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2005 Mercury Montego

2005 Mercury Montega New Car Review

We're whipping along the two-lane Empire Grade that slithers down slopes of California's Coastal Range to reach Santa Cruz on the Pacific Ocean.

Through gaps in towering stands of redwoods that line this route we might spot a vivid blue sea in the distance below, but who can look at scenery when a driver's eyes must fixate on the next in a never-ending series of bends and swoops and serpentine kinks of this tricky road?

2005 Mercury Montego Facia

Of course, we're pushing our test car -- a new sedan for Mercury named Montego -- to the limit of all laws of physics in order to sample its promised agile handling traits and the taut platform of a European touring car.

And, quite frankly, we're ripping it on this course.

Yet our tester Montego, in top-notch Premier trim and equipped with an optional all-wheel-drive (AWD) traction system, seems to ask for more: More throttle, tighter turns, longer straights, and steeper grades. By the time we wind down the mountains to the coast at Santa Cruz, one driver is out of breath, out of gas and out of twisty roads to run.

However, what's gained from our Montego workout is respect for an impressive new product from Mercury that's intended as the replacement for the line's aged mid-size Sable series.

Consider Montego as a premium mid-size sedan that has the body of a mid-size model but the cabin of a big car with seats for five plus luxury gear and an enormous trunk with a capacity greater than most large sedans.

Montego shares DNA with Ford's Five Hundred sedan, as the architecture for both vehicles comes from Volvo, Sweden's automaker now under the corporate umbrella of Ford, with the variable-size P2 platform that underpins mid-size Volvos like the S80 and S60 sedans plus V70 and XC70 wagons or the XC90 SUV.

Ford has adapted the P2 platform (while changing the name for the evolved structure to D3) for use in a number of upcoming vehicles for Ford, Mercury and Lincoln. For Montego, the D3 architecture forges a stiff foundation for constructing a sedan with nimble and easy-to-handle driving characteristics.

Montego has an impressively long wheelbase of 112.9 inches.
The package stretches for 200.4 inches when measured from tip to tail, and it's 74.5 inches wide with a bowed roof rising to 61.5 inches tall.

The stylish package presents a bold face and high arching silhouette with a tall beltline and taut character lines honed from a blunted prow to the stubby tail.

Up front, the face features vertical grille bars in satin chrome tucked between huge corner headlights containing high intensity discharge (HID) lamps.

2005 Mercury Montego Rear Lamps

On the tail, there are equally large red light-emitting diode (LED) lamps streaked by metal crossbars.

The stance of Montego is high for a sedan and on flanks the doors run deep to make entry and exit easy for riders.

Also, seats in the cabin are elevated so passengers sit about four inches higher than in other sedans of comparable size. The concept is labeled as 'Command Seating' and compares in the upright seat position to that of a high-hiked crossover SUV.

And while Montego's beltline is high, so too is the wrap of windows around the cabin so a driver has good sight lines with virtually no blind spots -- note triangular glass in rear roof pillars to diminish corner vision blockage.

Essentially, the cabin for Montego was designed around the body sizes of intended occupants, with more than adequate room crafted for long legs and broad shoulders.

2005 Mercury Montego Interior Space

The layout pitches a pair of bucket seats up front divided by a multi-function console and followed by a rear bench for three with seatback split 60/40 in sections. With rear seatbacks folded down, Montego's backseat converts into a cargo compartment.

Issues of personal safety in the car are addressed with strong structural elements and energy-absorbing crush zones front and rear plus a variety of active and passive safety systems aboard.

All versions contain dual-stage frontal air bags for front riders with smart sensors in place to track the severity of a frontal crash along with the driver's seat position in proximity to the steering wheel and whether seat belts are being used. Side-impact air bags for front seats and curtain-style air bags for front and rear outboard seats are offered optionally in a safety package for $595.

Standard equipment promoting active safety includes quick rack and pinion steering and four-wheel disc brakes tied to an anti-lock brake system (ABS).

Montego is configured for front-wheel-drive (FWD) or all-wheel-drive (AWD) traction. The AWD device is a sophisticated electronically-controlled system developed by Haldex of Sweden. It's always engaged and automatically splits the engine's torque between front and rear wheels to keep tires sticking securely to pavement, wet or dry.

All versions of Montego stock a Ford Duratec 3.0-liter aluminum
V6 engine.
The plant produces 203 hp at 5750 rpm plus torque of 207 lb-ft at 4550 rpm.

For FWD models, the shifter is a nice wide-ratio six-speed automatic transaxle by Aisin, while the AWD models come with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) developed jointly by Ford and Germany's ZF-Batavia.

Montego divides into two trim grades -- Premier and Luxury, each with FWD or AWD traction.

The Luxury model carries 17-inch wheels, foglamps and heated power mirrors, a remote keyless entry system with handy keypad on the driver's door, power controls for door locks and windows, dual-zone electronic climate controls, six-way power for the driver's bucket and a fold-flat front passenger seat, the split-fold rear seat with fold-down rear armrest and cupholders, a tilt steering wheel with remote audio controls and an audio system with CD player.

Premier grade adds a traction control system (TCS), 18-inch alloy wheels, Audiophile premium stereo equipment with six-disc CD deck, leather seats plus memory function for power seats, mirrors and adjustable pedals.

Description: Midsize 4-door sedan
Model options: Montego Luxury FWD
Montego Luxury AWD
Montego Premier FWD
Montego Premier AWD
Wheelbase: 112.9 inches
Overall length: 200.4 inches
Engine size: DOHC 3.0-L V6
Transmission: FWD: Auto/6
Rear/front drive FWD
Braking: Power 4-disc, ABS/BA/EBD
Air bags: 2 (front)
+ opt. 2 (side)
+ opt. 4 (side curtain)
Fuel mileage city/hwy: FWD: 21/29 mpg
AWD: 20/27 mpg
Base MSRP: Luxury FWD: $ 24,345
Luxury AWD: $ 26,045
Premier FWD: $ 26,545
Premier AWD: $ 28,245

For More Information Click: Mercury Montego
For the Chevrolet 2005 Model Guide : Click Here