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Ford Five Hundred/Mercury Montego



  • The sales brochure shows traction control as optional. Stability control isn't mentioned--I assume stability control is more advanced.
  • fsmmcsifsmmcsi Posts: 792
    ANT14, what do you think of an SVT Five Hundred using the Volvo/Yamaha 4.4 V8 especially if they keep the price under or equal to a 300C (which would be way under the 300 SRT)?
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    The 3.0 Duratech is not going to strain at highway speeds. If it needs more torque, the CVT with infinite ratios will quickly but smooothly shift down a bit on inclines thus smoothly doing what a conventional transmission has to do more abruptly, with consequent higher revs and a jolt shift when you get on the gas.

    How do you suspect the 300C Hemi manages to get by with only half its cylinders firing when it is cruising? Because it really doesn't take that much power to move a car on the level at highway speeds. The CVT can do a lot to compensate for lower horsepower and torque at highway speeds as well as 0-60.

    I continue to be very impressed with the 3.0 Duratech in my "ancient technology" four speed automatic 2000 Taurus, and would expect it to perform even better with the CVT or the six speed automatic in the five hundred, despite the weight penalty of the bigger heavier five hundred.
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    "ANT14, what do you think of an SVT Five Hundred using the Volvo/Yamaha 4.4 V8"

    That is a possibility. Ironically the 4.4L V8 is a derivative of the long ago 3.4L SHO V8 that was found in the Taurus SHO. This time around, they improved the engine every which way, and increased it to 4.4L.

    Volvo wishes to use it's own engines, and Ford has allowed them to do that. I don't see them using this 4.4L on a Ford labeled vehicle. If need be, they could use the 3.9L V8 found in the Tbird, LS but I know that won't be the case. They have better chances sticking to the 4.6L V8 Triton's (which by the way, was originally built for FWD passenger cars)
  • seminole_kevseminole_kev Posts: 1,722
    Had to drop off my wife's car at the Ford body shop (some dingbat hit my wife's car while it was parked up at work - another story itself) anyway we just popped in to look at the Five Hundreds they had out on the lot. Nice older gentleman came out and showed us the Limited model) dark grey, looked nice). Had the dark leather interior and darker wood. Really nice looking for the price. Did remind me of the Audi's I have looked at.

     Now I'm more of a smaller, nimbler, sportier car guy, but I've been thinking about a larger, commuter type of car and this one, on paper, looks pretty good. Anyway I test drove it while there (hey, why not right?). Actually drives quite nicely. Doesn't feel like a boat. Rides smooth but controlled. Very European in my opinion. This one had the 6spd auto (not a CVT) and surprisingly had good pep. It definetly didn't feel underpowered. It isn't a rocket ship, but it doesn't feel slow either. Very happy with that as I was worried.

    Very quiet with a nice ride. Price is pretty good to as I'd be more interested in a SEL with cloth.

    Did get to sit in a SEL with cloth seats, but it was the light tan color with the lighter wood that doesn't look as good as the dark black/grey interior. Still, the seats were very comfortable. I was nicely surprised by this vehicle. For the price it is a very nice car.

    Only immediate downside I saw is, that for its size, the front footwell is a little narrow on the left. Not bad, but just smaller than you would expect.

    Oh yeah, the trunk reminds me of something from the 1970's. Just huge.

    Anyway, my two cents for whatever that's worth.

  • This car has it's first consumer rating in Edmunds. A perfect 10! s_consumersdetail.html?dcr_sid=100396835&dcr_usein=n&tid=- edmunds.n.ratings_consumer.content..4.Ford*

    While you can expect an initial purchaser to be excited, I think this guy went a bit overboard. While there remains a possibility I'll buy one, in my most generous state of mind it would have gotten a 7. A lot of cut corners for $22-28K.
  • mariner7mariner7 Posts: 509
    At highway speed, there's no shifting, so transmission doesn't come into play. By now, there are reviews from all the major mags, many of whom mentioned 500/Freestyle are underengined.

    We can agree this much. At nearly 4000 lbs (FWD), 500 is 500 lbs more than most of the competition. I just think it deserves an engine option that the competition can't touch. It doesn't have to be V8 DOHC, which understandbly will be reserved for Lincoln.

    SVT is much more suitable for Fusion, probably with the 3.5L.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    The transmission will come into play at highway speeds if you hit large inclines or want to accelerate faster to an even higher speed. In those conditions the CVT transmission can and will shift down some to give you added torque at the wheels.

    If you are cruising along level, I agree the transmission is fully shifted upward, which is what you want for maximum efficiency at highway speeds. Then when you need it, you want the transmission to be able to shift down, and with the wide ratio range of the CVT it can do it better than any conventional transmission due to the infinite gear ratios available and very high range top "gear". This is why Ford went to the CVT and also jumped directly to a six speed conventional transmission option rather than a five speed, as the six speed allows you a taller final ratio, with a fifth speed not too far below it for those highway speed passing situations.

