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Ford Five Hundred/Mercury Montego

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Comments

  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    I don't have the paperwork with me, but there's a take rate of about 55% I believe, for the higher trim versions. Far exceeding what was expected initially. Same situation with the F-150 as well.

    This is a good thing because you will be seeing extra toys being implemented much sooner because it's expected.
  • fsmmcsifsmmcsi Posts: 792
    ANT14, thanks for the insight. That is good news. It sounds as if those of us who do not need to buy now will benefit from waiting. The Ford document for dealers showed 20% of sales for the Limited, and just 30% of those AWD, and mentioned an effort to make the initial sales "richer."

    I think the prices now are too high for the content, but would have no problems whatsoever paying a few thousand dollars more for a Montego with a telescoping steering wheel, stability control, and more power. Exterior mirrors which dim and incorporate turn signals, built-in satellite radio, built-in bluetooth, and an active charcoal cabin air filter would also be very nice, and the 300C, Avalon, and other competitors have many such features.

    Ford could easily add a supercharger if the 3.5 really can not be available sooner. Superchargers add instant power when needed, with no mileage penalty when not needed. The Avalon 3.5 V6 should provide inspiration or consternation - 280HP, 260 Ft. Lbs., and 22 city /30 highway MPG with just a five speed automatic. Ford could also provide a compressor and flat-fix spray can, and replace the spare with a hybrid battery. The new Accord Hybrid V6 shows that this could be a very effective way to provide more power when needed, and give a nice mileage boost as a bonus.

    I had always planned to wait until January or February to buy, so may wait until spring if there is real evidence that substantial upgrades are coming.
  • johnclineiijohnclineii Posts: 2,287
    I can almost guarantee there will be NO differences in the equipment levels of Ford Five Hundreds and Mercury Montegos sold in the Spring as opposed to now. Although incentives may happen by then, a price increase (or price increaseS) is also very likely.
  • fsmmcsifsmmcsi Posts: 792
    Here is the letter I sent to several people at Ford today:

    The Five Hundred and Montego are at once excellent and greatly disappointing. The cars are beautiful, with an airy open cabin and excellent visibility. The Montego is especially nice, with the two-tone interior, dark fake wood, LED taillights, and HID headlights. We were amazed to see that a 15' ladder which collapses to 55" long fits into the trunk with the rear seats up, and leaves plenty of space for the other tools and testing equipment used in my industry. The advanced safety features from the Volvo models are very welcome. However, all of those things do not compensate for the glaring omissions:

    ● Lack of a telescoping steering wheel. At 6' 1", 190, and with a 34" inseam, the foot well is too narrow for me, and sitting with my arms straight out is also no good.

    ● Inadequate engine power. Use the V8 from the XC90, supercharge the V6, or get that new 3.5 V6 into production, but do it NOW, not in 2007. By 2007 the cars will have a reputation as dogs, and the competition will be way ahead.

    ● Lack of features such as stability control, exterior mirrors which dim and incorporate turn signals, built-in satellite radio, built-in Bluetooth (a significant safety and convenience feature in the cell phone age), an active charcoal cabin air filter, and navigation for those who like it.

    ● A cheap-looking center console. The shifter looks like an add-on, the shape is too square, and the storage box should have a split or tambour top.

    I can pay cash for any car I want, but please don’t think that I am telling you that I want a Lincoln version priced at $45,000. However, I would gladly pay $35,000 for a Montego with more power and features.

    I know that the most I should expect is a form letter, but if enough of us tell them what they did right and wrong, it will have an effect.
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    About the supercharged 3.0L, it's actually more economical to offer the 3.5L, than retrofitting the 3.0L to use forced induction such as a supercharger. Also, it would increase maintenence costs (something Ford tries to avoid), as well as the possibility of having to use premium fuel.

    Supercharged 3.0L have/still are, being tested, but for another vehicle (non Ford brand).

