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
#3522 of 3623 Re: Interior
Jan 17, 2007 (9:10 am)
Let me explain, step by step:
The stereo controls and LCD are so dated, all the competitions have way better and more intuitive controls. This stereo system (from the Five Hundred), with some tiny uncomfortable controls was first used in the F150 (if I remember correctly), which was praised all over for the beautiful cockpit (a first for Ford in recent years), and so was the climate controls. Since then, Ford applied the same controls into most new Ford, Mercury and Lincoln vehicles.
While the overall appearance in the F150 was very good and light years ahead of the previous generation, if you look part by part, you can see that not everything is perfect. The LCD on the radio with old kind of green clock-like letters is so outdated compared to other vehicles. And just adding an AUX/IN plug will not help much for the design. The controls itself is also not so clever.
And so are the temperature controls. Especially the automatic, which is needlessly overly complicated. Of course it's nice & organized, and looks good when you see it first, the Fusion, for example, looks very nice with the analog clock and other gadgets, but start using the controls and you see it's not easy, and not well designed. The new 2007 Camry is much better designed (despite their quality problems recently).
Every vehicle needs a change after many years, and especially if all brands are using the same parts (OK, Lincoln have it in silver instead of black). It's not a good idea to have just one kind of stereo system or temperature controls and using them across the board. There should be different for the trucks, vans and cars. The new Focus looks much more promising, and shows that Fords know how to build a nice executed interior.
And what's about the gauges? Most competitors using already the optitron which is beautiful. The white-background also must go. It's not practical for day driving, and not adding anything tonight, and are just distracting at evening hours. I also don't like the rotated letters (numbers) on the gauges, and the way-too tiny dials for the fuel and engine temperature.
The steering wheel controls is very nice, but also too much in such a small space. It could be designed better. Just look at other manufacturers how they do it. They are all easier to use than Fords.
I’m sorry for the long post; I just wanted to clarify myself.
Jan 17, 2007 (9:26 am)
The stereo controls and LCD are so dated, all the competitions have way better and more intuitive controls
They seem pretty intuitive to me. Can't imagine how anybody would have any problem figuring them out.
The LCD on the radio with old kind of green clock-like letters is so outdated compared to other vehicles
Works for me.
And so are the temperature controls. Especially the automatic, which is needlessly overly complicated.
I have the automatic. And it's extremely simple to use. At least until you want to use it in MANUAL mode . . then it's a bit more difficult to locate the correct knobs (while you're driving, anyway).
And what's about the gauges? Most competitors using already the optitron which is beautiful. The white-background also must go. It's not practical for day driving, and not adding anything tonight, and are just distracting at evening hours.
I find the gauges on my LTD version just fine. It's the standard BLACK background versions (on anything but the LTD) that I can't stand.
#3524 of 3623 What advantage do Optitron guages have?
Jan 18, 2007 (5:26 am)
other than being more expensive to repair..
Please keep in mind that a Ford Fusion AWD fully equipped with every option but navigation has an MSRP of $27,500. The similarly equipped Nissan Altima has an MSRP of $29,500. For the extra $2,000, you get "intelligent key", bluetooth, 50hp, and a more expensive to maintain CVT. but you loose AWD and give up substantial ride quality.
The 500 is not suppose to aToyotas, Nissans, or Honda, its a Ford and it is competitive and will be more so when stability control and the 3.5L is added this spring.
Personally, I know for a fact that people have purchased Fords from my dealer over supposedly "better competitors" BECAUSE of the way they were treated!
There are many reasons to buy a specific care over another and I don't believe to may people make that decision based on "optitron" gauges.
#3525 of 3623 Re: What advantage do Optitron guages have? [mschmal]
Jan 18, 2007 (4:41 pm)
The 500 is not suppose to aToyotas, Nissans, or Honda, its a Ford
Actually, it's more Volvo than Ford.
#3526 of 3623 Questions for ANT14
Jan 19, 2007 (1:25 pm)
When can we expect to see 2008's on the dealer lots?
What is the EPA on the 3.5L engine?
Does the the 3.5L engine use hydraulic or mechanical lifters?
Were any changes made to the rear seat?
What is towing capacity with the new engine and tranny?
Did Ford put the courtesy lights back in the cabin.
#3527 of 3623 Re: What advantage do Optitron guages have? [mschmal]
Jan 19, 2007 (1:32 pm)
"The 500 is not suppose to aToyotas, Nissans, or Honda, its a Ford and it is competitive and will be more so when stability control and the 3.5L is added this spring. "
Judging by the sales numbers, the 500 is somewhat less than competitive.
I think the new additions will help, but there was a large missed opportunity with the 500's styling. You may not be able to out Toyota Toyota or out Honda Honda, but you can certainly beat them on styling. The Camry and Accord have never been styling standouts. With so much ground to make up in consumer perception (even though we know Ford's latest efforts have matched the Japanese on quality) the 500 really needs to be a knockout to get people to step out of the Toyota/Honda comfort zone.
Part of the reason I run my mouth about this is that I think there's a really good car somewhere in there. The 500 is well built, now has a competitive engine, has amazing rear seat and trunk room, is very safe, etc. But I think by missing the styling boat Ford coughed up a bunch of sales, and the 500 already has somewhat of a stodgy reputation if people know about it at all.
Ford seems to be getting incrementally better with each new car launch, hopefully when a major refresh of the 500 comes along it will be restyled from the ground up.
Jan 21, 2007 (5:59 pm)
Interestingly enough climate controls in Edge feel more substantial and made from better material than in 500 or Fusion even though design is the same. Why not replace ACC in 500/Fusion with new one from Edge? And there is new a center stack seen in Mariner/Focus. I did not touch it so cannot say how good it is.
As for gauges – I personally do not like how it is done in Camry/Lexus – too garish and bright for my taste and I do not want gauges to be too big and glare during day. I like more understated design of Lincoln/Mercury/Ford. I do not know is upcoming ice-blue gauges in Fords are good or bad. I certainly do not like it in Acura. Green color is okay, may be red for performance brand like Mazda/Pontiac. Green gauges in Skoda Octavia are beautiful, but red in Golf may be too irritating. And as Ant correctly pointed out VW interior may look nice but after couple of years look pretty worn out and there is a smell also. I like Ford interiors for their sturdiness and common sence.
#3529 of 3623 Re: A: [ANT14]
Jan 25, 2007 (10:19 am)
That may be some people's experience with VW, but not mine. Both my Golf and Passat interior parts and surfaces have held up superbly over the years, and both interiors still look better than most anything Ford is putting out now, years and years later. And that is a shame. I suspect though that Ford has now gotten the message and is dancing as fast as it can to make those important peerceptual changes.
Jan 25, 2007 (4:57 pm)
Regardless of quality of materials modern Ford interiors do not look as stylish as interiors from Honda, Toyota and GM. Somehow they manage it look down-market.