All-new in 2005, the Mercury Montego moves into 2006 with minor changes. Standard on all models is a leather-wrapped steering wheel with satin aluminum inner cuffs and audio and cruise controls. Two options have been added: a rear-seat entertainment system to keep the kids occupied, and on Premier arrays, a navigation system to keep the parents on the right track. Late in 2006, the Luxury array will receive adjustable pedals, which move fore and aft three inches to allow the driver a comfortable seating position. Three new exterior paint colors join the lineup: Satellite Silver Clearcoat Metallic, Dark Blue Pearl Clearcoat Metallic, and Vivid Red Clearcoat Metallic.
The Mercury Montego is the sister vehicle to the Ford Five Hundred, both of which compete in the tough Large Conventional segment. While it shares the platform and many of the same features, the Montego offers some upscale technologies the Ford Five Hundred doesn't, like High Intensity Discharge (HID) headlamps that help improve visibility at night with a brighter, whiter light, and Light Emitting Diode (LED) taillamps that illuminate faster to give the driver following behind more warning.
A highlight of the Montego is its cavernous interior, in particular the rear-seating area. The trunk rivals the interior volume with more than 21 cubic feet of cargo area, almost 50 percent more than many competitors in the class, according to the automaker. The rear seat of this five-passenger sedan is a 60/40 split-fold arrangement, and the front passenger seat folds flat as well, enabling items up to 10 feet in length to be stored inside the cabin, which makes the Montego practical for hardware store errands. The Montego utilizes a modified Volvo S80/XC90 platform, which means safety is intrinsic, and as such earned it a "Best Pick" rating by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
Forward movement is courtesy of the standard 3.0L Duratec 30 V-6, which makes 203 hp and 207 lb.-ft. of torque. The Montego can be equipped with either a 6-speed automatic transmission or a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT), which features an infinite amount of gears to keep the engine speed constant as it moves through the powerband. No shifts translate to a smoother ride for occupants. The Montego also can be ordered in front- or all-wheel drive for those who need that extra bit of traction in bad weather or when experiencing poor road conditions.
The Montego competes against 13 other models in the Large Conventional segment. Similar to the Midsize Conventional segment, value is the name of the game in this segment, where buyers are looking for modern safety features in a slightly larger package.
The Chevrolet Impala is the sales leader in this segment, having sold 246,481 units during 2005, well ahead of the Chrysler 300 (144,048 units sold) and the Pontiac Grand Prix (122,398), according to the J.D. Power and Associates Sales Report.SM Mercury dealers sold 27,007 Montegos in 2005, roughly one quarter as many sales as sister vehicle Ford Five Hundred (107,932).
|Luxury (100A)||6 speed automatic||$24,430||203-hp / 3.0L 6-cyl||21/29|
|Premier (120A)||6 speed automatic||$26,880||203-hp / 3.0L 6-cyl||21/29|