KBB Editors' Overview
By KBB.com Editors
Sometimes, the past is worth repeating. Last year's revival of the Sable nameplate (formerly known as the Montego) has helped boost Mercury sales among long-time loyalists more familiar with the old name. As before, this latest iteration is essentially the mechanical twin of the Ford Taurus, sharing a platform and some styling cues while still remaining the up-market model of the two. A roomy and safe full-size sedan, the Sable competes in a class that includes the Buick LaCrosse, Toyota Avalon and Chrysler 300, and with its fresh look and low entry-level price tag, the Sable is better than it's been and worth a look for those seeking a sedan that can comfortably hold a family of five.
You'll Like This Car If...
If you're looking for a large sedan that is similar in size to its competitors, including the Toyota Avalon, Buick LaCrosse and Chrysler 300, but are on a tight budget, the 2009 Mercury Sable comes with a low starting price. The optional SYNC feature is also worthy of consideration.
You May Not Like This Car If...
Although the Sable has similar features and a comparable powertrain to its competitors, its interior and exterior still cannot compare quality-wise with the other players in the segment. Also, the Sable lacks a V8 engine option.
What's New for 2009
Mercury's AdvanceTrac electronic stability control is made standard, as are a few previously optional features.
On the highway, the 2009 Mercury Sable is quick when onramp sprints and passing slower cars is necessary, although the economy-geared transmission does downshift a bit slow. Wind and road noise are at a minimum, even on the bumpiest roads, and the Sable handles reasonably given its soft ride characteristics and big, bulky stature. Although smooth and comfortable, the Sable still doesn't have a pillow-soft ride like the Toyota Avalon or a refined look like the Chrysler 300, but at a cheaper starting price, it proves more than sufficient for those looking for a large family sedan with a lot of optional features to choose from.
SYNC In-car Communications System
Developed in conjunction with Microsoft, this state-of-the-art in-car hands-free cell phone and personal media player interface is remarkably functional and amazingly affordable at $395.
Rear Seat Entertainment System
This optional feature consists of an overhead DVD player with an eight-inch flip-down screen, two sets of wireless headphones and a remote control. The system also has audio/video jacks so you can plug in portable entertainment devices.
Overall, the 2009 Mercury Sable has a roomy, comfortable interior that should cater to passengers and drivers of most, if not all, shapes and sizes. The two-tone interior is an extension of the exterior's clean and simple look. Everything from the generous use of wood accents to the two-toned leather seating and contemporary analog clock exude bargain luxury. The seats are comfortable and sit high for better road view, but the front passenger side foot well feels narrow and somewhat cramped. The rear seat has lots of leg room and offers front seat-like comfort, and also split 60/40 split to make room for large cargo. To easily accommodate longer items, the front passenger seat also conveniently folds flat.
Building on the "clean and modern" look of brandmates Milan and Mariner, the 2009 Sable sports Mercury's signature "waterfall" grille and has touches of bling – thanks to satin aluminum and chrome – on the side mirrors, projector beam headlamps and fog lamps. The rear fascia is all-new, sporting a cutout for the chrome dual exhaust tips and uniquely red-striped clear LED taillamps. Rounding out the Sable's stream-lined look are 17-inch or optional 18-inch wheels, available in bright aluminum or chrome.
Notable Standard Equipment
A base 2009 Mercury Sable comes with a 3.5-liter V6 engine, six-speed automatic transmission, anti-lock brakes, AdvanaceTrac electronic stability control, power steering, power windows, power door locks, air conditioning, remote keyless entry, AM/FM stereo with single-disc CD player and auxiliary input jack, 17-inch aluminum wheels and an anti-theft system. Safety features include dual front and seat-deployed side airbags, Safety Canopy side curtain airbags for both front and rear seats and the LATCH child seat system.
Notable Optional Equipment
Options for the Sable include the Mercury SYNC voice activated communications and entertainment system, an in-dash six-disc CD/MP3 Audiophile sound system, heated front leather seats, eight-way power driver's seat, 18-inch chrome wheels, cargo management system, power moonroof, voice-activated navigation system, power adjustable pedals, rear-seat entertainment system, reverse sensing system, remote engine start and a rear window sunshade.
Under the Hood
With an improvement in horsepower over the previous Montego, the new 3.5-liter V6 scoots the Sable easily onto freeways and allows it to pass slower cars. The six-speed automatic transmission is slow between shifts, but is better than the previously available CVT transmission on the Montego. Those looking for the best fuel economy should stick to the two-wheel drive version, as bumping up to all-wheel drive sees a significant drop in highway mileage.
263 horsepower @ 6250 rpm
249 lb.-ft of torque @ 4500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/28 (FWD), 17/24 (AWD)
The 2009 Mercury Sable's Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starts just under $26,000. Adding AWD adds about $1,800, while a fully loaded Premier trim with AWD comes in a little over $37,000. To get the best deal for your Sable, be sure to take a look at the Fair Purchase Price to see what consumers in your area are currently paying. As for resale, Kelley Blue Book projects that over time the Sable will hold an average resale value, better than the Buick LaCrosse and the Chrysler 300, but lower than the Toyota Avalon.