Mercury's full-size Montego sedan has been caught in Ford's nameplate switcheroo. It's now called the Sable, recalling Mercury's twin to the Ford Taurus of 1990s eminence. Ford says 60 percent of customers remember the Sable, and it's hoping to cash in on those memories with the name change. The same motivation is accountable for the Five Hundred being renamed Taurus. (Rest assured, there are no plans to rename the smaller Fusion and Milan sedans the Contour and Mystique.)
The changes are more than nameplate-deep. The Sable gets updated styling, a quieter cabin and more safety features than its predecessor. Under the hood, a larger V-6 cranks out 30 percent more power.
As before, all-wheel drive is available.
With a low waterfall grille and headlights that arch onto the hood, the Sable looks like a larger version of Mercury's midsize Milan. Two continuous lines sweep down the hood and around the center of the bumper, while aluminum side mirrors, chrome fog light borders and LED taillamps add an upscale touch.
Thanks to better insulation materials and a modified suspension, the Sable is said to have a quieter ride than the Montego.
Most people won't be able to see any difference in the five-person interior. Mercury says the changes include updated seat fabric and optional glossy trim pieces that resemble carbon fiber. Two-tone leather upholstery with contrasting stitching is also available.
A navigation system, rear-seat DVD system and heated seats are among the options. Ford's Sync system, which integrates telephone and entertainment functions into one voice-activated interface, is also available.
Under the Hood
A 3.5-liter V-6 replaces the 3.0-liter V-6 in the Montego. In the Sable, the new engine makes an estimated 260 horsepower — 30 percent more than before. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard, and all-wheel drive is available.
Four-wheel-disc antilock brakes are standard. Traction control and an electronic stability system are optional. Six standard airbags include side-impact airbags for the front seats and side curtain airbags for both rows; the latter devices include Ford's Safety Canopy, which can keep them inflated for several seconds during a rollover.
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