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Ford Five Hundred/Mercury Montego



  • johnclineiijohnclineii Posts: 2,287
    Apparently, August 10 is the end of the embargo and the beginning of official production for the Five Hundred/Montego/Freestyle.

    And there is an article in Business Week this week about the manufacturing process for these vehicles which says, in passing, some less than complimentary things about the cars. It can be found at: .htm

    A representative quote follows:

    ***It doesn't help that the three new cars are generating yawns. Sure, the cars, based on chasis made by partner Volvo, get high marks for smooth handling, comfortable ride, and roomy, easily reconfigured interiors. Yet their heavy weight makes them feel sluggish, say those who have driven the cars. Ford takes issue with the characterization. "We deliver better acceleration, better fuel economy, and half the emissions of some of our competitors," says a company spokesman.

    Still, at a time when Chrysler Group (DCX ) is wowing buyers with its brashly styled, 300C sedan, Ford is bringing out a crop of bland cars. Ford execs point out that the Honda (HMC ) Accord and Toyota (TM ) Camry, both top rivals, aren't exactly sexy. But they are well-established contenders. To lure buyers away from Accords or Camrys, says Wesley R. Brown, an analyst at consultants Iceology, "you have to do something extraordinary."*****
  • When I look at the Five Hundred and its total package, I think Ford got it about right. I imagine that this car is positioned for older buyers (40+) who regularly carry teenagers or adults in the back seat. The back seat and the trunk are where the Five Hundred differentiates itself. I see the Camry and Malibu as its competition, and the Five Hundred is much more attractive than either of those two cars. I think Ford is leaving the Mazda 6 to compete with more performance oriented cars like the Altima or Accord. I'm not sure where I'd put the Passat in here.

    Anyway, I used to have a Maxima with ~180 hp and 180 ft-lbs of torque. That car weighed about 3300 lbs. and it more than met my acceleration needs. Personally, I would gladly give up 0.5 seconds on my 0-60 time for 5-10% better fuel economy. I try and avoid drag race situations, so I'd only benefit from acceleration every so often. However, I benefit from better fuel economy every time I drive.
  • When I look at the 300C I see the short man's car(no offense to anyone). Its the car that says look at me, i'm cooler than you because everything is chrome. It seems to be the car for the people who need to make a statement. It is too bold. Big engine because I have to prove that I am better than you. Just because it is different doesn't mean it will succeed. I look at that car and say some of it is cool but other than that...


    We have seen this before with the Hummer 2...lots of buzz about something different...heck i even thought it was cool at the beginning but now I wonder why anyone would buy one...the buzz is gone...

    The Five-Hundred will not shoot off the lots in epic fashion like the 300C fell prey to bald, 5'5", divorced, 42 year old men. It will find the people who want the elegant smooth ride...Normal people who don't need 6,000 horsepower to go buy a gallon of milk. It is best to make a car that fits in the middle of the pack, where most people fit in. I don't care if people think it is bland, I think this car screams "Yeah, I know what I'm doing." It has a silent "James Bond-Like" confidence about it. This car will take everyone by surprise.

  • That they put the wood trim on the door sides as well as the dash. If your gonna do a good interrior, do it right...

  • dave2222dave2222 Posts: 78
    The interiors beautiful. Look at how high quality the materials are.
    [img] h05_inpho_popup_4.jpg[/img]
  • Wow, that is a very boring door panel. It doesn't look cheap, but there's not much there to look at period.

    -Andrew L
  • 307web307web Posts: 1,033
    Well, the wood trim is fake and cheesy, so I don't know if it would have helped much. At least it looks super-clean, if yawn-inducing.
    Of course, those pics could of pre-production models, so maybe they will add something like more chrome trim, accent colors or carpeted lower section to break the monotony.
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    Not much you can do with side door panels. Just make them efficient, friendly on your elbow, easy to find buttons (lighted unlike many other manufacturer's), and easy to remove in case power windows need repair or such.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    I beg to differ. The ES330 and even the Camry XLE have very nicely appointed door panels.

  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    Maybe a strip of wood, or some metallic looking piece might help, but I still find all door panels sort of bland. Last time I got excited over a door panel was the last generation Lincoln Mark8's...Maybe a Ford Probe, how they had the side air register's thru the door panel (different, but stupid since you opened a door and the air would shoot out from the side directly).

    I myself have an issue with these "canted towards the world" center dashboard consoles. Again, Mark8 had it canted towards the driver, Probe, Aurora (all dead now- hmmm link ?)...While dashboards now are canted centrally for passenger involvement ( I want them to have NO CONTROL over the buttons ), but obviously, different tastes...
  • mschmalmschmal Posts: 1,757
    FINALLY, ford has given up on those stupid window switches where you push the top half of the switch for down and the bottom half of the switch for almost have to look at the switch to hit the correct part.

    On these japanese style (i call it that because its same as in mazdas handas and toyotas.) you push down on the switch to lower and pull on the switch for close the window.

    Its good to know that even Ford is still willing to change for the better even if it means abandoning long held methods...

