2002 Mercury Sable Review

Used Sable for sale
List Price Estimate:$1,055 - $2,503
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Edmunds' Expert Review

  • Excellent value for the money, high level of safety, available as a sedan or a wagon.
  • Forgettable rental car persona, no rear disc brakes on the sedan.

Representing luxury on the cheap, Sable is a decent car suffering from an identity crisis.

Vehicle overview

Back in 1986, the Sable was radical. With smooth, aerodynamic contours, a snazzy light bar in place of a grille, and what appeared to be a pillarless roof, it made a strong styling statement. Today's car is a shadow of its former self, reflecting parent Ford Motor Company's uncertainty about what "Mercury" means. Is it a luxurious Ford, a cut-rate Lincoln or something entirely different? Sable is none of these things, but it is a solid value in the mid-size marketplace.

Selecting the Mercury Sable over the Ford Taurus comes down to styling. Which set of headlights and taillights do you like best? Otherwise, the cars are essentially identical. And this isn't a bad thing, mind you, because these are solid choices as far as domestic mid-size cars go.

The Sable is available as a sedan or station wagon in GS or LS form. For 2002, Sable powertrains include a 3.0-liter Vulcan V6 and a 3.0-liter Duratec V6. The main difference between the two is the cylinder heads; the base Vulcan has two valves per cylinder, while the Duratec has four. The four-valve motor makes 200 horsepower while the base engine makes do with 157 horsepower. Both engines meet Low-Emissions Vehicle (LEV) standards in California and 13 Northeastern states.

With the optional Duratec V6 putting the power down through the front wheels, the Sable is actually quite sporting. The engine features a wide power band with tons of low-end torque. Reaching the upper end of the tachometer, the engine emits a nasty growl and a notable amount of torque steer during upshifts.

We give the Sable high marks in the ride and handling department. On the road, the car transmits truly usable feedback to the wheel, letting the driver know what is happening with the tires. The Sable has a compliant suspension with excellent rebound shock valving for spirited canyon driving, yet without the harshness that can render a cross-country drive drudgery. Drive the Sable into a turn, prod the throttle and the car responds in a predictable manner. Yet on the highway, passengers are treated to a comfortably smooth ride.

The Sable has earned a good reputation for safety, thanks to its solid performances in crash testing. Mercury builds on that rep with an Advanced Restraints System (ARS). This system adapts airbag deployment depending upon impact severity, safety-belt usage and driver-seat position. The ARS includes safety-belt pre-tensioners and retractors. Head-and-chest side airbags are optional for front occupants. Other safety goodies include a standard emergency trunk release and available traction control.

Inside, the Sable has power-adjustable accelerator and brake pedals. With the touch of a button, the brake and accelerator pedals can, together, be horizontally adjusted up to 3 inches toward the driver from the standard location to provide added driving comfort for a wider range of drivers. Audio and climate controls are grouped logically and are easy to use thanks to large, square buttons, arranged in a conventional grid. The flip/fold console in the six-passenger Sable folds down flat to the floor allowing easy access to the controls on the lower part of the dashboard.

We've always liked the functionally pleasing Sable and Taurus, but traditionally thought the dynamic and dependable Honda Accord and Toyota Camry outgunned them. Today, the gap is considerably narrower when comparing the Mercury and Ford to the Japanese family sedan benchmarks. Furthermore, you can get a Sable wagon if you desire -- no such choice exists with the Accord or Camry. Now if they just made the wagon's four-wheel disc brakes available on the sedan.

2002 Highlights

Four new colors are added to the paint chart, while approach lighting and an auto-dimming rearview mirror with compass become standard equipment.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2002 Mercury Sable.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

5 out of 5 stars
It's a sad, sad day.
LS Premium 4dr Sedan (3.0L 6cyl 4A)
10 years ago, I sold Lincolns and Mercurys. So when I needed to buy a car 5 years ago I knew the Sable was a good choice, as long as I got the LS (Duratec Engine). I loved the engine, the leather, the power seat, etc., and knew that engin e was reliable. I was right. 5 years with no major problems (just a blower motor which I fixed for 50 bucks). Just paid it off 3 weeks ago, and planned to drive it to 200k (it has 108 now), but I crashed today and the car is totalled. 4 car accident, and it was smashed pretty good. I was the first to get out of my car and felt fine besides a sore neck. So that's one more reason to love my Sable. I'll miss it.
5 out of 5 stars
2002 Mercury Sable LS Premium
LS Premium 4dr Sedan (3.0L 6cyl 4A)
Great driving experience with this car, and gas mileage is good and the engine has lots of power. I am tall and fit comfortably in this car, which is more than I can say for the Camry which is built for people under 5' 4".
4 out of 5 stars
My first car....10 years later
GS 4dr Sedan (3.0L 6cyl 4A)
This car is a BEAST. I used and abused her as a teenager and she has SURVIVED through it all! Still running, after only basic oil changes maybe every 5000 miles. Def has some war stains in my Sable, and will most likely be wholesaled when I do decide to trade her in. (That will be a sentimental day which is ironic considering the first time I saw this car I was horrified my parents would choose something so hideious!) All in all she has really been super good to me. I have never been smoking on the side of the road, maybe replaced my battery 1 time, my starter 1 time, my tires 1 time (oops). Super good, reliable, fuel efficient, safe, low key, no problems-take care of me-and I'll take care of you-car.
4.75 out of 5 stars
This has been my favorite car
LS Premium 4dr Sedan (3.0L 6cyl 4A)
I bought this car in 2005 after having a 1997 Sable GS. The premium came with an extra 52hp which really added some pep. The seats were comfortable but the leather was somewhat fragile (I made two small tears in the rear seat). I got tons of complements when I had this car. The exterior wasn't the greatest styling but the interior was wonderful. I ended up selling it because there was a short in the electrical system that cause multiple wires to melt together causing a complete failure in the electrical system (did not effect the drivetrain. Heater was stuck on, windows didn't work interior lights didn't work, instrument cluster didn't work. I would still be driving this car otherwise.


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 2002 Mercury Sable

Used 2002 Mercury Sable Overview

The Used 2002 Mercury Sable is offered in the following submodels: Sable Sedan, Sable Wagon. Available styles include GS 4dr Sedan (3.0L 6cyl 4A), GS Plus 4dr Sedan (3.0L 6cyl 4A), LS Premium 4dr Sedan (3.0L 6cyl 4A), GS 4dr Wagon (3.0L 6cyl 4A), GS Plus 4dr Wagon (3.0L 6cyl 4A), and LS Premium 4dr Wagon (3.0L 6cyl 4A). Pre-owned Mercury Sable models are available with a 3.0 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 200 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2002 Mercury Sable comes with front wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 4-speed automatic. The Used 2002 Mercury Sable comes with a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. basic warranty, a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. roadside warranty, and a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. powertrain warranty.

What's a good price on a Used 2002 Mercury Sable?

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2002 Mercury Sables are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2002 Mercury Sable for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2002 Mercury Sable.

Can't find a used 2002 Mercury Sables you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Mercury Sable for sale - 10 great deals out of 20 listings starting at $18,469.

Find a used Mercury for sale - 2 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $22,905.

Find a used certified pre-owned Mercury Sable for sale - 7 great deals out of 24 listings starting at $9,024.

Find a used certified pre-owned Mercury for sale - 7 great deals out of 19 listings starting at $24,482.

Should I lease or buy a 2002 Mercury Sable?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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Check out Mercury Sable lease specials