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Ford Five Hundred/Mercury Montego



  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    Heh, I held my tongue when mentioning the Impala, but what I ment in the word "premium", is a higher tier sedan, placed above the bread and butter sedans. Maxima, Grand Prix are other examples, and a niche that usually tops around $30K (although now it's pushing a bit north of that if optioned out).

    You will see them in the upcoming autoshows, while the Zephyr is shown at another show that's appropiate for it's demographics. You have already seen spy pics of the Fusion, including the interior circle around.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    From what I have read, the current generation Camcords are actually 75-80% 4s, which is a slightly lower ratio than you cite. This seems reasonable- I feel that I see more V6 of both for more recent model years.

    Also, I dont mean to be a thorn in your side... but you keep saying how the Five Hundred isnt a competitor to the Camry (which, based on size, I would agree), AND YET, Ford has chosen to directly compare the Five Hundred to the Camry in its promotional literature. Mixed signals, at best.

    Based on this car, the Fusion is definitely peaking my interest. Does Ford have a discount credit card like GM, Subaru, BMW, etc...?

  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    There's one or 2 printed literatures where they point the Camry out, although it is out there as an example. The most direct brochure has been the teaser, 3 paged variety (all one carton) where the Chrysler, Impala and Avalon are used as comparison.

    Credit card like GM's where you gain "money" towards the purchase of a vehicle ? I think your better off just putting a larger down payment. Most of that money is generated through interests you compound yourself as you purchase items.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    The GM credit card is OK if you pay your credit card bill in full every month, which is what we do. We run every expense we can through the credit card. However, our credit card earns airline miles. Other credit cards will give you money back as a percent of your purchases. Use one of those and save the money back and you can use that for partial payment any new car.

    The biggest problem with using credit cards in general is the vast majority of the population that is not disciplined enough to not charge so much that you cannot pay the card off in full every month, then they pay loan shark interest rates, but this is another subject altogether!

    The biggest problem with the GM card is it forces you to buy GM, which is about last on my list, except for a 'vette, and I can't afford that!
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    I'm familiar with GM's method, I believe you have up to $5K you can use towards the purchase of a GM vehicle. When I must pay property taxes for my homes, I place it on a credit card that gives me airline miles and pay it full the next month. It actually makes me look forward to paying taxes each year, how masochistic....
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    Well, my community doesn't allow property taxes on credit cards, but my dentist does! Both payments can painful, in much different ways.
  • mschmalmschmal Posts: 1,757
    It is my understanding Ford will add factory installed Sirius over the next 2 years to alot of models.

    Has anyone out there had a good experience with some of the "plug and play" units? I heard the JVC model was junk, i'm trying to find a goood one.

  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    Badgerfan, think I've never had a cavity, I cringe on thinking how bad it can be.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    Well, the house property taxes are more painful to my wallet. I live in Wisconsin, where the politicians have never found a tax they don't like. The only exception is for automobile registration, which is a relatively cheap $55 per year; and of course they are thinking of raising that too. But they make up for it by having near the top in gas per gallon tax, so they get it one way or the other.
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    So I've heard... I have a friend in NewRichmond/Minomony, so I hear it from him all the time. FL is tax friendly, which explains why so many flock here for retirement and why the Grand Marquis is the best selling full size sedan in the state.

    Now, if we can just cram a Yamaha V8 into the 500's engine bay...
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    On the other hand, our house insurance rates are likely a lot cheaper than Florida-we don't have hurricanes to contend with, and the occasional tornado is too localized to cause rates to rise, unlike hurricanes. Also, little or no exterminator costs.

    Our car insurance rates are also quite inexpensive, so maybe it all evens out a bit.

    With the big back seat, maybe Ford should put that Yamaha V-8 engine in the back seat! Ah, a mid engine Five Hundred two seater sports car! :)
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    Ironically my home insurance in the homes in Orlando, Miami and FTL are all quite reasonable. Before this year, it's been a long time since any hurricane has affected us. Also depends on the homes construction, all the homes are concrete block, can easily withstand 160mph winds. Even this house I built, is poured concrete, able to sustain 250MPH winds.

    Although, majority of people just buy a house because it's "cute", so that's what your seeing in the national news when half their roof is blown away. Asphalt shingle roofs...IN FL? They HAVE to be kidding. Or trailer homes, leaves you thinking "your asking for it". So I question peoples common sense, as I question insurance companies for even insuring them.

    I'm involved in an organization pushing strict building codes to be adopted statewide, and ban new trailer parks from being built, again...statewide.

