The Mercury Montego, (presumably derived from Montego Bay, Jamaica) was a mid-size vehicle in Ford's Mercury line. The name had first been used in 1967 on the Meteor Montego, the top trim level in the Canada-only Ford Meteor.
The Montego was introduced for 1968 as an upscale version of the intermediate Mercury Comet, which it eventually supplanted after 1969. It was essentially a twin of the Ford Torino. The Cyclone was a high performance variant of the Montego through 1971.
The 1968 models were available in four body styles: four-door sedan, two-door hardtop, station wagon and convertible, in base and fancier MX trim. In 1969, a luxury MX Brougham trim level was added.
For 1970, the convertible was dropped, but new four-door hardtops and woodgrained MX Villager station wagon were added to the model selection. The 1970 and 1971 Montegos (and Cyclones) were notable for their striking forward-thrusting hood and grille centers. Concealed headlamps provided extra distinction for 1970 Broughams and Villagers.
The 1972 Montego (and Torino) was fully restyled. Whereas previous Montegos (except wagons) had been produced on a single wheelbase with unitized construction, the 1972-1976 models were built body-on-frame and used a 114-inch span for two-door models, 118 inches for sedans and wagons. Although Ford called the four-door sedans "pillared hardtops" (they used thin "B" pillars), true four-door hardtops were not offered in this generation. In 1972 and 1973, a sporty fastback coupe called Montego GT (mirroring Ford's Gran Torino SportsRoof) was offered, replacing the Cyclone.
Montego sales through 1973 ranged from fair to decent, but were subsequently depressed by gas mileage concerns, and in-house competition from an all-new 1974 Cougar cast in the personal luxury mold and the more efficient Monarch introduced for 1975. After the original run of Montegos ended in 1976, an expanded line of Cougars for 1977 effectively took over its role in the Mercury lineup.
Six-cylinder engines were offered in Montegos through 1973. V8 power--up to a massive 460 cubic inches from 1974 forward--was available throughout the entire run.
Mercury again used the name for their 2005 version of the Ford Five Hundred, which along with the Mercury Milan filled the Mercury Sable's gap in the brand's lineup. The new Montego has a standard 203 hp (151 kW) 3.0L Duratec DOHC 24 Valve V6, and 6-speed automatic. A CVT transmission is optional, along with an all-wheel drive system. The Montego was classified as a fullsize/large car as it easily compares in size to the long-running Grand Marquis model.
The car started at the MSRP of $25,000. Although highly praised by owners, the Montego experienced lackluster sales through the 2005 and 2006 model years.
The Mercury Montego was built in Chicago, alongside its former cousins, the Ford Five Hundred and Ford Freestyle crossover. This plant formerly built both the Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable.
The Montego is marketed in the US and Mexico, however it is not sold in Canada due to the Mercury line having been discontinued there.