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Ford Five Hundred/Mercury Montego

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  • Hi,

    It seems the consensus is an update for the five hundred for the 2008 model year.

    Other than an engine and possible transmission change (for AWD cars?!), and freshening of the exterior (right?), any ideas as to what else might be happening ????

    My wife and I really like the current car, but if the 2008 changes (especially the engine/transmission upgrade and hopefully accompanying elimination of the current car's noise that accompanies acceleration..), are significant enough, we may just want to wait a couple more years before buying.

    Thanks,
    Michael
  • mschmalmschmal Posts: 1,757
    Do a 24 month lease!

    Mark
  • Yes - that's an interesting option Mark.

    Alternatively, I guess we could buy and trade in also...but the depreciation might be substantive, given that we would be trading in for a freshened model.
  • jaxs1jaxs1 Posts: 2,697
    The depreciation will be high either way, which would equal high lease payments on the 24 month lease. The advantage of the lease is that the depreciation cost will be set in writing in advance as long as you do not go over the included mileage and keep the car looking good cosmetically so the risk of the car depreciating more than expected is not your risk. However, they are likely to be conservative in the contracted residual value so the risk of that happening to them is low.
  • True, but also the interest rate on the (any) lease is higher (as expected) than for a financed purchase, so that the effective cost of a lease is generally greater than for a purchase, assuming all else is equal, over the same term. The advantage of the lease, of course, is that if it's a walk away, and you do, then you don't really have to worry about any actual residual or depreciation thereon (not to mention having to purchase and re-sell the car). Alternatively, with a purchase, the interest rate is less, but of course the payments are greater (and include both financed federal and provincial sales taxes here in Canada) and because you've actually paid for (off) the full price of the car, then one does have to deal with the actual depreciation to the end of, say, the same term as a lease (i.e. loan fully paid), which of course would be significant given the new model year upgrades....and then your "loss" would be even higher.....
  • audia8qaudia8q Posts: 3,138
    Heard a rumor about the return of the SHO....Ford 500 with the Yamaha 4.4l V8 which is going into the Volvo XC-90 and other Volvo products. Have you heard anything??
  • jaxs1jaxs1 Posts: 2,697
    That was kind of hard to follow, but even though new standard equipment or restyling may come with the 2008 models, there is no reason for the depreciation loss to be higher on a purchase.
    They are fully aware that updated models are coming out when they set the future residual values and will compensate when setting those values.
    You have to calculate it on a case by case basis to see if the lease incentives offered at the time are better than the purchase incentives offered (assuming you are sure you will be able to stay within the mileage limits of a lease).
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    The Focus is a much higher volume car for Ford, but they haven't made any significant appearance changes since it came out in 1999. They "promised" a refreshening for 2005, but I can barely see the differences, and I love cars. So I doubt they will change much on the Five Hundred, a lower volume car, externally, for 2008.

    The whole "buzz" about an early update on the Five Hundred came due to initial "soft" sales (due to its bland appearance, I have heard! it screams "AARP").

    But if sales pick up without a refreshening, or if Ford tightens their fiscal belt, I really doubt they will do much with the Five Hundred to "refresh" it in '07.

    Plus, I'm not so sure making it look like a "big" Fusion is such a good idea to start with! (About on par with DC making the new Caliber replacement for the Neon look more like a Ram truck by putting a big grill on it, ha ha.)

    Keep in mind the Crown Victoria lumbers forward with hardly any freshening. And the Five Hundred is "sort of" a replacement for the Crown Victoria.

    That having been said, a better reason for taking timing into consideration with the Five Hundred, is that in my personal opinion the drivetrain on the Five Hundred is in limbo.

    Although the acceleration tests indicate the 3.0 is MORE than adequate in this vehicle (8.5 or 8.9 0-60), complaints are widespread about the lack of a 3.5, particularly in a vehicle this size, and so a 3.5 should be in the Five Hundred soon, if only to stop the complaints. One is already slated for the Fusion, so it would be easy to modify for the Five Hundred.

