2009 Mercury Sable Review

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The Car Connection Expert Review

Marty Padgett Marty Padgett Editorial Director
January 6, 2009

The 2009 Mercury Sable doesn’t offer much driving excitement or visual flair, but it’s a roomy, comfortable, and very safe big sedan that will win you over in almost every other way.

TheCarConnection.com's editors drove the Mercury Sable to help you decide which reviews to trust and where opinions differ. We have provided you with the best information, impressions, and details. The car experts at TheCarConnection.com have also studied other road tests of the 2009 Mercury Sable to put together this conclusive review.

Following the 2007 model year, Ford renamed what was then the Montego the Sable, after what had been called the Sable almost until then—an inferior vehicle in many respects—was discontinued. What’s known as the Mercury Sable for 2009 is a big, roomy sedan with good road manners and optional all-wheel drive, but without striking styling to truly set it apart from the almost identical Ford Taurus.

The 2009 Mercury Sable is not a car enthusiast's dream, but the Sable's power and gears are tuned for ample in-town flexibility and good fuel economy of 18/28 mpg with front-drive cars, and 17/24 mpg with all-wheel-drive versions. Powered by a 3.5-liter, 263-horsepower V-6 engine with a six-speed automatic transmission that shifts well enough, the Sable's drivetrain provides enough power to keep pace in normal driving.

With unique tuning, the Sable feels responsive without being edgy. The steering is light but lacks a lot of feedback. Independent suspension gives the Sable a controlled ride, while four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes provide strong braking. Standard 17-inch wheels and tires contribute to the 2009 Mercury Sable's good ride and handling.

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A combination of large switchgear, a comprehensive package of airbags, stability control, and available all-wheel drive makes the Sable one of the safest cars on the road. It earns a five-star crash rating from the NHTSA and a four-star rollover rating. Inside the 2009 Mercury Sable, the styling is a bit drab but pieced together well. The vehicle offers plenty of storage space in the console and door panels. The Sable’s seats are perched high, giving drivers a commanding view of the road, and the glassy cabin offers great visibility.

All Sables have power windows/locks/mirrors, a CD player, and a leather-wrapped shift knob. Options include a DVD navigation and entertainment system, Sirius, Ford's SYNC system, stability control, 18-inch chromed wheels, a moonroof, and power-adjustable pedals. The 2009 Mercury Sable comes in Base and Premier models. Unique interior trim can be specified from the Cyber Carbon look to Guitar Maple or San Macassar wood grains. Base cars get cloth seats, while Premier cars get two-tone leather.

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2009 Mercury Sable

Styling

The 2009 Mercury Sable is a vehicle that allows you to blend into the crowd.

The styling of the 2009 Mercury Sable garners mixed reactions among reviewers.

Before reintroducing the Montego as the Sable, Ford gave the vehicle a mild makeover. Even with a facelift, the Sable is a generic-looking automobile. Car and Driver, generally more critical than other sources, is not impressed with this year's Mercury Sable: "aside from some modest cosmetic adjustments—freshened front fascia, new projector-beam headlamps with integrated turn signals, redesigned LED taillamps—the 'new' [Mercury] Sable is essentially the same as the car it replaces." The Auto Channel says that with the Sable, Mercury "now has a cohesive look...[it] fits neatly into the lineup with the smaller Milan sedan and the Mariner and Mountaineer SUVs," adding that the "revised front and rear styling gives it a more youthful appearance." On the other side, Edmunds reports "improvements for this large family sedan include a restyled front end."

The interior of the 2009 Sable is plain, but offers intuitive controls. Edmunds reports a slight effort to dress up its generic styling, saying, "The Sable features a handsome cabin." Automotive.com notes "more choice for interior schemes with Sable, beyond the basic chrome and aluminum scheme, including faux carbon fiber, guitar maple, and something called San Macassar, all complementing the two-tone interior theme." Cars.com points out changes for the 2009 Mercury Sable include "updated seat fabric and optional glossy trim pieces that resemble carbon fiber. Two-tone leather upholstery with contrasting stitching is also available."

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2009 Mercury Sable

Performance

The performance of the 2009 Mercury Sable is better than you might think.

Placed at the softer end of the family-car spectrum, the 2009 Mercury Sable provides drivers with surprisingly competent road feel for an auto of its size and mission.

According to Cars.com, the Sable’s engine "makes an estimated 260 horsepower" and produces "42 lb-ft of torque." ConsumerGuide says the 3.5-liter V-6 "gives stronger, more-relaxed overall performance than Montego's 3.0." Automotive.com reports that the Mercury Sable is "powered by a 3.5-liter, 24-valve V6 engine that makes 30 percent more power and 22 percent more torque than the 3.0-liter V-6 it replaces."

