In the transition from Montego to Sable, Mercury has had to spend the time and money to make the two vehicles look as dissimilar as possible, so the new Sable has a completely new and quite different look.
Although both cars have multi-pieced brushed-aluminum waterfall grilles, the hoods, grilles, headlamps, bumpers and intakes are completely different on the two cars, and there are differences across the rear panel as well to make the Sable as distinct from the Montego as was possible in a very short turnaround time. The new taillamps have white lenses and LED lighting, the rear quarter panels and decklid have been redone, and the rear bumper has been redesigned with exposed dual exhaust tips. Front to back, there's a bit more bling on the Sable than there was on the Montego, but it's far from overdone.
The most welcome interior feature of the new Sable is the sheer space inside it, 108 cubic feet inside, with a 21 cubic-foot trunk, according to EPA measurements, making it by far the largest interior in the class at 129 cubic feet total. With folding rear seats and a flat-folding right front seat, you can put a nine-foot-long object inside the car.
After you notice the space and the limo-like rear-seat accommodations, you then begin to notice that every piece in the interior, the instruments, controls, shifter, seats, console, and dashboard, has been redesigned, with a more luxurious feel and lots more chrome trim here and there. And they've added a standard MP3 player auxiliary plug inside the center console as standard equipment on all models.
There's more choice for interior schemes with Sable, beyond the basic chrome and aluminum scheme, including faux carbon fiber, guitar maple, and something called San Macassar, all complementing the two-tone interior theme.
Sync offers integration with all Bluetooth-enabled phones and music players, including iPods, via electronic and USB 2.0 connections. Sync can read text messages aloud and features voice recognition for control of both phone and music functions, and phonebook transfer. The system is upgradeable for future players and for additional functions scheduled to arrive in 2009 models.
Our test Sable Limited AWD, with a base price of $29,180 was loaded down with options, including AdvanceTrac electronic stability control, a roof-mounted rear-seat DVD entertainment system, heated front seats, convenience package, wood package, power adjustable pedals, a moonroof, voice-activated touch-screen navigation, Sirius satellite radio, and reverse sensing system, bringing the bottom line to $34,200 and making it the most-loaded Sable it is possible to order.