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Ford Five Hundred/Mercury Montego



  • Banker, I also read "Car" and Eric Taubs book about developing original Taurus. Those days (in 80s) Fords were best vehicles around. But as time passed competition catched up, esp Asians. It is very difficult to compete with Asians, because they are disciplined, work very hard 14 hours a day, work as a team with less cost overhead. And there is no pressure from Wall Street and stock holders. Believe me. I work in high tech company that competes with Asians. And most our customers and partners are Asian companies. They will eat us alive if we do not innovate all the time. The day they catch up with us – we are dead. America is not competitive unless being innovative. You see kids do not want to be engineers or scientists, everybody want to be a dentist or lawyer, or Hollywood star. We 90% depend on immigrants on engineering and it will get outsourced gradually.


    Regarding 96 Taurus you are not right – it ended up over priced and still did not catch up with Camry which had better engines, transmissions and brakes. 1997 Camry being cheaper did not leave Taurus any chance. Ford spent too much money on styling that compromised things like weight, handling, trunk space and etc.


    Bean counters have nothing to do with ’96 Taurus failure– Ford just chose the wrong strategy and did not have competitive hardware.


    Ford spent too much money buying companies overseas instead of new development, so now it relies completely on engineering from European and Asian brands.
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    Well since Volvo has it's testimonials over how their vehicles have saved their life, I can share mine over the 500 I had.


    Last night, Doing 70MPH on I-4,raining... an 18 wheeler just decided to throw itself into my lane without any warning. Having another 18 wheeler on my rear and knowing there would be no chance for him to stop if I slammed my brakes, I veered into what I thought was an empty lane that happened to be an off-ramp which loops to the right.


    Between AWD and ABS, I was shooting down that ramp decelerating between 70 at the top, to 25MPH by the time I reached the bottom. Trying not to hit the brakes too hard to upset the cars front axis camber and toe-in (avoid sideslide and fish-tailing if I exceeded AWD's programmed capabilities). The whole time the vehicle felt very planted and manueverable.


    Although my date sitting in the front passenger seat, didn't appreciate the scare. Something tells me it might have been the last date too heh....
  • xmf314xmf314 Posts: 154
    That was a great story about how the 500 could have saved you. However, you say you were going about 70MPH in the rain in what appears to have been conditions of poor visibility.


    With all due respect, that sounds very foolish. If I were your date I might have gotten out and walked.
  • cccompsoncccompson Posts: 2,388
    Still, Detroit does this sort of thing time and again. I have never understood it and never will.
  • Ive been looking to test drive a 500 SE FWD CVT and can only find the SE FWD 6 speed auto on dealer lots. Has anyone driven the SE FWD CVT and does it accelerate as fast as the 7.5 sec (0-60) on motorweek claims?

    All the other magazines have 8.6sec (0-60) times for the 6 speed auto.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    We get used to ANT stories like that. It's how he drives..... Part of his charm. Also part of his job, I think. You'll note, he's still single.....
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    "However, you say you were going about 70MPH in the rain in what appears to have been conditions of poor visibility. "


    The rain was a slight drizzle but the lanes had water on them from being exposed to passing showers all day/night, visibility wasn't hampered by it, which is why it's odd the truck which ran me off didn't see me since we were all going a steady 60-70mph for many miles prior.


    "You'll note, he's still single....."


    I'll never marry, I've seen what it's done to others. Hard to find a union/relationship as good as they were "back in the days" without the evolutionary issues that plague our societies today, I rather date or live/move without the constraints of "paper". I'm not anti-marriage, I'm just pro-happy :)
  • johnclineiijohnclineii Posts: 2,287
    I don't think you will find any FWD models now with the CVT. Cost issues (particularly with the weak dollar as opposed to the Euro, and the chain for the CVT coming from Germany) have made it necessary for the CVT to be restricted to the AWD models.


    I have speculated that perhaps the CVT will become more expensive and less available unless more parts for it are domestically sourced...


