The new 2008 Mercury Sable is powered by a Duratec 35 V6 engine, making 263 horsepower and 245 lb-ft of torque, hooked up to a six-speed automatic transmission.
Two models of the Sable are available--the base model and the Premier--and both can be specified with either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. The AWD system normally sends more torque to the front wheels but can send up to 100 percent to the front or rear axles as needed.
Anti-lock brakes, seat-deploying side air bags in front, and Safety Canopy head-protecting side-curtain bags that cover both rows of seating are standard on all Sables; AdvanceTrac electronic stability control is available on the Premier model. Relative to the Montego, the Sable's steering wheel has been repositioned 15 millimeters farther away from the driver for added safety.
The Sable's interior is especially versatile for a sedan. The back seats are split 60/40 and fold flat to expand the cargo floor, and the front passenger seat will also fold flat, to accommodate narrow items up to nine feet long. All Sables also include rear-seat heating/AC ducts.
The spacious interior is also very quiet and refined, with extensive sound-deadening measures within the doors, roof, and pillars to help reduce noise levels. The ride is smooth to match, thanks to a four-wheel independent suspension with MacPherson struts in front and coil-spring in back. The power steering system, with an intelligent electric pump, allows extra boost for light steering in parking lots then reduces assist on the highway to save energy and aid stability.
Standard features on the base model include fog lamps, a keyless entry keypad, power windows and locks, power folding side mirrors, air conditioning, and a CD audio system with audio input jack. The Premier model upgrades to bright aluminum wheels, perimeter lighting, power heated mirrors, satin aluminum accent trim, burl wood grain trim, dual-zone climate control, a garage door opener, and an Audiophile sound system with a six-disc changer and an input jack.
Major options include a rear-seat DVD entertainment system, Sirius satellite radio, a voice-activated navigation system that has text-to-speech technology, and Sync, a new voice-activated communications and entertainment system that allows interfacing with cell phones and media players, wirelessly through Bluetooth or via a USB cable.
The Mercury Sable, formerly called the Montego, gets a powerful, 3.5L Duratec 35 engine for 2008, along with a new six-speed automatic transmission. Altogether, the new powertrain gets a nearly ten-percent improvement in fuel efficiency over the previous one.
Compared to last year's Montego, the Sable gets a slightly different look, with a cleaner, more integrated front-end design with satin aluminum waterfall grille, combined with projector-beam headlamps, plus new chrome fog lamp surrounds and satin aluminum caps for the side mirrors. The taillamps are lit with LEDs and have white lenses with red stripes, while a chrome accent strip has been added in back.
Also for 2008, more sound insulation has been used for a quieter interior, the suspension has been retuned for more travel and improved comfort, and the power-steering system has been recalibrated.
Availability of the all-wheel drive system has been expanded to the base model. The feature list is largely carried over from the Montego; however the Sync voice-activated, hands-free communication and entertainment interface is a new option.