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#2

in 2009 Affordable Large Cars

Avg. Price Paid: $9,419 - $11,932
Original MSRP: $25,120 - $31,230
MPG: 18 City / 28 Hwy
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2009 Mercury Sable Performance

This performance review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.

Power and handling aren't the Sable's strong suit. Auto journalists report that it's adequately powered and comfortable to drive, but complain that its automatic transmission isn't precise and it can't handle the twisties as well as test drivers would like.

  • "There's available all-wheel drive for those who need it, and the Sable rides smoothly for a car at this price point. Even the gas mileage is good: At 28 mpg highway, the V6-powered front-wheel-drive Sable comes close to matching the fuel economy of many midsize vehicles despite its full-size status. However, there are reasons why the Sable isn't on the tip of our tongues when we speak of segment-leading full-size sedans." -- Edmunds
  • "Available AWD is a safety plus for bad weather. Ditto the antiskid system, and Ford deserves kudos for finally making it standard, rather than optional." -- Consumer Guide

Acceleration and Power

Test drivers find that the '09 Sable is adequately powered, but take issue with the performance of its automatic transmission.

Both the Sable and Sable Premier feature a 3.5-liter V6 engine that produces 263-horsepower at 6,250 rpm and 249 pound-feet of torque at 4,500 rpm. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard. According to the EPA, the '09 Sable nets a city/highway fuel economy of 18/28 mpg when equipped with a front-wheel drivetrain and 17/24 mpg with optional all-wheel drive.

  • "Acceleration from a standing start and at speed is adequately brisk. An AWD model did 0-60 mph in 7.1 seconds in our testing. The automatic transmission works smoothly, but shifts too much on light throttle at medium speeds and is reluctant to downshift for highway passing sprints. Some of our testers bemoan the lack of a manual shift gate." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Though the Sable's 3.5-liter V6 sounds strained at higher engine speeds, it gets the job done, pulling the Sable around with adequate gusto. The six-speed automatic, though, is too slow to downshift." -- Edmunds

Handling and Braking

Available in both front- and all-wheel drive, the '09 Sable is tuned more for comfort than agility. Common complaints include body lean and roll. 

  • "The new electric power steering system is overboosted at parking and low road speeds to suit the tastes of most American customers who like effortless steering, but it is also accurate, with good feedback, and is not overly assisted in high-speed or highway driving. The new Sable's ride is soft and compliant, with 10 percent more suspension travel built in, with some body roll in the fast corners, and it has a noticeable upward pitch of the front end on hard acceleration, but most of the time, the 2008 Sable is a very pleasant car to be in." -- New Car Test Drive
  • "Comfortably firm; Sable is composed over most bumps. Prolonged stretches of bad pavement induced a bit of front-end judder in one model tested. ... 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. ... Braking is good for the class but unexceptional by absolute standards." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The steering wheel doesn't telescope, which makes the car not very hospitable for taller folks. The brake pedal's action is long and soft, inspiring little confidence during hard stops. Nor is the car particularly enjoyable to drive, a result of its unsporting high seating position, pronounced body roll on twisty roads and coarse-sounding V6.  ... On back roads, the Sable is hardly a willing companion, due to its substantial body roll and spongy brake pedal. Nonetheless, the ride is fairly comfortable, and road noise on the highway is muted compared to that of some other midsize and full-size sedans." -- Edmunds

Next Steps: 2009 Mercury Sable

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