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Ford Five Hundred/Mercury Montego



  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 8,862
    That would be the Outback not the Forester.
  • fsmmcsifsmmcsi Posts: 792
    Sorry, I did misread the G35 AWD weight - it is in the 3,600 to 3,700 pound range. I agree that it would be nice if the 500 / Montego were introduced with the new 3.5L V6 (or better yet the new Mustang 4.6 V8 with the new 3 valve heads driving the rear wheels), but the 3.0 will probably satisfy 70% of potential buyers. As we have discussed before, most of the mid-sized cars sold have the base 4 cylinder engine, and most of the the larger cars in the sub-luxury price ranges do not have such great power to weight ratios.

    However, cars have gotten far faster while being far cleaner, far safer, and with far better barkes and handling. I remember a test of 1971 full sized wagons by Popular Science in which they raved over the 8.3 second zero to sixty performance of the AMC Ambassador with a 401.
  • mikusmikus Posts: 109
    15-year old their own Scorpio + Passat B5. Boooooring.
  • johnclineiijohnclineii Posts: 2,287
    Dated styling is a PLUS in the target market. Look at Avalon, Crown Vic, Lesaber, Park Avenue, etc.

    The fact you think it is boring may well mean Ford hit the sweet spot. Interesting styling can be the kiss of death for large family sedans.
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    Yes, Let's take the 1996 Ovoid Taurus for example...Oh yeah it was different... So was [non-permissible content removed]-tek, although [non-permissible content removed]-tek was more of a HIDEOUS type of ugly.
  • tomcat630tomcat630 Posts: 854
    I bet the next gen Passat will look about the same, and auto rags will say what a "great car" it is. Same with the Avalon and Audis.

    And yeah, they have to separate the Freestyle since the suburbanites have to "think" that it's not a "wagon", or else their neighbors will laugh.
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    From some of the spy-pics showing up on the Passat, it looks very much like the Phaeton. Ironically the Audi's are starting to get a new 'face' to seperate it's look a bit, considering the 500's front looks similar :) I keep saying it, look of the Phaeton, for 1/3rd the price :)
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Why does anybody give a flying fig what VW does or how they look? I sure don't. Really, I wonder what the facination is! They are unreliable hanger queens with questionable, pedestrian styling and a decent interior! Big deal!
  • regfootballregfootball Posts: 2,166
    I would hardly use the 3.5 malibu and 4/5 cyl Colorado engines as an example of GM getting ti right at launch with powertrains.

    The 3.5 is quite deficient still compared to the competition and GM has much better engines available in their global family. No one is gonna rush out and buy a Malibu because of another rehashing of one of their vacuum cleaner sounding pushrod engines when the competition produces killer v6s.

    The 4 and 5 are good engines for the colorado but that class of truck still needs a 6 cylinder for those who want to pull huge loads. Myself I could live with a 5 cylinder, but time will prove the 6 is needed to compete.

    Which coming back to the 500, proves that even though the Duratec is a good solid engine, the competition is up a couple notches and the 200hp Duratec is simply not enough. The 3.5 should have been ready at launch.

    As far as the styling, I think the criticism is not that it looks like an A6 or Passat as much as that the Euro sleek rounded look is old, tired and dated now. The 500 is simply behind on the style curve. However, its pleasant and should not offend, unlike the killer fish Malibu. I don't think anyone will rush out to buy a 500 based on styling or powertrain then.

    As far as Euro interior, nice try. The 500 tries to mimic the look, but I don't think it entirely pulls it off becuase it still has a softness and bloatiness in its look that's way too American. Don't believe me? Compare the 500 interior pics vs. the Euro Mondeo pics (the Mondeo quite simply has an awesome interior) and you'll see what I mean. The Mondeo has a crispness and delicateness, a precision about it. The 500 has the same 'layout' to a degree but everything is puffy. Not that its bad, just don't call it Euro.
  • grbeckgrbeck Posts: 2,361
    nvbanker: Tell us how you REALLY feel about VWs!

    The Five Hundred/Montego is a handsome car, but I just wish Ford hadn't so closely aped the VW Passat. The car just doesn't look new.

    Also, the Aztek and 1996 Taurus didn't fail because they were different or even "radical." They failed because they weren't attractive.

    Both vehicles looked awkward. With the Aztek, virtually everything - the proportions, the detailing, the heavy cladding - was wrong. (Plus, it was based on platform that was second-rate as a minivan, let alone as a crossover vehicle.)

