Full 2007 Mercury Montego Review
What's New for 2007
All 2007 Mercury Montegos come standard with front seat-mounted side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and traction control, while Sirius satellite radio and 18-inch chrome wheels join the options list. All-wheel drive is no longer available on the base Luxury model. Drivetrain warranty protection increases to five years/60,000 miles.
Until recently, full-size sedans were a dying breed. If you wanted one, your choices were limited to a handful of cars built on aged platforms and lacking in driving sophistication and upscale amenities. With fuel prices destined to stay high, though, consumers are looking for alternatives to thirsty sport-utility vehicles. In response, automotive manufacturers have begun building fully modern large sedans, which offer many of the same advantages as SUVs. One of these is the 2007 Mercury Montego.
Much like an SUV, the Montego has a tall seating position, which provides a commanding view of the road while making it easy for passengers to get in and out. Further, with more than 41 inches of legroom in both the front and rear, there's plenty of room for said passengers to spread out. Loading up groceries and duffel bags doesn't impose many compromises either, as the 21-cubic-foot trunk can easily accommodate a week's worth of luggage for a family of four. And because the Montego is a sedan, the lift-over height to the cargo area is lower than it would be in an SUV. Finally, this is one of the few full-size sedans available with all-wheel drive (AWD); thusly equipped, this full-size Mercury makes a fine vehicle for those living in climates with frequent inclement weather.
Like all Mercury vehicles, the Montego has a Ford-badged twin -- in this case, the Five Hundred. Both are built on a Volvo platform, and as such make use of the Swedish manufacturer's AWD and airbag technologies. It should come as no surprise, then, that the Montego and its Ford counterpart have the best safety ratings of any car in the under-$30,000 price bracket.
If there's a reason you wouldn't want to buy 2007 Mercury Montego, it's the limited engine choice. All Montegos come with a 203-horsepower 3.0-liter V6, and it lacks the power and smoothness expected in a family car in this price range. Help is on the way in the form of a 265-hp 3.5-liter V6 slated for the 2008 Montego, but until then, this large sedan will continue to be outgunned by a growing list of peers. That doesn't mean you shouldn't consider the 2007 Montego, but it does mean you should test-drive competitors like the Chrysler 300, Hyundai Azera and Toyota Avalon before signing a deal.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2007 Mercury Montego full-size sedan is available in two trim levels -- base Luxury and high-line Premier. Far from feeling like the entry-level version, the Luxury offers numerous standard amenities, including 17-inch alloy wheels, HID xenon headlights, dual-zone automatic climate control, a CD player, a six-way power driver seat, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, cruise control and full power accessories. Step up to the Montego Premier and you'll get 18-inch wheels, remote perimeter lighting, leather upholstery, wood-grain interior trim, heated front seats, an upgraded audio system with an in-dash CD changer, and a memory feature for the driver seat and mirrors. Options include a moonroof, rear-seat DVD entertainment system, a navigation system and Sirius satellite radio.
Powertrains and Performance
Every Mercury Montego comes with a 3.0-liter V6 rated for 203 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque. Transmissions are dictated by drivetrain choice: If you stick with the standard front-wheel-drive configuration, your Montego will have a six-speed automatic transmission. If you opt for all-wheel drive (available only on the Premier), your Montego will have a continuously variable transmission (CVT). The CVT provides the convenience of an automatic, but has an infinite number of gear ratios. Front-drive Montegos earn a 21 mpg city, 29 mpg highway EPA fuel economy rating; with AWD, the rating drops to 19/25.
All Montegos come with a full set of disc brakes with ABS and electronic brakeforce distribution, as well as traction control. Also standard across the board are seat-mounted side airbags that protect front occupants' torsos and side curtain airbags that protect the heads of front and rear outboard occupants in the event of a side-impact crash or rollover. Power-adjustable pedals are optional on the base Luxury model; they're standard on the Premier and include a memory feature. Reverse parking sensors are optional on all Montegos. One important feature you can't get on any Montego is stability control.
The Mercury's safety ratings are outstanding. Front- and side-impact crash testing by the NHTSA returned a perfect five-star rating across the board. The IIHS gave the Montego its "Top Safety Pick" gold award (the highest honor) after it earned top ratings in the agency's frontal-offset, side-impact and rear-impact crash tests.
Interior Design and Special Features
Inside, the 2007 Mercury Montego has the clean lines and two-tone interior typical of European sedans. Some of the controls are a little busy, but materials quality is solid, and cupholders and storage areas are numerous. The front seats are roomy enough to fit most drivers, though some people will find them a tad snug on hip room. Rear passengers are treated to equally spacious quarters, making the Montego a good bet for families with teenagers. The rear seats fold flat in a 60/40 split and this, along with a fold-flat front-passenger seat, allows owners to carry items up to 9 feet in length inside the car. Trunk capacity is an impressive 21 cubic feet.
The experience of driving a Mercury Montego could be described as uneventful. Acceleration is adequate around town, but the V6 tires during passing and merging maneuvers, and makes more noise than other six-cylinders in this price range. The six-speed automatic transmission performs decently, but the CVT is smoother and does a better job of keeping the engine in its power band. More impressive are the Montego's handling dynamics, as the big sedan succeeds at delivering both a comfortable ride and capable handling around corners. Braking performance is acceptable, but the brakes have a tendency to fade under repeated, heavy use.