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Ford Five Hundred/Mercury Montego



  • fsvfsv Posts: 196
    LS - lease it as may be 1st person in 2-state are. Loved it. Minor gripes - glovebox was taken by CD-changer. Door pockets too shallow - once nearly lost my paycheck. Still, lowed the car.

    Next vehicle - Mountaineer. Didn't like it in the beginning, but leased it really cheaply. Now like it for what it is. Mayor disappontment - what was the problem to make it a tad softer? (discovered, have arthritis in my back, hips - no bump goes unnoticed; toothpain spike is nothing comparing to that). Otherwise, comparing to Accord we own now - unmatched, unsurpassed quality (knock the wood).

    Montego - well, may be I testdrove a wreck? I dunno.

    Loved GM Ultimate.

    In March I must get a car for my wife(hates GM). ANT14, will there be any other vehicle introductions by Licoln/Mercury before that?


    500/Fusion. MUST loose it's triangular rear lights. Car is square on every angle, trainglular looks tastless and therefore cheap and idiotic. I apologize to this forum members for these harsh words but this is the way I see it.


    Otherwise I agree, Ford is on the roll.

  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    There's the Mariner, if you want a smaller SUV. The Lincoln MarkLT will debut, I doubt your looking for something that large though. Later in the year you'll have other introduction. Mainly in the spring and summer there's boutique editions of certain vehicles being produces.
  • fsmmcsifsmmcsi Posts: 792
    fsv - I certainly agree with you on the Mountaineer - I feel every bump sharply in my '02 V8 RWD Mountaineer, despite the independent rear suspension. We drove my wife's '02 C230K today, and I can feel the bumps, but it feels like the sharp bumps I feel in the Mountaineer have been rounded over. Money is money, so I have put up with it for 83,000 miles and will finally replace it before it starts down the steep part of the depreciation slope. We drove a rented '02 Explorer V6 in Virginia for a week and did not feel any harshness, so I ordered the Mountaineer without driving the exact thing I bought - I'll never make that mistake again.


    Our '94 Thunderbird V8 (the first Ford I every owned) rode very nicely, and thus far I have the impression that the Montego rides well, but will have to convince a salesman to let me take it (or whatever else I buy) on a long test drive before I buy it.
  • dbc123dbc123 Posts: 105
    I've had my 500 SE FWD w/CVT for two weeks now and I'm quite impressed with it. The CVT is an elegant device that gives the car a silky feel when operated moderately that simply does not exist in any step gear transmission. Absolutely no lurches or jerks and it's always in the right "gear". It's quite a relief to slow to low speeds, they accelerate without the trans lugging in too high a gear or lurching down to a lower gear. Climbing a hill at highway speeds results in a gentle increase in engine speed when needed to provide just enough torque multiplication to do the job. Much, much nicer than an abrupt downshift to a gear that is still probably too high or low for optimum performance.

    In the moderate driving that most people do I cannot imagine someone not liking the feel of the transmission; it keeps RPM relatively low and constant and results in the feeling that the car is just gliding along. When pushed harder it does keep the RPM higher but that is exactly what is needed for best performance. The CVT begins to feel more "different" when driven aggressively and maybe this is what some dislike but, again, it is doing exactly what needs to be done to extract all the potential from an engine.
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687


    "We drove a rented '02 Explorer V6 in Virginia for a week and did not feel any harshness, so I ordered the Mountaineer without driving the exact thing I bought - I'll never make that mistake again"


    The Explorer and Mountaineer each have different suspension tuning. The Mountaineer is a bit sharper, while the Explorer is a bit softer. Although the results is better road feel at higher speeds, and control.


    The Tribute and Escape have similar differences in their suspension tuning, just to let you know.
  • fsmmcsifsmmcsi Posts: 792
    ANT14 - Thank you. I never could get a good answer from the parts counter guys, and they told me that if I ordered all of the different springs, they would not be able to restock the ones I did not want. The letters I sent to Ford asking for help selecting springs, Etc. to make it better went unanswered.


    By the way, I had intended to buy the Explorer, but somewhere on the discussions here on Edmunds someone mentioned that the Mountaineer was less expensive. I used Edmunds to price both with identical options (everything except sunroof, running boards, and 4WD), and the Mountaineer was $1,200 less.


    Now, the Montego comes with a two tone interior, HID headlights, and LED tail lights for essentially the same price as the Five Hundred, so the trend continues. However, I agree with your analysis many messages ago that the dealers who also sell Lincolns may not routinely discount as much as Ford dealers.


