2007 Mercury Montego Review

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High Gear Media Staff High Gear Media Staff  
April 1, 2006


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More Letters to the Editor


Both sides of the fraud issue


I’m writing to pay you a compliment on your odometer fraud article. As a budding writer I was taken by your flair for grabbing the reader into the well-written article with your colorful wording and phrases. Well done. I am currently writing an article about government job-training school fraud...it’s all the same...smoke and mirrors.





I wanted to respond to someone at your site concerning an article published on AOL’s front page about used car dealerships. I find the article not only ridiculously exaggerated, by highly unlikely as well as untrue. I have been in the automotive retail business for almost 15 years now. I’ve been a service manager for both new and used dealerships as well as a business manager, new car sales manager, and used car sales manager. Never, at any of the dealerships I’ve worked, has any of your mentioned practices occurred. No wonder potential customers come to a dealership expecting the worst. They read articles like this. Now, that said, I will agree that in times past, dealers did engage in this sort of thing. However, with laws governing almost every aspect of sales in general, it is extremely rare to find those practices continuing today.


Just another point of view.


Lisa Heidenreich
Heidenreich Motors, LLC



Just curious, but why all the low blows to used-car salespeople. I do not understand why I have to come home every night to see some new article about how to stick it to the car dealership, when you and I both know that the automotive industry is a substantial unit of the U.S. economy. Have you ever thought about writing a positive article?  Have you thought about the impact that your articles have?  Your articles make everyone believe that “profit” is a four-letter word. Why take food from my family? 


Preston Stewart

Phoenix, Ariz.


Find out more about odometer fraud



The Irish state of mind


I’m a Detroit kid living in Europe . I used to play in the GM buildings when I was kid living near

Grand Blvd.
I grew up during the muscle car era and cruised north Woodward with the best of them. But I like my 2005 Opel Vectra. Rides and drives well, with only a 1.6-liter four-banger. Quiet as a church and handles the roads like a good road car should. Of course paying nearly $5 bucks a gallon and you change your perceptions. Oh I miss the automatic tranny and the cruise control, but I am comfortable in the car. We load it up and hit the road and never a complaint. I’m no GM fan, what I have is a ‘fleet’ or company car. But there are two different cultures between Europe and North America . I’m here six years and I’m not sure I haven’t changed a bit. Americans are just used to consumption — bigger is better. That’s not going to change. When we come to Detroit on vacation we rent something big, maybe a van. My Irish wife is amazed at the room, the size of the roads, the whole American driving experience. She grew up taking a bus or walking — what a concept. Still does.

I appreciate your comments. I’ve always thought the brass at the Big 3 envied Euro this and that while the Asian makers walked right in and stole the market. There are good cars on both sides of the Atlantic , but as long as the cultures are different the products will be different.

John Flood

Bray, Co. Wicklow , Ireland


Does Detroit really hate America?




Although your comments about the Contour and Catera aren’t too far off-base, this comment…


“The most successful of the Global/European platform cars sold here is the Chevy Malibu, the fleet special, which even GM executives say is a design bore.”


...along with a number of other off-base comments, are ridiculous.  You obviously don’t know the difference between cars brought straight over, and those sharing a global architecture. If anything, GM did too much re-engineering for the U.S. versions of Epsilon! The Malibu, G6, and Aura are all significantly different than European counterparts (the latest Opel even conforms to the U.S. concept Aura styling). True, the Malibu was initially a design bore, but the latest update makes it just as exhilarating as a Camry if not more.


Please don’t waste readers’ time with biased and uninformed stories such as these. It is an insult to our intelligence, and yours.




Montego review really pisses people off


2005 Mercury Montego

2005 Mercury Montego

Enlarge Photo
First, I too am an enthusiast. I have followed racing my entire life. I have been collecting model cars for most of that same life. I now have about 600 or such, and probably 30 percent are racing cars and at least 15 percent are Ferraris. I also am a retired Chrysler engineer after more than 30 years engine testing and development. And I have to admit, I too would probably not be crazy about the Montego. Certainly not with memories of Charger R/Ts, Duster 340s, and a couple of Roadrunners, not to mention two more recent Daytona Turbos. You know, the forgotten one from the ’80s.


