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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.
This discussion has been closed.