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Ford Five Hundred/Mercury Montego



  • I agree that the sedans that best compete against the 500 are the Avalon and Impala. I am on the fence with the 500 and the Avalon and don't know which way I'll go yet.

    I think Ford also wants to lure some SUV buyers. I don't know how successful that will be. According to my 20 year old "SUVs are cool. The five hundred isn't."

    Cool isn't important to me in this purchase. Quality, Comfort and Value are. Ford is losing on the first two.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    the 500 sits tall, more like an SUV, to satisfy those (like me) who prefer the truck like seating position of the SUVs, while still being a sedan.

    I'm delighted, for one, that Ford started this trend of "taller cars". I have always been more practical in my preferences for autos, liking Station Wagons in the 70's & early 80's, Minivans next, then discovering SUVs in the 90's, and have pretty much stayed with the most versatile vehicles, (SUVs) ever since. But a taller sedan would still be comfortable, easy to get in and out of, yet offer the (few) advantages of sedans. Good for Ford, for reinventing the family Sedan again. It looks like Value is there, comfort should be there given the design, and if the 500 is anything like the 04 and 05 Ford vehicles I've purchased and driven, the quality is definitely there.
  • fdcapt2fdcapt2 Posts: 122
    I am having a really hard time getting through the shock of these cars costing more then $30 thousand, when you have cars that deserve to be priced this way (Acura TL, Infiniti I35, Cadillac CTS, Infiniti G35, etc.). They offer a lot more quality and power. I picked up some material on the '05 Acura TL, and read the sticker price, and then tried to figure out why Ford and GM think they should be in this price range. I was given a price today on a 2005 Acura TL, that was almost the same as the loaded Montego Premier, and has so much more to offer. I know some people will get all pissy about this post, but think about it. A Ford 500 costing $30000 with an under powered engine, no Navigation available, no Sattelite radio, no Zenon headlights, and a few more missing bells and whistles. I know that the American manufacturers are trying to catch up to the foreign car builders, but I think they need some more time at the drawing board.
  • fdcapt2fdcapt2 Posts: 122
    A while back I asked if anyone knew the specs on the upgraded sound system in the 500/Montego. I stopped at the local Mercury dealer to see if they had a car to test drive, and came up empty. While I was there I asked the salesman if he knew where I could get the info. He went into the TOP SECRET manual that they keep hidden from our view, and came up with what I was looking for. The system is pushing 320 watts, 7 speakers including 2 tweeters and a sub woofer, a feature called RDS (radio data system) , MP3 capabilities, and a bunch of other features. I hope it sounds as good as my Mach system in my SHO.
  • I mean these sedans are so under everything, why don't they mention this sound package, finnally something competetive!
  • fdcapt2, the solution is quite simple. To you, those other cars offer so much more. Fine. Buy them.

    To me, NONE of those cars is worth a second look. Why? I need/want the space the Five Hundred has. I drive an Impala LS now, have looked at Avalons, Crown Vic/Grand Marquis, Buick LeSabre and even Lincoln Town Car. Price those cars, comparably equipped. Ooops, can't get AWD in any of them. Gee!

    And, this car is VALUE priced for the class it is meant for. It is not meant for the boy racer crowd, which the cars you listed--fine cars all--are. It is also far larger than any of those fine cars. This car is NOT meant to excite those who like Acura TL's and such. And frankly, it doesn't.

    I am one of the very few who am interested in both groups of cars. But an elderly mother who has trouble getting in and out of cars, long 800+ mile trips that are usually accomplished in a day on very rough expressways and the need to haul up to four passengers in comfort all dictate a "boulevard" or "turnpike" cruiser with lots of room. I hope and think the Five Hundred will fill that bill for me.

    If, that is, they ever accept my order!
  • Well, it's a step. Actually, an Accord is only at 50 percent, so it's pretty darn good!:

    This should positively affect lease payments.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    They got the starting base price on the Five Hundred wrong in that article. It is $22795 including shipping, not $24495. $22795 is not overpriced for the base model, in my opinion, and this is a far cry from $30K. Yes you can equip them up to $30K, but you don't have to.
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    Like in all vehicles, many of us will aspire for all the bells and whistles. The vehicle for $22K is a great bargain, but option it fully, and it can top $30K and have other competitor's that might have something better/different. All depends upon the persons priorities.

