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Ford Five Hundred/Mercury Montego



  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    If the 500/Montego (especially Montego) top out at what $33,000 as expected, do you not think the the 300s will be cross-shopped. Most certainly, the 3.5L 300 Touring and Limited will be, and those who want more- can look to the 300C, but dont have anywhere to go with the Montego. The 3.5L already offers substantially more power than the intro Duratec in the Fords. If Ford isnt after the larger sedan market (300, Amanti, Avalon) who are they after?

  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    I've already test driven the 300 with the 250HP 3.5L, and I say there's about 40 horses absent on that powertrain, and has always been over-rated. The weight issue is mainly a factor.

    Pertaining to the 500, maybe the AWD version might be the closest version someone would cross shop it with...but comparing the FWD 2WD versions of each vehicle will make the deciding factor for many.

    Granted, the 300C could have even 400HP and be priced the same, but in the end it will not guarantee sales success. Let's take a look at the Nissan Titan, great acceleration performance, but it's sales are below what expected. Same with the Quest, same with the Armada. Acceleration is just one factor in the equation.
  • rcf8000rcf8000 Posts: 619
    Look at the Mercury Marauder. The marketplace cerainly greeted it with a big yawn. Of course, if it had the performance of the 300C, maybe things would be a little different. But the biggest factor was probably that it was a more powerful engine in an obsolescent car. Nobody is going to buy a 500 or Montego who is mainly interested in acceleration. The power of the 3.0 Duratec should be enough for the target market.
  • johnclineiijohnclineii Posts: 2,287
    Well, I WAS. But Ford has pushed me into looking at the 250hp/ torque Legacy GT or Outback XT.

    Otherwise, it WOULD have been a Five Hundred.

    I doubt I am alone in this....
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    I understand your point, and I agree that acceleration is just one aspect of a vehicles overall package. I just feel a 200 hp powerplant is disappointing in an otherwise all new effort. I dont care that we'll get the 3.5L in a year. That will be fine for then- but what about now? Consumers looking to purchase now but wanting power will NOT purchase the car. Reference the above post.

    I think the Quest is not selling well because of its overwrought design and tepid reviews. The Titan and Armada certainly arent selling poorly, and arent THAT FAR off targets.

    I was at the NY Auto Show again today (didnt have much time on Friday). I saw the Ford display. For all the money Ford has spent on interiors, I feel that it only really shows in the Lincolns, whose interiors are classy and well done without an obvious look of trying too hard. I HATE that the 2005 Focus has a different, much uglier, less stylish center stack. The Freestar/Monterrey also failed to impress, BUT if I was in the market, I suppose I could overlook that given the NOW $4000 rebate. Thats insane for a vehicle less than a year old, though precisely what was expected. The Five Hundred on the display table had a pleasant exterior, but generally boring interior. Looks roomy, and the seats APPEAR comfortable.

    Seriously, what is the deal with the Mariner. Its a frekin Escape for God's sake, and its STILL not on sale, despite being at LAST YEARS NYIAS. The spiral notebook like brochure says the FALL. WHY?

  • andy71andy71 Posts: 96
    It seems like Ford uses the lowest output engine for its own cars where as companies owned by Ford get higher output and more refined engines.

    Example 1: Ford Focus(2.3L) 145 Hp
               Mazda3 (2.3L) 160 Hp

    Example 2: Ford Taurus/500 (3.0L) 200 Hp
               Mazda6 (3.0L) 220
               Lincoln LS (3.0L) 232Hp
               Jaguar X type (3.0L) 232Hp
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687

    For those who believe 200HP isn't enough, then will obviously try other vehicles. It's only US, because of our resources, that are aware that a 3.5L will be implemented into the vehicle in the future. The majority of other consumer's, will not so they'll miss out, and that's obvious the risk that had to be taken in Ford's behave.

    It doesn't how much we analyze the situation, and complain (trust me, I've done my share part over the engine) but to there was NO way the 3.5L could have been ready for this vehicles debut. And this is the best situation Ford could have done, given the circumstances. And it's really not as bad, as the 200HP might state.

