Large car; Built in USA
  • 4-door sedan
  • transverse front-engine/front- or all-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $5,300 – $10,500*


2005 Mercury Montego


2006 Mercury Montego


2005 Mercury Montego


2006 Mercury Montego

Pros:
  • Available all-wheel drive
  • Control layout
  • Passenger and cargo room
  • Visibility
Cons:
  • Automatic-transmission performance

The Montego earns high marks for its generous passenger and cargo space, a take-charge driving position, good road manners, and available all-wheel drive. Engine choice is limited to a single V6, but it has adequate power for this duty. And while the transmissions have some quirks, they’re not deal-breakers.

Overview

This upscale version of the Ford Five Hundred was the first Mercury car in over a decade to offer all-wheel drive. Montego came in Luxury and Premier models with a 203-hp 3.0-liter V6. Both offered front-wheel drive with 6-speed automatic transmission or AWD with a continuously variable automatic transmission. A CVT provides variable drive ratios vs. a conventional automatic’s fixed-ratio gears. All Montegos had antilock 4-wheel disc brakes and traction control, but no antiskid system was available. Luxury models came on 17-inch wheels, Premiers on 18s. An optional Safety Package bundled front torso side airbags with curtain side airbags designed to deploy in rollovers as well as in side impacts. The Montego and Five Hundred shared a platform originated by Ford-owned Volvo, plus a five-passenger design with seats mounted about 4 inches higher than in other cars. A power driver seat, fold-flat front-passenger seat, and split folding rear seatbacks were standard. Leather upholstery was standard on Premier, optional on Luxury. All models came with xenon headlamps and LED taillamps. Options included a sunroof and rear obstacle detection. Montego performance and accommodations mirrored those of comparably equipped Five Hundreds.

Yearly Updates

2006 Montego
For 2006, a DVD entertainment system was newly optional for Luxury and Premier models, while a navigation system arrived as a Premier-exclusive option.
2007 Montego
Satellite radio was newly available for 2007.

Engines

transverse front-engine/front- or all-wheel drive

Only one powertrain was available in 2005-07 Montegos: a 3.0-liter V6 that was rated at 203 hp. Two transmissions were available: a 6-speed automatic or a CVT automatic.

ohc V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.0/182
Engine HP 203
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 207
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed automatic
CVT automatic
21/29
20/27
19.0
19.1

1. CVT 19/26 with AWD.

Road Test

The Montego’s acceleration is adequate and on par with most V6 rivals, even though it has one of the smallest engines in its class. A test front-drive Mercury Montego did 0-60 mph in 7.9 seconds; a test AWD Ford Five Hundred did 7.5. The CVT’s best trait is good highway-passing response, though some drivers may need time to adjust to its behavior in rapid acceleration, where the engine speed can race ahead of road speed until CVT reaches the “right” ratio. Disappointingly, the 6-speed automatic hunts between gears, particularly in hilly terrain, and includes neither a manual-shift feature nor the capability to lock out the top three gears. A front-wheel-drive Mercury Montego with 6-speed automatic averaged 15.9 mpg in a test that included gas-eating acceleration runs. A test AWD Ford Five Hundred averaged 19.1 mpg in a mix of city/highway driving. Mercury recommended regular-grade fuel.

The Montego’s ride is generally absorbent and composed on all surfaces, though the sharpest bumps can jolt. There is little difference in ride quality between the available 17- and 18-inch tires, or between front-drive and AWD. The Montego exhibits good balance in turns, with only moderate lean despite its relatively tall body. Steering feel is light at low speeds for easy parking, and becomes satisfyingly linear at higher speeds. Test AWD Montegos furnished outstanding grip on wet and snowy surfaces. Both brake-pedal feel and stopping power are good.

Inside, the Montego’s gauges are clearly marked and unobstructed, though some testers say the electronic display for audio, climate, and vehicle-information settings is not easy to read. Some audio/climate controls are mounted too low, requiring a long look from the road to adjust. Some testers complain that the stalks for the windshield wipers and turn signals are too far from the steering wheel. The most frequently touched surfaces are padded, but the ambiance is simple rather than elegant. Overall, Montego is reasonably quiet, with fine suppression of wind and road noise. However, the AWD test versions’ powertrain whined audibly in even modest acceleration, and the 6-speed automatic transmission’s frequent downshifts means the engine roars more often than with the CVT.

