Intended to replace both the Taurus as well as the Crown Victoria sedan, the Ford Five Hundred became the new flagship sedan for retail customers for the 2005 model year. The Five Hundred nameplate was the result of Fords mid-2000s naming strategy as well as reference to the Ford Galaxie 500 and Fairlane 500 of the 1960s. Intermediately sized between the two sedans it replaces, the four-door Five Hundreds wheelbase was 1.8 inches shorter than the Crown Victoria.
At 61.5 inches, the roof height of the 2005 Ford Five Hundred was taller than its predecessor allowing for easier entry and exit for passengers. The height allowed upright seating positions inside the Five Hundred conveying a more sport utility vehicle feel and an improved perspective of the road for the driver (advertised as command seating). Power for the 2005 Ford Five Hundred was sourced from a 3.0-liter Duratec V-6 engine. Generating 203 horsepower, the sedans engine could be paired with a six-speed automatic gearbox or a continuously variable transmission (CVT). The 2005 Five Hundred also provided buyers with the choice of a front-wheel driver or an all-wheel drive model. The front-wheel drive model of the Ford Five Hundred achieves average fuel economy of 25 miles per gallon with the six-speed automatic transmission while the CVT allows the sedan to travel 24 miles per gallon in combined city/highway driving.
Offered as a SE, SEL and Limited trim level vehicle, standard features on all 2005 Ford Five Hundred models included four-wheel disc brakes, aluminum wheels, keyless entry and an audio system with CD player. The SE trim level choice was dropped in 2007 for what would be the last year for the Ford Five Hundred. As a twist of fate, the Five Hundred nameplate was abandoned in 2008 in favor of the reactivation of the Taurus moniker.