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Ford Five Hundred/Mercury Montego



  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    "500/Fusion. MUST loose it's triangular rear lights. Car is square on every angle, trainglular looks tastless and therefore cheap and idiotic. I apologize to this forum members for these harsh words but this is the way I see it."


    Wow, FSV- you like how the Accord looks, but think the Fusion is idiotic? What do you do for work? I'm ready to put you into a classification with that evaluation.....
  • ehaaseehaase Posts: 328
    Volvo is profitable and doing well, but would Ford have been better off spending the money on improving the products it already had?
  • fsmmcsifsmmcsi Posts: 792
    Most of us here know far more about cars than the average car buyer. If the typical consumer will not take the time and make the effort to learn more, then the differentiated brand strategy on common platforms which GM, Ford, and everyone else is using makes sense. I just wish they would try selling all of the variations in one place at three or four scattered experimental dealerships.


    Sorry FSV, but I think that the tail lights, especially the LED units on the Montego, look really good. Having seen the European Fords on the roads there, I can see the common design trend.


    I wonder why Ford is not selling the Five Hundred and Freestyle in Europe? With the AWD and one of their diesel engines, they would be a nice step up from the Mondeo.
  • nedc2nedc2 Posts: 192
    I agree with you on the tail lights, they look good, and the design is pragmatic, the triangualr shape maximizes taillight are while minimizing its intrusion into the trunk opening, and it save on wiring the rear decklid for auxilliary tail lamps. That's the simple reason the triangular design, in various forms is so popualar.


    Why not Europe? Size. The cars are too long, too wide and too heavy, as I understand it that would put them into a hihger tax and insurance category in most European countries, where they'd co,mpete with the Audi A8 and Mercede S calss etc., and since the cars are aimed at a lower price point here it would mean redesigning and upgrading the interior, as well as developing or adapting new engines, e.g. a diesel, an I4 or I5 turbo, turbo 6 or V8, etc They might be able to find a market for them in the former Soviet republeics and Russia where there are different tax and insurance laws.
  • fsmmcsifsmmcsi Posts: 792
    Yes, ned2, I think the Five Hundred and Freestyle would do well in Eastern (really central) Europe. I saw several Chrysler 300s at the dealership in Vilnius, Lithuania when we were there in August (my wife is Lithuanian).
  • fsvfsv Posts: 196
    Just came from London. Was surprised to re-discover how socially divided their are. You might think this is stuff of the history books, but - no. Also, a sign of belonging to upper crust is speaking English without opening the mouth, preferably turning the head so, that your conversation partner doesn't see the face expression really. The point is - there are to many people in the world who need all these little and big signs of "Belonging" - titles, attention, servants, and Jaguars, Bentlies, Rolls_royces, etc. You can not sell Ford to them no matter how good it is. Most recent example of an attempt to do so is VW Phaeton - great car; they sell it now with a huge discount - even here in US no one buys it because it is a VW. And these car could easily wear Bentey badge, technically it is there...

    This explains brand strategy.


    nvbanker -- ??? I never said I like Accord. As the matter of fact I said in one of the forums, I feel like driving it in the wall. "What do you do for work? I'm ready to put you into a classification with that evaluation....." - I don't think I will say anything here, since I will not say anything you'll like.

    Again, I think, that square lights will make Montego look much more distinguished and sophisticated.


    500 in Eastern Europe. In Poland, Russia and some other countries they tax you on the size of the engine (allegedly the bigger the engine, the more gas it burns - should be really important in Russia, No. 1-2 oil producer in the world), something like $2.5 per cubic cm. Now, do the math... Therefore, 500, with it's balance of size/relatively low import taxes will be quite attractive. There is only one problem - it must overcome the very bad taste in the mouth left by Taurus imported by grey-market. Right add campaign, though, will take care of that, and if they gonna build it there, (meaning $2.5 X 3,000 gone), 500's chances will increase. Middle-class market (if we can define it as such) they have there is value-driven. It explains why they have to wait in Russia for more than 6 month for Focus (built locally), Corolla (Toyota closing on a place to build a factory). For whatever reason, Civic just doesn't sell well at all. And Subaru, being No 1. seller on huge territories, still doesn't have an assembly line - I can not explain this to myself... Size - Eastern Europe was built starting from 1945 with quite generous road dimensions in mind, though each of these countries has historical districts where two horses will go into a fist (whatever) fight for the right to pass, since backing up is not really an option. But there are not really too many places like these. Any of these countries could use a bigger car for their cabbies. In Hungary they drove me in something French with my head between my knees....
  • nedc2nedc2 Posts: 192
    The main problem with the VW Phaeton, yes it is a nice car, is the Audi A8, an even better car made by the same parent company. The A8 is similarly priced, but lighter because it's aluminum, so it performs better, and gets better fuel economy. Why would a luxury car consumer pick the VW model?
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    The european Mondeo will be growing in size, and will adopt the C1 architecture that will also co-exsist with the next Volvo S60. This will allow the vehicle to attain large porportions (for it's trim exterior size) in a lighter platform (something the 500 can't do) and work perfectly for that market's need.


