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Ford Five Hundred/Mercury Montego

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Comments

  • eaton53eaton53 Posts: 356
    "The Five Hundred/Montego do not have stability control"

    They have AWD and traction control. AWD on Avalon, Camry, Altima, Accord... ???

    "a competitive engine"

    Engine's only one part of the powertrain. Ford's transmission choices make the powertrain more efficient, plus with AWD the car will not torque steer. Besides, these are family cars, not sports sedans. Sticking a high powered engine into a FWD family car is gas wasting tomfoolery, IMO.

    "the lack of a telescoping steering column"

    The Five Hundred has adjustable pedals. Whether you move the pedals or steering column, it comes out the same.

    "Toyota can charge some number of thousands more just for the nameplate and the reputation for reliability"

    Why not just flush your money down the toilet, it's worth just as much as a "reputation". Or buy an extended warranty with some of the many thousands saved, which guarantees you will not pay.

    "Buick will be left with no advantage."

    Actually, the top model of the LeCrosse is getting good marks for quietness and of all things, as a driver's car - a description never associated with an Avalon.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    "The Five Hundred has adjustable pedals. Whether you move the pedals or steering column, it comes out the same."

    No, actually it doesn't.

    ""The Five Hundred/Montego do not have stability control"

    They have AWD and traction control. AWD on Avalon, Camry, Altima, Accord... ???"

    Stability control and AWD are not even remotely similar in application or function. If you live somewhere, for example, where theres no snow and it doesnt rain a lot, stability control can save your [non-permissible content removed] if you take a turn too quickly, but AWD cant. And AWD will rarely be useful.

    Have you seen the recent studies on stability control?

    "Engine's only one part of the powertrain. Ford's transmission choices make the powertrain more efficient, plus with AWD the car will not torque steer. Besides, these are family cars, not sports sedans. Sticking a high powered engine into a FWD family car is gas wasting tomfoolery, IMO."

    Thats fine. But preliminary specs put the Avalon at 22/30, as good or better than the Fords. Given the same consumption, why not have the extra power?

    And I've read comments on the LaCrosse CXS's good handling... but I have yet to see anyone call it a drivers car.

    Final thought- extended warranties dont buy you resale value.

    ~alpha
  • eaton53eaton53 Posts: 356
    "No, actually it doesn't."

    Please... two different methods of achieving the same thing. Ok... the Avalon sucks for not having adjustable pedals, what's the matter with them?

    "Stability control and AWD are not even remotely similar in application or function. If you live somewhere, for example, where theres no snow and it doesnt rain a lot, stability control can save your [non-permissible content removed] if you take a turn too quickly, but AWD cant. And AWD will rarely be useful."

    If I had to choose, I'd take AWD since it does rain and snow quite a lot here.

    "And AWD will rarely be useful."

    Maybe where you live... here it's a significant offering. Again, why don't the others offer it, what's their problem, putting out these "almost there" cars?

    "Thats fine. But preliminary specs put the Avalon at 22/30, as good or better than the Fords. Given the same consumption, why not have the extra power?"

    The current smaller Avalon gets 21/29, so the bigger 270hp one will get 22/30? Right...

    "And I've read comments on the LaCrosse CXS's good handling... but I have yet to see anyone call it a drivers car."

    Not only good handling, but powertrain, steering and braking as well. Only thing missing is RWD... you can buy a CTS if you want that.

    "Final thought- extended warranties dont buy you resale value."

    What does one have to do with the other? If the Ford breaks, you don't pay, if the Toyota does, you do, that's the bottom line.

    And to get an Avalon equipped to the level of the Five Hundred will cost many thousands more, as a fully loaded AWD Five Hundred maxes out where the Avalon XLS starts.

    You can get it on the front end or the back end, your choice. Of course if you choose the back end you lose big in opportunity costs - the cost of having money that could be used for investment tied up in a depreciating asset instead.

    Those alone will eat up most of the supposed resale value advantage, yet they're rarely considered.... but here's a thought - you put the extra money into an Avalon and I'll put it into my house. You won't be the winner once the real total costs are accounted for.
  • johnclineiijohnclineii Posts: 2,287
    However, one cannot and must not safely assume that real estate values always go UP. They do not. Usually, but not always. There are no such guarantees.

