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Ford Five Hundred/Mercury Montego



  • buckwheatbuckwheat Posts: 396
    The latest I'm aware of via a respectable source is in the following article dated August 2003. Things might have changed since then but it still is the last info: on the new Duratec 35: 0618&magazineid=50&siteID=26&releaseid=11509&mode- =print
  • mariner7mariner7 Posts: 509
    I've to congratulate Ford, which is making real strides to compete with the imports. The exteriors and interiors of 500/Montego/Freestyle outclass Malibu/G6/Maxx.
  • fsmmcsifsmmcsi Posts: 792
    The Automotive News web site

    has larger photos of the Five Hundred, Montego, Freestyle, and other cars on their coverage of the Detroit show
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    The Duratec will be implemented about a year after the 500 introduction. This isn't to say the Duratec30 will be a sleeper. The automatic transmission/CVT of are geared for spirited acceleration, so do not let the 200HP fool ya.
  • rcf8000rcf8000 Posts: 619
    According to what I read, the 500 comes with the CVT or the 6 speed, but the Freestyle comes only with the CVT. Wonder what the thinking there is.
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    The Freestyle weighs about 200-300lbs more, the CVT is geared around 6:1 for better acceleration. Therefore it would probably do much better in acceleration, over the 6speed auto unit.
  • rbentonrbenton Posts: 30
    The 500 seems to have great promise by how well it's designed. It room and sophication make GM products yet again look obsolete. Will GM yet design a car for the masses with DOHC and V6 format.
  • emtemt Posts: 39
    I think the five hundred is a great looking car and I am considering trading my Camry for one since AWD is being offered. But, I did read that with AWD, the CVT will be the only transmission option. When I read that it really made me think whether I really want to buy the car now. The CVT is being made by ZF. I had nothing but trouble with the ZF tranny in my Eagle Preimer. ZF is supposedly an excellent manufactuer of transmissions, but you could not prove it by me or the other Eagles I saw in my dealers garage getting the ZF trannies replaced. I would urge Ford to rethink this.
  • fsmmcsifsmmcsi Posts: 792
    Ford and just about all of the other manufacturers have had problems with automatic transmissions in the 1990s. Before then, it was routine to expect over 100,000 miles before problems.

    However, Ford and the others have been putting money and effort into improving their existing designs and coming out with completely new transmissions.

    Other manufacturers have been successful with CVTs, and CVTs are far less complicated than traditional automatic transmissions.

    Of course, buying a brand new model in the first year is a trade-off between having the benefits immediately and dealing with flaws which will be corrected later. An extended warranty may be a good idea.

    Ford will have the new 3.5 Liter V6 for the 2006 model year, so that may be annother reason to wait.