    Over in Europe, the Ford Mondeo, Focus, Fiesta are considered one of the benchmarks in their respected categories.


    But the market there is totally different from that of the U.S., than that of Australia or even South America. And before we all get in the topic of "Why not ship them here?"... again, different market, different demographics and needs. Even some asian manufacturer's have had to learn up until recently that what they build in the U.S. might have to stay here since it might not be accepted elsewhere, and vice-versa.
  • johnclineiijohnclineii Posts: 2,287
    This has been a great discussion. Before leaving this area, remember when the Escort was going to be Ford's world car? And then the Contour/Mondeo? Neither seemed to achieve the world car goals (as in the same car built world wide and sold world wide). Particularly in the case of the Escort, there really wasn't as much in common with the North American model and the European models as the physical appearance might suggest. And later, not even that was very much alike.
  • johnclineiijohnclineii Posts: 2,287
    "They're the most conservative buyers there are."


    (J. Mays, speaking of Ford Five Hundred customers)

  • fsvfsv Posts: 196
    That really requires a comparison. I suspect I might be in Germany some time soon, I'll try to rent them both. Last time I was in there, I saw adds for Phaeton, and if my memory serves me right, the (rental) price was very low. I'll post my observations.

    Europe. In London I saw so many Grand Cherokies on the streets - and gas is 7.50 a gallon! With these prices i'd switch to a bycicle. Go figure the tastes abroad.

    My Russian friend just came over for a visit. Is considering to buy a car & ship over there. Size and convenience American cars offer for the price of 20-25G's is unbeatable, they love them. Problem is quality and service, even more than quality. Also, don't forget, Euro is expensive now, Dollar is - well, you all know. BTW, cops over there love Crown Vic and prefer it to Mercedes and others - what a surprise.
  • fsmmcsifsmmcsi Posts: 792
    Perhaps Ford had too many women on the design team. We stopped by Santa Margarita Ford today for their drawing to give away an '05 Mustang V6. Afterwards, they were busy with potential Mustang buyers, so we were able to be all by ourselves looking at a Five Hundred Limited. I tried moving the seat every which way, but two things were obvious:


    1) There is no escaping the unusually narrow footwells, which force me to sit with my legs closer together, like a woman. It is an uncomfortable position, and it also leaves no wiggle room to stay comfortable on drives over an hour long.


    2) At 6' 1" there is no position in which I can reach the steering wheel and not be looking out through the upper 1/4 of the windshield. - the seat just does not go down low enough, and the steering wheel does not telescope.


    Merry Christmas and a Happy New year to everyone. It has been enlightening being here and I am glad that some others are comfortable with the Five Hundred/ Montgego.
  • johnclineiijohnclineii Posts: 2,287
    And pardon me, but isn't claiming that men and women sit differently a sexist and ridiculous statement?


    I'm 5' 10", male and have plenty of room in my Five Hundred in any seat, from driver to left rear and anywhere in between. I have not noted in my nearly 50 years on this orb that women sit any differently in cars than men.


  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    Dummies are used that mimick 90% percentile of the buying public. I believe the 5-10/170lbs is the most common dummy used. The narrow footwells have to do with the structural reinforcements integrated into the mid-section of the firewall.... In other words, the vehicle acheived 5Star crash ratings with no side airbags, there's a trade-off....this is it.
  • johnclineiijohnclineii Posts: 2,287
    and not a single one of the dummies complained about the footwells, I might add...
  • I heard differently from some of the people on the Five Hundred program ANT14. Are you sure about that?
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    That and checking emergency brake cables on AWD vehicles...


