I've always thought Mercury was a pointless auto brand. Though it claims to be an upscale version of Ford, the models are always so similar and the refinements so infinitesimally unnoticeable that it never feels like anything but a Ford with a different logo.
Pulitzer-prize-winning auto critic Dan Neil of the LA Times reviews the new Mercury Montego with one of the most scathing, hilarious auto reviews I've ever seen:
At a time of general excellence in automotive design and construction, when even cheap cars so easily vault buyer expectations, it is a rare and perverse pleasure to find a car as certifiably doggy as the Mercury Montego.
A car whose lack of charisma is so dense no light can escape its surface, the Montego is the Mercury Division's upscale twin to the Ford Five Hundred sedan, though the Montego's version of upscale is of the Korean off-shore casino variety. The faux wood-grain interior trim looks like it came off a prison lunch tray. I've felt better leather upholstery on footballs.
But this is not a case of a car nibbled to death by details. Overall, the car has a profoundly geriatric feeling about it, like it was built with a swollen prostate. To drive this car is to feel the icy hand of death upon you, or at least the icy hand of Hertz, because it simply screams rental.