    Still, I think that once we have all seen and driven a Five Hundred, Montego, or Freestyle, it will be quite difficult to wait.
  • buckwheatbuckwheat Posts: 396
    and share your concern Re: the ZF/CVT especially when it is a joint venture with Ford that began in 1998 wherein Ford owns 49%.. ZF in Batavia, Ohio was supposed to ship its first CVTs in 2001. They did'nt make that schedule stating "A product which isn't ready cannot be sold." More than two years later they began supplying CVTs. Ford and ZF have denied any manufacturing or quality glitches even though they have scaled back significantly since then in their initial projection that Batavia would produce one million CVTs by 2005. Here again they state that if the CVT does well, Batavia in the future would be solely dedicated to CVTs phasing out the 4 speed automatics made there for Ford & Mazada vehicles. At Batavia the CVT models they make are the CFT23 & the CFT30 with differences in size and capability. The 23 cannot handle anything above 2.3L with maximum torque at 169lb. The 30 will be in the Five Hundred/Freestyle AWDs can accomodate up to a 3.L engine with maximum torque of 221lb. The current Duratec 30 spec. for the Five Hundred is 3.L 200HP with 200lbs of torque. They are working on concepts that would handle higher torque. I would guess they have to with the Duratec 35 on the horizon, although I don't know that engines HP or torque specification.
    Nissan is a leader of CVT technolgy since the 1970s - with their CVT products mainly in Asia & Europe. Their largest CVT being on the Murano, a Freestyle competitor, sold here in the US with 245HP 3.5L v6 with 246lbs of torque, a record for CVT torque capacity. A check of the Murano board here at Edmunds shows there are some problems but for the most part many are content with the CVT after a period of ajustment in getting used to it.
    My hope for the Five Hundred is that the CVT and all goes off without any hitch.
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    Very good, you have kept up well with Ford's CVT development :)
  • emtemt Posts: 39
    My Eagle was the straw that broke the camels back and I went to Japanese cars since. I have a Subaru and Toyota that have never been back to the dealer other than for routine maint. Having a tranny rated for 221 ft. lbs of torque hooked up to an engine that is rated at 200 is asking for trouble I think. GM pulled this type of stunt in the mid 70's with the famous "metric" 3 speed auto. It could not handle the power of the small V-8's. I hope it all works for Ford as I think this is their last shot to get customers back into the fold.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    I think it is quite a stretch to say the least, to relate tranmission problems in an Eagle Premier to the CVT transmission that will show up in the 500 just because they both may have come from the same transmission manufacturer. The Eagle Premier was the last gasp design thrown together by the AMC/Renault alliance before Chrysler bought it all and flushed down the drain all but the Jeep line. Eagle Premier was by all accounts a bust with numerous major quality problems.

    That being said, I would still not myself go with a CVT from any manufacturer, foreign or domestic in the first year of production, I prefer to buy what has been on the market at least a year or two or three. Just my conservative nature, I guess.

    Looks feature wise the 500 will have the bases pretty well covered in the full size-large sedan market currently served by Avalon, Pontiac Grand Prix, Buick LeSabre, and Ford's own Crown Victoria.
  • emtemt Posts: 39
    I agree with you, I will only consider the 500 after it has been on the market at least a year. The 500 is a great looking car and is the only domestic (family) car out there that I really like the looks of. Hopefully the Ford-ZF venture will work well. With all the troubles I had with a ZF tranny though, you can understand my feelings. Take care
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    There's also the 6 Speed automatic option on FWD models, for those who do not wish to deal with the CVT. And later the 3.5L will be implemented, so that might be another good reason to wait a bit.
  • fsmmcsifsmmcsi Posts: 792
    The distance someone drives is probably the most significant factor in deciding to buy when the new cars come out or to wait one year. For people such as myself who drive much more than average (I drove 29,000 miles for business in 2003), the potential benefits of waiting one year have to be balanced against one year of enjoyment of a new Five Hundred / Montego. Ford and Mercury dealers will not be able to mark the cars up or demand full sticker, so there is no price issue.
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    Yes good point. If someone generally keeps there vehicles 5+ years, I would say maybe waiting a year, might not hurt. But there's some (like myself as well) that can tack on miles quickly, and don't have much of a choice but get what is available.

    I had a 2000 Lincoln LS8 which I just replaced a few months ago, and that vehicle had 121K without any warranty repairs. I was holding off for the new Mustang but considering production will not start till August of this year, simply I couldn't wait. Hence, I had to get another LS and I guess I must wait till next year's '06 model.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    "I hope it all works for Ford as I think this is their last shot to get customers back into the fold."

    A lot of us have very pleased with our Ford products generally, and never left. :)
  • buckwheatbuckwheat Posts: 396
    If you mean to imply the Five Hundred will compete with the full size cars you mentioned in your post, Avalon etc. I agree, but to be accurate Ford classifies its flagship to be, the Five Hundred, as being a midsize car, albeit at the top of the midsize sedan segment, a car with a large size interior. An obvious distinction when it comes to insurance. Even with all the hoopla about more usable space if you match vehicle specifications with these other vehicles, say the Ford Crown Victoria, there is not any overwhelmingly more space but you then have to remember your matching midsize to full size and under those circumstances the Five Hundred is a clear winner in that respect.
  • tomcat630tomcat630 Posts: 854
    There is a stigma against calling a car "full size", so it seems like half the cars are labeled "mid size". Rental firms call a Corolla mid size, in fact.
  • fsmmcsifsmmcsi Posts: 792
    Ah yes, the old rental company lies. Everyone else thinks of the Camry, Sable, E-Class, and so forth as mid sized. I wonder who they think they are fooling - foreign visitors?