But with the “Big Two” in deep trouble and the Asians panting for more and more U.S. market share, and our own government turning a blind eye toward all the advantages enjoyed by the Asians, don’t you think our own automotive press could at least be fair in their evaluations of American cars? The snarling hatchet job you did on the Montego could have retained all the original content and, if rearranged, would have given a much more positive picture of the car. What would it hurt to put the good stuff first once in a while?


Disgustedly yours,

Pete Hagenbuch



I am a “retired” automotive executive who has had the opportunity to supply, deal with, and drive, all vehicles produced by the OEMs.


I am appalled and disgusted at the negative and biased reporting of Ford and GM vehicles. What is “a sedan with a minivan’s soul” supposed to mean? This is biased reporting, it’s not factual, it’s not informative and it’s not relative. You gush over other vehicles (non-Ford/GM) with no style, no performance, and no bells and whistles! But with anything Ford and GM it’s NEGATIVO! It appears that good, solid, attractive, and cost-effective vehicles manufactured by Ford and GM are maligned and taunted.


My question is why?


M.A. Kubasiak (Margaret)

Read the Montego review that has readers irked




Oh, and they don’t like Brazil news, either


I’m a frequent reader of your great Internet page almost for two years, and your information is very good or excellent in general, but it’s sad to read the column of the World Report, because the 99 percent of the world is Brazil. I mean, where is the rest of the world, or at least the top producers like Germany, Japan U.K., France, Germany, Italy, China, Mexico, Canada, and  Russia, or others, or is it that this page is owned by Brazilians or you have only one reporter in the world?


To be professional anywhere, you must be impartial, and it sometimes looks that your page is more pro-Brazilian than a really world report, or you must change that column to the BRAZIL REPORT.


Greetings... nothing personal, just and humble appreciation.


Alejandro Thomassiny


Editor’s note: TCC includes news from South Korea , Europe and China in this section as well.




Even Cargirl ticks them off


I have to at least put in my two cents about what cars women want. I personally am offended that most of the cars listed are not even American made cars, like Dodge, Ford, and Chevy. 


I am a 36-year-old single mom, my daughter is 18, and I prefer vintage muscle cars to the cheap crap they make nowadays. If I had only more modern cars to choose from, sports type, I personally like the Chrysler Crossfire. Otherwise the list of vehicles provided I wouldn’t drive 99 percent of them if they were given to me as a gift.


And just for the record I own a 2003 Dodge Dakota and a 1975 Plymouth Duster. You can NEVER go wrong with a vintage American-made muscle car.



Jacksonville, Fla.


Marriage proposals, anyone?



What makes you think that women have the money to buy BMW’s, HUMMERS, Caddys, and any other high-priced cars that you mentioned your article? I read your article and probably will never be able to buy any of the cars that you suggested for women. 


I am 79 and I bought a 1999 Camry for $24,000 new and I PROBABLY WILL BUY THAT AGAIN OR SMALLER. 


Where are you getting your facts for that article? In all the years I have been driving, I never had a car that you suggest. I was lucky when I had the four-door sedan, which was a Mercury, Buick, Ford, or a Toyota


Get with it. Average women don’t buy those high-priced cars. I dream about it, but that is as far as I go.


Beatrice Swart

Tamarac, Fla.


Find out which high-falutin’ cars Cargirl wants to drive




And we won’t be getting any free car washes, that’s for sure


On December 17, 2005, you posted an article authored by Bengt Halvorson in The CarConnection.com newsletter that makes several statements about the professional carwash industry that demand a response.