ConsumerGuide reports that the Sable’s transmission "works smoothly, but shifts too much on light throttle at medium speeds and is reluctant to downshift for highway passing sprints." Front-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is available. According to Automotive.com, the engine is "paired with a six-speed automatic transmission built and shared by Ford and GM," and "shifts very quickly with very little time lapse or power loss between gears."

Fuel mileage figures for the 2009 Mercury Sable, according to the EPA, are 18 mpg in city traffic and 28 mpg on the highway. Motor Trend warns that if you "opt for the all-wheel drive, the added drivetrain components bring mileage down to 17 city and 24 highway mpg."

Better road manners for the Sable are attributed to a well-developed suspension. ConsumerGuide reports that the 2009 Mercury Sable "feels stable and well planted in fast, wide turns—especially with AWD—but this car's hefty size and weight allow moderate body lean in tight corners." Its good road manners are due largely to what Edmunds labels "a retuned suspension."

The Sable’s ABS disc brakes are "powerful, with easy modulation and a very nice, powerful progression at the pedal, and not a lot of dead space at the top of the pedal's travel," says Automotive.com.

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2009 Mercury Sable

Comfort & Quality

The 2009 Mercury Sable is no limousine, but you'll be hard-pressed to find a more comfortable ride for this price.

According to reviews examined by TheCarConnection.com’s editors, the 2009 Mercury Sable has a very comfortable, well-assembled interior.

ConsumerGuide says the "seats are comfortably supportive, but lanky drivers may wish for more rearward and downward seat travel." According to The Auto Channel, "the split-folding rear seat is easily wide enough for three people." Automotive.com reports that Sable’s seats "are comfortable but not overly supportive."

ConsumerGuide says that the "flat-floor trunk packs a lot of gear, helped by a boxy shape, large opening, and compact strut-type trunklid hinges." Edmunds notes the Sable has "plenty of storage areas and eight cupholders." Some reviewers advise that with everything folded down, you can fit a nine-foot-long object inside.

The cabin, according to ConsumerGuide, "makes good use of textured, soft-touch materials...they don't look luxurious but are price appropriate." Edmunds confirms the presence of "solid materials quality."

Several reviewers also point to the Sable’s better-than-expected levels of quietness and refinement inside, even on coarse surfaces. Edmunds says  "those who equate silence with quality should be pleased with the 2009 Mercury Sable's low amounts of road and wind noise."

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2009 Mercury Sable

Safety

Tremendous occupant protection is awarded to drivers and passengers of the Mercury Sable for an affordable price.

TheCarConnection.com has determined that the 2009 Mercury Sable is currently one of the safest vehicles available. The Sable received top scores from NHTSA and the IIHS in their crash-test programs, and the IIHS has gone so far as to call the Sable a Top Safety Pick for 2009.

Notably, the 2009 Mercury Sable comes standard with electronic stability control. As of this model year, the base versions of most mid-size sedans still don’t automatically include this lifesaving feature.

ConsumerGuide reports that "higher seating [in the Mercury Sable] than in most cars combines with a low dash top and large windows for a take-charge driving feel and fine outward vision."

Cars.com adds that the Sable's "six standard airbags include side-impact airbags for the front seats and side curtain airbags for both rows; the latter devices include Ford's Safety Canopy, which can keep them inflated for several seconds during a rollover."

Motor Trend sums it up best: "Those looking for a safe, solid and slightly more upscale version of the Ford Taurus need look no further" than the 2009 Mercury Sable.

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2009 Mercury Sable

Features

The 2009 Mercury Sable comes with a respectable standard-equipment list, but its options list includes more possibilities than expected.

Editors at TheCarConnection.com report that the 2009 Mercury Sable is equipped with numerous cutting-edge gadgets and high-tech goodies.

"The well-equipped base [Mercury] Sable has 17-inch wheels, full power accessories (including a power driver seat), a leather-wrapped steering wheel, wood-grain interior trim, air-conditioning, a CD player and MP3 jack, cruise control and an auto-dimming rearview mirror,” states Edmunds.

According to Automotive.com, the Sable’s options "include a Convenience package ($475) with a universal remote control, a reverse sensing system, a cargo net, and memory adjustable pedals; a wood package."

The 2009 Mercury Sable, according to Cars.com, includes goodies such as "the SYNC voice-activated infotainment system, a benefit of Ford's alliance with Microsoft; a DVD-based voice-activated nav system; and an array of family peacekeeping options such as a rear-seat DVD player, MP3 audio capability, and audio input jacks."

Motor Trend reports the Sable SYNC, "designed in part by Ford and Microsoft...is capable of integrating most cell-phones and MP3 players directly into the vehicle's stereo system via USB and Bluetooth." However, "if you'd rather not spend the $395 for Sync, you'll find a standard auxiliary input in the stock stereo."

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8.2
Overall
Expert Rating
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Styling 6.0
Performance 7.0
Comfort & Quality 9.0
Safety 10.0
Features 9.0
Fuel Economy N/A
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