    The Mariner was delayed to coincide with the Escape Hybrid debut. And you also don't wish to do it at the same time the Montego launches, so other factors were taken into consideration.

    Numerous engines are tailored, depending upon the brand. Toyota has it's 3.0L, where it would make 194HP to 210HP in Toyota, but 220HP in Lexus. (Now 3.3L).

    Nissan's 3.5L does 230Hp on the Quest (a bit more on the Altima/Maxima) but makes 260HP-287HP ON Inifniti products, etc.

    Same thing with Ford, Jag, Lincoln, Mazda. IN some cases (like Jag and Mazda) they have the original engine architecture, but they fit their own heads and tune it for a bit more power.
  • samnoesamnoe Posts: 731
    has 240 hp, not 230.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,564
    Just for kicks I went back and looked at CR's acceleration data for the 3.0 Duratec in Taurus vs 3.0 Duratec modified and with 5 speed automatic in Mazda 6.

    Taurus 0-60 in 8.3 seconds. 45-65 in 4.9 seconds. 1/4 mile in 16.4 seconds. Curb weight 3325 lbs. CR mileage test: 15 city, 31 highway, 22 overall

    Mazda 6: 0-60 in 8.1 seconds. 45-65 in 5.3 seconds. 1/4 mile in 16.5 seconds. Curb weight 3355 lbs. Cr mileage test: 14 city, 30 highway, 20 overall.
    Seems all that tweaking Mazda did with variable valve timing and a 5 speed automatic did nearly nothing but allow Mazda to publish a 10% higher horsepower rating, but with worse mileage, and in only one acceleration test did it beat the Taurus.

    My point, wait until you drive the 500 with the 3.0 Duratec before you pass judgement on its inadequate engine, and if you think it is inadequate, then buy something else or wait for the 3.5. I'd certainly rather Ford release 500 this fall than wait a year for another engine option.

    In the meantime if you want a real bargain, pick up a Taurus or Sable. Just saw a local add for a new Mercury Sable LS Premium well equipped including no charge leather, illuminated keyless entry, ABS, autodimming rear view mirror and automatic temperature control, along with all the standard features in the top model Sable including the 3.0 Duratec. MSRP $24325. Net price with all rebates and discounts: $17675. Good performance at a bargain price.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    If you want a REAL bargain, you can pick up a 35000 mile 2002 Taurus SEL for about $11,500, maybe a little higher certified- probably worth it. THAT is a bargain.

  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,564
    I agree, used is even more of a bargain. I prefer to buy new as I keep my cars a long time and prefer to control all the maintenance. A certified used with an extended warranty is a very valid and cost savings approach, no doubt about it and I would definitely consider that route next time.

    That could apply to just about any car you buy, but with Taurus/Sable's (undeserved in my opinion) "rental car" image, high depreciation makes it even a better deal purchasing a year or two old used car.

    Somebody better buy new though, or the used car supply would dry up.
  • mschmalmschmal Posts: 1,757
    All the gear heads here seem to be upset over the 30 Duratec.

    I sell Fords and I can tell you that as long as the car FEELS like it can safely accelerate into traffic, no one will care what the published horsepower ratings are.

    People only ask "is this a 4 cylinder or a 6 cylinder" these people don't even understand that a thoroughly modern 4 cylinder like the Ford/Mazda 2.3L offers the same type of performance as an old tech 6 cylinder like the 3.0L Vulcan in the Taurus.

    People just think 6 cylinders are better then 4 cylinders.

    GM is well aware of this perception and sticks to old tech low output OHV engines instead of moving to DOHC engines and saves about $800.00 per unit..

    When a customer tests drive a car, they care about how it feels. If the 500 has a tight feel. Feels well put together and creates an overall impression of value it will sell.

    Ford's target demographic for this vehicle is the 40's something empty nester who is moving out of a mini-van or suv. (SUV customers will go for the AWD version). These people didn't buy the SUV or Mini-Van for str8 line performance and they aren't going to decide whether or not to buy a 500 over str8 line performance.