Mr. Halvorson cleverly uses language designed to distort the truth.  For instance, he writes that car damage can occur in professional car washes. It can but does today in less than one tenth of one percent of the time. He writes that “touchless” car washes don’t damage the finish, but they won’t likely get off all of the deposits. The truth is that touchless car washes are likely to get all the deposits off though they may not always. Every major oil company in America is installing “touchless” car washes in conjunction with their gas stations and convenience stores and if they didn’t clean cars, the oil companies wouldn’t be spending millions of dollars to do it!


Professional carwashing is the only responsible way to protect the appearance of your car. Professional car washes are now the preferred method of washing of two thirds of the American public and 100 percent of environmentalists. The professional car wash industry is a $23.9 billion industry. It has succeeded because it has changed a great deal since the last time Mr. Halvorson took his car to a car wash. He should try it today — he might change his view of the industry.


Mark O. Thorsby

Executive Director, International Carwash Association




In Mark Thorsby’s March 3rd Letter to the Editor he states: “The truth is that touchless car washes are likely to get all the deposits off though they may not always. Every major oil company in America is installing ‘touchless’ car washes in conjunction with their gas stations and convenience stores and if they didn’t clean cars, the oil companies wouldn’t be spending millions of dollars to do it!”  


As the spokesperson for the International Carwash Association, I realize his job is to promote the use of commercial car washes, but it would help if his statements were feasible. Saying a touchless car wash gets the dirt off is like saying rinsing your mouth with water is as good as using a toothbrush. As for why the oil companies are installing touchless car washes, could it have something to do with increasing their revenue and profits?


If these are the best arguments he can come up with, I’m guessing he knows his arguments don’t hold water, so to speak. 


Brent Jones

Meridian, Idaho


We love our readers, especially when they do our jobs for us.



Consumer Reports?


Nice slander job on the Consumer Reports article. Your headline “Consumer Reports Nixes Domestics” is great sensationalism. By the way, I wondered if you considered the other headline — Consumer Reports Nixes Europeans? Of course that wouldn’t be nice to all of the Euro owners out there. 


And I’m sure that the readers of Consumer Reports, who are told to buy Asian cars, would never give false feedback. Why be embarrassed like that? I used to subscribe to CR. I bought a 2002 Honda Odyssey and a 2002 Lexus ES 300. The Honda went through two transmissions, two sets of rotors, an air conditioning compressor, and a host of electrical problems by the time it had 25,000 miles on it. I sat impatiently at the Honda dealership countless times waiting for repairs to be fixed, with a full waiting room, of other displeased Honda owners with the same problems, I might add. 


The Lexus was better. Right up to the point of me hitting 19,459 miles, when the engine seized up. Lexus told me I put the wrong oil in and would have to pay for a new engine. When I produced records of oil changes AT THE LEXUS DEALERSHIP, they didn’t know what to say.  Or should I say, didn’t have anything to say for six weeks, while they contacted Toyota. I sold both of those recommended vehicles, and canceled my subscription to Consumer Reports


But I’m glad that you hold them in such high regard. I’m sure there isn’t a reliable domestic owner among you. I guess I buck the trend with my reliable recommended Chrysler Town & Country and Cadillac CTS-V. Your biasness is becoming blatant. 



Santa Barbara, Calif.


You’re apparently not a regular reader of TheCarConnection.com. We’ve been one of the few major automotive publications to hold that vaunted publication’s feet to the fire, so to speak, with numerous stories such as the one I pulled up here, by our columnist, Mike Davis.

We have significant respect for CR, but we do have concerns, as well, and that includes the possibility of a built-in bias among their traditional respondents, as Mr. Davis points out.


Among our core team, at TheCarConnection.com, there are European, Asian, and domestic owners. (And among my family, I can report your concerns about the Odyssey have been duplicated.) All this said, the news briefs in Daily Edition are not designed for us to go into depth, nor to editorialize, at every opportunity. Thus, we stuck to the basics on the CR Top 10 list, rather than speculating on its methodology and possible biases.


Thanks for your comments.


TCC Team

Publisher, TheCarConnection.com


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