    The transmission is also in limbo - Ford presently buys the Japanese made Aisan 6 speed, but unlike most things Japanese, Japanese automatic transmissions have been under fire in the past few years, in both Hondas and Camrys. To make things worse (or maybe they learned their lesson and things are better, the Japanese industry seems to have a faster learning curve than Detroit) 6 speed transmissions are very new and therefore very much "cutting (or "bleeding") edge." The alternative CVT automatic transmission is probably doomed due to a lack of marketplace acceptance and unproven durability in high torque applications like this. Finally, Ford has its own, internally designed (with Chevy) 6 speed automatic in the wings, which, at least from a design standpoint, is getting a few good reviews, but once again is unproven in the field. The odds are this new home-grown transmission will show up as early as 2007, just when Ford and VW and others are finding out just how durable or quirky the Aisin 6 speeds are.

    Hate to say it, but the 4 speeds from GM and DC look better and better to me, at least until there are some serious owner miles on the new 5 and 6 speeds; the DC 5 speed in the LX cars (300, Magnum, Charger) may be an exception because they are based on proven Mercedes technology, but on the other hand, Mercedes almost always implements designs that assume a certain degree of skilled maintenance, not always found in American service centers, and the translation from high-cost Mercedes to "tweaked to be simpler and cheaper" American product might make the DC 5 speeds as much as question mark at the other brands.

    So hey, getting an '06 with the current Aisin 6 speed and current 3.0 and current sheet metal, might be as good as waiting, if not better - Aisin's 5 speed designs have been in Hondas and Camrys for a while, at least, and I haven't hear complaints; their 6 speed has been in the VW's and Fords for a year now. The 3.0 from Ford is solid as a rock. By '07 and '08, you may have to face double-trouble - both a new motor (3.5) and a new transmission (home-grown 6 speed). All of which may be perfectly fine, but I subscribe to the general rule of "new is unproven, and not worth it except for a specialty vehicle which has other qualities I strongly desire.)

    I think the present Five Hundred is one of the best vehicles out there, bar none. It is a Volvo in Ford clothing (at least if you get the safety package with side air bags.) This is actually a great year for a Five Hundred. I'd be driving one now if the current promotions (Red Tag etc.) weren't such drivel.
  • evandroevandro Posts: 1,108
    Very interesting observations. I'd just add a couple of remarks.

    Actually, DCX autos are quite inefficient, whose most publicized evidence was the 300M lagging competitors with the same power and weight.

    On A5 in the Camry and Accord, there have been many complaints about the V6 engines of these cars, particularly the more powerful Honda, chewing these transmissions.
  • johnclineiijohnclineii Posts: 2,287
    * The 2oo8 refreshing of the Five Hundred is locked in. If you think that a big Fusion look is not the way to go, you are probably going to be very disappointed in the changes.

    * The 3.5 is also very much a go.

    * The 6 speed Aisin trannies are also going, as in bye-bye. By the way, Aisin is a Toyota affiliate.

    * The CVT may also not be offered in the Five Hundred/Montego, or if it is, if will probably not be offered with the new engine.

    * Don't assume the Panther series (CV, GM) is going to continue. It may not.

    And that's the way it is, or so it seems right now. Plans do change, but these are pretty much locked in (except the last one...)
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    "Heard a rumor about the return of the SHO....Ford 500 with the Yamaha 4.4l V8 which is going into the Volvo XC-90 and other Volvo products. Have you heard anything??"

    I heard that rumor before the 500 was released, ironically it's not based on anything. The reumor stemmed because of the "Oh because the 500 and XC90 share platforms, they will be able to stick the Yamaha V8 into the 500"... Hmm, well yes and no, let's disect it.

    From the A-pillar forward, the 500 lacks some of the space needed to make the 4.4L along with it's 6A, fit. Works well in the XC90 because of it's height, but not for the 500.

    Then we have allocation. How many V8's can be produced to not only fullfill the XC90s order, but those of the 500 which will be more widely produced, or be capped at a low 5K units yearly.

    Then we have cost. The 4.4L V8, 6A requires the next generation AWD unit from Haldex, which is used on the XC90, while the 500 uses the prior generation. SO add that newer AWD system, into the mix. And let's not even factor the suspension enchancements required.