    It always seemed very odd that the CVT, a premium item, came ONLY on the least expensive SE line for the FWDs. Very odd, indeed.
  • I think I agree with everything you wrote. At what point does the chairman Willy Ford the 4th or whatever he is, step in and say business as usual is no longer acceptable? The one thing that is not explainable is the styling. Styling your car like a 5 year old Passat is a conscious decision - not an accident.
  • johnclineiijohnclineii Posts: 2,287
    The Camry.

    The Accord.


    Best sellers.


    Great styling?




    Midsize segment?




    The Ford Crown Vic.

    The Grand Marquis.


    Also great sellers for their market (though they have cooled off some recently and the Five Hundred/Montego may ironically contribute to their demise after all).


    Again, not great styling as I would suspect you would define it.


    Market segmentation.


    The large/midsize market does not go for "out there" styling, for the most part.


    Look what happened to the oddly designed Maximas with the weird rear lights. They were quickly redesigned.


    Time will telll whether Ford or Chrysler made the right decision LONG TERM for their large car lines.
  • buckwheatbuckwheat Posts: 396
    Possible reason you are not seeing some models is the delay in shipping as is spoke about in this January 05, article:



    but this is to Ford's credit, not shipping problematic cars..
  • mschmalmschmal Posts: 1,757
    Everyone keeps focusing on the HP as the problem with the Durotec 30. The real problem is that the engine just doesn't sound good when its revved. Read this from Car and Driver:


    Our Freestyle did the run to 60 mph in 8.2 seconds, which beats the V-6 Explorer's 9.0-second time. It even beat the 8.8-second ramble of a Porsche Cayenne V-6. However, those 8.2 seconds are a bit uncomfortable, because the engine note never changes from a constant 5800 rpm, and the sound from the 3.0-liter engine is about as enjoyable as an American Idol reject.



  • dbc123dbc123 Posts: 105
    CVT's were installed on FWD SE models with serial #'s under about 22000 (last digits in VIN). Ford lists it as an available option now (I recall code 44G) but I've not seen any ordered this way. Dealers here still have a few early cars with the FWD/CVT combo. I own one and can report that it feels very responsive. Ford says the CVT is faster than the 6 speed and my impressions confirm this. SE/FWD is the lightest vehicle the Duratec/CVT is available in and that is why I bought one.
  • brihambriham Posts: 33
    In case you didn't already know, Ford owns Volvo. They seem to have leveraged the Volvo relationship more than ever on the 500. While it may get a few knocks for not having a bigger engine option available, the 500 is of interest to me for its safety. The AWD system is also designed or "influenced" by Volvo.


    The link below has the scoop:

  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    If safety is of interest to you, then you would probably be interested in electronic stability control, which is available on the Volvo, but not at all on the Five Hundred.



