2008 Mercury Sable Sedan Review | Edmunds.com

2008 Mercury Sable Sedan

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Mercury Sable Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 3.5 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 260 hp @ 6250 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 18/28 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2008 Mercury Sable

  • Revived name or not, the 2008 Mercury Sable is still a fairly anonymous vehicle. But thanks to the improvements over the old Montego, the new Sable has very few faults and is a respectable pick for a large sedan.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Extra-large backseat and trunk, outstanding crash test scores, balanced ride and handling, good visibility, available all-wheel drive.

  • Cons

    High front seats create an odd driving position that might be uncomfortable for taller drivers; transmission occasionally slow to downshift.

  • What's New for 2008

    Mercury resurrects the Sable nameplate for 2008 by affixing it to a much-improved Montego. A more powerful engine, a nicer and quieter cabin, a retuned suspension and a minor face-lift are the major highlights.

Full 2008 Mercury Sable Review

What's New for 2008

Mercury resurrects the Sable nameplate for 2008 by affixing it to a much-improved Montego. A more powerful engine, a nicer and quieter cabin, a retuned suspension and a minor face-lift are the major highlights.


Mention "Mercury Sable" to a friend and chances are good you'll hear something along the lines of, "Yeah, I think I rented one of those from Hertz on my last trip to Cleveland." Suffice to say, the Sable nameplate is not one that stirs the soul or inspires irrational buying behavior.

So we're a little curious as to why Mercury revived the Sable name for 2008 after shelving it just one year ago. Perhaps Mercury's marketers had a fit of nostalgia, or perhaps it's an attempt to woo the small percentage of people who remember the good cars from the mid-'80s and early-'90s and can't remember the dogs of later vintages (Medical diagnosis: Automotive Alzheimer's). Either way, the Sable is back.

Just as Ford has taken its slow-selling Five Hundred and turned it into the Taurus, Mercury's Montego is now the Sable. Normally, this game of musical car badging would be a yawn-inducer. Although the Montego offered a large cabin and an ideal handling and ride balance, that car's success was hampered by its below-average performance and refinement. Thankfully, the Sable revival ("Tour 2008" T-shirts will be printed shortly) coincides with some important upgrades.

The best news about the 2008 Mercury Sable lies under the former Montego's skin in the form of much improved running gear and more features. In fact, Mercury says that more than 500 changes were made. A 260-horsepower V6 has replaced the uninspiring 203-hp V6, and the sluggish CVT (continuously variable transmission) previously used in some Montegos has been retired in favor of a more responsive six-speed automatic across all trims.

Other improvements for this large family sedan include a restyled front end, the adoption of stability control, a retuned suspension, a new "Ford Sync" media system (that allows hands free use of mobile phones and better integration of digital music players), improved cabin materials and more sound insulation for a quieter ride.

With its major improvement in performance, addition of key safety and luxury features and available all-wheel drive, the 2008 Mercury Sable is the best it's been a long time. Given the Sable's full-size status, you'll probably want to cross shop it against sedans like the Chrysler 300, Hyundai Azera or Toyota Avalon. Though still slightly deficient in terms of style compared to the 300 or in all-around polish versus the Avalon, the new Sable is certainly worth consideration.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2008 Mercury Sable is a full-size sedan that is available in either front- or all-wheel drive. Two trim levels, base and uplevel Premier, are offered. The well-equipped base 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. Move up to the Premier and you'll get 18-inch wheels, leather upholstery, a power passenger seat, front seat heaters, a memory system for the driver seat/mirrors, dual-zone automatic climate control, an upgraded audio system with a six-disc CD changer, heated mirrors with puddle lamps, and an analog clock.

Options include a moonroof, a navigation system, a rear-seat DVD entertainment system, Sirius Satellite Radio and the "Ford Sync" system, which allows voice activation of cell phones and entertainment systems.

Powertrains and Performance

A 3.5-liter V6 making 260 hp and 245 pound-feet of torque paired to a six-speed automatic transmission powers all Sable trims. Buyers can choose between front- and all-wheel drive on both trim levels.


Antilock disc brakes, traction control, front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags are standard. Stability control, power-adjustable pedals and a rear parking sensor are optional. Crash testing by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) returned perfect five-star ratings across the board. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) test scores are similarly impressive with a "Good" rating in both the frontal-offset and side-impact tests.

Interior Design and Special Features

The Sable features a handsome and functional cabin with solid materials quality, plenty of storage areas and eight cupholders. Legroom is plentiful in both the front and rear, and a tall seating position should please those used to SUVs and also makes for easier ingress/egress. However, that tall seating position does put taller drivers very close to the ceiling. Trunk capacity, at 21 cubic feet, is massive. The Sable' 60/40-split rear seats fold flat, as does its front passenger seat, allowing items up to 9 feet in length to be transported inside the car.