    People always dwelling on horsepower numbers are missing the point if they don't consider the entire drive train package and how it can maximize an engines capabilities, or conversely harm an engines true performance.
  • “At nearly 4000 lbs (FWD), 500 is 500 lbs more than most of the competition.”

    Actually, it is not nearly that heavy. Consumer guide lists the weight of the 500 as 3664 pounds. That is only 250 pounds more than my Avalon. The Ford site also shows the 2005 Chrysler 300 Touring at 3767 pounds and the 2005 Chevrolet Impala LS at 3466 pounds.

    I would disagree with the magazines when they call the car under engined. Not everybody needs 300 hp in their car. My Avalon can be quite exhilarating to drive when I give it half throttle or better. It only has 210 hp. The Ford brochure shows the 500 beating my car by about a second to 60 mph. I am sure the 500 will do just fine getting people around.
  • Today I took a Montego, Luxury, AWD very early production, for a 200 mile jaunt, mostly at highway speeds. The vehicle had 185 mi. on the clock when I started. My main concern was the engine, and would a 3.0 hack it at highway speed (here 65 mph,legally that is).

    On starting the engine is surprisingly quite compared to the mill in a Sable, or Tarus, or Mazda/Ranger Until you get used to it. the tranny will seem a bit strange, no shifts that are noticable. It reminded me of the old Dynaflows but much quicker. You step on it and it goes. Engine noise is at first evident and it turns from 3 to 4000 rpm (I have a heavy foot) then you back off until it holds the speed. A wonderful thing happens then, at a steady 65 mph, quite rapidly the rpm goes down to about 1,700 and there it stays and all it quiet. So much for that, the 3.0 will loaf along at highway speed. Passing - this is the test. When you step on it, there is plenty of rpms available to accelerate rapidly to get around. The engine really turns up and you can hear it work but when you are around the other vehicle it will back off quickly and returns to 1,700 RPM.

    The car is quite comfortable, the drivers seat is much better than the seat from hell in my '03 Town car. The version I had, had most of the same bells and whistles as in the Town Car.

    It handles great with a short turning circle. I looked at a 500. Although the outside is identical the interior of a Montego is well plush. The radio/CD is a little goofy and it has two clocks, one on the radio and one on the dash.

    I think as soon as the incentives/rebates show up I will trade the TC without waiting for a bigger engine which should come in about 6 mos. so I hear.
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    Your looking at another year and a half for the Duratec35 to debut...
  • mschmalmschmal Posts: 1,757
    At this time, the factory is building all cars with traction control standard and at no charge, the brochure notwithstanding.

    This will continue until at least December.

  • nedc2nedc2 Posts: 192
    I noticed this and was wondering why Ford made the "optional" traction control a no charge standard feature for a limited time. I wouldn't buy a new car without traction control, it really helps you get going at icy intersection. But why not just make it a standard feature? Will Advance Track be offered after december? That would be even better.
  • That the 500 will become a replacement for people who drive the queen trio (crown vic/grand marq/town car).

    Im not saying dont do it lol. It would be nice if the 500 got some avalon customers, instead of TC, IMO.

    Hey ANT, why so long for the 3.5V6, its like ford didn't start working on it untill Nissan came out with the VQ's. Is this how its alwase gonna be, that the foreign competition comes out with the technology first, and then in a few years and a few less % market share, we catch up?

    What gives!

    BTW, ANT, I hope im not sounding intrusive, but what do you do at ford? Sometimes someone would mention (you working at ford) here, I just never got around to asking you, thanks.
  • Took another test drive, this time in a Limited with AWD/CVT. My impression was much better. The CVT had a better feel. It didn't seem to kickdown and race as hard as the 6 speed SEL did. The AWD was imperceptible- no increased noise, vibration or stiffness. Acceleration was adequate. Very quiet.

    The plastic on this model didn't appear as cheap. Perhaps it was because less shiny. Another couple also comparing the SEL and Limited cars had the same impression. I've now seen a SE in Pebble, an SEL in shale, and a limited in pebble w/leather. I did not see the SE and Limited side by side, but my impression was "cheap plastic" in the SE even though the color was the same.

    This car had a moonroof and I was very surprised at the available headroom. (Although I'm only 6'1") I had a good 2-3" clearance.

    I did find the oil filter. Its easily accessible in the front underneath the engine.

    The 18" Pirelli tires gave this car a much better appearance then the 17". The latter seem almost "small" in the large wheel wells.

    I didn't spend as much time in the rear seats. It would be good to see if the Limited center rear seat were more comfortable then the SEL.