    I like the email you sent... TIP: When emailing such companies that are enundated with messages always use bullet-points to highlight your points, and keep it short and simple as you did. It's good to place your thoughts and email it to Ford, they are listening. Although don't expect a reply, but you might be surprised.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    I think he just got one!
  • nedc2nedc2 Posts: 192
    I agree with some of your complaints, especially the lack of stability control and a cabin air filter, I'd even settle for a high efficiency HEPA type filter in lieu of activated charcoal, and the safety package really should be standard equipment,still that won't deter me from getting one now, I've got a Montego on order. But, I'm perhaps a bit more understanding of why these features aren't available now, and why some, like a more powerful engine, might not be forthcoming for several years. Let's look at your list:

    ● Lack of a telescoping steering wheel. At 6' 1", 190, and with a 34" inseam, the foot well is too narrow for me, and sitting with my arms straight out is also no good.

    I agree that it's an oversight that a telescoping wheel isn't available, though I've never found another car in which I so effortlessly found a comfortable driving position, and I'd imagine that Ford's ergonomic research showed that most people would be reasonably well accommodated with the tilt only wheel in combination with the adjustable seat and pedals, hence this marked the feature for cost cutting, and given that the steering column has the "adaptive" collapsing feature it is likely that adds further cost and complexity.

    ● Inadequate engine power. Use the V8 from the XC90, supercharge the V6, or get that new 3.5 V6 into production, but do it NOW, not in 2007. By 2007 the cars will have a reputation as dogs, and the competition will be way ahead.

    I personally find the power of the current engine more than adequate, but more power is always a selling point, but I doubt that you'll see a significantly upgraded power train before the 2007 MY. Taking your power train suggestions one by one let's examine why:

    The Volvo/Yamaha 4.4 L V8--It is a limited production model, only 20K to 25K units will be available per year, and Volvo will need quite a few for the XC90 alone, and they really need that engine for the $45K S80 Premier sedan far more than Ford or Mercury do. Though I must admit, sliding that power train under a Montego with some special trim to make a new Marauder if they could bring it in for about $38K would make for a nice limited production (say 4000 units per year) sport sedan.

    Supercharging or turbocharging the engine is more than a matter of slapping a blower on the motor, it'll need to have its bottom end beefed up, probably a new transmission, require premium fuel, and possibly full synthetic oil, and new EPA certifications, all of which mean significant added expense.

    As for the Duratec 35, if Ford could get that into production any sooner, they certainly would. I understand that most of the engineering for the engine is already done, but the problem is getting the plant ready to produce it, without losing too much production in the mean time, and get the appropriate transmissions into production or procured from suppliers.

    ● Lack of features such as stability control, exterior mirrors which dim and incorporate turn signals, built-in satellite radio, built-in Bluetooth (a significant safety and convenience feature in the cell phone age), an active charcoal cabin air filter, and navigation for those who like it.

    Nice features all, but with the exception of stability control, non-essential and readily addressed with dealer installed add ons, these are family cars after all and not high-end luxury vehicles. As for stability control, I was puzzled as to why Ford isn't offering AdvanceTrac on these vehicles, but as no charge traction control is standard through December '04, and it is rumoured that AdvanceTrac is a planned option in the near future, I'm inclined to give Ford the benefit of the doubt on this, Ford made AdvanceTrac with Roll Stability Control standard on most of their full and midsized SUVs this year, so it may well be shortage of parts, viz. yaw and roll sensors, that's holding the feature up on these cars. As the cars stand, I can live without the stability control, but if they were more powerful, I'd really consider it a necessity.

    ● A cheap-looking center console. The shifter looks like an add-on, the shape is too square, and the storage box should have a split or tambour top.

    De gustibus non disputandum est -- I happen to think they're OK as is, though I'd prefer more brushed aluminum in lieu of the wood grained plastic.