    Back to cars....
  • eaton53eaton53 Posts: 356
    "However, one cannot and must not safely assume that real estate values always go UP. They do not. Usually, but not always."

    Never had a house go down yet, most went up a lot, sometimes in a pretty short period of time. Every car went down a lot.

    My money's on the house, always.
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    I must agree on that. A vehicle will always depreciate and you can expense much of it if you own your own business. A house usually appreciate (providing on the market), and much of the improvements done can be expensed as well, before flipping it and buying something else. Or renting them, without having to pay certain applicable taxes prior to the 2 year mark.
  • "The current smaller Avalon gets 21/29, so the bigger 270hp one will get 22/30? Right..."

    Why not? The 2004 Avalon has a 4 speed auto, the 2005 will have a 5 speed auto. Along with advancements in VVT, it seems entirely possible.

    Look at the Civic - the 115hp LX gets slightly worse fuel economy with the auto than the 127hp EX. (Thanks to VTEC)
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    I disagree with you that adjustable pedals and telescopic wheel offer the same customizability.

    You took my statement "And AWD will rarely be useful" out of context. I meant with respect to the situation I described. I certainly value AWD... we just got an 05 Legacy that I absolutely love. However, I do wish it had stability control, which is more useful in emergency handling type situations, on all roads. In my opinion, it is a mistake for Toyota not to offer AWD on the new Avalon. However, I think it is a bigger mistake for Ford not to offer stability control. Kudos to Chrysler for offering both.

    The Avalon's 3.0L engine is now over a decade old in basic architecture. While that would be youthful for Ford or GM, its one of the few remaining Toyotas powered by that engine, which is on its way out. I see no reason to think that a more advanced VVTi combined with a newer engine design and a transmission with more ratios can't be more fuel efficient while providing more power. (Its not like Toyota hasnt done this before- the last generation Camry 2.2L 4 produced 136 hp/150 foot pounds of torque and was rated at 23/30. The current generation Camry 2.4L 4 produces 160 hp/162 foot pounds of torque, is ULEV-II certified, and coupled to the 5 speed auto.. gets 24/34).

    The LaCrosse CXS looks to be a good car. But, at $32,000 MSRP moderately equipped (and topping out over $34,000 loaded), it seems a questionable value. My point was that while I have read the favorable commentary on the CXS only handling dynamics, nobody has called it a "Driver's Car". If they have, I missed it, and invite you to cite a reference.

    "Those alone will eat up most of the supposed resale value advantage, yet they're rarely considered.... but here's a thought - you put the extra money into an Avalon and I'll put it into my house. You won't be the winner once the real total costs are accounted for."

    Wow, thank you for your sophistication and insight. I would have never thought of that, having studied Finance and Economics and all. Marginal utility of your car depends on the value you place in your vehicle. I spend a lot of time in mine, and so I'd rather have the better vehicle, even if my opportunity costs may be what you perceive to be high. And I think if you really wanted asset value, you'd be putting money into a house that you're renting to someone, or preparing to sell. But investing and real estate are for other board discussions, not edmunds.com. Robbie K's Rich Dad Poor Dad has a great website that you might want to check out.

    ~alpha
  • samnoesamnoe Posts: 731
    The purpose of both, telescoping steering wheel and adjustable pedals are for the same reason, but one may be better oven the other, depends who you ask. I like it powered, though, so the power adjustable pedals have an advantage for me.

    But the 500 offer adjustable pedals optional on the Limited only. That's bad news.

    AWD and stability controls are NOT for the same purpose. AWD is to aid acceleration in inclement weather, while stability assist is more aimed to avoid accidents and help you brake, correct steering input, etc. So you may need both, and both are very welcome. but AWD in an area with no snow is of little advantage.
  • eaton53eaton53 Posts: 356
    "I disagree with you that adjustable pedals and telescopic wheel offer the same customizability."

    Fine... but neither me or my wife I had any problem at all getting comfortable in the Montego Premier or Freestyle with the seat/pedal combination that's offered. I consider a telescoping wheel redundant and unnecessary in this car.

    "I see no reason to think that a more advanced VVTi combined with a newer engine design and a transmission with more ratios can't be more fuel efficient while providing more power."

