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Ford Five Hundred/Mercury Montego



  • johnclineiijohnclineii Posts: 2,287
    Come on guys! No comment on my Mercury Moo name? I thought it was simply bovine.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    No moos is good moos, John!
  • grbeckgrbeck Posts: 2,361
    Five Hundred recalls the Galaxie 500s and Fairlane 500s of the 1950s and 1960s. Four Hundred doesn't have any connection to Ford's history.

    I also agree with ANT14 that regular names are much more memorable than combinations of letters and numbers. Acura, for example, made a big mistake when it dumped Integra, Vigor and Legend for RSX, TL and RL, respectively.
  • johnclineiijohnclineii Posts: 2,287
    Why am I reminded of that silly combination of letters and numbers that Merkur sold, or rather, didn't sell many of?
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    I intimately knew what a Legend, Integra & Vigor were. To this day, I have no idea what a Rl, TL & RSX are. None.
  • johnclineiijohnclineii Posts: 2,287
    Not only that, but I knew what those cars were and cared a little. I have no idea what any of those latter Acuras are, nor do I care.

    Pity the poor guy/gal who has a Mazda6 with a 4 cylinder engine. Endless explanations, no doubt...
  • jimb1jimb1 Posts: 3
    We can debate all we want about the name of the Five Hundred but I think the name is only part of the issue.

    First thing, why do we keep looking in the rear view mirror for names and memories, etc? How about accepting the fact that new things should come along and Ford / GM / Chrysler should stop resting on their laurels and look to the future. Resting on their laurels has done nothing for them except allow the German/Japanese automakers to eat their lunch. Retro retro retro. . . who cares? I don’t. . . The revolutionary Taurus was a radical new concept and what did it do, it sold well . . .

    I agree with ANT14 that regular names are more memorable but does it matter? Do you think the family guy that gets into an Infiniti I35 cares that it does not have a ‘nice’ name or that it is related to a 70s Datsun? No, he cares about what it is NOW, TODAY.

    I am a Ford fan but I can not get over why they never overtake the competition, they just barely match it. Where is the navigation option in the Five Hundred? How about a manual transmission? Or at least a manual/automatic or how about something new that nobody has? Also, only 200HP!?!? And we have to wait for an upgrade to 245HP 3.5 Duratec??? The Acura TL has 270HP TODAY! The Nissan Maxima has 265HP TODAY!

    I would like to buy a Ford and I like the new Ford Five Hundred and the Futura/Four Hundred/whatever it will be called but I am tired of thinking I am barking up the wrong tree. The Honda, Toyota, Nissan alternatives really are tempting. . .

    If Ford has any chance in the future to beat the "name inferior letter cars as they are called here" of the German/Japanese, then they need start building something that can compete.

    Please excuse my rambling . . .
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Jimb1, I contend that Ford OFTEN overtakes the competition. The problem is they don't stay focused consistently, to stay out front. Examples would be:

    Thunderbird - Blew past the Corvette, and stayed there - until they started making them just a Ford coupe.

    Mustang - Need I say more? On this one, they invented the genre, and held the distinction, and put the competition out of business, and frankly, they did that even while making some unmitigated trash some years, ie; the Mustang II.

    F-150, F-250, F-350 - The unquestioned gold standard in light trucks. Everybody copies the F-150.

    Explorer - Debuted in 91, took over the market invented by the Jeep Cherokee, and has never let it go, despite incredible competition. Still the best, IMO.

    Expedition - GM owned this segment forever, and when Ford finally got in the game, they make the GM products instant old news.

    Navigator - Nobody laughed at Ford more than the competition when the ludicrous idea of a Lincoln truck was broached. Funny how the laughing stopped after the first quarter in 98, when the Navigator was selling out with 75% residuals after 4 years on the leases. Then it was the scramble for GM to gussie up a Tahoe and call it a Cadillac, for Lexus to dress up a LandCruiser, and now for Nissan to bring out the QX56, etc. And now, Navigator as the most beautiful interior in the class, hands down, while the rest of them are still the low end truck, with more wood on the steering wheel. In this area, they have been consistent.

    These are a few examples of where I see Ford did either invent the class of car, or overtook the competition. Here are some sad stories though.