    The Yamaha V8 can be shoe-horned with minimal re-engineering of the current structure. Think, next Lincoln LS, Conti.
  • fsmmcsifsmmcsi Posts: 792
    If you look at Toyota cars, you see many options reserved for the southeastern USA, which seems to mainly mean Florida. They must be trying to load the cars up with features to appeal to the retirees with money.

    We own two rental houses in Florida and one more is being built - regular taxes and insurance are OK, but the stamp taxes (sounds like something from the 1700's) you pay at purchase time are very high. Florida, Texas, Nevada and some other states have no personal income tax, but the property taxes in Texas are high.

    Of course, here in southern California smaller houses are selling at $500 per square foot, and larger ones at $350 per square foot.

    To save for a new car, consider the Chase Perfect Card. We pay our balance in full each month, and receive a 3% rebate on gasoline and 1% on everything else, with no cap on the payouts.
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    Another tip... you can also purchase your vehicle using one of these credit cards that gives you airline miles, or some other incentive, then pay it off at the end of the month. Instead of just walking into the dealership with a cashier's check. Make the credit card act like the middle guy.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    "The most direct brochure has been the teaser, 3 paged variety (all one carton) where the Chrysler, Impala and Avalon are used as comparison."

    My point being the actual brochure, that is available upon website request or in the dealer showroom, points out the Camry. If you want your car not to be considered a competitor to another, dont point it out in what is likely your most widely circulated publication.

  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    True, they didn't keep them all current. But in ideology and publically stated by Ford, the Impala, 300, Avalon, Grand Prix and at first they mentioned Buick, but since Buick is going upmarket, they didn't wish to use it as a cross reference. Usually competitors to Mercury vehicles were mostly Buick since it was a step up in GM parlance.
  • buckwheatbuckwheat Posts: 396
    Surprise demand prompts Ford to build more Freestyles, fewer Five Hundreds
    AMY WILSON | Automotive News
    Posted Date: 10/20/04
    DETROIT -- Ford Motor Co. will build fewer Ford Five Hundreds and more Ford Freestyles at its assembly plant in Chicago, Ford Division President Steve Lyons said last week.

    The market's surprise demand for the Freestyle is triggering the mix adjustment, Lyons said. "We thought it was going to be the other way," he said.

    The Chicago plant began assembling the Five Hundred sedan, Freestyle sport wagon and 2005 Mercury Montego sedan in July. They went on sale in September. Initial production of the Ford models was split 60 percent to 40 percent in favor of the Five Hundred. Lyons said now the mix of the Ford vehicles will be at least 50-50.
  • johnclineiijohnclineii Posts: 2,287
    I currently have an Audiovox PNP3 for the Sirius Satellite Radio. It is a wonderful unit and I love it. Price was very affordable, too!
  • fsmmcsifsmmcsi Posts: 792
    Johnclineii: I saw the Audiovox unit at Circuit City a few days ago and it looks nice - it also allows you to use it inside your home and/or office. Where did you mount it?
  • I have to disagree with savetheland's post.
    savetheland Oct 19, 2004 6:05pm
    The interior materials quality in a Passat are much better than a Five Hundred.

    The interior materials (mostly plastic) is one of the things I like least about the Five hundred. I find them similar to what you'd find in a Taurus or Impala, not a "higher end" sedan.
  • johnclineiijohnclineii Posts: 2,287
    It is very nicely mounted to the right of the tuning button for the radio, on a clamp. I got it at Circuit City...the unit is VERY small. Be sure you get a 3, not a 2, if you are looking at Audiovox. They use much less power and are much smaller.
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    I agree the Passat has very good materials throughout the cabin, not just select spots like the 500. BUT as having had 12 friends with mildew smelling Passats, and burnt crayon smelling Jettas, the majority of those pleasing to the touch materials start falling off. I had to direct some to industrial apoxy glues to keep their trim from peeling and falling off.

    BUT before my aggression towards VW starts coming out because of the nightmare experiences I had to deal with, through my friends. I'll just simply state that VW is a great illusionist. Beautiful interiors, in the most unreliable package this side of a Kia. And that's why VW has the highest "perceive quality" index in the industry... Interiors...
  • I tend to agree with ANT. I have friend with Jetta. After two years of commuting interior looks ugly. I mean it looks worn out, you cannot fix it, can just replace. And yes the smell is bad. Interior details also tend to fall apart. VW interior looks nice on the surface only, I would prefer better materials, not just nice looking materials. VW is not an Audi and never will be. I did not compare Montego with Audi.
  • I've heard about mildew problems with the Passat. Apparently attributable to incorrectly replaced cabin pollen air filters. Not an issue with the Five Hundred which doesn't offer the feature. I haven't had this or any other quality issue with my 99 B5. Nor have I heard many complaints from friends who own them.

