Used 1997 Mercury Sable Review

Edmunds expert review

What's new for 1997

The 1997 Sable LS can now be had with Ford's outstanding Mach audio system. Other changes, occurring at the end of the 1996 model year, include the addition of a mass airflow sensor to the Vulcan V6, and improvements to the Duratec V6 to improve responsiveness.

Vehicle overview

OK, we know that it looks a little weird, but after spending some time with the Mercury Sable and its stablemate the Ford Taurus, we have found ourselves won over by this odd-looking family sedan and wagon. If you can get past the strange curves and obnoxious snout, the Sable offers a lot of car for the money. Upon settling into the Sable's cockpit, the first thing most drivers notice is the logical placement of the controls and the great outward visibility. Unlike previous Sables, which had an unpleasant dashboard and bad blind spots created by the C-pillars, the new model is easy to get acquainted with. The integrated control panel, which combines stereo and climate control functions, is a joy to behold when compared to most of the Sable's competition. Interior room in the Sable is great, offering comfortable seating for five full-size adults and their cargo. The Sable has comfortable seats, a plethora of cupholders and ashtrays, nicelyintegrated armrests and optional rear-passenger air conditioning controls.

Not many people buy midsized sedans for their outstanding handling characteristics, and for the most part the Sable does not address these people's concerns. Nonetheless, the Sable is not a bad driver, offering capable acceleration with the Duratec V6 engine found on the LS sedan and wagon, and decent handling with the MacPherson front/quadralink rear suspension setup.

The Sable is definitely a good car and is our choice when compared to the less-than-sophisticated Chevrolet Lumina or plain-Jane Buick Century. Apparently, consumers feel the same way; 1996 recorded the highest sales ever for the Sable. Still, there are plenty of great cars from Japan and Europe that are giving the Sable and Taurus a run for their money and we can't help but think that the 1997 Camry may threaten this car's newfound popularity.

Edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.