Ford Five Hundred Origins
The Ford Five Hundred was a modern full-size sedan designed to be a more affordable alternative to owning an SUV. The car offered expansive amounts of interior space with more than 40 inches of legroom in the front and back as well as a trunk that offered 21-cubic-feet of storage. The car was based on the Volvo S80 platform and the car’s Swedish roots made it easy and fun to drive, with a comfortable ride and above-average handling capabilities. However, during its short run of production, the Five Hundred was oft criticized for its lack of acceleration. About the Ford Five Hundred
2007 was the final year that Ford produced the full-size Five Hundred. The model was available in both front-wheel and all-wheel drive variants. Like its platform, the car’s electronically controlled all-wheel drive (AWD) system was also borrowed from Volvo.
The 2007 Five Hundred suffered from the same problems that the previous two year’s models had. Namely, it was underpowered. Throughout its three-year run of production, the car was equipped with a 203 horsepower 3.0-liter Duratec V-6. However, since the vehicle weighed in at 3,600, this engine was never up to the task. Ford eventually recognized this problem and engineered a 265-hp 3.5-liter V-6 as a solution. Unfortunately, by the time that engine was implemented into production, the Ford Five Hundred became the Ford Taurus.
In its final year of production, the vehicle was available in two trim levels: SEL and Limited. The base model SEL was equipped with 17-inch wheels, six-way power driver seats, leather-bound steering wheels, wood grain interior trim, air conditioning, cruise control, power accessories, and a CD player. The Limited edition on the other hand, rolled on 18-inch wheels and sported leather seats and upholstery. It also had an eight-way power driver seat, front seat heating, dual-zone automatic climate control and an improved audio system that featured a dash-mounted CD changer. Additional features on the Limited edition included heated mirrors, and an analog clock. Available options included a moonroof, a navigation system, a backseat DVD entertainment system and Sirius Satellite Radio.
Front-wheel drive versions of the Five Hundred were equipped with six-speed automatic transmissions, while AWD models were outfitted with continuously variable transmissions that provided the convenience of a regular automatic coupled with an infinite number of ratios that were chosen in order to best suit a particular situation. In terms of fuel economy, the front-wheel drive Five Hundred offers 19/26 mpg city/highway, while the AWD version offers 21/29 mpg city/highway.
With its Volvo-derived platform and Swedish roots, it’s no surprise that the Five Hundred offered impressive safety features. Ford also borrowed airbag technology from Volvo for the Five Hundred, which was equipped with front seat-mounted side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. While it may have been criticized for lack of engine power, it earned top marks for safety in frontal, side, and rear impact crash testing. The NHTSA went as far as to award it with a perfect five-star safety rating. Additional safety features that were standard on the 2007 Five Hundred included four-wheel antilock disc brakes and traction control.
In addition to being abundantly spacious, the car’s cabin was clean, attractively designed and infinitely functional. Cabin construction utilized quality materials and there are a number of storage areas as well as eight cupholders.
Reviews indicate that the Five Hundred’s V-6 was adequate for city driving but came up short in terms of needing additional power for passing on the highway or climbing a steep grade. Still the car’s Volvo-derived chassis provided for a smooth ride when the car was driven in its comfort zone. Ford Five Hundred Evolution
The car was only produced between 2005 and 2007. During that time, Ford implemented few changes from year-to-year. In 2006, the front-seat mounted side airbags that was previously optional was made standard across the line.
Prior to 2007, the Five Hundred was available in three trim levels: SE, SEL, and Limited. However, in the final year of production, only the SEL and Limited versions were made available.