    The Jetta is not in the same class. I've heard of many Jetta quality issues but have no personal knowledge.
  • fsmmcsifsmmcsi Posts: 792
    Our relatives in Europe who know cars there tell us the used VWs are worthfar less than the corresponding Audi models, as the VWs rust and deteriorate sooner. I learned this while looking at large used car sales areas in Eastern Europe during our visit in August.

    I am a mold and otehr toxic materials consultant, and agree that cabin air filters which are not properly cleaned or replaced can become sources of mold.
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    The mold affected 2 Passat owning friends, 2-4 months into owning it. Since it's one of those "opinion" warranty claims, the dealership stated it was normal, and they didn't perceive it as having a smell of any kind, went on to spray something on the A/C coils, etc. but the issue kept coming. They couldn't lemon law because again, what is a foul smell to one, is perceived as normal to another. But that's ok, because one of them had A/C issues a year after and everything had to be replaced. The other got lucky, got into a car accident and the car was totalled, she bought something else.

    And as for the other 6 Passat owning friends, never told them about the mold issue although everytime I would drive their cars in for repairs I would smell it, and rather not bring up something they aren't aware of..being ignorant is bliss I say.

    Out of the original 12 VW friends, now it's 2 left who are waiting to pay it off (have one purposely leave his doors open so it gets stolen). So they can replace it.

    No I'm not bitter, I just gotta deal with their headaches because I'm in the field :-)
  • fsmmcsifsmmcsi Posts: 792
    It would be very easy for a mold consultant to run air samples inside the car with the smell, one or more other cars for comparison, and outdoors to compare to ambient levels. That would provide proof.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    By and large in the past have not had a lot of "bling" but are very durable and functional, in my opinion. The plastics generally don't crack with age, the switches tend to generally last with rare failures, the dashes develop few if any rattles. The rigid plastic components are well reinforced so they don't flex to produce a cheap feel. The cloth on the seats very durable,fade and wear resistant, etc.

    My 1990 Taurus was just as tight as new interior wise after ten years and 100K miles, and even the cloth drivers seat which got used 100% of the time showed little wear and tear.

    My current 2000 Taurus is also doing well in this regard at 42K miles and counting.

    Hopefully, Ford has been able to "bling" up the interiors to make a better first impression but still continue their generally long life attributes, which are more important to me than initial "bling".
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    You know, I became a convert to Lincoln in a 90 Continental....from what I've seen of this car so far, it just may be right for the times as American Luxury in the Continental Tradition. Only this time, Ant, you gotta make it right. The design of the 88 Continental was a piece of art, and I owned a 90 & a 92, but they were not quite put together like other Lincolns were. Still, they drove me out of my Cadillacs forever. Hope you do it.
  • mschmalmschmal Posts: 1,757
    Some of the interior switches just seem cheap compared to my 2002 Mazda Protege5. Especially the control stalks on the steering column, along with the window and power lock switches.

    ALSO, the power seat controls belong on the DOOR.

    the switches and stalks carry over into the 05 'Stang and look even cheaper. :( Hey there is always room for improvement

  • samnoesamnoe Posts: 731


    BTW: If you can't pay taxes with your credit card, you sure can pay it with the attached "convenience checks" which usually comes with the credit card statement.
  • gregagrega Posts: 31
    Repl to mschmal - Ever work in manufacturing? Probably not - many of those jobs are going over sees! Anyway, most seats are delivered to Ford as complete modules with all controls integrated into the seat assembly, its simple and less expensive that way, makes a lot more sense too - or didn't you think about making sense.