    We'll take a wait and see on that. Until there are real world numbers on these cars there's not much point on speculating. That includes the Five Hundred, as there is many a car out there that have EPA numbers that have little to do with reality.

    "My point was that while I have read the favorable commentary on the CXS only handling dynamics, nobody has called it a "Driver's Car". If they have, I missed it, and invite you to cite a reference."

    The exact term "driver's car" wasn't used, but there is this quote:

    "One version of LaCrosse, the $29,000, high-end CXS, really is a sporting device, good enough in manners, agility and scoot to satisfy pretty demanding drivers."

    http://www.usatoday.com/money/autos/reviews/healey/2004-11-11-bui- - - - - - - - ck-lacrosse_x.htm

    "Sporting device" and "satisfy pretty demanding drivers".... not words used to describe Avalons. It's also notably quiet, so the Buick does indeed have something to offer.

    "Wow, thank you for your sophistication and insight. I would have never thought of that, having studied Finance and Economics and all."

    Well, nice to see you agree with me on that. I thought it was pretty obvious but many people don't get it.

    "Marginal utility of your car depends on the value you place in your vehicle. I spend a lot of time in mine, and so I'd rather have the better vehicle, even if my opportunity costs may be what you perceive to be high."

    If "better" means more expensive, then great. The problem is that the Avalon isn't what I'm seeing as any better, just costing more. What I value is getting what I want for the least amount of money and I see that in the Five Hundred.

    "And I think if you really wanted asset value, you'd be putting money into a house that you're renting to someone, or preparing to sell."

    Just so happens I do just that (the rentals). Got the money to buy 'em by not buying overpriced cars.

    "But investing and real estate are for other board discussions, not edmunds.com."

    It depends if you want to ride out paying more up front for better resale argument. Opportunity costs and investing are big reasons not to. They're also why "cost of ownership" estimates are bunk, since these costs aren't accounted for.
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    On AWD/Stability control... Stability Control systems will help you avoid trouble provided you have the grip, while an intellgent AWD system like the Haldex, will help you drive out of trouble even if you have grip just on one tire.
  • nedc2nedc2 Posts: 192
    AWD is not only for snow, it also helps on other wet or loose surfaces: muddy roads, sand, gravel, etc. especially in hilly areas. Nice if you frequently drive in rural areas. Stability Control is a very good thing to have, I really was hoping Ford's Advancs Trac would be available on this cars, and I would probably consider it a necessity if it had 250 or HP ot lbs/ft of torque. As it is though I can live with just the ABS and traction control. Just keep the speed down, especially in inclement weather, on unfamiliar roads, or when there's limited visibility.

    I wonder if ANT14 knows if there was a problem with parts avalablility on the sensors for the AdvanceTrac syystemsince Ford decided to make it standard across the board on midsize and large SUVs, or it was just a budget cosideration. My Montego is on hold, I'm told because of parts shortages, including the side airbags systems among other things.
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    Not sure if I mentioned it on this board, or the Freestyle board, but yes...Since the allocation of SUV's were a priority, supplier is short. Therefore the SUV (for obvious reasons) receive it first.
  • johnclineiijohnclineii Posts: 2,287
    And that is as it should be, because both the typical SUV and the typical SUV driver will benefit far more from Advance Trac than the Five Hundred/Montego and their typical drivers.

    Yes, I'd love to have Advance Trac, but I'd rather that the all too typical idio..er...drivers of SUV's have it first.
  • yatesdyatesd Posts: 60
    Is it just me or does the Edmunds review of this vehicle lack substance?

    I just bought a minivan for my wife, but if I was shopping for a sedan replacement this would be at the top of my list.

    It is a great value, looks fantastic (similar to Passat/Mercedes), and has great features.

    Standard V6 (updated for 2005)
    Great gas mileage (doesn't require premium like Toyota)
    Great Architecture (Volvo S80 platform)
    Safety features (huge discs all around, side curtains available)
    Largest trunk in the free world
    AWD option
    Handles well
    0-60 in 7ish seconds
    Advanced 6 speed/CVT transmission

    It looks remarkably more refined/sportier than an Accord or Toyota on the outside, and it's standard V6 has more power than comparably priced competition (most would only include 4 cylinders at this price point).

    I think the Mercury Montego has to be one of the lowest price sedans with standard HID's on the market.