    What did you hear?
  • ktnrktnr Posts: 255
    Looking at the current Ford Falcon/Futura/Fairmont on Ford-Australia's web site, I was surprised at the range of high-tech engines available:


    Barra 182 - 4.0L, 24-valve, DOHC, in-line six with variable valve timing.


    Barra 220 - 5.4L, 24-valve, OHC, V-8 with variable valve timing


    Barra 240 - 4.0L, Turbo, 24-valve, DOHC, in-line six.


    Boss 260 - 5.4L, 32-valve, DOHC, V-8 with drive-by-wire throttle.


    I'm surprised that the two in-line six engines above aren't common in Ford's North American products.
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    At one time it was...Long ago... So was the "Falcon's" platform...long ago...Ford AU has worked with it since then and updated it frequently...
  • My wife and I are tall (5'10" and 6'4" ). In a recent test drive of the five hundred, head room was the major problem. In the front passenger seat, even with no moonroof, our heads touched the roof with the seatback in an upright position. This position is more comfortable on long trips for us. An slight up-down seat adjustment would fix this problem.


    In the rear seats our heads grazed the roof.


    On the plus side, we both enjoyed the high seating

    and legroom in both the front and rear. We have tried every large sedan, crossover vehicle, and minivan available, and the AWD 500/montego came closest to meeting our needs. We did order one recently.
  • Johnclineii,


    That's an interesting article on Mays. I've been a design director myself (totally different industry) and I can attest to how difficult it is to build a great team and create a cohesive design language. It takes a long time for it all to come together. As Mays has stated in the past, the current 500 is somewhat of a transitional design; and was probably a project that was dropped into his lap right off the bat. Unfortunately, in those cases there's not enough time to begin a new, comprehensive design direction that will work across the whole line of cars. His comments about the conservative nature of 500 buyers is telling. I'm 34 and I find the 500 design too bland and conservative, but my parents just ordered one and they found the car to be very attractive and classy looking. I think he's right that the car will sell well despite not pleasing the majority of auto critics in the design area. His line about "not getting American enough fast enough" is telling. I think Chrysler beat them to that punch with the 300. That 427 concept would have made a great Ford sedan...


    The Fusion appears to be a more well thought out design, still somewhat conservative but with enough style to make it stand out. This seems like a better foundation for a Ford design direction, and it has been stated often that this will be the case. I look forward to seeing what they do with that.
  • nedc2nedc2 Posts: 192
    The Barra 220 and Boss 260 are North American engines, they are available on Ford tucks (the Barra 220) the Boss 260 is basixcally the Lincoln Navigator engine. They are not available stateside in passenger cars largely due to CAFE rules. The I6 engines are unique to Australia, I6s are falling out of favour in most places in spite of their advantages in smoothness and simplicity of design largely due to packaging problems, they're to long to fit transversely in most cars for FWD use and when fit longitudinally they require either a much longer hood than would be ideal, which affects forward visibility and/or compromises space for passengers, or diminishes the frontal crush space, which isn't too good in an accident ( I believe Australian front impact rules are a bit more lenient than ours). Still, they'd probably make an ideal base engine for the F150, or Crown Vic, but demand is probably to low to justify building them here, and I hear there's insufficient capacity in Australia.
  • Hey, maybe those Russian police aren't too far off the mark... Quality wise. I got a bit of a surprise, being a Buick Riviera driver... Here's the JD Power's assessment by Nameplate, placing the Buick right behind the Lexus, and Fords generally much more dependable than the the vaunted Mercedes... I knew the Buicks were good, but hey, pleasant surprise.


    This survey from JD Powers is recommended reading:


  • johnclineiijohnclineii Posts: 2,287
    Maybrook: I don't understand. I'm 5' 10", and even with the seat raised all the way up, I still have AT LEAST four more inches between the top of my hair (and I have bushy hair) and the headliner. Would I like the seat to go down further? Yes. Do I have plenty of headroom? Yes, again.


