To love the Mercury Montego is to drive it. Get past the lacking interior and the controversial exterior and you're left with a machine that gets you from point A to point B with little fuss. The test vehicle is a pleasant road warrior that offers precision steering, a decent engine with CVT and AWD for those who see it as a benefit in bad weather driving.
Pulling out of the parking spot for the first time, I was floored by how tight the steering was. Over the past few days, I?ve grown to appreciate this attribute. Most gigantic sedans like this have a floaty feeling to steering, not so in the Montego. The bulky sedan is easy to maneuver around parking lots and I even find parallel parking isn?t as treacherous as one would expect. The optional back-up sensor is a reassuring feature though and has prevented many a bump I?m sure. And check out the huge side-view mirrors. There is plenty of visibility to be had.
I believe the only other CVT I?ve tested was in the Toyota Prius. I?m not an engineer and can?t say what the mechanical differences are between the two. But in the Prius, the CVT (or ECVT) was just one more odd sensation in a very atypical vehicle. With the Montego, I think the CVT aids the underwhelming powerplant. The initial acceleration seems to last too long. But after you get over those rising revs, it?s hard to tell a difference compared to a regular transmission.
Many people think the new Five Hundred and its Mercury Montego sibling are underpowered. With just a driver and single passenger weighing it down, I didn?t find the need for much more oomph. If it was loaded with three more passengers and some luggage I could definitely imagine it feeling sluggish.
On the highway, I did notice more wind and road noise than you?d find in some other new sedans, but there are other competitors that are louder. The Montego falls somewhere in between. At least the cushy suspension dampens the treacherous Chicago potholes with ease.
Does the Montego thrill on the road? No way. But the road manners aren?t going to be a negative influence in the buying process.