    Now if only we can get the government in on change for the better........

  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    Yes, Ford will be implementing 'idiot proof' window switches. These will help with a rash of irrespinsible parents who leave their kids inside the vehicles unattended, and prevents kids from accidentally catching their heads on it.
  • frasierdogfrasierdog Posts: 128
    MGM doors have a safety light on the edge of the door. On coming traffic can see when the door is open. The light is also useful for providing more interior light.

    This is not nitpicking this is cheap!

    Cheap cheap cheap. I though someone fired ol' Jack N. the cheap a**.
  • THe government is doing just fine, with our new tax cits we can actually afford to buy a 500 lol.

    But would we want to? How dare you have a car that is called your flagship, and not have features that are available within your own family of vehicles in the lowest ranges?

    For example, the Mazda 3 has a nav system option, and i think Xenon headlamps. Wre are they ford? And I don't think the wood is cheasy, i agree with other posts that said it could be on the door panel to brighten it up a bit.

    If its a mistake not having Nav in the 500, not having it in the montego is a disaster. Montego should have everything standard if they want to differentiate themselves from ford. the nav, the xenon, and the LED headlamps. I'll pay a premium for that.

    The engine, look we can ague about the 300's design which i like even though its german owned, the point is that powerful engines mean powerful sales, all else equal (quality, price, etc).

    I heared they are going to make over 100,000 of them this year alone.

    about 12000 last month, if it continues growint the way it is...
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    Ford introduces a six speed or CVT transmission, optional all wheel drive, a whole host of new features like the biggest trunk in its class, fold flat rear and front passenger seats, world class safety structure, all kinds of other goodies, and they are labeled "cheap" for having a relatively plain door panel and no side marker lamps on the doors.

    Sometimes you just can't win. This is not a luxury sedan folks, it is still meant to be a fairly high volume sedan that is affordable to a relatively large demographic.

    I guess this proves some people will never be satisfied. Heck, some people have been complaining in the Honda Accord discussions about elimination of the glove box light and the passenger side key lock (not to mention their V-6 transmission recall) You can nitpick just about any car on the market, from a lowly Kia to a six figure luxury yacht.
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    I have yet to own/or know, the perfect vehicle...No matter how expensive or how powerful, it's my job to nitepick pros/cons. But as everything in life, people will complain more than credit, and to think, the vehicle isn't out yet and people are killing it, heh...find it amusing.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    Not to nitpick, but will the 500 have dual sunvisors and childproof rear door locks? My 2000 Taurus SES has both. GM is slowly eliminating child proof locks. This a mistake I believe from a legal liability standpoint.

    I really like the dual visors, they come in very handy at certain times in my daily commute when the sun is low.

    The Taurus, by the way is rock solid, now at four years old and about to turn over 40k miles. Not single a squeak or rattle, which would be major nitpick issues on any car I would own, if they showed up.
  • buckwheatbuckwheat Posts: 396
    The AWD you spoke of is only available with the the CVT, NO AWD with the 6speed, the 6speed is made by "Aisin" which is 41% owned by Toyota. The CVT is entirely a Ford product, Ford had some guidance from German tranny maker "ZF", nonetheless quality becomes an issue because it's all new and made by Ford. The Duratec35 is another issue and won't make it into the first years of the Five Hundred/Montego unless and until they can make a CVT to handle it. There is a poster here that says they will get them from "Jatco" 82% owned by Nissan, the same used in the Murano that is able to handle the higher torque of the Duratec35, but officials at Nissan have publically denied any contemplation of such an arrangement with Ford.
  • gregagrega Posts: 31
    I've been following this forum for a little while, find it amuzing and noted a "Global" door panel, identical on the European Ford Mondeo at: 88&mime=JPG

    Just another example of cost cutting by leveraging all parts of the auto.

    On another note, I'm in Chicago and registered for Ford's Innovation Test Drive on Saturday. We'll get to "Drive" the 500, Freestyle and SuperDuties, plus get a close-up look at the 05 Mustang and awesome GT (wish I could drive that :-)

    I'll send you my thoughts on the test drive this weekend, including the wife's view.
  • dave2222dave2222 Posts: 78
    In regards to the Navigation System it'll proably come either in 2006 or 2007. The five hundred will be getting a exterior redesign to look more like the Ford 427 concept. The Ford fusion will be the first car to embody the 427 styling. The 3.5L will also be introduced next year as another engine option as well as different interior and exterior colors and other minor changes. The montego will get a different styling from the five hundred in 2008 to further the differences between Mercury and Ford. Both the Five hundred and montego were designed at relatively the same time in 1999 before the rebuilding of mercury project had started. The design had already been laid out etc.. so for 2008 the new designs they have been working on will finally be executed. Glad this clears up any misconceptions. If you have any questions feel free to ask.
  • dave2222dave2222 Posts: 78
    oh and if youre wondering what styling direction Mercury is going in look at the Mercury Messenger Concept.
  • Who designed the 1999 Five-Hundred?

