Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Ford 500

I've never heard anyone say, "Ooooh! Vanilla ice cream! My favorite! I'll have two scoops!" Not once. Well, maybe, "Oooh! FREE vanilla ice cream! My favorite!" But that's a little different.

Ford500So I don't expect to see lines of people waiting to buy the Ford 500 expected on lots any day now. There probably won't be a Hot Wheels model made of it. Few potential car buyers will sit around saying to themselves, "I can't wait to trade in my five-year-old Honda Civic for the new 500!"

I do, however, expect to see dealer lots overflowing with modestly priced, well-equipped Ford 500s. I also expect to see moderately-satisfied rental car drivers in 500s. And I can see a day about five years from now when the classified ad reads, "For sale: Ford 500. Low miles, good condition. $4,500 OBO."

It's just not an exciting car. Granted, the Camry, Accord and Civic aren't exciting either. But what they give up in personality, they make up in loyalty. That Civic might be beat to hell, but it'll start every time you ask it to. The Ford? Uh, don't count on it.

So what does Ford offer in the 500 they can't get elsewhere? Well, Autoweek reviewed the car in its Sept. 13, 2004 issue and the best thing they had to say about it was: it has a big trunk. Wow. Big trunk or starts every time? Big trunk or sumptious interior? Big trunk or, uh, phenomenal resale value?

Ford500The Mercury division will get a version, too, called the Montego. It's basically the same car except for gray Woodgrainesque© finish on the dash and a grille that, in my opinion, is a dead ringer for the Mercury Topaz of 1980s infamy. All this can be yours starting at only $25,000.

Now if you were to say, "Hey, want a FREE Ford 500?" I'd go, "Hell, yeah." But at $23,000 for one I say, "No thanks. I'll take double fudge chocolate chip cookie dough please."

No comments: