The 2005 Mercury Montego is an all-new mid-size sedan designed to offer roomy accommodations for five passengers and a smooth, comfortable ride. It's powered by a 200-horsepower V6. Front-wheel drive is standard, but all-wheel drive is available for better traction and handling in adverse conditions. Ford Motor Company is in the middle of a major model changeover and rationalization, using a single Mazda-based platform for small and sporty cars and a Volvo-based luxury car platform for its larger and more luxurious models. The Mercury Montego falls into the latter category, and shares its modified Volvo underpinnings with the Ford Five Hundred sedan and the Freestyle crossover SUV. The Montego is intended to replace the ancient Sable sedan, added to Mercury showrooms almost 20 years ago as a 1986 model. Montego offers a much larger interior package than any Sable ever had, still with front-wheel drive, but also offering all-wheel drive. It's Ford's first car-shaped SUV, with lots of help from Volvo and a bold new sedan look for Mercury. The Montego's generous interior dimensions put it among the roomiest sedans. Its seats sit about four inches higher than those in the Sable, and the high driving position makes it feel more like an SUV than a car, nice and high up, with wonderful outward vision. We found its all-aluminum V6 engine with drive-by-wire electronic throttle control worked extremely well with the new wide-ratio six-speed automatic transmission, which was extremely smooth and quiet and always matched the right gear with the driving situation. The all-wheel-drive models come with a continuously variable transmission that's smooth and responsive as well as efficient for good gas mileage. The steering and suspension of the Montego are European in feel, offering quick response and minimal lean in corners. The brakes are excellent, responding quickly when the pedal is pressed and slowing the car quickly when necessary.