    All in all the cars are really good value as is, you get a lot of car for about $26K, which is the list on the Montego I ordered with the safety package. My chief complaint is that the safety package isn't standard and needed to be special ordered. But remember that these are mainstream family cars, built to a price, with space, safety, and versatility foremost among the design goals, not luxury sport sedans. The price range on these cars is from just over $22K to just under $30K before destination fees. It is clear that they were "built to a price", but after several test drives and several hours pouring over the cars they look to be built to that price without any major corners being cut, which is an impressive achievement. Also remember that Ford is just now returning to profitablity, and went through a considerable period of disinvestment in their product development. It'll take them some time.

    BTW. I'm not a Ford employee, nor am I currently working in the auto industry, but I am a Ford stockholder, a Dearborn resident, and have numerous family members who either currently or formerly worked in the industry.
  • Good morning.

        Do you have any comments or did you have any problems with the passenger head rest (preventing a clear unobstructed view out of rear seat passenger window?)(from the driver's seat). My wife did(she tried this car for her use ....)

       Did you think the engine seemed loud?

                             Thanks, Jerry
                                  [email protected]
  • nedc2nedc2 Posts: 192
    "Do you have any comments or did you have any problems with the passenger head rest (preventing a clear unobstructed view out of rear seat passenger window?)(from the driver's seat). My wife did(she tried this car for her use ....)"

    The front passenger head restraint or the rear seat head restraints? The rear head restraints can be adjusted so they are almost flush with the seatbacks, which is very nice for rearward visibility, the whole of the rear seat is about an inch higher than the front seat though, which is unusual but nice for back seat passengers. I can't see how the front passenger head restraint would affect rear visibility unless it's filling the mirror.

    "Did you think the engine seemed loud?"

    Under hard acceleration from about 15 to 35 mph it is a bit louder than I'd prefer, it's a good throaty sound though. Passing on the freeways, or merging from on-ramps it seemed fairly quiet, that's with the 6 speed.
  • mschmalmschmal Posts: 1,757
    Ford seems convinced that if you get adjustable pedals (which only ford offers) you don't need a telescoping steering column. (only Ford divison products with telescoping columns are focus and t-bird which DON'T have adjustible pedals)

    Mark
  • There are my impressions from SF intl autoshow about Ford exposition. Mercury was virtually abandoned. People showed interest only to SUVs like new Mariner. Montego was sitting in some dark corner and nobody really paid attention except of some octogenarians lol. There was no Sable, probably they do not make it for 2005 anymore. At my dealership I recently saw lot of them '04 with "Make your offer" stickers, looks like they are desperate to sell'em.

    Lincoln - more people. It was almost impossible to get into Navigator and LS - otherwise nothing interesting.

    Ford - a huge crowd around Ford GT and new Mustang. I already sat inside Mustang at Ford dealership, but at auto show you have to wait a long line to get into. There were only two Mustangs.

    Because people were attracted to GT and Mustang - much more people were playing with 500 and Freestyle than Montego - mostly men in their 40s and 50s. Mercury certainly lacks halo car. There were much more people at Ford exposition this year than last year.

    Volvo was bustling, In my opinion Volvo cars are the best in Ford family - interiors are well made and look beautiful.

    Mazda also was bustling with young people. Quality of Mazda3 is higher than Focus. If Mercury Milan is going to be cheapened version of Mazda6 (kinda Focus compared to Mazda3) I certainly not going to consider it as my next car.

    Jaguar sucks, I like new Buicks more in terms of interior. And it is considered as a competition to BMW ? Jaguar is going to be another Oldsmobile. And it is very sad that Ford abandoned "American luxury" to waste billions of dollar into this loser.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    "Jaguar sucks, I like new Buicks more in terms of interior. And it is considered as a competition to BMW ? Jaguar is going to be another Oldsmobile. And it is very sad that Ford abandoned "American luxury" to waste billions of dollar into this loser."

    Jaguar sucks? Hey, I'm a Lincoln man myself, but Jaguar sucks??? Can you give us any thing more emperical and unemotional than just, "Jaguar sucks" to back that opinion up? Because personally, I think they have the best lineup of metal going that Jaguar has ever had!
  • samnoesamnoe Posts: 731
    Problem is that the power adjustable pedals is optional on the Limited only (not standard on any model), unlike the telescoping steering wheel on the Focus which is standard on all models except for the base S trim level.
  • samnoesamnoe Posts: 731
    I sent already many many letters to Ford, Mercury & Lincoln in the past years. Ford & Mercury never answered me, but Lincoln called me back to "go over" some details, and to let me know that they take the letter in mind. Same thing was with Buick & Pontiac. Pontiac never answered me, but Buick Called me back 2 times, to confirm they got my letter and will consider it when upgrading stuff, etc.

    If it's true that Ford (and other mfr.'s) reads this boards, then there is no need to send a letter by mail. Just complain here and other boards, and send your letters to Auto magazines, and you can be assured your voice will be heard!
  • I recently drove the Buick Lacrosse with the 3.6 VVT engine. Very nice indeed. Good strong powerband all the way to the top. Great sound.

    What will the new Ford 3.5L be: VVT, DOHC ....?
  • bruce6bruce6 Posts: 29
    Things were a bit different the day I was at the SF Int'l Auto Show. A fair number of people were looking at the Montego, and I had to wait a while for the chance to sit in one. The Mariner also had a fair crowd. Over at the Ford stand, people were looking at the Mustangs, but not the sort of crowd I'd expected.

    The display that was truly desolate during my visit was Pontiac. 4 new G6s and almost no one looking at them.
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    Frasier,

    Yes, all the above. It's not just an increased bore/stroke of the Duratec 3.0L of the Taurus, there's much more sophisticated techonology being implemented as well. Here's a link for more info...

    http://media.ford.com/article_display.cfm?article_id=15895

    Bruce,

    From all the autoshows I've been to this season, I would have to agree with your assessment of the Pontiac G6. I only saw one couple looking at it at one show. Most people would just walk by it. Buick was another graveyard which no one bothered to look at much.
  • This might have been asked before, but where did Ford get the 6 speed automatic transmission for the Five Hundred and Montego? Didn't Ford and GM jointly design it? Just wondering, I'm a bit disappointed this car wound up being FWD...
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    The 6 speed automatic unit being used currently in the 500/Montego is built by Aisin. Which is 1/3rd owned by Toyota. Mazda6 will receive that same transmission (from their current 5 speed automatic Aisin unit) this year.

    The Ford/GM joint venture 6 speed automatic transmission will come out in about a year/year and a half and will be paired up with the Duratec35 engine. That engine is for FWD applications only. Ford will be revamping the transmission in RWD applications, to 6 speed automatics (starting with the newly refreshened Navigator this year) and will come down to a few other's RWD vehicles as well....
  • All right, that seems to clear things up a bit. Thanks.
  • Nobody paid attention to G6 eigther when I was there. I sat in G6, and again, GM cannot make things right. Not bad, but e.g. control panel (audio/climate) feels and looks cheap. You touch it a lot during day - at least they could pay some attention to this thing, workmanship that’s what I am talking about. "Sport sedan" with the engine that cannot rev? Come on.

    Talking about Jaguar - Ford puts billions of dollars into not so high quality luxury brand in England that cannot compete with kinds of BMW or Cadillac, to bring and sell it here. Finally they will have to move production to USA, it makes sense. They could instead of wasting money on Jaguar and bringing it here spend same amount of money on development and make a great car out of Lincoln, just like GM did with Cadillac, and still sell it in USA with a PROFIT. Jaguar is a storied brand, but Lincoln is storied brand too. Then why let American brand down and waste money on an import brand. That’s what I cannot understand. And I want to add that there is a cultural mismatch, Ford is not supposed to run things at Jaguar just for nostalgia, let British do it, esp if it is more about wasting money than about making money.
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    Because Jaguar, they can sell in many other countries worldwide, and command a premium price. Lincoln, is just in the U.S.