    These same vehicles (when you hit $30K), will have options themselves. BY the time you option them, your looking at $34K-36K, so it starts adding up.

    I'll use a common situation, a friend of mine Did... She wanted a $20K Camry (after having had 2 Toyotas stolen within 3 months), I was able to get her off her Toyota loving craze by showing her real cars that have character. She then thought, "Hmm for a few thousand more, I can have a Altima V6". Then she thought, "Hmm, for a few more, I can have a Volvo S40". While we were shopping for it, I tell her "For $2K I can get you the S60 fully loaded". And she walks out at $31K with something she didn't even plan for to begin with. And yes ALL cars she looked at vaaried greatly, and she went thru 3 different segments.

    Then it was convincing the husband "If you want me to get pregnant, then you give me the Volvo". Ok she's 7 months pregnant now, but she got her damn Volvo.

    And the common senario happens quite often. Someone looks at the base model, what's toys, starts going up the price scale. And some might realize something else might be better for the same price, while other's really like the vehicle and stick with it.
  • Below is a copy of an e-mail I recieved sent by an unknown sender. Accordingly the content and credibility of same is not substantiated.

    "Quality Woes Plague Five Hundred, Freestyle and
    Montego Launch"
    September 28, 2004

    Given that these models were launched (JOB1) on August
    10th at Ford's Chicago Assembly Plant (CAP), and were
    originally slated for shipment on August 23rd, dealers
    were expecting larger stock levels by now. However,
    shipments of these early units were halted with
    quality concerns, though many have since been cleared
    to leave the plant following inspections and repairs,
    though only at a trickle.

    Internal Ford Motor Company documents recently
    furnished to a well known Ford enthusiast site,
    indicates that there are serious quality issues with
    the early-build Ford Five Hundred, Freestyle and
    Mercury Montego models. While the documents detail
    everything from build costs to assembly concerns, the
    most troubling area that these documents detail are a
    high number of quality issues plaguing the D3 platform

    According to the documents, these early D3s have
    possibly suffered from one or more of sixty-five (65)
    quality concerns, from defective platforms to faulty
    CVT gearbox and paint quality problems. In addition,
    employees at the Chicago assembly plant have been
    voicing their concerns on the message boards of the
    Ford enthusiast site since September 25, 2004.
    However, according to the source, the sheer number and
    serious nature of several of these problems is
    abnormally high, and potentially cause for
    consternation, particularly for buyers of
    early-production Five Hundred, Freestyle and Montego

    For a company that has already been stung in the press
    and the court of public opinion for a high number of
    recalls and perceived quality lapses, fundamental
    component concerns like the quality of Ford's CVT
    transmissions have Dearborn executives and company
    loyalists alike reaching for the antacid.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    Yes, that is the "Ford Enthusiast site" they are talking about.
  • Ford deal with the quality concerns inside the factory then through recalls.

    Remember that when toyota started its TQM in Japan, workers were stopping the line many times a day, slowing down production. But eventually they earned a high quality reputation, and the lines were not stopped as frequently anymore.

    Meybe Ford is finally going though some quality improvements on its own.
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    Same is occuring with the line where the 500/FS/Montego are being built. Slightest problem, and it's stopped to inspect any issues. Those quality concerns are normal for every manufacturer, and addressed by the time the vehicle is shipped out.

    I can add "concerns" to that list as well.

    I'm concerned that maybe the leather is too slippery.
    I'm concerned that maybe the carpet in the trunk shouldn't be as good as it is.
    I'm concerned that maybe there's no enough colors to choose from.
    I'm concerned that they sky might fall.
    I'm concerned about world hunger...

    See what I mean ? There's always concerns, and they are addressed immediately before being shipped. If not, they are parked in a lot and the concern is rectified before being shipped out. Last "concern" dealt with having to reprogram (Flash) the computer software, so a number of units were parked at a lot awaiting.

    Compare this to my initial 2000 LS, which requires a software "re-flash" and had a TSB issued for it, after I took delivery of it.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    This is just a typical factory gossip stuff, some based on fact, a lot based on rumor.

    In good old US UAW plants the shop guys are outspoken and willing to share their opinions.

    The Japanese based US plants hide their dirty laundry better on startup issues is the main difference.