    And I have even more headroom in the backseat than in the front.
  • johnclineiijohnclineii Posts: 2,287
    That survey is greatly affected by the Buick Century, long considered one of the highest quality (and most boring) cars in the entire industry. The model had not been significantly changed in many, many years. Its buyers were also widely seen as relatively undemanding. The Century is now history (as is the Regal). Whether or not the new models (and Buick hopes, new buyers) will create such a good record is very much open to question.
  • Can anyone tell me the different between the Montego and Ford 500? There has got to be some slight difference, but except for the grill and perhaps the tail lights, I do not see anything.


    Are these the only difference?
  • johnclineiijohnclineii Posts: 2,287
    NO. The Mercury has HID headlights, LED taillights and, except on the highline model, NO outside temperature guage. Comparably equipped with the Ford, some versions actually cost a bit less.


    The HIDs and LEDs are not available on the Ford at any price. The Mercury also has a different colour scheme inside, more two-toney and darker wood.
  • fsmmcsifsmmcsi Posts: 792
    I just learned today that Ford is coming out with a new SportTrac car-trunk to compete with the Honda Ridgeline. I want a car and need a truck, so a four door car-trunk is what I need. It is interesting that the Sport Trac will have stability control (with the Ford roll feature), while the Montego and F150 lack it. I will be on the SportTrac forum, as it seems it will have several significant advantages over the Ridgeline. So, Ford will probably keep a customer.


    Johnclineii - men and women do sit differently - women sit with their legs closer together, men don't like their gonads (small or large, makes no difference) to be squeezed. How many men do you see sitting with their legs crossed like women? By the way, at 6' 1" and 190 Lbs., I need to loose 20 Lbs, but am not some fat tub trying to squeeze into the car.


    ANT14 - the strong frame is good, but they needed to build the car on top of the frame, rather than drop part of the floor below the edge of the frame. I agree with the comment above that the car is perhaps a transitional product, given to the new team too late for them to change things like the footwell. I have owned small and large cars and driven all kinds of others, and can not remember ever sitting in a vehicle with such a narrow footwell.
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687


    Yes, you will see the new Sport Trac concept at the new round of auto shows in the next few weeks. It'll have a 4.6L 3V V8, same being used in the Mustang. And be a bit more car-like than the current version. It's also migrating into the current and soon to be modified Explorer platform (current one rides in the last generation Explorer platform).


    Can't build the car above the frame since it's unibody. That method is reserves for most SUV's and trunks, hence Body ON Frame. If the floor wasn't lowered below the side rails then A) Less leg room B) Less leg/feet protection C) Less Hip protection... The higher the side rail is, the greater your chances on a side impact since it bypasses energy forces onto the rest of the platform and pillar members.


    Or in other words, get a truck. IN there case your able to place the flooring higher, or aligned with the side rails since it's a truck and true body-on-frame.




    To add to the list of differences, the Montego also receives memory driver's seat, for up to 3 settings.
  • fsvfsv Posts: 196
    Yesterday my wife finally took a testdrive in a Montego and GM Ultimate. It was interesting to watch her reaction, especially considering that I kept my mouth shut. Before testdrive she liked the looks of Montego. After couple of miles in it (Premier package) she complained over road noise, engine screaming but not pulling th car forward, harsh ride, etc. Nevertheless, even after major complaining getting her in GM was like getting a cat in the water - she just didn't want to do it. After testdrive, the question was - "And how much, did you say, was this car? Do you think, it still will be in the dealership in March, when the lease (for the current car) runs out?" Of course, I told her, that there will be something in one dealership or another. But, it was interesting to see a totally reversed reaction of a person who basically always goes by the form over function.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    Oh... GM Ultimate = Grand Marquis Ultimate?


    In any case, if you're looking for a large powerful near lux vehicle for 30 grand and have a few months... check out the new Avalon XLS. I have very few doubts that it will Trump the Montego in many if not all respects. The only thing it wont offer is AWD.


  • I am afraid that even Toyota Camry XLE will trump Montego/500 in quality and refinement of interior (where it may rival Lincoln ), smoothness of power plant and actually looks sharper.


    But Montego/500 is bigger car for same money and most important has better handling
  • I also feel anxious inside GM. I don't understand how can you even compare GM with Montego. GM feels inside/out way more outdated than Montego.
  • johnclineiijohnclineii Posts: 2,287
    I own a Five Hundred AWD SEL. Let me say this. I have driven, and drive, many Crown Vics and Grand Marquis, both with and without the "performance and handling package." Driving the Five Hundred is a lot like driving a precise, tight Volvo. Driving a CV/GM is much more like piloting the Queen Mary. HUGE boat, and it seems like it, too. Yep, more engine power, but the rudder is very, very loose...


