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PERFORMANCE | 7 out of 10
moves along quite well despite its considerable size
New 3.5 V6 gives stronger, more-relaxed overall performance
detail improvements make a difference
The Auto Channel
Auto experts at TheCarConnection.com note that the 2008 Mercury Sable offers a surprisingly competent road feel, though its sheer size and mission place it at the softer end of the family-car spectrum.
Automotive.com reports that the Mercury Sable is "powered by a new 3.5-liter, 24-valve V6 engine that makes 30 percent more power and 22 percent more torque than the 3.0-liter V6 it replaces." According to Cars.com, in the new Sable, Mercury’s engine "makes an estimated 260 horsepower"; it produces "42 lb-ft of torque," according to The Auto Channel. ConsumerGuide says the new 3.5-liter V-6 "gives stronger, more-relaxed overall performance than Montego's 3.0."
This engine is "paired with a new 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," according to Automotive.com. ConsumerGuide reports that in the Sable, Mercury’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; all-wheel drive is available.
According to the EPA, mileage figures for the 2008 Mercury Sable are 18 mpg in city traffic and 28 mpg on the highway; however, "opt for the all-wheel drive, and the added drivetrain components bring mileage down to 17 city and 24 highway mpg," warns Motor Trend.
A retuned and well-developed suspension gives the Sable better road manners than many drivers expect. ConsumerGuide reports that the 2008 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." According to The Auto Channel, "the Macpherson strut front, multilink rear suspension is the same basic design as that of the Montego, but detail improvements make a difference." 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," according to Automotive.com.
The 2008 Mercury Sable is a better performer than before -- even better than you might think.