    What does everybody else think?
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    James Healy of USA Today? That vaunted automotive publication? Clearly it must be a "driver's car!". (In all seriousness, though, GM should be commended if the LaCrosse handles as adeptly as that article states. MT didnt really gush about handling but the mag didnt decry it either. Looks to be a very good compromise between ride and agility.)

    With respect to the Avalon vs. Five Hundred...by better... I mean faster, more standard safety equipment, higher quality materials, more available technology, more luxurious etc. I think its a little ridiculous to assume that the Avalon will be overpriced before knowing anything about pricing or hard facts about the vehicle.

    Do you also think that the Sienna is overpriced simply because it doesnt have the $5000+ rebate offered by Ford on the pathetic Freestar, or do you think that Ford's offering simply cant compete with the best, and therefore the market wont bear anything resebling invoice, nevermind MSRP?

    I understand your argument on opportunity cost, but since its impossible to measure, I think edmunds.com TCO is an excellent tool. Fact of the matter is, even people who chose a cheaper car over a more expensive one rarely invest that money in an appreciating asset such as a home. Also, you posit on the assumption that you pay more up front in order to get resale value later. I'd argue that you pay more for a better vehicle, and better vehicles have higher resale value, de facto.

    The Five Hundred is a very good vehicle. But... is that really enough for 2005? Time will tell.

    I look forward to a comparison between, say, a 300C Limited, Montego Premier, and an Avalon Touring or XLS.

    ~alpha
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    The Camry V6s do NOT require premium. Premium is a recommendation for best performance. Same for the Accord V6.

    I think the AWD option is a great plus. But.. from the testing I've read, the Five Hundred FWD 6 speed needs in the 8 second range (8.7 in Motor Trend) to hit 60. The lightest Five Hundred with CVT needs 7.5 seconds, according to the Ford's AMCI report. Camrys and Accords in the $23,000 price range can be had with a V6 (both more powerful and torquey than the Five Hundreds) and disks all around. The Ford does have very large tires, though- a benefit in my opinion.

    ~alpha
  • grbeckgrbeck Posts: 2,361
    Every review of the LaCrosse I've seen is of the top-of-the-line model.

    In the USA Today review, Mr. Healey did sample the lower level versions, and he was unimpressed with the ride and handling combination. His praise was reserved for the top-of-the-line model.

    When Motor Trend put the LaCrosse and the Five Hundred against each other, the Five Hundred was the winner in the ride and handling department, if I recall correctly.

    And I haven't seen testers making distinctions between the ride and handling of the lower level Five Hundreds and the Limited version.
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    The ride and handling of the lower/upper trim 500/Freestyles differ only in...

    The rear suspension of the AWD models are raised an inch which translates to really no noticeable differences in handling, but maybe a slight ribbing effect going over consecutive expansion joints.

    The upper trim levels have additional noise insulation applied in a few areas. Doesn't improve wind noise (which hardly has much of), does quell road noise.
  • johnclineiijohnclineii Posts: 2,287
    This additional insulation...is that only on the Limited or is it on the Limited and the SEL?
  • samnoesamnoe Posts: 731
    As per ANT14's post somewhere above, it's for both the SEL and Limited.

    I wonder if the Montego have some more sound insulation?
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    Even the base Five Hundred has ABS disc brakes all around and base model has 17" alloys as well, so no advantage to CamCord in that regard. I think the feature content on the base Five Hundred is very competitive at under $23K MSRP.

    As far as I'm concerned 0-60 in the 8-9 second range is very acceptable, especially when you look at fuel efficiency in a car this size and weight. The 3.0 Duratech is nice and torquey at relatively low engine speeds, and some of those high horsepower figures of the competition really don't translate into all that much when you get to real world driving situations, where the vast majority of driving situations you rarely actually rev your engine to much over 4K on even fairly aggressive starts.

    Yes Ford can be criticized for not having a 240-270 Hp V-6 available now, however when you actually get down to real world driving, the 3.0 Duratech will do very well.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    Did you see edmunds.com review of the engine/tranny combo? Their Limited/AWD/CVT took 8.9 to 60.

