There has been some speculation lately that the Ford Motor Company will shutter the Mercury nameplate, for reasons ranging from low sales to unfavorable buyer demographics (average age of the Mercury buyer is 55). For now, however, the marque continues with a limited lineup of rebadged Fords, including the four-door Mercury Sable sedan (nee Montego, twin to the Ford Taurus).
With a 263-hp V-6 and a six-speed automatic transmission, the Sable moves along quite well despite its considerable size. In fact, the Sable comes quite close to matching the dimensions of the ancient Grand Marquis, which brings up the question of why that vehicle continues to endure when its twin, the Ford Crown Victoria, left the retail market last year.
As with the Taurus, the driver of the Sable sits notably higher than in other sedans. Seats are comfortable but not overly supportive, and switchgear is from the familiar Ford parts bin. The back seat is plenty roomy for adults, and the rear seatback folds down so that you can expand the capacity of the already huge (21.2 cu ft) trunk.
The Sable is available with either front- or all-wheel drive and electronic stability control, which should appeal to drivers in the snow belt. Fuel mileage is pretty commendable for such a large vehicle, with the front-wheel-drive model reaching 28 mpg in freeway driving (18 mpg city).
The Sable won't appeal to enthusiasts who are looking for a more sporting ride, but with modern amenities such as DVD voice-activated navigation and Ford's Sync multimedia system, plus a five-star rating in all of NHTSA's crash test categories, the Sable might well fill the bill for those looking to buy a large American sedan.