many vehicles driven these days are defined as "trucks" (to get around CAFE regulations), but you and I know that "crossovers" are cars.

    Furthermore, subcompacts and compact sedans have gotten a lot heavier than they used to be in the 70's and 80's, due to chassis stiffening, added safety equipment, and the fact that what used to be considered optional is now often standard equipment. Look at the huge weight difference between the VW Rabbit and the last couple generations of the Golf.
  • lunarmistlunarmist Posts: 40
    For anyone in Massachusetts:

    When we received our Mass registration renewal in Jan '06, it came with an offer to test drive any Ford and get a $100.00 Gift card. I did drive a V6 Fusion but was not impressed, especially the cheap hard plastic inside trim.

    Since I did not make a copy of the offer coupon I do not have the phone number or website to check the status of the offer. Anyone out there have the info ?

    Thanks
  • evandroevandro Posts: 1,108
    I stand corrected.

    Thanks.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,564
    You got an offer in your Massachusetts Registration renewal from Ford? Is the state of Massachusetts selling advertising rights in with their registration renewals? Interesting, but I suppose any way they can get revenue without raising taxes!

    I got a $50 gift card test drive offer in January direct from Ford for test driving a Fusion. Just got the card last week. The toll free customer service number in my offer to check the status is 866-261-3596. I don't know if this number will work for your offer, but it is worth a try.

    I disagree with your Fusion appraisal, by the way. I thought the interior was just fine. Every vehicle's interior is filled with plastic, some hard, some soft, some wood trim, some fake metal trim. Hard plastics in areas you rarely touch don't bother me a bit. In fact they stand up better to wear and tear in the long run anyways.
  • lunarmistlunarmist Posts: 40
    First, thank you for the info, I was able to contact someone.

    Second, I should had mentioned I was comparing the 2006 Fusion to my 2005 Camry. The most disappoint aspect of the vehicle was where it was built, Mexico. The engine was from the U.S. and the six-speed automatic was from Japan. I'd like to know where the General Manager of a Ford factory in Michigan would allow the Fusion to be parked if owned by an employee. He makes Ford employees who drive "foreign" cars park far away from the entrance to the plant..
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,415
    Good point. What is an "American" car is pretty darn arbitrary these days.
  • barnstormer64barnstormer64 Posts: 1,106
    It's not THAT arbitrary, really. Just look at where each company has its roots, who runs it, etc.
  • pnewbypnewby Posts: 277
    And also take into account the "owner" of the brand. Ford- American, GM- American, Toyota- Japanese, KIA- Korean, BMW- German, Chrysler- German, Mazda- almost American, Volvo- American, and so forth.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,415
    Chrysler- German, Mazda- almost American, Volvo- American, and so forth.
    I certainly see what you are saying, but you won't get universal agreement, that, say, for instance Volvo is American. If you can't get consensus, there isn't any...and that was my point.
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