2008 Mercury Sable Performance
Reviews praise the 2008 Mercury Sable's more powerful new engine and smooth handling, with only a few reservations. "The cars feel a bit big and ponderous," according to Car and Driver, "but they move along well enough. These are tuned for comfort, not speed."
For 2008, Mercury has replaced the Montego's 3.0-liter V-6 with a 3.6-liter V-6 that generates 60 more horsepower than the old one and reviewers are almost unanimous in thinking that this was a smart move. Edmunds says "The addition of 60 horses makes the 2008 Mercury Sable a much more attractive proposition than the previous Montego." However, the Sable's automatic transmission is less well received. Consumer Guide reports that it "hunts between gears, particularly in hilly terrain." The Sable's handling and ride both get good marks, with reviewers noting that the ride is smooth and quiet, and the steering is well balanced and stable.
Acceleration and Power
The 2008 Mercury Sable comes standard with a 3.5-liter V-6 engine that generates 263 horsepower and 245 pound feet of torque. It gets good, but not superlative reviews. Consumer Guide says it is merely "on par with most V6 rivals." More than one critic feels that the new engine is a welcome change from the 3.0-liter 203 horsepower engine in the Montego. Edmunds says it provides "a much-needed supply of oomph to this heavy full-size sedan .... No one will ever call the new Sable quick, but it now has the gusto needed to get up highway on-ramps and pass pokey fellow motorists without breaking a significant sweat." The six-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission doesn't fare as well with reviewers, who find it a bit sluggish. Edmunds says that the Sable's "six-speed automatic is sometimes slow to downshift -- a result of being tuned for maximum fuel economy."
Speaking of fuel economy, the Environmental Protection Agency rates the front-wheel drive version of the Sable at 18 miles per gallon in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. The all-wheel drive version is rated at 17 mpg in the city and 24 on the highway. Regular fuel is recommended.
Handling and Braking
The 2008 Mercury Sable's handling gets generally good reviews, with the steering considered stable and the front disc/solid rear disc brakes good. Edmunds notes that "the ride is smooth, and those who equate silence with quality should be pleased with the Sable's low amounts of road and wind noise." Consumer Guide finds the ride "comfortably firm," but, compared to the Montego is "less harsh over sharp bumps and potholes," thanks to a retuned suspension. The Sable, according to Consumer Guide, is "well planted in fast, wide turns -- especially with [the optional] AWD -- but hefty size and weight allow moderate body lean in tight corners." The Consumer Guide review also calls the braking "good for the class," but "unexceptional by absolute standards."