    give-me-a-break! Stalks look cheap? - its called plastic, get real and get over it!
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 14,025
    sound like a good opportunity to hang the mold consulting shingle next to the vw dealer :)
    2017 Ford Fusion SE 2017 Ford F-150 Limited
  • fdcapt2fdcapt2 Posts: 122
    Granted, many jobs are going over "SEAS", and if the Unions in this country continue with their bullcrap, they might end up putting a big part of their membership out of work. Why does the idea of having the seat controls mounted on the door not make sense?? It makes lots of sense when you are trying to do things to draw customers into your showrooms. Granted it will add a bit more to the sticker, but that's the American way. And the stalks on both the 500 and Montego are a bit flimsy, but I have driven a few other cars that are in the same boat. I had a pleasant surprise today. I took the 500 Limited AWD/CVT on a test drive, and spent almost 35 minutes with the car. The CVT is so strange, but nice. It's something I can get used too. Then I took a Montego Premier AWD/CVT for a good drive, and kicked it down a few times. Very nice pick-up, very nice feel, and I liked it better then the ride I got in the 500. I know they're the same cars, but I seemed to feel a better ride from the Montego. Now comes the surprise. The salesman from Ford gave me his "best" price of $29,700, for a car with every option. The Mercury salesman gave me a price of $29,500, for a car that also had every option. I couldn't believe the Montego was cheaper. I realize that different dealers will give different quotes, but the Montego sticker came in less then the 500. The Mercury guy told me that it might be better for me to wait a couple of months to see what incentives Mercury will offer. He couldn't elaborate, but he said something is in the works. The search for my next car became a bit harder after todays test drives.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    And now, you "sea" why I've been doing business with the Lincoln/Mercury dealer for so long now fdcapt. I've always had a hard time getting a deal from my local Ford dealers, my L/M dealer has always been very easy to deal with. Don't know why....
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687

    Actually there's really just a handful of car models that have the power seat controls on the door. Without thinking too hard, really CV, GM, TC and some Mercedes models. As previously stated, the modules that are shipped by the suppliers already contain the proper wiring. Running wiring to the door adds un-necessary costs, and complications come time to replace anything on the door.

    Power Seat controls on doors, have a pro/con situation as I see it. It's easier for me ( since I'm tall) to just open the door, play with the buttons instead of squeezing into a very tight seat, and changing it there. On the other spectrum, the first instinct most people will have, is to touch the side for controls.

    Another reason you see some rear door lock stalks towards the rear of the rear doors (as opposed to the frontal near the "B" Pillar is also for the same reason. Many years people would reach back to unlock their doors. But in the rear seat, the instinct is the same, to reach rear ward. Hence, why now some are doing that. When there's an accident, instinct is to reach back as studies have proven.

    Same with power window switches on doors. Some vehicles get slammed for having them in the center console (like BMW 3-Series, Saturn L300, VUE) because they aren't on the door, and the instinct is to look at the door to open a window.


    And what I prefer about the Mercury clone is you get the memory seat settings feature, HID Headlights and Led rear lights, dual colored interior fabric trim AND it's a few hundreds less than a comparable 500. This is on purpose because they expect people to flock to the 500, so it gives the Montego an added benefit and bring people into the showroom.
  • samnoesamnoe Posts: 731
    "Same with power window switches on doors. Some vehicles get slammed for having them in the center console (like BMW 3-Series, Saturn L300, VUE)..."

    And like the Lincoln Aviator and Navigator!

    (Sorry if I hurt you... you seem to be Bill Ford or his best friend... knowing everything from tires to lamps to supply, mechanical issues, paint issues, future vehicle issues, and what not??? :-)
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    I just used 2 vehicles I frequently test at times, so those 2 came up... my bestfriend and her husbands car.

    A few other's, Avi, Navi as you mentioned. PTCruiser on the rear seat I believe, previous MB CLK are a few I can remember at this time.

    Both the Avi and Navi (while having the Explorer/Expy) have it on the console. Supposedly it was to give them something distinct from the Exp twins, but I say it's cost cutting. When driving my mother's Navi my first instinct is going for the door, don't find the button. See it's really an inch from my right arm that's already resting on the armrest, and end up punching the door in frustration.
  • nedc2nedc2 Posts: 192
    I don't care for having seat controls located on the door, every car I've seen with that feature requires me to over-pronate my wrist, which I find quite unomfortable, to manipulate te control. The seat location seems much more natural. Why should seat controls be on the door, would you put the power doorlock switch on the seats?
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    I agree. Seat controls are easily reachable on the side of the seat- intuitive and handy. BUT they shouldnt be placed absurdly a la the otherwise extraordinary G35.

    ANT, hats off to Ford for producing a well rounded vehicle at a good price. Im not sold on the performance, or the lack of some desirable features, but overall... a very nice effort.
    As I said before, Im really looking forward to the Fusion. Then again, I was always a fan of the Contour/Mystique V6s.... the styling of the Mystique when it first came out really caught my eye. Pity Ford flooded the Fleet market with those two.

  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    As with any brand new model in which the dealers have little or no inventory, you are probably up against the wall in trying to negotiate much, but it never hurts to try.

    You may want to check your dealer's web site, sometimes they have internet coupons you can printout that might save you a few bucks. Also if you work for a company that is a vendor to Ford, you may qualify for that discount. X-plan is it?