    What is hurting Jaguar is how U.K. money exchange, in relationship to the U.S. Dollar. Which is why some U.K. factories need to close. And control re-investment in renovating/improving them, for Flexible manufacturing. I suggest moving capacity to one of Ford's U.S. plants.
  • johnclineiijohnclineii Posts: 2,287
    ANT14, you aren't saying the Duratec35 is ONLY for FWD are you? It will be available on the AWD too, will it not?
  • mschmalmschmal Posts: 1,757
    whats the next V6 in the Mustang? We can't be stuck long term with the Cologne 4.0 Can we?

    Mark
  • That 4.0 has got to be one of the worst engines ever designed. It's just complete garbage. You better hope it doesn't stick around long term. They have been known to smash themselves to bits when the timing chain fails- I have seen it happen many, many times.

    Hope that wasn't already completely obvious. :(
  • nedc2nedc2 Posts: 192
    From what I heard, the Duratec 35 and its derivatives, the engine's architecture can be used to build engines up to ~4 litres in displacement, will be replacing several V6s, the 3.8 and 4.2 in the minivans, and the Cologne 4.0 L V6 in the Mustang, so how can it be FWD only? The Ford/GM 6 speed transmission is FWD only.
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    The 3.5L is designed for FWD, RWD and AWD applications. Which transmission it'll use, depends on the application. If it's solely FWD, then the GM/Ford transmission will be used, or CVT. If it's RWD, then it'll be a Ford unit. AWDs transmission choice depends upon the engine configuration (longitude or horizontal).
  • fsmmcsifsmmcsi Posts: 792
    It seems to me that you can play a game called "What's Missing" with most new Ford products. The F150 does not have side&head air bags nor stability control. The Five Hundred/Montego do not have stability control, a competitive engine (no, I do not think the competition is 4-cylinder Accords, Camrys, and Altimas, I think is is Avalons and Buicks and Chrysler 300s), nor other things what are either deal breakers or big annoyances to various of us who really want to see winning products from Ford.

    For me, the lack of a telescoping steering column and the weak engine are probably deal-breakers. I have driven several different Five Hundreds and Montegos, but will try some more.

    If you want lots of additional power, then a supercharger would require many expensive upgrades. However, a mild amount of boost would tide them over until the 3.5 comes. GM has many years of excellent results with low boost on their 3.8 V6. Buick, Chrysler, Nissan, Honda, and now Toyota (the new Avalon engine will produce 280HP, 260 Ft.Lbs.) all offer substantially more than 203Hp and 207 Ft.Lbs. The new Avalon will even achieve 22 city and 30 highway MPG with its engine. Who's asleep in the engine department at Ford?

    With all of the information on the new Avalon now seeping out, It seems that it may well give the Ford, GM, Chrysler, and other Asian car makers fits, especially if priced well. A loaded Montego / Five Hundred is $31,000. Toyota can charge some number of thousands more just for the nameplate and the reputation for reliability and resale value associated with it. It will have the interior space to compete head on with the Five Hundered and Montego and Chrysler 300, and may even have a big trunk (the extra length left over after accounting for the longer wheelbase and rear seat space has to be somewhere). If it has a big trunk, the only advantage left for Ford and Chrysler will be the AWD. Buick will be left with no advantage.
  • fsmmcsifsmmcsi Posts: 792
    We paid $25,500 for our 2002 Mercedes-Benz C230 coupe. For that price, it has exterior mirrors which dim, stability control (with choice of winter and summer modes), rain-sensing wipers, and other such convenience / safety features. For $4,000 more, the Montego would give me some more sheet metal and plastic for the bigger back seat and trunk, better cup holders, and a larger center console storage bin, and what else? As I have said before, Ford does not need to make such things standard, but they certainly should be optional - buyers would pay for the features and Ford would gain profit from the mark-up. Why don't they understand this?

    I am not a retailer, but somehow the end of the year is very busy for us, so I will forget about cars for a while and check back in January after the auto show, so I wish an early Happy Holidays to everyone here.
  • I don't know about Passat oil chages, but my 02 GLS TDI Golf has about a $50 hit at the dealer for its synthetic oil chage. Its only once a year (for diesels anyway) but wow, that's high.
  • 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?
This discussion has been closed.