    The 1996 Taurus had a "fisheye" front that made the car look cross-eyed, and the oval rear window and sloping deck made the car seem too small and "weak."

    "Radical" and "different" don't have to mean ugly...the 1986 Taurus and Sable were radical and different. Park a 1985 LTD (the mid-size one) next to a 1986 Taurus. It's hard to believe that only one model year separates the cars, or even that they were made by the same company. But the original Taurus was a huge success, because it was a good-looking, handsome car.

    It was the same with the downsized 1977 Chevrolet Caprice/Impala. That car was radical for its time - with upright styling, sharply creased lines and greatly reduced curvature of the greenhouse. It was a total departure from the 1976 Chevrolet Caprice/Impala - or even the 1977 LTD or Plymouth Fury. But it was a big success, because it looked good.
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    Reg, I agree, GM could have placed a much better engine in their Malibu, even their own 3.0L DOHC V6 used in the Saturn would have worked as well. Unfortunately they have a OHV obsession and refuse to let it go. There's many smokes and screens as to why they continue to insist on those engines, but in the end, they are cheaper to produce and majority of customer's won't even care.

    "The 4 and 5 are good engines for the colorado"

    I've read 2 reviews that also stated they should have used a V6. In fact, with all the announcements and marketing hype, I actually thought that GM would have had a winner in it's hands, but after the initial reviews, it fails to attract much attention. Not to mention, the Ranger's sales won't suffer much. Sad to say when the Ranger hasn't been redesigned for quite awhile... Next will be 2006 though...

    " The 3.5 should have been ready at launch"

    It should and I agree, but it's not. The tooling in the factories (as well as the suppliers) haven't yet teamed up to start producing it. PLus Ford is planning on debuting the engine in a Lincoln product, hence, that takes presedence over the 500. Just how the Mustang had to be pushed back a bit, so the 4.6L 3V version of the V8, is ready for it.

    "The 500 tries to mimic the look, but I don't think it entirely pulls it off becuase it still has a softness and bloatiness in its look that's way too American. Don't believe me? Compare the 500 interior pics vs. the Euro Mondeo pics "

    I've driven the Mondeo quite extensively. I'm not sure what this bloatedness is that your referring too. But the Mondeo is a quite a bit smaller than the 500. It's like comparing the CV with the Mazda6. Obviously it's going to take much more real estate to cover the dashboard, cowl area of the 500 as compared to the Mondeo/Mazda6. The P2 platform has a large firewall which helps for occupant protection, and crash dissipation, the Volvo S80 also suffer's from the large dashboard frontage if this is the bloatedness your referring to of course.

    "nvbanker: Tell us how you REALLY feel about VWs"

    I have 12 friends who had VW's in the past few years, it's sad to say that I know Hyundai's with better reliability than those POS. Everyone was able to get rid of there's, just 4 more left to go. I'm placing VW up there for "Yugo of the decade" award of how unreliably bad they have been to many I know. So I understand his frustration. :)
  • mikusmikus Posts: 109
    Dated styling is a PLUS in the target market. Look at Avalon, Crown Vic, Lesaber, Park Avenue, etc.

    Avalon does not look dated, it just looks like it is made for retired grannies. This is different. Crown Vic is the only one big body-on-frame car and it will live just because of that, no matter what styling it has. Though Caprice looked better for my taste. Le Sabre? Ugh. Park Avenue? Not dated, modern for grannies. Again, like Avalon, this is different.

    500 is simply dated, euro-dated if you wish, and with the styling it has its age is more evident. Boring and unadventurous. Take Mondeo, this is a modern car.

    "Radical" and "different" don't have to mean ugly...the 1986 Taurus and Sable were radical and different.

    Absolutely agree. The same goes with Citroen DS, 1955 (though a lot of people think it's ugly as hell); Citroen CX, 1974; Audi 100/5000, 1982; Saab 99; original Chrysler Concorde (1992?), Toyota Previa, 1991. The list is long, but it takes some guts to make it different. Taurus 1996 could be better, I like its front, and I even do not hate its rear window, I just cannot stand its lowered trunk with odd tail lights. And proportions... Too large overhangs for me. Original Taurus was very proportional. Well, current Camry does not seem so nice to me as well, which is why I drive Camry 1997, styling copy of Alpha 164, 1988.
  • johnclineiijohnclineii Posts: 2,287
    The target market for the Five Hundred does NOT buy for the styling. Styling is, at most, a veto factor. Therefore, the target is Ford aimed at is to merely be unobjectionable. I think Ford has hit that target. Great styling would have offended some of the target market.