    Taurus - Absolutely caught everybody else napping in 86. Totally revolutionized the passenger car the world over. Sadly, instead of continually improving the car, it fell to the beancounters to decontent or "thrift" the car into the sad,
    rear drum brake, poor seating, lousy leather, cheap plastics rental car it is today. Somebody should be lynched for ruining possibly the finest brand in the class. When the Taurus debuted in 86, you couldn't GIVE away a Chevy Celebrity, and the Celebrity was a decent offering. Today, the Taurus of 04 and the 86 Celebrity are about equal, IMO. What a shame.

    Consistency would be a beautiful thing. It's what makes Toyota and Honda what they are today.
  • jimb1jimb1 Posts: 3
    Nvbanker, nice comment and I agree with it. Ford would do better if they would make consistency part of their core values.

    One thing to comment that you pointed out, Ford does great with trucks, why? Because they have the greatest profit margins.

    IMO, some beancounter(s) at Ford got too much power in the late 80s and negatively affected their product lines. If it were not for the devoted fans, the Mustang would have went the way of the dodo bird in '94.

    It is somewhat refreshing to finally see Ford paying attention to the American car market for the first time in a decade or so . . .

    Comparing Taurus of 04 and the 86 Celebrity? Even though that may be a proper comparison, that hurts . . . I didn't think the Taurus was that bad . .
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    You know, it ISN'T that bad - it's a decent car, and I may have been a bit invested in hyperbole comparing it to an 84 Celebrity. But I just get furious every time I rent one these days, and remember how great my 87 Taurus was, compared.

    I fell in love with the Taurus when friends came to stay from Bakersfield in 87, and brought their 86 Taurus LX. They let me drive it while they flew on to someplace else. I had it for a weekend, and couldn't WAIT to get one of my own. The seats were the finest, and most supportive of any I had ever seen. The room was fabulous, the ergonomics were perfect, the style was revolutionary, the power was awesome for the day, the ride was firm and the car was solid as a vault. Handling was extraordinary! Compared to ANYTHING on the market at the time, it was just the best. Put my old 84 Thunderbird to shame!! And I thought the Bird was awesome at the time. It had 4 wheel disk brakes, too. Nothing was skimped on that one could discern.

    I liked the Taurus so much, I bought one for myself, and 6 more for my fleet at work!

    Two weeks ago, I rented one in Napa, California for a 4 day business trip. It ran great, very peppy with the Duratec engine, but the seats were ordinary, the leather was like plastic, it sat too low, it had rear drum brakes (a major sin in my book for this day and age). The interior looked cheap and plasticy, the door panels were not ergonomic anymore and my left knee hits the armrest. It's competent, but chintzy. That's how I felt about the Celebrity in 84. Except I like how the seats felt more in the Celebrity.

    Sorry if I exaggerated. I'm sincerely hoping the 500 is a new Taurus, like in 86, and this time, I hope they improve the car instead of trying to thrift another $5 out of each copy each year. Pretty soon, you got nothing left.
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    The Taurus is a perfect example of what happens when a manufacturer rests on their laurels. And this stems from the Jac Nasser reign where trucks were king, and concentrating on purchasing foreign companies, was in.

    The Taurus' tooling, development, EVERYTHING has been paid for, for quite awhile. Same with the CV, GM, TC. What minimal enhancements are done, I consider "buying time" till the product is eventually replaced (by the midsize vehicle formanlly named Futura).

    It's a shame that a vehicle like the Taurus which revolutionized styling for passenger vehicles, will eventually fade away. And again, all this because they didn't concentrate much on the vehicle as it aged.

    What ages a vehicle, is an overburdened platform that has maximized it's full potential. And that time has come. We now need to welcome a new wave of vehicle architectures that will take advantage of it's full potential.

    Focus is a perfect example, specially in packaging, and how it's trim porportions defy it's spacious interior. And the same will occur with the new wave of passenger car architecture. Trim exteriors, but much larger interiors.

    Ford is now doing, what it should have done 8 years ago. Asian automaker's continue to tweak their mainstream passenger vehicles, while not changing much of the components. While Ford (and others) would change TOO many components, from a prior generation to another. And Ford has acknowledged this publically, and have/will rectify it.

    Notice the '03 LS, Jag S-type, TC, CV, GM '05 X-type, Escape.... Listen to what consumer's complain about... Tweak, Improve, modify, change, what might need it.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Well, said, ANT.
  • jimlockeyjimlockey Posts: 265
    If Ford is to succeed they have to beat Toyota. To do that the 500 must get good gas mileage. It is no longer a game of brute power, and last but not least it must do well in crash tests.