    Your looking at an additional $6-8K on the sticker to make it viable. The last generation Taurus SHO with it's 3.4L DOHC V8 brought something interesting into the market. It was the only (if I remember correctly) DOHC V8 engine in the marketplace, under a $30K pricetag of the time.

    By the time all is said and done, your looking at a $36-38K 500 SHO which might make it a hard sell.

    Essentially, one of the next Lincoln sedans will solve the "SHO" rumor in other words :)

    JOHN,

    Last document I read, stated Panthers to die off a bit before by 2012. Granted, plans can change at anytime. If at that time the Panther still produce the rediculous profit they do now, then obviously Ford might keep them around a bit longer :)
  • avantiavanti Posts: 27
    ANT14 - can the "spats" (aka mudguards) from the 2006 Montego (running change along with deletion of bodyside moldings and addition of color-keyed rocker panels) be used on the 2005 model? I see they are part of a TSB kit for the paint chipping. Can you get the part numbers for the spats? I've been unable to get them so far... Thanks!
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    You can probably get it from Flatratetech They could probably give you a quicker answer than I could. I'm on a long vacation now.
  • avantiavanti Posts: 27
    I'll give it a try - thanks.
  • Hi,

    Can anyone let me know their opinion and/or experience with respect to the differences in "engine/transmission" noise between the CVT and the 6 spd transmissions?! I have heard that the 6 speed might be quieter, and thus perhaps purchasing the limited in fwd instead of awd might be a good solution to our "noise problem" with the car....

    Also, what is the difference in acceleration "capability" between the two transmissions?

    Also, if anyone can post pictures of a limited "pebble" (tan) leather interior with the Nav and DVD options, if possible, or a link to same, that would be greatly appreciated....(preferably burgundy and blue exteriors also, if possible).

    Thanks again!!
  • bruneau1bruneau1 Posts: 468
    I have driven several 6spd and CVT models, and I own a Freestyle with CVT. The CVT feels a little slower off line, but is more responsive once under way. The CVT is constantly adjusting so the changes are not nearly as perceptible as in the 6spd which is shifting constantly to maintain power. I find the noise changes of the 6spd more distracting. In traffic, the CVT is much nicer. When climbing hills, the CVT does a terrific job with no lurches, or thumpy downshifts. This cannot be said for the 6spd. The question remains as to what will happen to the CVT when Ford gets its new GM-Ford 6spd. No burgundy or blue out there.
  • brucelincbrucelinc Posts: 814
    Does anyone know what percentage of 500/Montegos are being sold with AWD?

    No question that AWD adds weight, cost, friction and complexity. The result is higher fuel consumption and slower acceleration. That being said, those who bought AWD must have had a good reason. I am not knocking your choice since you know your needs/wants better than I, but I am curious about the reason you chose AWD, particularly if you live south of the snow belt.

    Comments appreciated!
  • I got the AWD for two reasons:

    1) It was the simplest way to assure that I got the CVT instead of the regular automatic transmisssion.

    2) I wanted it to be identical to my Freestyle, which also had the AWD

    I live near Houston (is that far enough south for ya? LOL)

    AWD is useful in more than just snowy situations. For example, the roads can get awfully slick down here in a rainstorm.

    As far as acceleration, I'm pretty sure that the reviews I saw actually showed BETTER acceleration with the AWD. Not sure if I'm remembering correctly, if the tests were comparable, or why that would be, though.
  • brucelincbrucelinc Posts: 814
    Thanks, Barnstormer. Yep, Houston is far enough south! Your points make sense. I like the idea of CVT, too. I don't know if it has a future but the concept seems right on the money.

    Strangely, here in the frozen tundra of Minneapolis, I don't know anyone with an AWD 500, and I don't see many in dealer inventories here.
  • gene_vgene_v Posts: 235
    The prices just went back to MSRP at my local dealer web-site. When is the next rebates coming, expecially on the 500 and Montego? They are not moving in St Louis.
  • scott1256scott1256 Posts: 531
    Actually the Five Hundred is selling very well right now.

    December 05 sales were up 45% over December 04.

