Mercury Sable

The 2009 Mercury Sable is powered by a Duratec 3.5L V6 engine, making 263 hp and 245 ft-lb of torque. Power is put to the wheels through a 6-speed automatic transmission.

Two models of Sable are available--the base model and the Premier--and both can be specified with either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. The AWD system normally sends more torque to the front wheels but can send up to 100% to the front or rear axles as needed.

Anti-lock brakes, seat-deploying side air bags in front and Safety Canopy head-protecting side-curtain bags that cover both rows of seating are standard on all Sables; AdvanceTrac electronic stability control is available on the Premier model.

The Sable's interior is especially versatile for a sedan. The back seats are split 60/40 and fold flat to expand the cargo floor, and the front passenger seat will also fold flat, to accommodate narrow items up to nine feet long. All Sables also include rear-seat heating/air conditioning ducts.

The spacious interior is also quiet and refined, with extensive sound-deadening measures within the doors, roof and pillars to help reduce noise levels. The ride is smooth to match, thanks to a four-wheel independent suspension with MacPherson struts in front and coil springs in back. The power steering system, with an intelligent electric pump, allows extra boost for parking lots then reduces assist on the highway to save energy and aid stability.

Standard features on the base model include fog lamps, a keyless entry keypad, power windows and locks, power folding side mirrors, air conditioning and a CD audio system with audio input jack. The Premier model upgrades to bright aluminum wheels, perimeter lighting, power heated mirrors, satin aluminum accent trim, burl wood grain trim, dual-zone climate control, a garage door opener and an Audiophile sound system with a 6-disc changer and an input jack. Also standard is Sync, a voice-activated communications and entertainment system that allows interfacing with cell phones and media players, either wirelessly through Bluetooth or via a USB cable.

Major options include a rear-seat DVD entertainment system, Sirius satellite radio, a voice-activated navigation system that has text-to-speech technology, a power moonroof and Sync (on base models).

Editors' Review

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Driving the 2008 Mercury Sable around San Francisco, we considered painting it yellow, putting a light on top, and starting a career as a taxi driver. The Mercury Sable, brand engineered from the Ford Taurus, is a big sedan with a huge amount of trunk space. The car seems reasonably well-built, with good interior fit and finish, while its V-6 engine gives it enough power to get around. But the car offers a completely characterless driving experience, with poor powertrain response and loads of understeer. One of the key reasons we wanted to review the Mercury Sable, and its most redeeming quality, is that it came with the Sync system coupled with navigation. Previously we had tested the Sync system in the Ford Focus and had to rely on a minimal radio display for information on our connected devices, but the navigation system's LCD in the Sable formed the basis for a more usable interface.

Test the tech: iPhone compatibility
Sync and the iPhone were the two most interesting products to hit the market last year, so we put them together for our tech test to see if the whole would be greater than the sum of its parts. We hoped that using an iPhone with Sync would result in a piece of new technology so mind-blowing that we would lock ourselves in the car for a week.

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The Good Sync is a top technology, giving a significant boost to the 2008 Mercury Sable. We especially like Sync in conjunction with the car's navigation system, as you get a touch-screen LCD to play with. The car also has a good emissions rating.

The Bad This Mercury Sable is not for people who enjoy driving, as its throttle response is anemic and it shows ample understeer. Its fuel economy isn't a saving grace either, as we couldn't get above 20 mpg.

The Bottom Line Don't expect to enjoy the driving experience in the 2008 Mercury Sable, but it will support your phone and MP3 player, and deliver car-shaking bass, if that's what you're in to.

Editors' Rating
  • Cabin tech 9
  • Performance tech 5
  • Design 8