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2005 Mercury Montego

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San Francisco:  After about 30 years the Mercury Montego is back. Just as it was all those years ago the Montego is a redressed Ford Five Hundred. The Montego does not replace anything in the Mercury line up; it’s a new 2005 model addition. Dimensionally it is very close to the old Mercury Sable, but in just about every other way it is light years advanced.

The Montego I drove was a very impressive car. Where the Sable (and Taurus) broke design ground when they were introduced in 1987, the Montego breaks ground in structural integrity, fit and finish, and that elusive Mercury "feel." Based on a week behind the wheel I would say that the Montego is a near perfect blend of European handling, American ride, and Japanese attention to detail.

Styling-wise, the Montego would have been completely anonymous if it were not for the very nice front-end “waterfall” grille. The roofline is very reminiscent to so many other cars out there, and the rest of the car so undistinguished, that it is very easy to loose it in the parking lot. And that may be a good thing in today’s world. To blend in, be part of the crowd, instead of being the center of attraction.

Every single Montego made is a four-door sedan. There are two trim versions, the Luxury base model and the up level Premier model. The Montego is available with only one engine, a DOHC, 24-valve, 3.0-liter V6, that normally drives the front wheels. Two transmissions are available, a continuously variable transmission (CVT) or a 6-speed automatic. The Premium model I drove had the 6-speed trans. All wheel drive is an extra cost option.

The engine’s 203 horsepower is adequate but it just does not quite measure up in smoothness and sound to the better engines in this class. The 6-speed automatic was almost invisible; I would say it is the best automatic transmission from Ford in many years.

I am not sure how Mercury did it but the inside of the Montego, especially the backseat, is huge. Ah, the wonders of modern engineering and design.  I did not do any long distance drives other than my normal commute but I found the driver’s seat quite comfortable. (After all, it is built for folks my age – well over 50).

Ford used to make the simplest steering wheel controls for cruise control.  Now with radio controls on the steering wheel and an air bag squeezed in, the controls seemed crowded together. Twice I hit the cruise cancel button by mistake. I would prefer to lose the radio controls – heck most of the time I end up reaching over to tune the radio anyway – and have more room for the cruise buttons.

I like the Montego a lot. The Montego deserves to be a great selling car. With the 6-speed transmission the Montego is rated at 21-mpg city and 29-mpg highway. Much has been said recently that the US EPA’s figures are unrealistic and should be used for comparison only. I can tell you that on the highway, at speeds between 70 & 80 mph, the Montego returned about 26 mpg.

Base price for the Luxury Montego is $25,040 and the Premium model is $27,465. The AWD Luxury is $26,840 and the Premium AWD is $29,265.

The Mercury Montego is a great car for the money in this size class. Drop by your friendly Mercury dealer for a test drive, and like me, I’m sure you’ll be impressed.  By Bruce Hotchkiss  © AutoWire.Net - San Francisco

To see the new Mercury Montego click on or call them at 1.800.392.3673 for more information.

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Byline:  Syndicated content provided by Tony Leopardo © AutoWire.Net
Column Name: 
 A great car for the money in this size class
 The 2005 Mercury Montego
Word Count:  
Photo Caption: 
 The 2005 Mercury Montego
Photo Credits:  
Mercury Internet Media
Series #:   2005 - 29

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