    Ford has a great design on their hands in the Five Hundred.
  • jaxs1jaxs1 Posts: 2,697
    I don't see that many on the road.
    More than likely Ford is restricting production to prevent oversupply and need for big discounting.
  • slider7slider7 Posts: 33
    I've seen the Nav on a Merlot&Pebble Limited. I think it overpowers the center-console and for two grand, I'd rather buy a map and spend the dough on a Hawaiian vacation, otherwise the Dealer will go in my place. Does anyone know theft stats on car Nav systems? Read at least 15 pages into this forum, you'll find valuable and knowledgeable opinions about CVT and CVT/AWD. I read enough to run straight for the Black and Tan Limited FWD 6-spd, moonroof, TC, and safety package. Anyone noticed that the passenger door window frames are gloss black on the black exterior 500's and all other colors have a flat black vinyl tape-over and air bubbles?
  • mschmalmschmal Posts: 1,757
    New Nav system is way easier to use then the old one. But get ready to live with finger prints.

    Incidently, GPS navigation with voice instructions is availabe on some Nextel cellies.

    Mark
  • bruneau1bruneau1 Posts: 468
    Nearly two thousand extra for a navigation system on a 500 is a bit ridiculous. But I guess everyone has to offer one
  • fsmmcsifsmmcsi Posts: 792
    It appears that Ford will finally have the lineup they need 18 to 24 months from now - the Five Hundred / Montego with revised styling and the quiet and smooth new 3.5 engine and 6-speed transmission, the Lincoln MKS with the 4.4 V8 and loads of fancy features, the new CUVs, and the Fusion/Milan/Zephyr, also with the new engine and transmission.

    As for navigation, I just received our new IBM/Lenovo X40 laptop (1.6 GHz Pentium 4, 40 GB hard disk, and 1.5 GB main memory). With Delorme mapping software, a GPS antenna, and an EDGE cellular modem for internet access on the Cingular network(live traffic maps, everything else) the total cost is about $2,800, and it does radically more than a built-in navigation system.
  • mschmalmschmal Posts: 1,757
    I said this before but the finger prints on the screen totally grosses me out and i'm not a neat person at all.

    Mark.
  • Well, we've decided (99%) that it's a Five Hundred for us.

    Limited, Nav, DVD and safety pkg, and Remote Start and Voice activation/blue tooth (i.e. Fully loaded).

    Only remaining choices are exterior colour - Merlot (burgundy) or the Dark Blue Pearl (blue), and FWD or AWD.

    We drove a FWD (SEL) on Saturday and it seemed much quieter than the AWD... We'll probably drive both versions again before final purchase decision.

    Question - Is the Dark Blue Pearl very dark? We've been told it looks almost like black from "far" away... I did see a Merlot on the street near the dealer and it looked fantastic. Any comments on the blue versus merlot? (Unfortunately, none of the area dealers here have either colour in stock to see in person....).

    Thanks!!
  • dlangdlang Posts: 59
    Hi Forum,

    Times up and I have to either buyout my leased 2003 Sable LS with only 17000 miles for $10500 or get another car. While I've read that the Montego is the Sable replacement, looking at just specs, the Milan seems a better car. It has slightly more front legroom than the Sable, while the Montego has almost an inch less. The Milan is not much less on headroom, hiproom and other specs than the Sable. The Montego gives almost 3 more inches for rear legroom though. The newer Milan engine has higher HP and RPM while the Montego is about the same as the Sable. The Milan has 6 speed auto transmission while the Sable only has 4.

    Generally, looking thru the Mercury site, the Montego seems "old" while the Milan seems "new" and "hip".

    I really like my Sable, especially the Mach audio, and the new Audiophile option from what I read is lacking, but it doesn't pay financially to buy the 2003 Sable at $10500 plus a $1350 Extended warranty from Ford for 6yr/60000 when I can get the Milan Premier for $295/month lease.

    Also, my Sable is column shift tranmission with fold down bench seat. Are any models still made this way or is everything now center console?

    Any ideas and experience from Sable owners?? Thanks! :cry:
  • gene_vgene_v Posts: 235
    "the Milan seems a better car. It has slightly more front legroom than the Sable, while the Montego has almost an inch less."

    There it is, another criticism of the drivers legroom of the Montego( thus the 500 also).

    The large backseat legroom and large trunk do not make up for lack of space of the front driver and passenger legroom.
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