Monday, October 1, 2007

2008 Mercury Sable Review

If the 2008 Mercury Sable seems eerily familiar, it should. Why? Because this year's Sable is last year's Montego, redressed and renamed. Mercury, it seems, is counting on consumer recognition of the Sable name to help sell more sedans. (The name was last used in the 1990's for a car that was essentially the Ford Taurus's twin.)

This year's Sable, which has a base MSRP of $23,540, is cosmetically similar to the smaller Mercury Milan, sharing the same low grille, and arching headlights. It's also got chrome trim on the fog lights, and the side mirrors are made of aluminum, adding a little bit of upscale glitter. As well, the taillights are LED, and since the suspension has been modified, and the insulation improved, it offers a quiet ride to go with its suave styling.

The 2008 Mercury Sable doesn't just look a bit prettier than the Montego, though. It's got an upgraded engine in the form of a 3.5 liter, 260 horsepower V6 (instead of last year's 3.0 liter which pushed 30% less horsepower), and comes standard with a six-speed automatic transmission. The base model is front-wheel drive, but buyers can upgrade to all-wheel drive if they so desire. The Sable also comes standard with anti-lock brakes, and a total of six airbags, including Ford's "Safety Canopy" system which helps protect passengers in the event of a rollover. Electronic stability and traction control technology are available, but they are upgrades, not standard offerings.

Interior features of the Sable include seating for five, leather wrapping on the steering wheel and gear-shift knob, and leather trim on the seats (all standard). Heated seats are standard on the higher trim-level Sable Premier, but optional on the base model, while climate control features are the same across the line. Other comfort options include Ford's "Sync" technology which allows voice-commands for cell phones and MP3 players. (The software for this is can be updated, so as technology changes, the car can adapt.) A navigational system and back-seat DVD entertainment system are optional upgrades over the standard AM/FM radio/CD combination.

Estimated fuel economy for the 2008 Mercury Sable is 18 city/28 highway for front-wheel drive models, and 17/24 with all-wheel drive.

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