Overview & Reviews
The Mercury Sable has always been a kindred spirit to folks like Clint Howard, Kevin Dillon or any Baldwin not named Alec -- celebrities with even more famous siblings. People who will always be greeted with, "Hey, aren't you so-and-so's brother?" or "Your nose is much bigger than your sister's." Along the same lines, it's just about impossible to talk about the Mercury Sable midsize sedan without mentioning the Ford Taurus, its nearly identical sibling that for about half its life was the number-one car sold in the United States.
The Sable came out in 1986 at the same time as its Blue Oval-wearing stablemate, sporting the same revolutionary "jelly bean" shape and thoroughly competent driving experience -- plus it offered nifty full-width front fascia lighting. Yet the Ford got all the headlines, all the accolades and most of the sales. It should have been enough to send the Sable on a one-way trip to Billy-Carter-ville.
Alas, the Sable survived in the shadow of its more popular fraternal twin in complete anonymity as it aged ungracefully amid a family sedan segment that was rapidly getting better. Although discontinued after the 2005 model year, the Sable name was resurrected in 2008, replacing the Montego moniker. Sadly for the Sable, the discontinued Taurus was revived as well, further sealing the Sable's fate, as 2009 would be the last year for the model. Two years later, the Mercury brand itself would go extinct.
Most Recent Mercury Sable
The fifth and last generation of the Mercury Sable was produced (in a fashion) from 2005 through 2009. This car actually debuted as the Montego, reviving an ancient Mercury moniker. But the company evidently felt there was too much heritage in the Sable name and thus renamed the Montego "Sable" for '08. If you're looking at a used Montego, note that it was powered by a comparatively wheezy 203-horsepower V6. A more potent, 263-hp V6, as well as a styling refresh, was part of the Sable's rebirth. In standard form, both were offered with front-wheel drive, but buyers could opt for all-wheel-drive versions as well.
In keeping with its more upscale reputation, the base trim levels were well equipped with 17-inch wheels, full power accessories, power front seats, a CD player with auxiliary input, and the creature comforts you'd expect from other sedans in this segment. Stepping up to the Premier trim level added 18-inch wheels, leather upholstery, heated mirrors and front seats, dual-zone climate control and an upgraded stereo with a CD changer and satellite radio. Options included a sunroof, a navigation system, a rear-seat DVD entertainment system and, on '08 and later Sables, the Sync system (standard on the Premier), which allowed voice activation of cell phones and entertainment systems.
Despite being overshadowed by its more popular Ford cousins, the Sable still managed to make its mark with top safety scores, plenty of space for passengers and cargo, a smooth ride and above-average fuel economy for the segment. The Mercury Sable's drawbacks included a non-telescoping steering wheel, a mushy brake pedal and a less-than-engaging driving experience. However, these negatives don't weigh it down enough to take it out of the running when compared to competing full-size sedans. Savvy used car shoppers considering the Taurus will likely note lower pricing with a comparable Sable.
Past Mercury Sable Models
The fourth-generation Mercury Sable generation ran from 2000-'05. Although the basic body shell was carried over from the previous Sable, this edition did away with the ugly "wonderful world of ovals" design scheme, resulting in a more subdued look and improved ergonomics.
The Sable was available in sedan and wagon body styles. Depending on the year, trim levels included GS, GS Plus, LS and LS Premium. Standard equipment was generous on the lower levels, with the LS models providing upscale items like power-adjustable pedals, a power driver seat, automatic climate control and leather upholstery. A rear-facing third-row seat was standard on the LS wagon. The GS came standard with a rather antiquated 3.0-liter V6 (157 hp). Standard on the LS Premium and optional on the LS was a 3.0-liter V6 that boasted twin overhead cams and 24 valves that pushed output to 200 hp while achieving practically identical fuel economy.
Although this generation of Sable and its Taurus clone were respectable entries in the midsize sedan segment when they debuted, they were quickly outpaced and found themselves languishing as unwanted fleet and rental cars. Although they provide comfortable transportation at a low price, other used midsize sedans are more modern, competent choices.
The third-generation Mercury Sable sold from 1996-2000 featured one of the most controversial redesigns in automotive history. It shared the same oval-themed design as its Taurus sibling, but added further bizarre details that created a look that could be described as either "snakelike" or "fishy." Inside, the strange dashboard design drew more mixed reviews, featuring audio and climate controls bunched together in a single oval pod. Some saw it as a blast of fresh air; others as an ergonomic annoyance.
There were two engines available. The GS trim level came with a 3.0-liter "Vulcan" V6 that produced 145 hp, while the LS came with a 200-hp "Duratec" V6. When it arrived on the scene, we were impressed with this all-new Mercury Sable, even if its styling left us a little befuddled and/or nauseous. We thought it was better than most American sedans, while noting that Honda, Toyota and later Oldsmobile offered more compelling choices.
The second-generation Sable ran from 1992-'95 and could perhaps be considered the pinnacle for this car. An evolution of the original, its lower-profile nose and slightly crisper lines tastefully updated the car, while hardware improvements included new safety features such as antilock brakes and a passenger side airbag. Sable sedans and wagons came with either a 3.0-liter V6 or 3.8-liter V6. Horsepower was the same at 140, but the larger engine provided more torque. A four-speed automatic was the only available transmission.
The first-generation Mercury Sable ran from 1986-'91. Compared to the boxy architecture of its competition, the "jellybean" (and aerodynamically efficient) look of the Sable and its Ford Taurus sibling were a breath of fresh air. Plus, the Sable had a front fascia featuring an illuminated "grille" that connected the headlamps with uninterrupted light -- pretty cool in a futuristic sort of way. A 90-hp inline-4 (with either a manual or automatic transmission) and a 3.0-liter, 140-hp V6 (automatic only) were initially offered, but the former engine sold so poorly that it was dropped for 1987. A 3.8-liter V6 became available in 1988 that also produced 140 hp, but pumped out 55 more lb-ft of torque.