    Who will be designing the exterior of the car?

    Was it J. Mays? I have always like his there any place that lists who designed what cars in the Ford line-up? Just so we can get some idea of design direction...
  • frasierdogfrasierdog Posts: 128
    ANT14 said:"I have yet to own/or know, the perfect vehicle...No matter how expensive"

    Oh no you don't.

    You have writen how Honda can get away with unlighted swithes because they are Honda.

    There should be no wiggle room for Ford getting rid of a SAFETY feature on the basis of a picky owners argument. For $25k, put the $15 saftey lights back in.

    I will give Ford all the credit for the design. But I am not all hyped up on new car fever to overlook a missing safety feature.
  • Who designed the 1999 Five-Hundred?

    Who will be designing the exterior of the car?

    Was it J. Mays? I have always like his there any place that lists who designed what cars in the Ford line-up? Just so we can get some idea of design direction...

    What do we know about the car that fits in between the Fusion and F-H? (The real Taurus*RIP* replacement...)
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    You mean Cougar ? Heh....

    I agree, there's some items here and there that WOULD be appreciated, but in this time of cost cutting by ALL manufacturer's, there's certain things you will lose, not know you missed, etc.

    And I do mean ALL...I've seen some recent example of Toyota headliner's, which are subpar to even anything GM might have. Corolla's carpeting is simply felt. Honda has yet to light all their window switches/accessory switched and relocate their power window switched to the overhead console, (their current location behind the steering wheel dashboard, is the cheap method).

    Some of the door panels and such some are critisizing, are using materials that are above the Accord/Camry standards, just wanted to share that. But that will be overlooked since some prefer a bit more flair on them and will simply focus on what's missing.

    Steering wheel buttons, lighted. Ask Honda and Toyota why don't they light up more of their switched. Rear parking assist, most do not have that on sedans. Mercury will have heated/cooled seats, something rare under in sedans in this price class.

    Trunk, 21Cu.ft. enough to stuff a few dead bodies, ask Toy/Honda why they can only fit one/2 (if you brake/bend some limbs). Again, no vehicle is perfect, all will depend what your needs are. Are you willing to give up a lighted glovebox for cooled seats, or Navi system for a huge trunk? It's the whole package that needs to be considered.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    The 500 is a 2005 model, not a 1999. I believe the guy who came over to Ford from VW/Audi (Jay Mays?) had a lot of influence. You can certainly see VW/Audi influence in the car's styling.

    I may be wrong, but there really isn't enough room to squeeze a car between Fusion and 500. That was the problem with Contour, it was too close in size and room to the Focus and had too little price differential from Taurus. My bet is that when the Fusion arrives, it will be near in interior space and trunk space to the current Taurus, though will be a bit shorter, similar to Camry and Accord in overall length.

    Three model sizes of sedan style automobile generally covers the market, unless you want to throw in a minicompact, which historically is hard to make money on and does not command a big market share in the US. Just look at the miniscule sales Toyota is having with the Echo.
  • buckwheatbuckwheat Posts: 396
    If your a J. Mays fan read the following it will answer some of your questions, I posted much of this many months back; - 3567&magazineid=50&siteID=26&releaseid=12046&mode- - =print
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    Yes the 500 idea came during the Jac Nasser era, I believe I covered this quite a bit back. Originally under Jac's supervision he wanted to use the P2 platform, to stem a vehicle to replace the Taurus. Problem was, that during development, the realization that Ford would be losing money on it, if it surplanted the Taurus. Hence, it was pushed upmarket. And eloquently billed as a large Mid-size sedan, not to overthrow the Crown Vic for the title of Large sedan.

    The Fusion will certainly replace the Taurus, it's interior dimensions are large where it counts...Same as with the Focus and 500. While the exterior length will be kept minimal (under 195in.) The Taurus' architecture doesn't make the best use of interior porportion, contrary to it's exterior dimensions. The Fusion will certainly adopt an interior architecture that will make the most of it's dimensions, just as the Focus did, and the 500 will.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    " have yet to own/or know, the perfect vehicle..."

    Actually, and for argument's sake, I have owned the 'perfect' car several times. Cars I would label as 'perfect' for my needs, and 'perfect'
    at the time were:

    74 Mustang II (I know, I know, but it was new).
    84 Thunderbird
    86 Taurus LX
    88 Oldsmobile Delta 88
    92 Lincoln Continental (ended up not so perfect)
    99 Lincoln Navigator

    And frankly, I'd consider my 03 Navigator perfect also. Perfection in a machine of transportation, is pretty subjective, IMO. This truck meets or exceeds every expectation and need I have of it. That's perfection to me.

    Go ahead, flame me, I dare ya!!
  • johnclineiijohnclineii Posts: 2,287
    I wouldn't think of flaming you! And my perfect cars, for me, were:

    1992 Nissan Maxima SE 5 speed
    1995 Olds LSS
    1998 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP
    2000 Chevrolet Impala LS (now with 166,000 miles, and counting...)
This discussion has been closed.