The full-size 2006 Ford Five Hundred isn't a sedan you'll be excited to drive, but for the money, there's a lot of space and practicality here. It's worth a look for families on a budget, especially if all-weather capability is a must.
by jmlws on Dec 20, 2012 Vehicle: 2006 Ford Five Hundred SE 4dr Sedan AWD (3.0L 6cyl CVT)
Bought car used with 128k miles, shortly transmission started clunking
loudly in lower gears between 2 & 3 on the CVT tranny. I guess I'm not the only one with tranny problems on these cars. If Ford made a lemon you would thing they would do the right thing and announce a recall to keep their people happy. It would actually bring them more new business. This will be my last Ford unless they fix it.
by Richard - Maryland on Feb 7, 2006 Vehicle: 2006 Ford Five Hundred SE 4dr Sedan AWD (3.0L 6cyl CVT)
I'm a sales rep and the 500 is my company car. Best one yet. I'm 6'-2" and I can easily fit 3 customers and myself comfortably. My wife is looking at luxury cars and we're using the 500 as a benchmark. So far we're disappointed in what a $36K luxury car can give us compared to this car. Example, if we were to take friends out to dinner we'd feel more comfortable asking them to sit in the back of the 500 vs. the Lexus ES330 or the Acura TL. 500 has great visibility, plenty of room, a place for my Blackberry, cell phone, chargers, notebook, coffee, bottled water and more ... all at the same time. I'm tempted to get one for my wife with leather et al and forego the "luxury" cars.
by vthockeydad on Oct 15, 2005 Vehicle: 2006 Ford Five Hundred SE 4dr Sedan AWD (3.0L 6cyl CVT)
I have had my Ford Five Hundred SE AWD for 4 weeks now and cannot understand why there are not a lot more of these cars on the road. (I drive approximately 50,000 miles per year and trade every two years) This is one of the best cars I have driven, especially for the money. It is a Volvo S80 frame and is incredibly solid, smooth, and safe. The handling is excellent with the AWD and you can get an interesting transmission that does not shift like conventional transmissions. I am averaging approximately 26 miles per gallon with a little over half my miles on highways. I highly recommend them. You can get one for around $22,000. Great car for the money.
by Mark on Jul 21, 2005 Vehicle: 2006 Ford Five Hundred SE 4dr Sedan AWD (3.0L 6cyl CVT)
This is a smooth transition car. It doesn't have the big jump when you step down on the gas but it accelerates very quick. The ride is great for both driver and passengers. Everyone appreciates the leg room, both front and back. The trunk space is almost unbeatable! On my drive across the Midwest in 90 degree weather, I still was able to drive 500 miles between fuel stops. It is not a car for high-speed, tight curves and the rear end will feel slow through those tight turns.
New options for the Ford Five Hundred in 2006 include a rear-seat DVD entertainment system and a navigation system. Leather seating is now available on the SE.
Although there's still room for basic, economical transportation in the family sedan segment, many consumers now expect their sensible rides to incorporate liberal doses of style, power, convenience items and safety measures. Some buyers even go looking for luxury ambience and sporty handling in a segment once written off for its blandness and lack of originality.
With the thoroughly mediocre Taurus out of the spotlight, Ford is now waging a two-pronged attack on the import-brand leaders: For buyers seeking athleticism, there's the midsize Fusion. For buyers seeking maximum comfort, space and value, there's the full-size Ford Five Hundred. Based on a platform shared with Volvo's S80, the Five Hundred makes extensive use of Volvo safety and all-wheel-drive technology. This roomy Ford car offers an airy cabin with eight cupholders, a full menu of airbags and one of the world's largest trunks (21 cubic feet). A tall seating position helps wean SUV groupies off the habit, while providing excellent visibility and easy entry for passengers.
The power source for every Five Hundred is a 3.0-liter V6. Output is only 203 horsepower, putting the car at a disadvantage when compared to the powerhouse V6s offered by many competitors. A continuously variable transmission (CVT) and a six-speed automatic are available, and buyers have a choice of front- or all-wheel drive. Ride and handling is a strong point for the Five Hundred, as Volvo genes give it a pleasant blend of comfort and agility. However, the brakes could use a little more power when it comes time to stop this 3,600-pound sedan. Although weak acceleration limits the appeal of the 2006 Ford Five Hundred, its spacious and functional cabin makes it a solid bet for families. Add in a sophisticated all-wheel-drive system and you've got a bona fide SUV alternative.
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Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The Ford Five Hundred sedan is available in one of three trims: SE, SEL and Limited. The SE starts you out with 17-inch wheels, a six-way power driver seat, full power accessories, air conditioning, a CD player and cruise control. The SEL adds an eight-way power driver seat, dual-zone automatic climate control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, wood interior trim, an MP3-compatible in-dash CD changer, a fold-flat front-passenger seat and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. Step up to the Limited and you'll get 18-inch wheels, leather upholstery, a four-way power passenger seat, seat memory, an upgraded audio system, heated seats and an analog clock. Options include a moonroof, adjustable pedals, a navigation system, a rear-seat DVD entertainment system and a reverse-sensing system.
Powertrains and Performance
Every Ford Five Hundred comes with a 3.0-liter V6 rated for 203 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque. Buyers have two transmission choices. The first of these is a continuously variable transmission (CVT), which has an infinite number of ratios and chooses whichever one best fits a given situation. The other option is a six-speed automatic. Buyers can decide between front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive. Front-drive SE models and all AWD models come with the CVT. Front-drive SELs and Limiteds get the six-speed automatic.
All Five Hundred models come with a full set of disc brakes, ABS and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution. Optional on all models are side-impact airbags that protect front occupants' torsos and side curtain airbags that protect the heads of outboard front and rear occupants. Traction control is standard, but stability control is not available. Front- and side-impact testing by the NHTSA returned a perfect five-star rating across the board. The IIHS named the Ford Five Hundred a "Best Pick" after conducting its frontal-offset crash test.
Interior Design and Special Features
Scrutinize the cabin and it's apparent that designers put a lot of thought into creating an attractive and functional environment. In lieu of the shapeless dash and seats found in the Taurus, the Ford Five Hundred has the crisp, clean lines popularized by the Passat. Rear passengers are treated to equally spacious quarters, making this Ford car a good bet for families with teenagers. The rear seats fold flat in a 60/40-split and this, along with the fold-flat front-passenger seat, allows owners to transport items up to 9 feet in length. Trunk capacity is an impressive 21 cubic feet.
The V6 provides adequate power for easy city driving, but buyers will wish for extra midrange torque for passing at highway speeds and climbing grades. Power delivery is less refined than in most competitors. Of the two transmissions, our preference is the CVT, which is smoother and does a better job of keeping the engine in its power band. Thanks to its Volvo-engineered chassis, the 2006 Ford Five Hundred offers a pleasant balance between smooth ride quality and responsive handling.
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