I'm reading through other reviews of this car and it seems that the transmission isn't reliable. Luckily I'm a little over 100k and I haven't had to replace the transmission, but I fear the time is nearing. My issue with the sable is the car has a propensity to run hot. I replaced the radiator, hoses, thermostat, etc a year ago. It all needs to be done again. NOT CHEAP. I don't know what the problem is but I know of other owners who've had the same problem.
I recently (11/2006) bought an LS with the 24 valve engine and 56,718 miles on it after 11 years. Also have a 97 cougar V6 but this 24 valve engine is fantastic. So far I love the car and the smoothness of the ride. It is easy to drive and has a large interior which is nicely appointed. The tires are a little small and the alloy wheels are boring. All in all a great car.
I bought this car in the middle of 2005 with less then 60,000 miles on it. Since I have had it I had to get the rear suspension replaces, brakes redone, I had the serpentine belt replaced and the whole airconditioning unit. Recently I had to have all the wiring replaced and a wk earlier the spark plugs replaced because the car refused to start and gasoline drenched everything. The engine light has been on forever and I have had the codes fixed everytime. In the summer it overheats if I am in town and I have had the whole cooling system serviced and nothing is even wrong with it. The interior has started to peel off and the paneling on the doors falls of, had it fixed but refuses to stay.
Another Ford/Mercury vehicle, another replaced transmission. We also own a Taurus (the Sable's cousin) and have had to replace the transmission on it twice in 58,000 miles. Maybe we should be considered lucky that the transmission on this car has only had to be replaced once in 80,000 miles. I really do like the headroom in the Sable. It is a fairly attractive car and the only major repair, other than the transmission, has been a heater cord ($500). If the reliability could be improved (see transmission), I would enjoy this car. Unfortunately, the poor tranmission quality will keep me from buying a Sable (or Taurus) again.
I purchased this car brand new as our main family vehicle. Twelve years & 117000 miles later, it still runs & looks like new. I have done all my own maintainence (oil & filter changes every 3000 miles, trans service every 40K). As a result the car has rewarded me with exceptional reliabiity. Only major repairs consisted of axle replacement at approximately 70K due to tearing of boots from encounter with higway debris & lower ball joints replacement due to potholed streets at 105K. This car is my main transportation to & from work. My wife drives a 2005 Five Hundred also purchased new & also being maintained very well with expectation it too will last over 10 years & over 100K miles.