User Reviews:Showing 1 through 10 of 489.00
The Death Trap - 2009 Mercury Sable
By tyler - September 19 - 4:23 am
Very nice car on the outside, ice blue color i loved the car. Bought it used with 90,000 miles for 8,000. Didnt even make it home and the transmission was just acting funny. Then it started dying out when i would reverse and not engage gear when i would go to take off. And i live in Chicago. Busy traffic all the time, it became a everyday thing. Then a month in the strut blew out, it popped everytime i would turn, it was just comical at that point. No warranty or anything, i was SOL. The dealer took it back fixed the strut, and the transmission. Then the strut blew again, within a week. They fixed it again. And then the transmission started again, and it was worse than before. I was so angry the car only had 99,000 miles. i told them im bringing this death trap back and they let me trade it for a Toyota. Never again will i buy a ford product. Beware of these money pits, if you have one just sell it. I know its a very comfy car. But seriously, you will have issues.
Great car but plan ahead - 1997 Mercury Sable
By leylandauto - December 29 - 2:00 am
I have now owned three Taurus/Sable wagons and will buy another for many reasons that make the car work for me. Comfort, Great roadholding, safety, and the ability to hold a ten foot long piece of wood or pipe from Home Depot. The cars almost never need any work on them but can be expensive to fix as any new car can be when the do break. The big weakness to these cars is the transmission is very weak and will generally require a rebuild around 125- 140k. The rebuild is not expensive as trasmissions go (between 900 and 2k depending on the shop).
Underated handler - 2001 Mercury Sable
By DW2 - December 29 - 2:00 am
Bought this car used with 65,000 miles on it. It cost $6,000!!! The car falls off a cliff in resale. With the standard 3.0 engine, it is destined to be a stylish, comfortable, reliable car that is a deceptively capable handler. Lost of wind noise from the windesheild, and brakes seem to be a Taurus weak point. Buy used and save BIG!
Replaced Transmission at 14,700 miles - 2001 Mercury Sable
By am - December 27 - 10:00 am
Overall, this car wasnt bad, until 12,000 miles. Then the transmission problems started. First, a dealership told me that I had plenty of warranty left to figure it out. A month later, dealership couldnt replicate the problem, but replaced a tran sensor. Now, the dealership replaced the transmission with a remanufactured, without telling me first. Still drives questionably, but it looks like Im stuck with it. The service dept, my salesman, and Fords Customer Relations act like I should be thrilled that I have a so-called new transmission.
Its a good car! - 2008 Mercury Sable
By Regs - December 22 - 1:30 pm
Very solid quality, good size, huge trunk. Two-tone leather command seats are very comfortable, nice view in all directions, back-off sensors work well. Good sound system. For the size, fuel economy is not bad. Hope Ford can bring the GDI 4-cylinder engine soon.
I love this big solid car - 2004 Mercury Sable
By Cashfan - December 18 - 10:00 am
My main concern when buying a car is safety and the Sable ranks as one of the safest on the highway.Safety aside it is roomy inside with a spacious trunk.It has a good clean body style that is easy to wash and wax.The dashboard is laid out well and easy to see.And I cant imagine not having the mileage counter that tells you how many more miles you can go before needing to stop for gas. The inside is comfortable and nicely done.For my money Ford offers the best paint job of any car maker and the paint and chrome make this Sable an eye catcher as you ride safely down the road.
Love my Sable - 2008 Mercury Sable
By Roberto - December 15 - 6:33 pm
I have had it 3 months and have 6,500 miles on it driving from Pa to Canada to Florida and back to PA. No problems detected so far. I looked at Buick Lucerne, Honda Accord and Nissan Altima before selecting the Sable. I traded a 2004 Subaru Forester because it wasnt comfortable on long drives. The Sable has a very smooth, quite ride w/good mileage. Sync system took a while to master and performs reasonably well. The Sync system, Sirius and 6 CD player have overwhelmed me w/music choices for those long drives. Overall the Sable is a great value car.
Awesome car - 2000 Mercury Sable
By Karen - December 13 - 1:56 am
I just had an extremely serious wreck at 65mph where I ended up on the opposite of the freeway upside down. My car did not pancake. The rear glass did not break, the doors did not cave in, I sustained no injury. I wish I could find another one just like it!
Was Good, Then A Moneypit - 1998 Mercury Sable
By londonlad1 - December 6 - 12:06 am
A horrible aberration. Previous Fords, even oldies have been rock solid. I paid $2300 for this, 1 owner, full history 73k on the clock. Was great for a year, then it started to mug me on a regular basis for repair money. $1200 (steering rack), $300 (water pump) $170 (serpentine belt & tensioner) $600 (2 wheel bearings) $500 (front calipers & pads) $100 (EGR valve and perished vacuum hoses - did that myself) $300 (removal of throttle body & cleaning clogged air intakes, $1200 (aircon evaporator) $1200 (aircon compressor) and $100 (headlamps, did those myself) What was a bargain has cost me a fortune. Next time, Ill buy an old Jag. At least Ill go broke in style.
something wrong - 1999 Mercury Sable
By scott - December 3 - 11:46 am
I have owned this vehicle for thity days. There is something wrong when the car is cold. There is a hesitation in the accelleration at about 40 miles per hour. The dealer replaced a transmission line and a purge cannister (gas was leaking). the dealership has been good to take care of the charges so far.