2006 Five Hundred New Car Test Drive
Introduced as an all-new nameplate for 2005, the Ford Five Hundred is the company's interpretation of the modern American sedan. Big and roomy inside, the Five Hundred features a tall roof that offers lots of headroom. The driver sits relatively high, gaining a commanding view of the road. The back seats are comfortable and quite roomy. And they fold down to increase cargo capacity.
Volvo assisted with engineering a body structure that benefits from the latest in safety technology. Ford acquired the Swedish automaker famous for its passenger-protecting innovations in 1999 and, when it came time to develop the Five Hundred, employed Volvo's best structural and safety engineers to work on the project.
The Ford Five Hundred is available with front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, the latter giving it more stable handling and better traction, particularly in inclement weather.
The V6 engine that comes on all models delivers responsive performance and good fuel economy. On front-wheel-drive models, the V6 is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission, which offers more responsive performance and better efficiency than a traditional four-speed automatic. All-wheel-drive models come with a continuously variable transmission, a design noted for its responsiveness and efficiency.
The 2006 Ford Five Hundred is available in three trim levels: SE, SEL, and Limited. Each is available with all-wheel drive. All are powered by a 3.0-liter V6 called the Duratec 30 rated at 203 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque. Front-wheel-drive models come equipped with a six-speed automatic. All-wheel-drive, or AWD, models use a continuously variable transmission, or CVT.
SE ($22,230) and SE AWD ($24,080) come equipped with air conditioning, a six-way power driver's seat, a tilt steering column, power locks, mirrors and windows, remote key fob unlocking as well as keyless entry (entry via a driver's door-mounted keypad, a popular Ford feature), overhead and front consoles, CD player, and 17-inch wheels.
SEL ($24,230) and SEL AWD ($26,080) add dual-zone automatic climate control with rear-seat air outlets, eight-way power for the driver's seat and two-way power for the front-passenger's seat, a six-CD changer and MP3 capability, leather-wrapped steering wheel with built-in audio control, wood grain interior trim, an electronic message center with a compass, self-dimming interior mirror, outside temperature display fog lamps, chrome body accents and automatic headlamps.
Limited ($26,380) and Limited AWD ($28,230) get leather-trimmed seats, heated front seats, 18-inch wheels, a bright-texture grille, chrome mirror caps, memory seats and mirrors, Audiophile audio with subwoofer, four-way power front passenger's seat, cream-colored instruments and an analog clock in the center of the dashboard.
Options include traction control, leather trim seating for SE and SEL models, power-adjustable pedals for the Limited model, a power moonroof, and a rear obstacle warning system for SEL and Limited. A family entertainment system, consisting of a headliner-mounted DVD player, flip-down flat screen television monitor and two wireless headphones is available on the SEL and Limited.
Safety features include an optional package for the SE with side-impact airbags (for torso protection) and canopy airbags (for head protection), an anti-theft perimeter alarm and lights ($795); a similar safety package for the SEL and Limited includes the side-impact and canopy airbags ($595). Anti-lock brakes (ABS) are standard on all models.