    Now that they have started down the road of offering unique features on the Montego, I just wish that they would go further and equip the Montego with the features it is missing - dimming exterior mirrors, a telescoping steering wheel, rain-sensing wipers, a easy access center console with a split top, hood struts, various small interior lights, and a more powerful engine. Driving my wife's car today also reminds me that a bigger six may not be the best answer. A supercharged (NOT turbo-charged) four would be fine and would probably give better mileage than a big six.


    Also - do you know if the Montego rides rougher than the Five Hundred?
  • Mercury and Lincoln sell around 250K a year. Excluding Lincoln youre left with about 125k. With that kind of volume its hard to justify unique features on the Mercury's. Just to give an example to design the a new model like the F-150 it costed 1.2 Billion in developmental costs. At that kind of cost there has to be a high volume to justify that kind of investment. Unlike a luxury brand which maintains high profit margins, mercury has very low profit margins (1-2%) so there isnt a huge space to allow for things like rain sensing wipers etc... When and if Mercury gets up to 500k a year then there will be a buisness case for them to differentiate their cars more, but no there isnt any kind of features like that in the Future currently for Mercury. Youll have to get a lincoln.


    the montego and five hundred both were designed by the same engineers and theres no difference in the driving characteristics of the two.
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    The ride between the Montego/500 suspension wise are identical. No parts are interchanged in any way to make them different from one another. On AWD models of each vehicle though, the rear suspension is tuned differently and rides an inch higher.


    Turbo/Supercharged 6's of the Duratec are being tested for another vehicle (non Ford brand), although if proves positive, who knows where it'll end up. BUT from past senarios, it increases a bit more weight, adds complexity, might require premium gas from the higher compression needed, than having a larger 6.
  • I think I know what youre refering to ANT14. There hasnt been any finalized plans as of yet and we dont know if the target market can afford it for the price thatll be on it. Its up in the air like you said for now. You sound like youre working more on the engineering aspects. Im not personally connected with that so I cant speak to deeply about it. The CD3S trio for the 06 M.Y are already pretty heavy and its just going to get harder to meet the C.A.F.E standards.


    Fsmmcsi- I dont know if youve heard about the CD3S trio thats coming out this year, but the Mercury CD3S sedan and Ford CD3S sedan will both drive the same as well. The exterior is slightly different though.
  • To ANT and all you out there - I am the Jag S owner who wishes to get out of the high maintenance costs now that I have reached 77,000 miles. I have 14 months left on my lease, and thought I might go for the new Lincoln Zephyr next. But, I test drove the 500 Limited this past weekend. What a great car, beautiful, fantastic room inside (I wish my Jag and my past LS had that leg room in the back as well as the front). I am no engine guy, so the 3.0L seemed very adequate to me. FWD - well I can't tell much difference from RWD (maybe just my perception). All those features and less that $28K. Ford has a home run on this one. I will either get a new one in 2006 or grab a used 2005 off a short term lease (certified) when I am finished with the Jag. By the way, with the adjustable pedals no problem with the front driver well. I am 6' 1" and I thought the front legroom and depth of well was fine. I can't wait to get into one of these. Nice Job, Ford!!
  • fsvfsv Posts: 196
    What is that?
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    It's the platform the Fusion, Milan, Zephyr, Midsize SUV from Ford, Mazda, Lincoln Aviator, new generation of minivans, etc. will ride on. It's CD1-3 spawned from the Mazda6 architecture.
  • ehaaseehaase Posts: 328
    I wonder why Ford isn't using the Five Hundred platform for the next generation minivans instead of the CD3S platform. Larger minivans sell better, so I would think a larger platform would be better.
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    The D3 platform is too expensive as it is. Issue with the Jac Nasser era was using expensive platforms, and bringing them down to a pricepoint of a Ford brand. This occured with the Jag S-type = LS/Tbird. Even with the 500, which originally was ment to replace the Taurus. Obviously, it was impossible to lower it enough for a $15K entry pricepoint.


    Therefore, you start with a good overall basis (let's take the Focus for example C1), and build above it. Offering Mazda3, S40, C-Max, Mazda5, Volvo Coupe, etc. and depend on the higher offering's to offset the initial cost of investing as much into an entry brand platform.


    The same will/has occured with the Mazda6, which is a derivative of the Euro Focus C1 architecture. Therefore start with a solid and flexible foundation, and build upwards offering SUV's, Minivans, Lincoln sedan, etc. which offsets the strong initial cost of a robust platform at a lower pricepoint (Mazda6).