    And reg, you, in particular, are NOT the target.
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    I've shown a bunch of pictures to many of my friends (anywhere from 23-45) and not one of them had anything negative to say about it's styling. Yet many stated it looked like it had a Mercedes rear end, with a Audi like front, but many said they liked the elegant look to it and a few said they would want to take a closer look to it since they couldn't believe how big the car was, given it's Taurus like length.

    Those wouldn't be exactly the demographics that 500 is wanting to target, but works either way.

    Although they weren't that fond of the Montego... A few disliked it's aggresive looking grill, while a few loved the darker grey/wood interior (for those who dislike wood-like I).
  • tomcat630tomcat630 Posts: 854
    "that the Euro sleek rounded look is old, tired and dated now"

    It's "dated" when it's not on an acceptable imported car. The Pheaton looks like a blown up Passat, big deal? Also, I have heard some call the new Audi A8 an "Edsel".

    Euro sedans have historically been "form follows function" and for decades, so called "enthusiasts" have been crying "When will Detroit cars be more functional and less flashy". Now when a US make comes out with a car that has many good engineering features, they say "It looks bland".

    Put a Toyota Avalon badge on it and it's "Toyota beats Detroit oince more".
  • johnclineiijohnclineii Posts: 2,287
    And put an Acura or Lexus badge on it and start taking deposits! Sad, but true.
  • tomcat630tomcat630 Posts: 854
    There's reams of mag articles saying "Camry styling is dull, but buyers don't care".

    Chrysler made some "pretty" cars like the LH series that are now "totally out". So if Ford made a "pretty" 500, by 2007 it would be "out" and they'd have to spend billions to please the armchair car execs, who would NEVER buy one to begin with!

    There are alot of car buyers looking for more than "showing off" to fake friends, coworkers, and in-laws. That is why they make luxury/sports cars.

    Want something practical, Ford. For "whizz bang" get a Jaguar.
  • John, I'll eat my shorts (well, maybe not) if you buy a 500 over a new Buick LaCrosse (which you'll see very shortly). Several GM products and now a Ford? I don't buy it.

    After reviewing Ford's earnings/profit results for the latest quarter, the 500 will be even more obnoxiously overpriced than GM's latest intros are (and I'm laughing at some of those). And don't expect rebates, either.

    Thing will depreciate hideously and quickly if you buy one of the first ones (especially with the old 3.0L).

    A relative was just up north (NY/NJ area) and reports that the SUV thing has died in large part up there (LOTS of Volvo wagons, in their place) (she made her way into snooty parts of CT and claims that Martha Stewart is outside her house hawking Burbans for Chevy. ;) They have heard about the new Freestyle (which is a tallish wagon, and despite attempts to call it anything else that's what it is; as is the Malibu Maxx a 5-door hatchback) and are waiting in great anticipation for that, however.

    The darn SUV thing is still rocking and rollin on the west coast and in the south. Much to my dismay.

    Maybe the Excursion's continuance will rescue Ford, if they sign her on if she's found innocent.
  • rctennis3811rctennis3811 Posts: 1,031
    Well, aren't full-size FWD cars supposed to be a little bit bland? Blandness, if it comes with many features and a nice interior and whatnot, can sell. For instance, take the Camry - bland from front to back and in and out! It's still the number one selling car in America! Plus, the Avalon, Park Avenue, LeSabre, Grand Marquis, Crown Victoria and every other car in the full-size segment are fairly bland. The 500/Montego looks to be a good fit in that segment! :)
  • tomcat630tomcat630 Posts: 854
    Ford made 1/2 billion for 2003 as reported this week, the F150 helped a lot. So not in need of rescueing by the Excursion.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    dave - I think you have a point about Nasser and the wide wake of damage he did to Ford.

    On blandness? I know today is today, and yesterday is the past, but I remember a lot of full sized American cars that were anything but bland, and did great! That all about ended in 73 when the 5MPH bumper dictated the style of the front and back of cars. Then Toyota and Honda came in and redefined cars.

    I don't think the 86 Taurus was bland at all. Certainly, the 96 Taurus wasn't bland, just ugly! So, I'm not sure they have to be bland to succeed.
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    " the 500 will be even more obnoxiously overpriced than GM's latest intros"

    Considering the engineering investment (which I know quite a bit of) that has been implemented into the 500, let's say I was amazed when they announced pricing would be in the mid twenties. At least I'll pay that, and up to $35K easily just because of the platform alone that it utilizes.
  • Read, read, read. Hate to admit it, but I have some Ford stock, but a lot more GM. Not happy with either, but more so with GM. I'll post a car-friendly link in a few minutes.