    The Ford 500 size is right
    Ford has a great nation wide set of dealers.
  • jimb1jimb1 Posts: 3
    Well stated ANT, know we just need to communicate this to the decision makers at Ford. . .

    I hope they learn . . .
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    Unfortunately I just read a statement a few days ago (forgot who though) and to paraphrase it pretty much stated, "We are going to concentrate on new vehicle launches" and I'm like "OH great, it's the same $#%^ they have been doing so far". Although in essense, it's really not... It's just, this person (who was quoted and I still can't remember) was really trying to say they were concentrating on vehicle launches moreso.

    Just one slip of a word, and it can really turn a story around.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    All true, ANT. Whatever the hell they focus on though, it needs to stay the course for more than 3 years!! I don't know if you were around, but I was in 95, when Lincoln was really focused on building a product that would easily perform for 10 years and 150,000 miles without much in the way of issues. And in the Town Car line at least, they really did achieve that. The 95-96 Town Cars are still a best buy today - and many of them still even have the original batteries in them - almost an unheardof phenomenon! But then Jacque the ripper "changed the focus" entirely, I won't get into what, and frankly, the 2000 Town Car was a big disappointment to most of us.

    CONSISTENCY; What the Asians have that we lack.
  • johnclineiijohnclineii Posts: 2,287
    Which brings up a VERY interesting question.

    I have a 2000 Impala LS with 157,000 miles. Chevy designed this vehicle to last 400,000 miles. And, indeed, the car has needed only a headlight switch and an airbag sensor in the unscheduled maintenance department.

    Has FORD made long term reliablity a goal for the Five Hundred? Or is it more focused on original costs and interested in dealer service and part sales?

  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Well, GM may have intended it to, but it very rarely happens, and even when it does, (I have a buddy with a Silverado with 300,000 miles on it), the doors won't close anymore....
  • johnclineiijohnclineii Posts: 2,287
    My Impala with 157.000 miles has NO issues.

    May I remind you this vehicle was designed to compete with the police versions of the GM/CV from Ford? Which reminds me, any chance of the Five Hundred/Montego ever being marketed to law enforcement/fleets? I know that supposedly they will be offered only to retail customers for the first six months.....
  • grbeckgrbeck Posts: 2,361
    Is there proof (an internal document, a press release, etc.) that GM designed the Impala to last for 400,000 miles?

    The 3.8 V-6 engine is a durable unit, but, from what I've read, the 3.4 V-6s have problems with the head gaskets and intake manifolds that show up well before 100,000 miles. And early-production Impalas had trouble-prone steering shafts.

    I'm not saying it couldn't happen, and I don't doubt that johnclineii has had a great experience with his Impala, but I haven't heard of them being THAT durable across the board.

    As for Ford - nvbanker and ANT14 hit it on the head with Ford's lack of consistency. Ford, unfortunately, has the habit of introducing a trend-setting model...and letting it get stale. Honda and Toyota quickly catch up (the Japanese are great imitators) and then surpass the original!

    Another area where Ford lacks consistency is durability. Even during the 1990s, for example, some Ford products were tough and wore like iron, while others would develop major problems around 50,000 miles.

    And, as much as everyone likes to blame everything on Jacques Nasser, many of these problems were present before he assumed leadership. The awful 3.8 V-6 engines and notoriously fragile Taurus and Windstar transmissions from the early and mid-1990s were designed before he was in charge.

    A friend of mine had an early 1990s Mercury Cougar that had the 3.8 V-6. He had the head gasket replaced at about 50,000 miles. He unloaded the Mercury for a VW Passat.

    I know - that's like jumping from the frying pan to...another frying pan. The main point, however, is that he didn't buy another Ford product. And that Cougar's engine cannot be pinned on Jacques Nasser. Lots of people got burned by Cougars and Thunderbirds with the 3.8 V-6 (not to mention the 1992-95 Taurus/Sable and early Windstars).
  • johnclineiijohnclineii Posts: 2,287
    I am very concerned with the Five Hundred's durability, and thus see this as relevant. As to the Impala:

    That's the only place on the web I have seen, but the comment was made frequently back when the Impala was launched. They were talking about the police version, which the LS is very similar to, NOT the 3.4 base.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Look, if John or anybody else can get 150,000 of trouble free service from their Chevy, I'm all for it. As I mentioned, my buddy has a 300,000 mile Silverado, and we're all amazed that the engine and transmission have never been rebuilt. Even the dealer is very surprised. But literally, the doors have to be lifted to shut, the hinges are worn out, and the thing is so loose, it just kind of shuffles down the highway. He normally trades trucks every 100,000 miles, but this one, he's going for a record on, until the engine or transmission quits, this is his truck if he has to tie the doors closed!