Driving Impressions

The addition of 60 horses makes the 2008 Mercury Sable a much more attractive proposition than the previous Montego. 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. However, its six-speed automatic is sometimes slow to downshift -- a result of being tuned for maximum fuel economy. On the highway, 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.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

Outstanding ar first

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Vehicle: 2008 Mercury Sable Premier 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 6A)

This is our second Sable, the first was a 1997, and fourth Ford product. As time goes by it seems the quality does not get better. My 1997 Sable was a better vehicle than the 08. At first it was a smooth operating vehicle, after about 20k it developed transmission problem. The Radio/CD player broke and the suspension started to go. Now it is in the shop for an unknown problem, every light on the dash came on , its like the car put itself in safe mode. Don't get me wrong, this is a good vehicle with plenty of room, a strong AC and decent mileage on the highway. Test drive before you drive, after a while it will sound like a lawnmower inside and the transmission will shift hard.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Used 2008 sable premier awd

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Vehicle: 2008 Mercury Sable Premier 4dr Sedan AWD (3.5L 6cyl 6A)

This car had 49K when I bought it last August. Put about 15K on it so far. Drives & handles well. Wish the drivers seat floor didn't have the mound on the left side and the floor was a bit wider. Console is in an awkward position to retrieve change or plug a device into the USB Port. EVERYone who had rode in this car has nothing but compliments about it. Getting about 400 miles to a tankful (19 Gallons) with most of my driving being city while trying to get to the highway. Plenty of room in the back seat. Quiet at 80mph on the highway.

Nice car if not for

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Vehicle: 2008 Mercury Sable Premier 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 6A)

For the most part the car can well and drove nice. The interior and exterior quality was good. However, the Memory Seats, Power Seats, Heated Seats and Heat and A/C controls were problems from the very start. Each were repaired multiple times under the warranty. After the warranty expired problems with power seats and A/C occurred again. Ford would not peform the repairs under the 12 month 12,000 mile warranty as they said the parts that failed were not the same as the parts repaired the previous year, even though the symptoms of the problem were identical. Finally traded it in on a Foreign car. Can't afford a Ford.

A lot better than you

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Vehicle: 2008 Mercury Sable Premier 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 6A)

What's not to love about this car? Performance is great from the 260 hp v6. Acceleration/passing is quick. Ride quality is a perfect balance of not too tight/too soft. The car's exterior styling has a "high-end" German look about it. The cabin looks/feels luxurious with the wood accents and two-toned leather seats/door panels. The seats are exceptionally comfortable with the heated, and power recline options. The options include dual hvac, power adjustable pedals, power moonroof, memory seats, traction control. The sound system is awesome, powerful, clear, with a bass Punch that makes your ears hurt on vol =4. The trunk is massive, we got a hand truck, 15 gallons of paint and still had room.

Not overly happy

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Vehicle: 2008 Mercury Sable Premier 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 6A)

I had many Fords but this is my first bran new car and I guess I expected more. Has about 30,000 miles. Had to replace drivers side seat heater element, new instrument cluster due to burnt out bulb ( bulbs are not replaceable), drivers door seal not staying in place, erratic shifting between first and second gear and erratic idle. The best MPH I have had is 21 on a trip, average is 17-19. The car is comfortable I just do feel the quality is there.

Best car i ever had

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Vehicle: 2008 Mercury Sable Premier 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 6A)

This car rocks. Very classy, great sound system and the sync is awesome for anyone who lives by a pda. I get compliments everywhere I go. Folks think it is German quite often. Then they see Sable and go "WOW". I get 28 mpg at 68mph around 19 in town carrying as as much gear as folks pack in their SUV. I cant understand why they quit making it. I only wish it had a manual shift tranny like the LS I traded in. It does have a a high profile and looks kind of funky from directly behind but not as much as say a Volvo or a SAAB. Previous cars: Lincoln LS, BMW 535, VW Passat, Grand Cherokee Limited.

Talk About The 2008 Sable

2008 Mercury Sable Discussions See all Started By

The 500-based Taurus/Sable are full-sized. So is the Charger/300. The Intrepid/Concorde were full-sized as well. And believe it or not, even the 2008 Accord is now rated as a full-sized car, as lon...

"Will the Mercury Mo***** be priced/equipped similarly (a la Sable) or significantly higher?"...

Gas Mileage


  • 18
  • cty
  • 28
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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