    Initial quality will be way more important to the success of this vehicle than horsepower figures. Hence the 30 Durotec is a good choice, its' been around almost 10 years, its proven reliable and Mazda has put plenty of refinement into it over the years.

    Obviously, if you try to evaluate the 500 as a Porsche or a Lexus, its going to loose. The questions actual customers will be asking are "will this carry my family comfortably," "will this be reliable," "will my friends and co-workers laugh at me," "is this vehicle safe."

    I for one know I'll be say to my customers "this is built on the same platform as the Volvo S60" "this AWD system is the same one used by Volvo" "the safety systems in this vehicle were designed by Volvo" "this care uses VOLVO technology."

    Remember its more fun to drive a slow car fast then a fast car slow

  • grbeckgrbeck Posts: 2,361
    In GM's case, those ohv V-6s may not bother the GM faithful, but I do think those engines are a stumbling block in the effort to win over import buyers. Just as customers think that six cylinders are better than four, most import buyers think ohc is better than ohv.

    "Gear heads" have more influence over other car buyers than their numbers would suggest. If several sources aimed at gear heads note (relatively) slow acceleration figures, that is a hurdle the sales force will have to overcome for prospective customers. Most family sedan buyers don't expect a rocket sled with four doors, but they will be reluctant to buy a vehicle that is branded "slow."
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    Ironically GM is fully aware that it's OHV engines deter some of it's buyer's... If not, they wouldn't have made an engine deal with Honda, for them to supply their 3.5L SOHC V6 into the Saturn.

    And which is why they have placed their new 3.6L DOHC V6 (high feature) into their Rendevouz, Larcross, etc. Or even the Caddy XLR, which they could have placed the 5.7L OHV V8, but they chose the sophisticated Northstar instead.

    But obviously they don't see it as a priority, and are concentrating on interiors instead which is desperately needed as well.
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 7,744
    "Just as customers think that six cylinders are better than four, most import buyers think ohc is better than ohv."

    I have to respectfully disagree with this. IMHO, most buyers could care less regarding OHC vs OHV. Gearheads OTOH...
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    You mean, uneducated buyer's that is. Thanks to the internet many consumer's are using it to research vehicles before test drives. And even on some of these forums, I've seen people who obviously have no knowledge of a certain vehicle, bring it up.

    One of them stated, "One review stated it had a OHV engine, is that bad??" SO I went on to mention the difference (and the ticking problem GM has with their OHV V8's)...So consumer's are slowly learning.

    But yes, they'll be many that won't notice the difference or know what to look for. And for them, there's GM, Kia and VW.....
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 7,744
    "You mean, uneducated buyer's that is." Uneducated and blissfully happy about it. I think your anecdote is in the minority. I can count on one hand the number of my co-workers and neighbors who know nothing more about their vehicles other than the make, model, color, number of doors, and where to fill the tank.

    The vast majority of car buyers shop based on style, price, and reputation as opposed to the nuances of engine design.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    How it drives matters a lot to the "uneducated" well as to the gearhead. For example, when FWD first came out, and was touted as the best innovation in modern car design since the electric starter, I bought a Sable, and though I loved the design, feel and quality of the car - I would say to myself, (and others), what's with the torque steer? How is this better??? Other than traction, obviously......
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    With OHV and it's inherent designs, your confronted with typical issues that are common to them. Such as being noisy and crude sounding when pushed hard. A customer will notice such things.

    I was asked by someone why the Freestar sounded rough at higher RPM, over the Sienna when they were shopping for a minivan.

    And that's obviously a factor consumer's will take into account even if they aren't aware of the engine designs.
  • a_l_hubcapsa_l_hubcaps Posts: 518
    In case anyone's interested in option information, the Five Hundred ordering guide is out. Run a Google search for:

    ford 2005 "ordering guides"

    and it's the first hit. Just FYI.

    -Andrew L
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