    John- I don't mean to insult you, but this is a pretty dramatic claim you are making, 157,000 miles on an Impala, and never a problem? Is that what you are saying? Because I frankly don't believe you. NO ISSUES at all have had to be repaired??? Careful, or Terry is going to tell you that's a ludicrious claim!!

    But this is not the norm, I am told.
  • johnclineiijohnclineii Posts: 2,287
    I told you before:

    a. headlight switch...about $300 total, and it would have to go bad in Orlando, Florida!

    b. airbag sensor...less than $100

    NOTHING else that isn't considered normal wear and tear. The car has the original: battery, water pump, transmission, fuel pump, engine, hoses (!), seats, radio, etc.

    The tires have been replaced thrice, it has had new struts (about 110,000 miles), and I of course have religiously changed oil and filters. The car has also had the transmission serviced at the appropriate intervals...
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Once in a while GM & Ford both stumble into greatness, mostly by accident, I'm convinced. I wouldn't expect that out of a brand, brand new design though, like the Five Hundred. Although, I must admit, my 04 Monterey which is mostly a new design, has been flawless so far, as has my 04 Mountaineer. But the Mountaineer isn't a new design. With all the new stuff the Five Hundred is going to offer, there are bound to be some glitches....I should think.
  • johnclineiijohnclineii Posts: 2,287
    Well, it CAN happen. My 2000 Impala was a first year product!
  • mgpmgpmgpmgp Posts: 15
    My first year 89 Ford Probe was just sold last year with 245,000 miles and still ran great. I currently have a 93 Taurus with the 3.0 L V6 that has 195,000 miles and nothing ever broke after the 36,000 miles warranty expired except for ball joints and tie rod end that were replaced at 180,000 miles. My mechanic says that the 3.0 L v6 push-rod engine can go virtually forever. He works on all kinds of cars and claims that this is the most lasting engine he has encountered. I can honestly say that it has never even hesitated to start every time I turn the key (although the key holder has grown so loose sometimes I have difficulty sticking the key in the ignition. On-the-other-hand, when I brought it I could have elected for the more expensive 3.8 L engine for $600 more. It turns out that engine was a joke with most blowing head gaskets by 75,000 miles.
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    There are those rare times when someone actually has no issues with a car that's known to give problems. I just met today the first (and probably only) VW owner that has owned the vehicle for 2 years without any issues... (let's see how the next year goes though, heh).

    Ford's Vulcan 3.0L is virtually bulletproof engine, although it's a bit antiquated in it's design. That engine will be phased out in the next few years, FYI.

    Production of a few 500/Freestyle has already begun, and the factory itself in quite a model of flexible production capability. This has tremendously helped moral for worker's, and they are quite proud of the quality of this product. It's extremely important (as passenger cars goes) this vehicle is released without any issues.

    And the vehicle itself will stun many people who believe Detroit is Dead. The quality, attention to detail, structural integrity are far advanced and beyond of numerous other products costing $10K more, and will definately stun people. If anything, maybe the vehicle has been "overly-engineered", so hopefully it'll be well received.
  • buckwheatbuckwheat Posts: 396
    Next week (May 31), all North American plants will be operating except Chicago, which is preparing to launch the all new Ford Five Hundred, Ford Freestyle and Mercury Montego.

    It must be a very few models that you're referring to.
  • johnclineiijohnclineii Posts: 2,287
    So, to put reliability into an understandable context, do you think the Five Hundred will be less reliable, as reliable, or more reliable than the Crown Vic/Grand Marquis? What about service life?
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    Yes, these were "practice run" vehicles before their initial launch. You can't have a Job1 day, then find out a few minutes into the first run, that "OPPS, something is missing".

    About reliability, that all depends on how it's used. I do not wish to compare it to the Crown Vic, since THAT is another platform which is Body On Frame with Watt Linkage Axle, built to jump on curbs if need be.

    But overall, the tolerances of the vehicle are quite high (specially the structure), so expect high reliability overall. And service life should be equally inexpensive overall.
This discussion has been closed.