    The CD1-3 architecture is a bit more flexible than the D3 (P2 to Volvo). Therefore it'll obviously grow in every direction, to allow for minivan duty. And it'll also allow for the minivan to be placed at a competitive pricepoint which Ford customer's are used to. If it were D3 based, you would be looking at $27-29K pricepoint which wouldn't be economically feasable.
  • fsmmcsifsmmcsi Posts: 792
    If Ford wants to try to get more out of each platform, they do not need separate brands and all of the costs associated with them. Instead, they simply need to offer different versions of each car in one dealership, and advertise that Ford offers choices (sporty, conservative, and luxury) while other car companies only have one version of each car. This goes way beyond the present option package variations. What are now the Ford, Mercury, and Mazda versions of platforms would be side by side at the Ford dealerships, and the Mercury and Mazda names would be gone. Lincoln, Volvo, Jaguar, and Land Rover would be together elsewhere, but only with their high end models (nothing under $50,000).
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    That just brings up numerous other issues that makes it impossible. You have dealership networks, and contracts with them, while eliminating Mercury would pretty much kill Lincoln as well since those dealerships require Mercury sales to stay afloat.


    That would also create 400K+ of a single vehicle, something that the industry is slowly losing. The days of having 400K sales of a single vehicle, are deminishing. People want variety, and not see the same exact vehicle 3X's around them, at each traffic light.


    By offering a vehicle (even if it's the same clone) in another brand, each one is targeted at a different consumer/demographics and requires different marketing/advertising. And that way you are able to attract more flies.
  • Differentiating is the name of the game now a days. Its already hard enough to make unique cars/trucks/ and suvs using Fords parts and the same platform. The CD3S platform is great though because its so flexible. You have platform costs which add a lot to the car and if you cant make one car at 400k why not make 10 nameplates and how many ever series at 800k? Itll reduce costs and you end up with unique vehicles.


    You cant eliminate Mazda. You could never get that by the board of directors and we only have a controlling stake in them. Theres already products about to come out for Mazda and youd esentially be wasting millions of dollars.


    These things have been worked out and discussed time and time and time before. Were targeting mercury towards women. Ford is for everyone and its supposed to project quality. Lincoln is our luxury brand, etc...


    oh and the freestar and monterey... Whoever was the people mover and program manager on that product really dropped the ball.


    Lastly before I end my bid, the CD3s is reliable and dependable. The last thing the company needs is an unreliable platform to start with.
  • ehaaseehaase Posts: 328
    Ford probably wishes it hadn't bought Volvo or Jaguar to begin with. The CD3 could have been stretched and widened for the Five Hundred, Montego, and Freestyle, in addition to all of the other products.
  • johnclineiijohnclineii Posts: 2,287
    and would have been and there would have been no PAG, were it nor Jack Nasser, who darn near ruined Ford.
  • Volvos already paid off the investment they made to buy it, and theyve been increasing marketshare in all the markets. Why would you regret that?


    Jaguar is another story though, although the new jaguars coming out will be great the current ones and the money spent to learn from their mistakes is far to much in my opinion.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    "500/Fusion. MUST loose it's triangular rear lights. Car is square on every angle, trainglular looks tastless and therefore cheap and idiotic. I apologize to this forum members for these harsh words but this is the way I see it."


    Wow, FSV- you like how the Accord looks, but think the Fusion is idiotic? What do you do for work? I'm ready to put you into a classification with that evaluation.....
  • ehaaseehaase Posts: 328
    Volvo is profitable and doing well, but would Ford have been better off spending the money on improving the products it already had?
  • fsmmcsifsmmcsi Posts: 792
    Most of us here know far more about cars than the average car buyer. If the typical consumer will not take the time and make the effort to learn more, then the differentiated brand strategy on common platforms which GM, Ford, and everyone else is using makes sense. I just wish they would try selling all of the variations in one place at three or four scattered experimental dealerships.


    Sorry FSV, but I think that the tail lights, especially the LED units on the Montego, look really good. Having seen the European Fords on the roads there, I can see the common design trend.


    I wonder why Ford is not selling the Five Hundred and Freestyle in Europe? With the AWD and one of their diesel engines, they would be a nice step up from the Mondeo.
  • nedc2nedc2 Posts: 192
    I agree with you on the tail lights, they look good, and the design is pragmatic, the triangualr shape maximizes taillight are while minimizing its intrusion into the trunk opening, and it save on wiring the rear decklid for auxilliary tail lamps. That's the simple reason the triangular design, in various forms is so popualar.


