What Changed for 2008:
- Sable name replaces Montego name
- New 3.5-liter V-6 engine with 30-percent power increase
- All-wheel-drive system
- 6-speed automatic transmission
- New styling inside and out
- Optional electronic stability control system
- Optional Ford Sync communications technology
- Optional DVD entertainment system
- Quieter interior
- Re-tuned suspension
Following the lead of the Ford Five Hundred name-change back to Taurus, the Mercury sedan formerly known as Montego also has reverted to the Sable moniker. Along with a name change comes the addition of a bigger Duratec engine, upgraded interior and exterior styling cues, and features and options that are a step above its Ford brethren, such as two modern woodgrain accents and the Cyber Carbon interior.
The Sable comes in four trim levels: Sable front- or all-wheel drive, and the Sable Premier in front- or all-wheel drive. Standard features on all trim levels include power side-view mirrors; 17-inch aluminum wheels; manual air conditioning; AM/FM radio with CD player and auxiliary input jack; power windows and door locks; and seatback storage. Other upscale standard features include a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, both with satin-aluminum accents.
The Premier adds two-tone leather seats detailed with contrasting stitching and a new perforated pattern for a more contemporary look. Other upgrades on the Premier trim include a burl woodgrain look on various interior pieces and a classic analog clock. Heated front seats are included as standard on Premier, optional on the entry model. The steering wheel of the Premier features integrated redundant audio and cruise controls. In addition, the optional message center displays outside temperature, elapsed drive time, distance to empty, and various other information.
Options on all Sable models include a one-touch moonroof, satellite radio, reverse sensing system, cargo management system, and a navigation system. The Premier can add memory adjustable pedals and stability control as options.
Replacing the previous Duratec 3.0-liter V-6 engine, a new Duratec 3.5-liter V-6 engine that produces 263 hp and 249 lb.-ft. of torque (a 30-percent increase in power) motivates the 2008 Mercury Sable. The engine is mated to a new 6-speed automatic transmission that replaces the Continuously Variable Transmission. Electric power steering and a revised 4-wheel independent suspension setup are designed to improve overall ride and handling. Traction control, which will apply braking progressively to the wheel with slip in order to transfer torque to the wheels that have some traction, is standard. Anti-lock brakes are standard, as is a new 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty that includes a roadside assistance program.
Even with the increased engine power, EPA estimated fuel economy from this partial zero-emission vehicle-rated engine is estimated at 18 mpg city/28 mpg highway for front-wheel-drive models, and 17 mpg city/24 mpg highway when equipped with all-wheel drive.
The 2008 Mercury Sable, built on Volvo's P2 architecture, has a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) quadruple 5-star crash test rating for all occupants in both frontal and side impacts. The Sable offers standard dual-stage front air bags; side seat-mounted air bags; Safety Canopy side curtain air bags; and the Personal Safety System that includes front-seat air bag deployment determination criteria, seat belt reminder system, and other features that combine to increase occupant protection. A tire-pressure-monitoring system, optional electronic stability control program, and optional automatic headlamps enhance the Sable's list of safety features.
As a family sedan, the 2008 Mercury Sable features many technologies that the manufacturer hopes will keep passengers occupied and comfortable on long trips. An optional DVD-based entertainment system provides hours of movie or game entertainment. Optional Sirius satellite radio provides an abundance of listening choices, and new for 2008 in the Mercury family is Ford Sync, a program that was co-developed with Microsoft and is exclusive to Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles. Sync is a customizable media system that allows the driver to integrate Bluetooth-enabled mobile phones and digital media players with the car and operate them using voice commands.