  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    The CV/GM acceleration times are about 0-60sec in 8.0-8.2 from most testing I've seen.


    I'm doing my best to try and implement the new 4.6L 3V into that vehicle.
  • fsvfsv Posts: 196
    4.6 V3 - yeah, baby! Or, even better quatroporto. If only it could be incorporated in 500/Montego. Chrysler 300 got 5.7, so, what's wrong with 4.6 in the 500?
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    Thw front assembly would need to be re-engineered to accept the 4.6L... Plus, the Modular V8's are a bit tall in their architecture, so it will obviously take some work to do.


    The Duratec35 shares the same mounting points as the Duratec30, therefore it's easier to just drop in since it was build with that in mind.
  • tkfitztkfitz Posts: 95
    While a larger engine would add more power and better low end performance to the 500, both cars I drove were amply powered for everyday driving. Ford even seems to see the fuel economy numbers as a selling at my local dealership have a "more miles to the tank" sticker prominently displayed. It would seem that this is a vehicle begging for a hybrid powerplant similar to the Escapes. Plenty of room in the back for a battery pack. A roomy 40 mpg car.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    May as well make room for the Escape hybrid plant inthere.
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    It's being worked on ;)
  • ls8ls8 Posts: 16
    I've read a lot on the 500 and the only real negative I read about is lack of horsepower, though sometimes it is noted that the good 6-speed tranny mitigates the problem somewhat. Any specific thoughts as to whether this is really a problem or just the critics that need something to talk about/whine about?
  • johnclineiijohnclineii Posts: 2,287
    The CVT helps a lot more than the Six Speed. And yes, a stronger engine, as an option, would have helped sales quite a bit. That all being said, I sure am enjoying the 23 plus average MPG overall that I am getting (about 21 in town, 27 on the road). And that's with the AWD!
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    exactly! I Drove one. It didn't feel the least bit under powered to me.
  • some people read a little bit too into the "underpowered" comment. Most would proably says its adequate for 90% of the normal driving they do. What do most consumers do who drive five hundreds? Mostly to work and driving their kids around. theyre not taking the car off-roading so the 200HP strikes a fine balance between power and fuel economy. At least that was the thinking behind it and of course for those who need slightly more power theres the 3.5L coming out, but theyll have to be a litle more patient till then.
  • I have driven a Crown Vic (Police Interceptor model) for many years. My current one is a 2004 with lots of power.


    However, I will be retiring soon and am considering either the 500 or Montego. I took a 500 for a test drive and while it certainly does not have the acceleration of my CV, it is very adequate for regular driving. Besides, I have to learn to slow down.


    I have been considering an Accord, LaCrosse, 500 or Montego. While the Accord is still a consideration, I think I need to decide between the 500 or Montego.
  • fsvfsv Posts: 196
    If you know, what will be engine choice for the Lincoln equivalet of Montego?
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    Your not going to be happy with any of those if your looking for power. I'd try to find a used Impala "SS" with that corvette motor in it. That's the only thing that will put you close to the "Interceptor!"

    Good luck in your choice!
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    "If you know, what will be engine choice for the Lincoln equivalet of Montego?"


    Not yet, that's still some time away....
  • fsvfsv Posts: 196
    I guess, I have figured out why I dislike the Montego's rear lights. They look exactly like cheapo Mitsu Lancer's. (Yes, I know, that there is also 30G Evolution. It is evolution from the basic Lancer).

    If the post 2114 was addressed to me - no, I don't care for neck-snapping acceleration in this particular vehicle. And there is plenty of choices now, I guess, I could figure out myself what car could give me this adrenaline rush... All my emotion ever expressed re. Montego - it doesn't ride, handle and accelerate to my expectations; it's disapponting comparing to cam-cord (even Tauras feels much faster); and I wanted an American car size of Montego with all that parameters. That's all.
  • One of our local dealers is advertising a 500 SEL

    with a MSRP of $24,795 but discounted to $18,771.

    One only, dealer discount $3274, RTCM $1000, RCLRCO $750, FRP $500, Military $500. Anybody know what the various initials stand for?
This discussion has been closed.