    Why not Europe? Size. The cars are too long, too wide and too heavy, as I understand it that would put them into a hihger tax and insurance category in most European countries, where they'd co,mpete with the Audi A8 and Mercede S calss etc., and since the cars are aimed at a lower price point here it would mean redesigning and upgrading the interior, as well as developing or adapting new engines, e.g. a diesel, an I4 or I5 turbo, turbo 6 or V8, etc They might be able to find a market for them in the former Soviet republeics and Russia where there are different tax and insurance laws.
  • fsmmcsifsmmcsi Posts: 792
    Yes, ned2, I think the Five Hundred and Freestyle would do well in Eastern (really central) Europe. I saw several Chrysler 300s at the dealership in Vilnius, Lithuania when we were there in August (my wife is Lithuanian).
  • fsvfsv Posts: 196
    Just came from London. Was surprised to re-discover how socially divided their are. You might think this is stuff of the history books, but - no. Also, a sign of belonging to upper crust is speaking English without opening the mouth, preferably turning the head so, that your conversation partner doesn't see the face expression really. The point is - there are to many people in the world who need all these little and big signs of "Belonging" - titles, attention, servants, and Jaguars, Bentlies, Rolls_royces, etc. You can not sell Ford to them no matter how good it is. Most recent example of an attempt to do so is VW Phaeton - great car; they sell it now with a huge discount - even here in US no one buys it because it is a VW. And these car could easily wear Bentey badge, technically it is there...

    This explains brand strategy.


    nvbanker -- ??? I never said I like Accord. As the matter of fact I said in one of the forums, I feel like driving it in the wall. "What do you do for work? I'm ready to put you into a classification with that evaluation....." - I don't think I will say anything here, since I will not say anything you'll like.

    Again, I think, that square lights will make Montego look much more distinguished and sophisticated.


    500 in Eastern Europe. In Poland, Russia and some other countries they tax you on the size of the engine (allegedly the bigger the engine, the more gas it burns - should be really important in Russia, No. 1-2 oil producer in the world), something like $2.5 per cubic cm. Now, do the math... Therefore, 500, with it's balance of size/relatively low import taxes will be quite attractive. There is only one problem - it must overcome the very bad taste in the mouth left by Taurus imported by grey-market. Right add campaign, though, will take care of that, and if they gonna build it there, (meaning $2.5 X 3,000 gone), 500's chances will increase. Middle-class market (if we can define it as such) they have there is value-driven. It explains why they have to wait in Russia for more than 6 month for Focus (built locally), Corolla (Toyota closing on a place to build a factory). For whatever reason, Civic just doesn't sell well at all. And Subaru, being No 1. seller on huge territories, still doesn't have an assembly line - I can not explain this to myself... Size - Eastern Europe was built starting from 1945 with quite generous road dimensions in mind, though each of these countries has historical districts where two horses will go into a fist (whatever) fight for the right to pass, since backing up is not really an option. But there are not really too many places like these. Any of these countries could use a bigger car for their cabbies. In Hungary they drove me in something French with my head between my knees....
  • nedc2nedc2 Posts: 192
    The main problem with the VW Phaeton, yes it is a nice car, is the Audi A8, an even better car made by the same parent company. The A8 is similarly priced, but lighter because it's aluminum, so it performs better, and gets better fuel economy. Why would a luxury car consumer pick the VW model?
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    The european Mondeo will be growing in size, and will adopt the C1 architecture that will also co-exsist with the next Volvo S60. This will allow the vehicle to attain large porportions (for it's trim exterior size) in a lighter platform (something the 500 can't do) and work perfectly for that market's need.


    Over in Europe, the Ford Mondeo, Focus, Fiesta are considered one of the benchmarks in their respected categories.


    But the market there is totally different from that of the U.S., than that of Australia or even South America. And before we all get in the topic of "Why not ship them here?"... again, different market, different demographics and needs. Even some asian manufacturer's have had to learn up until recently that what they build in the U.S. might have to stay here since it might not be accepted elsewhere, and vice-versa.
  • johnclineiijohnclineii Posts: 2,287
    This has been a great discussion. Before leaving this area, remember when the Escort was going to be Ford's world car? And then the Contour/Mondeo? Neither seemed to achieve the world car goals (as in the same car built world wide and sold world wide). Particularly in the case of the Escort, there really wasn't as much in common with the North American model and the European models as the physical appearance might suggest. And later, not even that was very much alike.
  • johnclineiijohnclineii Posts: 2,287
    "They're the most conservative buyers there are."


    (J. Mays, speaking of Ford Five Hundred customers)

This discussion has been closed.