    Other impressions were the same as the SEL test drive.
       ederzawiec Sep 25, 2004 2:29pm

    Well If I were to buy, It would be a limited-AWD/CVT. But at 28K, I am definitely going to wait to compare it with the new Avalon in January. I'd like to see a Montego as well.
  • I really don't care for the white instrumentation and "plastic" wood trim on the Limited. Although I'm sure it appeals to some..
  • fsmmcsifsmmcsi Posts: 792
    The small front brakes on the upcoming Avalon are very obvious in the Brenda Priddy spy photos. Ford did an excellent job making the Five Hundred / Montego / Freesytle brakes bigger and better.

    I think I forgot to adequately describe one of the best features of the new Ford cars - the bright greenhouse, with good views in every direction, yet with high door sides, so that your left arm is better shielded from the sun. Quite the opposite of the over-styled 300.
  • samnoesamnoe Posts: 731
    "Hey ANT, why so long for the 3.5 V6, it's like Ford didn't start working on it until Nissan came out with the VQ's. Is this how its always gonna be, that the foreign competition comes out with the technology first, and then in a few years and a few less % market share, we catch up?

    What gives!?


    This is the big question to me too: Why 1.5 years to wait for that engine? Is it brand new? I thought it's identical to the current 3.0 with the addition of VVT?

    Ford must hire some more people, or the current designers and engineers should work a little over time... It seems that import companies are doing the same! I can't understand why everything takes for Ford soooooooooooooo long???
  • fsmmcsifsmmcsi Posts: 792
    It seems that Ford has been loosing money, so they probably could not afford to do everything they want as soon as they want.
  • nedc2nedc2 Posts: 192
    Why so long?

    There are a number of factors: First, it is a brand new engine, really new engine architecture. The Duratec 30 was based on a 2.5 litre engine, which I believe was designed in part by Porsche. The Duratec 35 is the first engine in a new series of V6 ranging up to 4.0 litres, it is designed with VVT from the start, it is designed to be less expensive to produce because it utilizes newer aluminum casting technology than what was available when the the 2.5 l Duratec was first designed, as well as a number of other new technologies (some of these have already been incorporated into the Duratec 30 BTW).

    Secondly, Ford is in the process of converting their Lima Ohio engine plant, where the Vulcan V6 used in the base Taurus and some Ranger models is made, to produce the new Duratec 35, it is to be a more flexible facility than the current one, this means new equipment, worker training, etc. And the plant still has to be able to produce engines for current vehicles. There are major capacity and scheduling problems involved as Ford moves to more flexible techniques, that's something the foreign transplants didn't have to worry about.

    Thirdly, money is a big factor, as are contracts, with both unions and in some cases local and state governments where there may have been tax breaks involved. Ford also invested way too much money in buying other car companies instead of plant modernization and product development during the Nasser years. They are still paying for that.

    Ford certainly wishes that they had this engine available now, they made some strategic decisions years ago to go with a smaller displacement global design, and didn't seem to anticipate that there would be this insane horsepower race in the North American market.

    About the current powerplant in the Five Hundred: I doubt if I would go for the larger Duratec 35 engine if was an option now, I've driven the current car and its performance is more than adequate as is. If anything it's better than the performance of my old Crown Vic with its V8, the current Taurus with the Duratec, or the V6 Camry. It's not a rocket ship, but I don't need one anyway. Unless you want pay for my car insurance and traffic tickets ;)
  • fdcapt2fdcapt2 Posts: 122
    So according to you, Ford is going to produce "adequate" vehicles and engines. Why is it so hard for some people to admit that the Blue Oval BLEW IT!!!!! I'm amazed to hear people constantly making excuses for poor management. Ford knew they were going to produce these cars way before the release date. If they weren't ready, they should have postponed these vehicles until next year, or released them a few months later as a 2005 1/2. They still had the Taurus and Sable, as outdated as they are to carry them for one more year. Ford has been falling behind Toyota and Honda more and more in past years. They have the oppurtunity to put out some of the greatest cars ever, considering the new companies they now own. There is no excuse for the way they dropped the ball this year. We have some people here that will get all huffy because I'm stating facts as I see them, as a consumer. I've driven both the 500 and Montego a few times, and they are a nice, quiet, comfortable cars. There is a bit too much plastic, a few really CHEAP steps they took, like the hood struts, or lack of, no power lumbar, and the list goes on and on, as well as the engine that quite a few professional car people have called underpowered. I really hope, and soon, that Ford gets it together and tries to get the 3.5 out sooner then 18 months in the future. I know that these cars have some great features, like the CVT, and the 6 speed tranny, but with the 3.5, and some additional ponies, they would really have a home run on their hands.
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    "This is the big question to me too: Why 1.5 years to wait for that engine? Is it brand new? I thought it's identical to the current 3.0 with the addition of VVT?"

    Nedc explained the issue correctly. It's more of a resource and capacity issue, than anything else.... Yes the 2.5L was originally designed by Porshe.