    I'd rather Ford hold the produc to iron out the bugs rather than do it after they've sold a lot of them. Every new auto design is going to have its startup issues, and this being a completely new vehicle for Ford except for the basic engine, you can expect more than with just a freshening.
  • johnijohni Posts: 43
    I test drove a 500 limited w/6 speed trans and an Avalon XLS today. We'll probably spend the extra bucks for the Avalon. The Avalon has better feeling leather; the split front dash gives more spacious feeling; ride is softer; it's slightly quieter; the seats are more comfortable to my wife and me; has longer drivetrain warranty (5 yr/60k miles); and excellent reliability reputation. Plus, it has optional skid control.

    The 500 has much larger trunk; folding rear & front passenger seat backs; sits up a little higher; a little more head room. For my needs, the extra cargo space does not offset the other weaknesses versus the Avalon.

    My last 4 vehicles have been Fords - 3 Taurus and an F150 - so I was leaning toward the 500. It's a fine automobile, a lot of car for the money. But I'm concerned about quality/reliability with such a new model.

    Now I'll have to decide whether to wait for the upcoming '05 Avalon or try to get a deal on an '04.
  • johnclineiijohnclineii Posts: 2,287
    And the next Avalon will also be a new model, with all the relevant issues and pluses and minuses that come with that.

    As for me, I will take the AWD on the Ford and the CVT and the much larger interior and trunk, larger dealer network and easier availablity of parts and service. You might also want to compare prices of comparably equipped units.
  • corcor Posts: 27
    All I can say is that Ford really needs to get it's act together!! As a previous Ford owner and coming from a family who has only had one other Ford [1996 Taurus LX w/the 3.0 Duratec which was quickly replaced after the transmission failed for the 2nd time]; I really hope they have it together with the release of the 500/Montego/FS. The reason was clear why we continued to own Nissan Maxima's. My family has been die hard maxima fans owning 8 since their intro in 1981. After the Taurus and my ZX2, we'll never own another Ford product.

    While the 500 is a very nice vehicle, it's almost as if they took tracing paper and copied the Passat from VW. If they were going so far as to create the "Ford" version of the Passat, they could have at least copied the antenna as well. Is Ford really that cheap to have a front mounted antenna on the 500? It really takes away from what is overall a nicely copied design.

    Buying my VW Passat (v6 w/5spd manual) was overall a very good decision. I did think about another Maxima, but wanted something a bit different. I actually went to my local Ford dealer and parked my Passat next to the 500 and they were a spitting image of each other; with the exception of the 500 having a taller roof line and that unsightly front mounted antenna.

    I will be curious to see how the 500/FS/Montego will hold up, but with Nissan, Toyota and Honda offering better build quality, reliability and resale values; I have my doubts for the Ford/Mercury duo.
  • johnclineiijohnclineii Posts: 2,287
    With all due respect, it is too early to know about the Five Hundred's build quality, resale and reliability. It's a risk, admittedly.

    As for resemblance to the Passat, you should know where the chief designer of Ford Motor Company came from. Audi. Controlled by? You guessed it. VW. Still, the resemblance is not quite as strong, TO ME, as it is to you.

    I've owned Maximas. I am not NEARLY as impressed with their reliablity as you are. You see, I can tell transmission stories, too. They are about a Maxima with less than 33,000 miles.

    And, according to the most recent projected residuals, the Five Hundred retains MORE of its value after three years than will either Maxima or Altima (but not Accord).

    Just as you wouldn't buy a Five Hundred, I wouldn't think of buying a Maxima or Altima. But you don't see my posting in the Nissan forums. With all due respect, I must ask you, why are you posting here? Are you trying to warn us? Or are you feeling just a teeny, tiny bit of insecurity at not considering the Ford Five Hundred/Mercury Montego/Ford Freestyle?
  • mariner7mariner7 Posts: 509
    The joke among auto journalists is that J Mays can only draw one car shape.

    johni, next Avalon is a new model, but shouldn't have any start-up production problems. It's virtually identical to the current Camry.

    500 will take a giant leap forward in resale compared with Taurus. but to say it's going to leap over all except Accord is premature. This is what I've read: after 3 years, Accord (55%), Altima (52%), Camry (50%), 500 (48%). But big improvement, 500 is going to be in the playpen of its competitors, Taurus now is in the low 30's.
This discussion has been closed.