    ~alpha
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    "I wonder if the Montego have some more sound insulation? "

    The Montego gets the 500 SEL/LIM insulation, but on all trim levels.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    The AWD CVT version Five Hundred weighs 3815 lbs. For a vehicle with this weight and size class, I contend that 8.9 second 0-60 is acceptable. No, it is not a dragstrip vehicle and never was intended to be.

    Look back at Edmunds family sedan tests for smaller vehicles with V-6 automatics. Yes the Camcords are quicker, but Five hundred bests V-W Passat automatic 0-60 and 1/4 mile. How many people do you see whining about Passat V-6 lack of power?

    The Five Hundred is carrying around quite a few hundred more pounds than Camry and Accord, as well, with it being a much bigger vehicle and with AWD as well. I think the "lack of power" whiners are comparing it to the wrong competition in most cases.
  • What is the first vehicle to get the new 3.5L engine? What will be offered in the Zephyr?

    I was wondering if you stripped the interior out of a 500 and sprayed the floor board, trunk floor and interior door skins with a sound deadening mastic material if that would reduce the noise levels to a Buick LaCrosse level?
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    The Aviator (new one) will get the 3.5L DOHC V6 first. The Zephyr will debut with the 3.0L DOHC V6 first.

    If you spray sound deadening on the floor boards, you might be looking at Lexus like quietness, provided you laminate the side windows.

    I've always added extra sound deadening in all my vehicles. Specially Mustangs I had. Check the Lincoln LS forum (scroll back around 30 posts) where someone asked the same question as yourself, and I wrote up a huge post on it.
  • Seems $640 is quite expensive compared to what I had in mind. Literally take striped and taped car to a Spray in Bed liner shop and spray every nook and cranny with mastic. Afterward, reinstall carpet and panels.

    After reading your posts, I think I may go look at a used LS for my next car.

    Is the 3.0L a good engine in the car, or is the V8 the only way to go?

    Thanks
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    All depends upon your needs, it's my 2nd LS, I had a 2000 which I had up to 125K miles without no issues. Considering I do 12MPG because I have a lead foot and I redline every shift, it might be a concern. Stock, the V8 will give you around 6.1-6.3sec on 0-60, mine is doing roughly 5.0 because of some aftermarket upgrades. The 3.0L (which is a higher output version of the one in the 500) does well, and will give you times of around 7.6-8.0 on 0-60Secs, and it's really what most people will need anyways.

    Of course, it's a totally different car than the 500. It's a bit more cocooned than the 500 because of the wide center console, much smaller trunk and backseat area. But much more a driver's car overall... again, all depends on your needs.

    Try a used LS after 2003 (was refreshed), you can probably get a good price on them once we turn the clock and it's 2005.
  • fsmmcsifsmmcsi Posts: 792
    We had a big day in the office yesterday opening bids for a large remediation project, so my wife and I wanted to get away later in the day, and she surprised me by agreeing with my idea to go look at cars and have dinner.

    First, I did find a way to adjust the seats and pedals in the Montego so that my right leg was not always resting against the console.

    Second, I discovered that the view out the front of the Montego is not really any better than in the 300C. The Montego seat does not go down low enough.

    We drove the 300C again before going to the Mercury dealer and loved it. It has both a telescoping & tilting steering column and adjustable pedals, so I was able to sit comfortably and see traffic lights I could not see driving my Mountaineer back the same route. I could see out of it to the front and sides just fine. It is a wonderful car in so many ways, but the big trunk made me come back to the Ford products after I had abandoned them following my first test drive of the 300C.

    My wife and I do have a growing collection of rental houses scattered across the country, and equity investments here and in Europe, so we place investing ahead of spending. However, with the number of business miles I drive (25,000 to 30,000 annually), spending on a vehicle is an investment in my happiness and productivity, at least up to a point. No, I will not buy an LS430 for $60,000 plus, but a 300C for $36,000 (everything but AWD, NAV, and sunroof) seems like a bargain.

    I also found it interesting that the Edmunds reviewers only obtained 19MPG from the 500 Limited AWD. An over-worked small engine will produce worse mileage than a larger engine working at partial capacity. Plus, the 300C owners who keep their foot off of the floor are finding that it really does return the 17/25MPG EPA rating, and it runs on mid grade fuel (only about 4-5% more expensive than regular).

    It seems that the base version of the Five Hundred makes sense, but the fancy versions are missing way too much to justify spending $30,000.
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