    " If they weren't ready, they should have postponed these vehicles until next year, or released them a few months later as a 2005 1/2"

    Ford needed these vehicles to debut in "Year of the Car". You can't place the whole Chicago Assembly Plant on hold for 2 years, JUST to wait for the engine. Remember, U.A.W. gets paid 96% of their salary EVEN if they aren't working... This would not have been a wise decision.

    You have to concentrate of putting out other fires within the company, and be able to spread your concentration upon numerous issues. Let's think of where Ford was a few years ago (with no products in sight, lower reliability, no earnings) to where it has been now. Concentrating on all these factors, posting profit gains ahead of what analysts have predicting, while launching new nameplants and reducing warranty and recalls is quite astonishing overall.

    Surely, we all want a few features, we all want more power, but there were other concerns to deal with, than those that could be implemented later.

    I myself am the first to say, I have yet to drive the perfect vehicle. I wish I could take the engine of one, place it in the platform of another, throw in the AWD system of one, put the radio of another, etc. If there's nothing to critisize on any vehicle, my job wouldn't be done.

    And before we bring up competitor's, there's many ways they deal with their wildfires and you would be concerned on where/how they cut their costs. But of course, the media won't tell you that... :-)
  • johnclineiijohnclineii Posts: 2,287
    And, we don't ALL want more power. Even among those who DO want more power, most settle for less after a short dream. MOST vehicles sold are NOT the high powered versions. MOST Camrys and Accords, for example, are the four cylinders. People look at the sixes and dream, then think of the cost of the car and the gasoline, and buy the four.

    Same story on the Chrysler 300, I betcha, after the initial burst of customers wanting the Hemi is satisfied. Remember the PTC Cruiser? The Thunderbird? The Beetle? Hot as all get out and then THUD. (So far, the Mini Cooper is still selling well, but that would point to the car having a larger customer base that can be satisfied over the long term)

    Does anyone here remember gasoline is now selling at over two US dollars per gallon in the US? Ford might and in fact DID need to have the larger engines available from day one, but this error may end up benefitting them. What if gasoline is three dollars or even four a year from now? Don't say it can't happen. We don't know that.

    Finally, if power is that important to the customer, that customer, likely as not, isn't looking at the Five Hundred/Montego to start with. If you ain't in the target market, you will never understand why Ford did what they did.

    I am. I do.

    I bought the car. And I really don't give a tinker's water impoundment device whether others think Ford could have done better or not. Had the car had the bigger engine available, given the mileage I drive, I may or may not have bought it. AWD is a LOT more important to me than power. But I do love power. I owned a Nissan Maxima SE, a Pontiac Grand Prix GTP. I know power. I also know practical and there is a time for this and a time for that...

    My biggest concern with the car was the lack of Sirius. You know what? I got it put in yesterday. An Audivox PNP3 from Circuit City. And I like it far better than my old Jensen, or any factory unit I have seen installed in, say, Ford F150 pickem-ups. I'm a happy camper again. Three days without Sirius were far more an impediment to me than two or three years with slightly less power than I wish I had become accustomed to of late. Honestly, this vehicle has more power than did my 00 Impala LS. I think the CVT does it. The brochure says so, and I agree. The figures say otherwise.
  • ehaaseehaase Posts: 328
    Automotive News reported a month or two ago that the Five Hundred won't get the 3.5 until early calendar year 2007 when the restyled 2008 models debut. So you will have to wait almost 30 months for the more powerful engine.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    The 500 will not out-accelerate the Camry 3.3L V6. In fact, according to Ford's own literature, it is the lightest 500, the SE CVT FWD that can nip the the Camry 3.0L XLE V6 by a mere 3 tenths of a second.

    What about the FWD 6 speed, or the AWD versions?

  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    I've never driven an Accord or Camry that was any more than adequate either. IMO, Ford may not have blown the competition away, but I think they've met it with the 500.
  • fsmmcsifsmmcsi Posts: 792
    please remember that the Camry 3.3 V6 is only offered in the SE version of the Camry. Most of the Camry SE cars I see have a four cylinder, as do most Camrys.
  • I've now seen a Ford SE, and SEL and Limited..

    The Quality of the interior plastic appears higher in the Limited. Is this just my imagination?

    On the SE it appears downright CHEAP.

    I haven't seen the Montego yet. Are the materials any better?

    Anyone know why Ford went with so much plastic instead of the more common use of Fabric on door panels in this class?
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    It is correct that most Camrys and Accords are 4, but many SEs do have the V6- in fact, I remember reading somewhere that of the Camry trim lines, the SE is the one with the greatest % of V6s, and the LE the lowest (makes sense when you think about it). For this generation of both Camry and Accord, the V6s account for about 25% of sales- higher than in previous generations.

This discussion has been closed.