    The Five Hundred / Montego are so spacious that the Fairlane should finally be full sized in the sense that rear passengers have excellent leg room and ease of entry better than many Limos.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    I may be wrong, but I believe the EPA or some government agency has a criteria for categorizing sedan classifications by total interior volume, and by that measure I have no doubt 500 will qualify as a full size sedan if its interior room is significantly larger than the current Taurus which is likely near the top of the midsize category.

    Ford appears to be taking the tactic of developing two cars to replace Taurus, the 500 which is slightly larger in external dimensions but with significantly more room than Taurus, and the Futura which will be somewhat smaller dimensionally than Taurus but may have nearly the same interior room as Taurus does now.

    This puts Futura squarely up against Camry, Accord, and the new Malibu, and 500 up against Avalon, Buick LeSabre, and Pontiac Bonneville, and maybe Chevy Impala-though I would suspect Impala may morph again in a few years as its design is getting fairly long in tooth.
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 8,863
    It is the EPA that created the interior volume ranges for auto sizes. But there are ranges.

    It is interesting that both the Focus and Taurus wagons are considered mid-size and the current BMW 3 series and previous 5 series are listed as compacts.
  • Has anyone seen information as to whether the back seats of the 500 will fold down as they do in my Audi? This is an extremely useful feature for toting long items.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    It says rear seats fold down standard and passenger front seat fold down is an option.
  • tomcat630tomcat630 Posts: 854
    The Impala is rated as "full size" by the EPA, but GM wants to call it "premium mid sized".

    Chrysler is not being shy in calling the new LX cars "full sized".
  • buckwheatbuckwheat Posts: 396
    badgerfan & robr2 you're right. The EPA does determine vehicle size using the enclosure volume of both passenger and cargo compartments and measuring same in cubic feet.
    Nhtsa determines size for purposes of crash testing using curb weight criteria less driver/passenger/cargo.

    Why Ford would refer to the Five Hundred as mid size might have something to do with other government requirements such as CAFE regulations, but I don't know, in any case its misleading.

    From what I have gleaned the EPA classifications;
    Compact - (includes mini-compact & subcompact) a coupe or sedan that has an interior volume of less than 110.0 cubic feet:
    Midsize - A coupe or sedan that has an interior volume between 110.0 and 119.9 cubic feet.
    Full size - a coupe or sedan that has an interior volume of more than 120.0

    If the information given to me is correct then the Five Hundred totals out to 128.1 cubic feet
    the Crown Victoria totals out to 131.8 cubic feet
    obviously placing both in the full size category.

    Because there is no federal rule regulating how rental companies classify their vehicles they can size any vehicle as they see fit. For the most part they use the criteria of the vehicles popularity and the publics willingness to pay which can vary among companies and different locations in the country.
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    Ford is classifying the 500 as Mid-size? All I kept hearing was Full-size, where does it state this?
  • buckwheatbuckwheat Posts: 396
    In the title of the following link and again in the last line third paragraph, second line seventh paragraph - - 644

    Also look at this link on the Montego, last line second paragraph 661
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    HEH, thanks for spotting that out. I never referred to it as a Mid-size since by EPA standards it's Fullsize.

    A) It might be done because they do not wish for consumer's to perceive it to be as LONG as the Crown Vic.

    B) They might have a larger RWD vehicle coming out that might complement to the Crown Vic. -(I'm betting on this one).
This discussion has been closed.