2006 Montego New Car Test Drive
The Mercury Montego is a big sedan with a roomy, luxurious cabin, premium features and trim, and a smooth, comfortable ride. While technically a midsize car, it's on the large side of that scale and boasts a a high seating position and lots of legroom for both front and rear passengers.
The Montego is powered by a 203-hp V6. Front-wheel drive is standard. All-wheel drive is available for improved traction and handling in adverse conditions. The Montego was carefully engineered to protect occupants in the event of an accident. Safety engineers from Volvo worked directly on the Montego, drawing on the Swedish automaker's 50 years of advanced safety engineering.
The Montego offers one of the roomiest interiors in its class. Inspired by the ubiquitous sport utility vehicle, the Montego gives the driver a relatively high seating position and, consequently, excellent outward vision.
Its all-aluminum V6 engine features drive-by-wire electronic throttle control and is complemented by a six-speed automatic transmission that shifts smoothly and always seems to choose the right gear for the driving situation. The all-wheel-drive models come with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) that's smooth and responsive and enhances fuel efficiency.
The steering and suspension are European in feel, offering quick response and minimal lean in corners. The brakes are excellent, responding quickly when the pedal is pressed and slowing the car quickly when necessary. Anti-lock brakes are standard on all Montegos, and all-speed traction control is standard on all but the base, front-drive model, where it's a no-cost option.
Montego excels in passive safety as well. Its basic structure was designed by Volvo, a company that built its reputation on safety before safety was fashionable. Add to that Ford Motor Company's Personal Safety System, which means that the inflation rate for the dual-stage front airbags is managed by a crash severity sensor and a weight sensor for the front-seat passenger. Side-impact and canopy-style airbags are optional. Thus equipped, Montego has earned top five-star ratings in frontal and side-impact crash testing by the federal government, and was named a best pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety for frontal crash performance.
The 2006 Mercury Montego is powered by a 3.0-liter V6 engine with 24 valves. Two trim levels are available, Luxury and Premier.
Front-wheel drive (FWD) and all-wheel drive (AWD) are available for both trim levels. A six-speed automatic transmission comes on front-drive models. A continuously variable automatic transmission, or CVT is used on the all-wheel-drive models; AWD models also get a suspension upgrade that includes self-leveling rear shock absorbers.
Luxury FWD ($24,430) and AWD ($26,280) come with dual-zone electronic climate control, six-way power driver's seat, a fold-flat front passenger seat, split-fold rear seats, auto-dimming rearview mirror, two 12-volt power points, AM/FM stereo with single CD player; leather-wrapped tilt steering wheel with remote audio controls and cruise control, remote keyless entry, folding heated power exterior mirrors, power windows and door locks, passive anti-theft system, 17-inch seven-spoke wheels, automatic high-intensity discharge headlamps, LED tail lamps, and fog lamps. All-speed traction control is standard with AWD and optional (at no cost) with FWD. Cloth upholstery is standard; leather is optional ($895). Power-adjustable pedals are available on late-2006 models.
Premier FWD ($26,880) and AWD ($28,730) feature leather upholstery, heated front seats, a power passenger seat, a memory function for the power seats, mirrors and adjustable pedals, a leather-wrapped shift knob, overhead console with Homelink, wood grain interior appliques, remote perimeter lighting, a 6CD changer and subwoofer, a trunk cargo net, and 18-inch 15-spoke alloy wheels. Traction control is standard with both FWD and AWD. A new navigation system is available for 2006 Premier models.
Options include a power glass sunroof ($895); rear park assist ($250); a rear-seat DVD entertainment system (new for 2006), and a Safety Package combining side-impact and side-curtain air bags with a rollover sensor ($595). We strongly recommend the curtain air bags as they can help reduce the chance of head injuries to your passengers.