  • podpod Posts: 176
    I am a 2000 Sable owner (65K miles) and am very satisfied with the car. I test drove a montego but found it significantly less responsive (acceleration wise)and decided against upgrading. Since the Sable will be produced at least through next year there should be some very good prices on the 2005 Sable at the end of the year. I found prices as low as $16K last year before the montego. It is an excellent car for that kind of money. I am surprised that the sable continues production but expect that will provide a great buying opportunity later this year.
  • samnoesamnoe Posts: 731
    I think they will make Taurus/Sables for rental fleets only. If you want to upgrade next year, give a look at the Fusion, which will be introduced as a 2006 model. A bit more horsepower, less weight, it will have better acceleration.
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    The only way you will be able to purchase an '05 Sable or Taurus is buying one used from Hertz or some other rental agency. They will not be available new to the public. Also, please keep in mind these cars WILL NOT BE THE SAME as the one you own. I have an '05 Taurus that my company purchase via fleet. It has the most uncomfortable seats. I know people who have 03's and 04's and the seats are much better. They are "dumbing down" these cars for fleets sales. I agree with the previous posts, wait until the Fusion comes out or look elsewhere!
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Remember, the 96 Taurus went all out with the shark design, hoping to do again what the 86 did, but it was too ovid and wierd for the masses. For a mainstream car, innocuous seems to work better unless you can hit that one sweet spot the 86 Taurus seemed to nail.
  • A little bit of a history - CVT is actually an old invention, back from late 1800s. The first cars that used it in production were Denmark's DAF in 1955. They used a rubber band to transmit the power between the pulleys and with time the band stretched and made car's acceleration quite uneven. In 70s Volvo bought DAF and the high end DAFs became low end Volvo's (S40), but CVT went on the shelf until Ford pulled if off. I just bought an AWD Five Hundred SE and I love it. Now if only they put a rotary engine from Mazda in it...
  • I think the reviews and sales numbers for the 300M have already decided whether bold or boring was the way to go. Even if Ford decided that boring was the way to go, at least be original so that someone seeing the car doesn't think its a Volkswagen.
  • pnewbypnewby Posts: 277
    500 made in Mexico? When did Chicago move?
  • heyjewelheyjewel Posts: 1,046
    I pulled my post because - heaven forbid - it looks like I may have possibly been .... mistaken!!??


    Ouch. That hurts. :>)
  • fsmmcsifsmmcsi Posts: 792
    If anyone wants more manufacturing jobs here, then they want to get rid of the unions and their excessive demands, and our excessive regulations and taxes. You can't have both a high cost situation and manufacturing jobs. And, you can not claim that Ford should just make less money and/or charge more for the vehicles to pay for the excesses. Things just do not work that way.


    After my measurements showed that the only other sedan which could replace my SUV is the way-too expensive LS430, and rejecting the awful new Honda pickup, I decided to look at the Montego again. Ford only showed a concept new Explorer Sport Trac, so maybe that will be something to look at in a few years.


    I think I have a solution to the narrow footwell - a piece of wood over the present dead pedal to bring it up even with the hump to the left of it, then a piece of rubber or a mat over that area to prevent wearing through the carpet. Has anyone else tried this? I am going to the dealership tomorrow to see if it works.


    I also realized, based on the Car & Driver review of the Freestyle, that it is approximately as quick as my V8 '02 Mountaineer, but much quieter and smoother, so will also look at it, since it has a narrower center console which gives more leg space and looks nice. Their tests confirm my initial impresion, so I think I was fooled or distracted by the noise from the engine reving to 5,800 RPM into thinking it slow. I also like the fact that you can buy the Freestyle Limited with front wheel drive and still get the CVT, while you have to spend $1,700 more for the AWD to get the CVT on the Limited/Premier sedans.


    The vehicles certainly performed well on the government wreck tests.
  • johnclineiijohnclineii Posts: 2,287


    It's the upcoming Fusion, NOT the Five Hundred or Montego, which is to be made in Mexico. The Five Hundred and Montego are assembled with pride in Chicago. And I have the sticker to prove it!
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    Comfortable seats front and rear with plenty of legroom and a large trunk.
  • samnoesamnoe Posts: 731
    Nice to meet you on the 500/Montego board... And bring along your love for comfy seats.
  • Next Chrysler will have to design a car with no windows. Apparently being able to see the road is overrated at D-C.
  • I don't think the Five Hundred is supposed to grab Accord/Camry buyers. It's considerably larger. It would be nice but I think it will grab former minivan and SUV owners who still want a large vehicle but now want a car.

    As far as the power goes, Ford doesn't have it. They don't have a more powerful engine that will fit in the engine bay of the Five Hundred. GM has a big advantage here because they haven't abandoned OHV engines. The new Impala will have a 5.3L OHV V8.

     Wait for the 3.5L Duratec
  • the '96 Taurus was horribly ugly. The '00 redesign was better but the '97 Camry was a better looking car overall. Even the '98 Accord was a disapointment.
This discussion has been closed.