    Update, sorry 4Q was pos, but not for the year. Worse shape than GM by far. Load up those required option packages. ABS requires power lipstick attacher. 3&n=156
  • Based on the nearly ancient S80 platform. I find the 500 vey unappealing on the outside but gorgeous inside. How's that for a GM fan's opinion. Is it worth anything over $28K loaded? Perhaps $29.5 with AWD.

    Should start at $21.5.

    Loaded AWD version will be retailed at $16.5 max in a year after intro, on the used car lot.

    Buy it, the joke's on you.

    Same thing with the '04 Malibu, without a nice $3K rebate.
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    "Based on the nearly ancient S80 platform. I find the 500 vey unappealing on the outside but gorgeous inside. How's that for a GM fan's opinion."

    And what expertise do you have to claim the platform to be "ancient" as you wish to call it? Do you know the mega-hertz frequency which the platform possess and how beneficial it is for it's drivability and safety?

    " I find the 500 vey unappealing on the outside but gorgeous inside. How's that for a GM fan's opinion."

    No offense (considering I have some friends with GM's- and drive a friends Saturn on a daily basis when we go to the gym) but I have seen Hyundai's with better interior materials/qualities, than GM's. I think anything is an improvement....
  • Appreciate your level-headed thet-stests. You're so quick on the draw this evening that I've revised earlier posting. Let's go forward from there after you reread (and I need a kitchen break!). ;)
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Welllll, this is not a discussion about GM vs. Ford, we are talking about the 500 here, okay?
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    My point exactly....

    Hello 911? Can you send out a search party? Some are missing the point here :)
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    I've been a silent observer on this board for some time now, but there are a few comments about this promising vehicle that I'd like to make.

    Styling: So much debate. Who cares? Styling is subjective, so why bother arguing whether it will sell because its bland, wont sell because its bland, etc. Personally, I do not see the "Audi/VW influence in the front". I think Ford is using Freestar headlights on this baby, cause thats the only vehicle I see when I see a "head shot".

    Power: Yes, the 3.5L is coming... eventually. Do we have any concrete power and torque figures yet? Until then, I could care less how many speeds the transmission has, or hasnt in the case of the CVT. 200 foot lbs will be adequate for a 3650 vehicle, let alone the 3800 AWD version.
    Calling it anything more than adequate, IMO, is a stretch.

    Pricing: If this car tops $33K fully dressed for the evening gown competition, its going to face a BIG sales hurdle. Chrysler's 300 class is also full size, offers a bigger V6 (as well as a V8), and will be a strong competitor. Though little is known, I would imagine the 2005 Avalon will be stiff competition as well, and Toyota has the added benefit of knowing about the Five Hundred and 300 class prior to telling the press anything about the next Avalon.

    Interior: Looks like high quality materials will be used throughout, and kudos to Ford for good engineering- spades of space are available, at least on paper. However, the design of the dash leaves much to be desired, and like those stolen headlights, seems to have much in common with the Freestar (itself apparently penned in the 1980s.) The Freestyle has a slick looking dash, why could the Ford folks not endow the Five Hundred similarly?

    Safety: Seems to have the requirements. Will the side airbags/curtains be standard in the SEL and Limited models? Is stability control standard anywhere? Or even available? I did not see it in the media guide, though I only looked when it was initially posted.

    Finally- NAV should really be an option, if Ford truly wishes to play in the upper echelon of the large family sedan class.

    Overall, without seeing reviews or having driven it personally (obviously, too early for either), I'd say its a promising effort, but I'm not convinced it will be enough. Maybe for Ford it will be enough (to turn a moderate profit), but this seems not to be a class leader like the Focus. It seems to be a competitive entry, but a fully executed design.... I am still left wondering.

  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    A 2005 Chrysler 300 Touring (w/K pkg)
    MSRPs as follows:

    Base Price including dest. $29890
    Luxury Group $2190
    Protection Group $590
    Power Adj. Pedals $125

    (I chose the 300 Limited and not the 300C, because the 300C has that killer Hemi V8, and the Five-Hundred barely offers a V6. I also left out the NAV on this example, since the Five-Hundred doesnt offer it).

This discussion has been closed.