    Otherwise, about the only option is to wait until dealer stocks become sufficient. With Ford using one plant for both Five Hundred and Freestyle, they really may not be able to kick out the volumes they could like when they had two full plants available for just Taurus and Sable production, so it could be big discounts will be slow in coming, but this is just a guess on my part.

    On the other hand, half a plant's production may be enough, given the current auto market with the blossoming of more and more models to choose from from both Ford and all the competitors.
  • buckwheatbuckwheat Posts: 396
    The retooled Chicago Assembly Plant features a flexible body shop that allows one set of tooling to build the new Mercury Montego and the new Ford Freestyle and Five Hundred. Montego is based on the same underlying architecture as the Ford Five Hundred and Freestyle – but with quite a different execution.
  • fdcapt2fdcapt2 Posts: 122
    When I was quoted the price of $29,500, the salesman said that's the best we can do for you "now". If you have the oppurtunity to wait a little while, it might benefit your wallet. Like I stated in my post, the salesman couldn't show all his cards, but the way he was talking, it sounded like something was in the works. I'm still up in the air as to which car I end up buying, but I think if the right deal was offered, a Montego Premier AWD/CVT in Merlot, black interior, with all the toys might end up in my driveway.
  • johnclineiijohnclineii Posts: 2,287
    The salesman is merely speculating. No one at any dealer KNOWS what incentive is coming next on any car until the old incentive (on the Five Hundred, it is currently low rate financing only) expires. But his speculation is probably pretty good. Ford MAY put incentives on Five Hundred if it doesn't sell to expectations.

    Heck, in this market, they may put incentives on it anyway, just to keep it selling. Still, I don't see that Ford did what GM often does---price the car high enough to take incentives into account. This is what hurts residuals, increases depreciation and makes the cars look "cheap" in the market--as in: "Unlike the Accord, the Impala does not keep its value very well at all---must not be a good car, Hilda!"

    Sales to rental car companies do much the same thing.
  • I recently drove both the Montego Prem and the 500 Limited. Very nice cars. However, there was more legroom in the rear seat at the expense of the intruding wheel wells in the front. In this case, I can not stretch out on a long drive.

    The front seats are comfortable, however the rear seats were not comfortable. The rear seat was very firm with little padding. The rear seat arched backward (opposite of a persons back). You must lean all the way back to feel it. I asked the sales person to drive while I rode in the back. Since no one has mentioned this, I can only assume all the potential buyers here did not ride in the back seat.

    Is this typical of folding rear seats. My 91 Cougar had a split folding rear seat and I would say it was almost as bad.

    Would the rear seat of the 500 been better if it had not been a folding design?

    Anyone else sit in the back seat for more than 10 minutes.
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    For the rear seat backrest to lie totally flat when folding it, such measures like altering the cushion shape are required. If the cushion were much softer, it wouldn't be as obvious, but at the expense of wearing down much faster the cushion, as well as the fabric on it as well. For a few kids I've seen sitting on the rear seat, it seems to fit them much better though.

    I remember having a Mustang, where on the front seat, everything from my mid back, north...Nothing touched. I'm sure anyone who had a 83-89 Tbird, Cougar understands as well since it followered that design.
  • While I was at the Merc dealer waiting on the Montego, I sat in a Mariner. I really like the vehicle. What disappointed me was the lack of the auto A/C. I noticed you spoke of it in the Mariner forum. Was it left off for technical or cost considerations? Mercury can rebadge if they want to, but they do need to offer a trim and appointment levels above Ford.
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    Cost consideration. It was enough they did those suade inserts on the seating which cost quite a bit, as for the aluminum-like trims and exterior details. I'm sure in it's next generation, it'll be addressed.
  • fsmmcsifsmmcsi Posts: 792
    I have had several vehicles with automatic HVAC systems, and all but one (the '94 Thunderbird) was nothing but a nuisance requiring frequent adjustment. The worst is our '02 M-B C230. I would rather have a manual system, allowing me to set the temperature and fan speed as needed with three simple knobs or sliding levers.

    We drove a Premier AWD at the Mission Veijo, CA mall yesterday and I used my $25 certificate to reduce the price of a mall item to close to reasonable. They also had Mariners, and they sure are much nicer than the Escape was in 2001 when I was shopping for an bought my '02 Mountaineer. The engine of the Montego labored up the hills going out of the mall, but with the test drive worker talking, it was difficult to concentrate on the vehicle. I still will not place my order until I am able to drive one for 30 or more miles on some rough freeways, so I'll have to wait until the dealers have more of them.
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