Last post on Feb 13, 2011 at 8:08 AM
You are in the Ford Five Hundred/Mercury Montego
What is this discussion about?
Ford Five Hundred, Mercury Montego, Sedan
#334 of 3623 Show the Five Hundred at the St. Louis Auto Show
Jan 27, 2004 (12:17 am)
I've been reading these posts about the Five Hundred and thought I would make some comments based on seeing the real thing.
At the show, the Five Hundred was on a stationary platform. It was painted in a nice dark grey metallic paint job.
*From what I saw and remember, the paint had a nice Toyota and almost Lexus quality look to it. The paint looked full and deep.
*The car looks longer than the Taurus, but it doesn't look like a boat. It has that European presence about it that American cars have never been able to achieve. It looks solid and yet agile.
*I can't really say it looked exactly like an Audi or VW, but it had a little touch of those in it. My dad thought he saw more Crown Victoria design features in it than VW. I actually saw more Toyota Avalon in it, but more stretched. Overall, it still had a Ford look to it. It reminded me of a larger, far, far more refined Contour.
*The nice thing was the attention to detail. I did not see any real cost cutting in the body or wheels. It might have been the paint, but build quality looked great (probably a test mule for show).
*I thought the interior looked great from what I saw. I can't remember an American car having that nice of an interior. It looked like it came from an Audi. All the pictures on the net show the interior as light tan with light colored fake wood. I was not a huge fan of that combination, but the model I saw had dark grey leather interior and dark colored wood trim. It looked worlds different. It was impressive.
I was really impressed overall, and had I not spent so much time looking at the Ford GT and the 2005 Mustang, I would have gone back to confirm my feelings. For some reason, there seemed to be a big difference between the Five Hundred and the Freestyle sitting next to it. They come from the same plant, but I could tell the Five Hundred was the flagship model while the Freestyle was more of a regular model. The Five Hundred just ooozed class.
I don't know if being a rich looking car will hurt or help this FORD model, but I don't see it selling Taurus-like numbers. It isn't that kind of car. The Futura needs to do that. However, the Five Hundred demonstrates to me that out of the 3 Detroit automakers, Ford is the one closely watching the import competition the most. I believe they have watched and studied the most; and it shows in the Five Hundred. The F-150 set a new standard in interiors for trucks, and I think the Five Hundred will do it for American sedans.
Jan 27, 2004 (4:19 am)
Thank you for that great post.
Sounds like I should have gone with you instead of to the NAIAS!
I wonder how many Five Hundreds exist? I know there was one in Salt Lake City at the same time there was one in Detroit, and both of those had black exteriors with beige/tan leather interiors...
Jan 27, 2004 (4:55 am)
" if GM builds the new LaCrosse (I believe that is NOT going to be the vehicle's actual name), and it offers similar features to up-level Five Hundred (or base Montego) for a similar price"
The specifics of the Buick LaCrosse (which the name will have to be changed since in Canada it's a slang for ejaculation) will be released at the Chicago show next week. But from what I see and have heard about it, it's a $30K+ vehicle, whereas the 500 starts much lower.
"*The car looks longer than the Taurus,"
It's half an inch shorter length-wise than a Taurus actually.
"It might have been the paint, but build quality looked great "
The painting facility in Chicago has been revamped and is one of Ford's best. The ATL plant that builds the Taurus/Sable as well, have received awards for THE best painting quality in the U.S.
Jan 27, 2004 (6:04 am)
Not to nitpick, however the Ford 500 press kit has the 500 overall length spec'd at 200.5", while present generation Taurus is 197.6".
My guess is Futura will be in the 188-190" length range, right about where Camry and Accord sit.
My 2000 Taurus was built in Chicago and I have no complaints at all with the paint quality out of that plant before revamping for 500/Freestar production. Both Chicago and Atlanta Taurus Sable plants, I believe have been among Ford's best for quality and productivity.
Jan 27, 2004 (6:47 am)
The Taurus' length has been anywhere from 197-200 depending upon the redesign at the time, so I'm probably talking on 2000 model measurements. Adding something as simple as a rub-strip is enough to displace it a bit as well. If the press kit on the 500 states 200, then we'll go with that. Although a few times 198-199 has popped up oon some other sources.
Jan 27, 2004 (9:46 am)
just saw the Buick LaCrosse photo in the LaCrosse board. Ford has nothing to worry about as far as exterior styling. The LaCrosse is derivative (looks like a Taurus mated with a LeSabre) and bland. Now the 500 doesn't look so dull after all.
#340 of 3623 regfootball-LaCrosse
Jan 27, 2004 (9:53 am)
Looks like GM saved some tooling costs and bought out the old tooling out of the Ford Chicago plant that will build 500's!
Well, maybe they will at least finally have a mid size sedan as good as the current Taurus!
Jan 27, 2004 (10:02 am)
I always thought from the very beginning that the 500 would be of great value. Now when compared to the LaCrosse it looks almost heavenly. Ford designs crisp, clean lined vehicles, DC designs "American style" cars with heavy European influences (not a bad thing) and GM...well, they design cars. LOL
Jan 27, 2004 (10:52 am)
I think the LaCrosse is much better looking, at least from the front and profile. Have not seen the rear of the car, and I must say, I think this is the Five Hundred's strongpoint. Why are people saying the LaCrosse is going to be at minimum, $30,000? Isnt the car intended to replace the Century/Regal? I don't think that, even with a new "direction" Buick is completely abondoning the mid- $20,000 range. Addtionally, with the 3.6L DOHC 240hp CTS shared optional, the LaCrosse has something the Five Hundred doesnt offer- a competitive engine.
Jan 27, 2004 (12:33 pm)
I saw some pictures of the LaCrosse as well... Taurus side stamping certainly, even with the shape of the 3rd side light. And the front looks Hyundai Sonata like lights except with an Taurus grill opening.
You know, it might not be a bad thing for Buick... Most of the customer's have one foot in the grave and probably can't see well anyways, so I say styling isn't something they will be too concerned about, even if it looks like a cross-eyed fish