December 13, 2004

Consumer Reports rates new Ford Five Hundred “Very Good”

Yonkers, New York – The newly-introduced Ford Five Hundred outpointed competitors including the Chrysler 300 in head-to-head tests of large sedans by Consumer Reports for their January, 2005 issue.

Consumer Reports rated the Ford Five Hundred “Very Good” overall in its ranking of large sedans. It placed near the top of CR’s rankings, behind the Toyota Avalon, Buick Park Avenue, and Nissan Maxima.

While finishing slightly behind the Five Hundred, Chrysler’s 300 also received a “Very Good” overall rating. The Kia Amanti placed mid-pack in the ratings with a “Good” rating.

Consumer Reports bought two versions of both the Ford Five Hundred SEL and the Chrysler 300 for testing. CR chose front- and all-wheel-drive versions of the Five Hundred. For the 300, CR opted for the top-of-the-line 300C with its 340-hp V8, and the 300 Touring model with its 250-hp V6. The Kia Amanti, a direct competitor of the others, rounded out the group.

“The Ford Five Hundred is a roomy sedan that emphasizes comfort and good ergonomics over performance and pizzazz,” said David Champion, senior director of Consumer Reports’ Auto Test Centre in East Haddam, Connecticut. “The Five Hundred offers an elevated driving position, easy access, an enormous trunk and a rear seat with plenty of leg and head room for three adults.”

Consumer Reports cannot currently recommend any of the cars in this group because of insufficient reliability data on these models, all of which are new for 2004 and 2005. CR will only recommend vehicles that have performed well in its tests, have at least average predicted reliability based on CR’s annual surveys of its subscribers, and have performed adequately if crash-tested or included in government rollover tests. Large sedans recommended by Consumer Reports include the top-rated Toyota Avalon, Buick Park Avenue, and Nissan Maxima.

Full tests and ratings of the five large sedans appear in the January issue of Consumer Reports, which goes on sale December 7. The complete report is also available to subscribers of

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