Up front, the commanding driving position is aided by the low cowl, tall windows, and standard height-adjustable seat. Head room is ample and leg room is fine, though the tallest drivers may wish for more rearward seat travel. The front seats are comfortably supportive, and their high mounting eases entry/exit. Visibility to the rear corners is unusually good. The rear seat area has sofa-high seating with limousinelike leg room and generous head room. Three adults fit shoulder to shoulder. Rear ingress and egress is easy.

The Montego’s voluminous trunk can hold eight full-size golf bags. Strut-type trunklid hinges don’t rob space or threaten cargo. The rear seats fold, but the pass-through is restricted at the bottom by angled side supports. The fold-flat front-passenger seat is useful for hauling long items. The covered dashtop bin is handy, but interior storage is nothing special.

Ratings

Model Tested: 2005 Mercury Montego

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.

Performance

Acceleration - 6
60%
Fuel Economy - 5
50%
Ride Quality - 7
70%
Steering/Handling - 6
60%
Quietness - 7
70%

Accommodations

Controls/Materials - 7
70%
Room/Comfort Front - 9
90%
Room/Comfort Rear - 8
80%
Cargo Room - 6
60%

Other

Value - 8
80%

Total: 69

Specifications

4-door sedan
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
112.9 200.9 74.5 61.5
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
21.2 19.0 5
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
39.4 38.6 41.2 41.9
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 2005 Montego 4-door sedan

NHTSA

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
100%
Front Passenger Injury - 5
100%

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
100%
Rear Passenger Injury - 5
100%

HLDI

(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision N/A
Injury N/A
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

Brake noise
Description: Noise or roughness from the rear brakes is caused by rust on the brake rotors, requiring refinishing and installation of updated pads. (2005)
Brakes
Description: Rear brakes may drag after being parked for an extended period requiring improved brake pads. (2005-07)
Brakes
Description: The rear brakes may drag after the car has been parked for a couple days causing noise and excessive brake dust on the wheels due to the brake pads. (2005-06)
Cold-starting problems
Description: The engine may be slow to start (long cranking time) in cold weather, requiring reprogramming the PCM. (2005-06)
Cruise control
Description: The cruise control may work intermittently or quit working because the brake light switch is out of adjustment. (2005)
Fuel gauge
Description: The fuel tank may fill slowly with repeated nozzle click-offs due to either a flooded charcoal canister or a problem inside the fuel tank. (2005-07)
Audio system
Description: The CD player (MP3 capable units only) may skip, hang or otherwise malfunction, but an improved radio/audio unit is available. (2005)
Steering noise
Description: The steering may squeak, especially at slow speed, requiring steering boot lubrication and power steering fluid replacement with Mercon V transmission fluid, or a defective upper strut bushing. (2005-07)
Suspension noise
Description: Noise from the rear suspension in cold weather (below 15 degrees F) requires revised shock absorbers. (2005-06)
Vehicle noise
Description: Whining or buzzing from the speakers is caused by the electric fuel pump in the tank, requiring installation of an RFI (radio frequency interference) filter in the circuit. (2002-03)
None
Description: The fuel tank may be slow to fill and the nozzle may repeatedly shut off due to a filler pipe with a bend that is too tight. (2005-06)
Transmission problems
Description: The engine speed may vary from 50-100 rpm on vehicles equipped with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) requiring reprogramming the powertrain control module. (2005)
Fuel door
Description: The gas cap may be hard to close, but there is a revised cap whose tether must be relocated. (2005)

Recall History

2005 Montego
Description: On certain vehicles, the straps that secure the fuel tank may break. Dealers will replace the fuel tank straps.
2005 Montego
Description: Montegos sold in Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming: The side door latch mechanisms may experience water intrusion allowing the latch mechanism to freeze in cold weather. Dealers will inspect and repair or replace affected parts.
2007 Montego vehicles manufactured from September 5, 2006, through September 11, 2006.
Description: The fuel tanks may not have consistent welds between the fuel tank and fuel filler neck spud which can affect the strength of the joint. Some fuel tank spud welds may not provide the expected strength in the event of a severe rear impact to the vehicle. An improper weld can result in a crack in the joint which could illuminate the emissions malfunction indicator light, cause a fuel odor, or allow fuel to leak out. Fuel leakage, in the presence of an ignition source, could result in a fire. Dealers will replace the fuel tank free of charge.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.

Pricing

Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.